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Vatican says protecting environment goes along with globalisation

Environmental protection needs to go hand-in-hand with globalisation, and corporations should be made to answer for actions that damage human health or the natural environment around the world, a Vatican official has said.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, the Vatican's permanent observer to UN agencies in Geneva, made the comments late last month when he addressed a preparatory meeting of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, scheduled for September 2002.

Archbishop Martin said the current drive for open markets and economic growth can be combined with strong environmental concern.

"Indeed it should be clear to all, including the business world, that globalisation will be sustainable in the long term only in the manner in which it equitably integrates social and environmental concerns," he said.