.- The Bishops Conference of Argentina published today a document on the challenges of the Free Trade Area for the Americas, approved during their 86th General Assembly which ended last Saturday, offering their input on the debate to the governments of the continent which are considering the establishment of the trade zone.
The Argentinean bishops asked national legislators to open "a wide debate," to follow negotiations closely and not to limit themselves to "approving or rejecting the treaty once it is signed."
According to the bishops, "The Free Trade Area should be founded upon respect for the integral sovereignty of each nation and on the sacredness of human rights, in particular, the right to life from conception to natural death, and it should be implemented as a means of consolidating the democratic and public structures."
Regarding the lack of information and debate about this issue, the bishops encourage the creation of a forum or roundtable about the Free Trade Area "to hear the opinions of organizations and persons who are capable of offering their points of view with fairness. This is crucial and urgent in light of the experience of international debt, which is contracted and accumulated irresponsibly by leaders with no knowledge of society."
According to the text, the objective of encouraging commerce between the countries of America will be truly positive as long as it respects the sovereignty of the diverse nations and promotes integral development and higher quality of life for the peoples of all the signing countries, and not just for the few."