Vatican City, May 20, 2004 / 22:00 pm
The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, headed by Cardinal Renato Martino, opened today a study session on the social and economic development of Africa in the era of globalization.
Participants in this meeting include cardinals from Africa, ambassadors from African countries accredited to the Holy See, experts on the above-mentioned topics and leaders from international organizations, including the United Nations, Catholic Relief Services, the Sant’Egidio Community and the Earth Institute of Columbia University. The morning session was presided by Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, secretary for Relations with States, who spoke on Pope John Paul’s solicitude for Africa.
Other speakers addressed the problem of conflicts in Africa and reconciliation. The afternoon session focused on the chronic problems of the continent, including pandemic illnesses, poverty and foreign debt.
The Council will publish both conferences and conclusions of the event in the near future.