US Bishops urge President Bush to tackle global issues at G8 summit


U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops president, Bishop William Skylstad, urged President George Bush and world leaders in a letter yesterday, to tackle key social issues at next week’s G8 Summit.

The letter, written on behalf of the USCCB asked the president to “take bold action on global poverty, international trade, climate change and the arms trade.”

The Summit, which will gather the leaders of the 8 most powerful nations in the world, is scheduled to be held July 6-8 in Gleneagles, Scotland.

Among the specific issues mentioned by Bishop Skylstad was that of the impoverished and violent state of much of Africa.

He wrote that the U.S. Bishops “would encourage the G8 to strengthen peacekeeping efforts in countries affected by conflict as well as support peace building and reconstruction efforts in countries emerging from conflict.”

“Also,” he said, “a substantial number of African countries have been working to introduce reforms in basic education. A G8 commitment to intensify efforts to bring a quality basic education within the reach of all African children would make an enormous difference to the future of the people of Africa.”

The letter called for debt relief for severely impoverished nations, serious attention to climate change and concrete steps towards weapons proliferation.

“The G8 Summit”, the bishop wrote, “will explore many issues of critical importance to human life and dignity. We pray that your meeting will be blessed by a spirit of collaboration that enables the G8 leaders to advance the universal common good by adopting concrete measures of global poverty, trade, climate change and the arms trade.”

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