Holy See Tells UN that embargoes hurt the poor most
    The Vatican has again denounced embargoes and other international economic sanctions because of their disproportionate effect on the poor.
    Archbishop Renato Martino, the Vatican's permanent observer at the United Nations in New York, spoke at a plenary assembly on Thursday which was debating "the elimination of coercive economic measures as means of political and economic compulsion."
    "The Holy See has always opposed the use of coercive economic measures, which are harmful to the social development of a nation and its people," Archbishop Martino said.
    Pope John Paul II and the Vatican previously denounced what they consider futile embargoes, such as those against Cuba, Iraq and, until a few days ago, Yugoslavia.
    "On a number of occasions," the Archbishop stressed, "especially in the recently concluded special sessions of the General Assembly, the Holy See has noted its concern with the effects of these measures, not only upon the nations on which they are imposed, but also on those states that suffer the negative effects of trade barriers that are part of those measures."
    The apostolic nuncio said that the Vatican wished to add its voice to that of countries which have appealed for the abolition of sanctions as being incompatible with international law, the objectives of the UN Charter, and the spirit last month's UN Millennium Summit.
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