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Vatican backs measures to relieve debt to impoverished nations

.- Speaking Friday to members of the United Nations in New York, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Vatican’s permanent U.N. observer, challenged world leaders to fulfill measures which could relieve the debt of some 38 heavily impoverished nations.

The Archbishop told the U.N.’s Economic and Social Council during their substantive session that, "The Holy See is pleased to associate itself with those who support the accord reached in London recently by the G8 finance ministers to cancel the debts of 18 heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC).”

“Debt remission measures, he added, "are just the start of that path, first of all because the measure in question needs to be extended to some 38 HIPC countries."

Archbishop Migliore noted that, "The G8 leaders, meeting at Gleneagles, Scotland, on July 6-8 next, must now pay attention to the demands of their own people and of civil society, and place before their respective legislatures bills that will lead to the immediate fulfillment of the accord's promises."

In conclusion, the Archbishop discussed development funding, and specifically, the "lack of financing for basic scientific research and for the industrial development of pharmaceutical products to combat the major tropical diseases such as malaria, as well as the lack of research in favor of agriculture in poorer regions."

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