Pope says 11 September attacks call for new war against poverty
Pope John Paul II has said that last month's terrorist attacks in the US signal the need for a more urgent commitment to end poverty and hunger.
The Holy Father's message was addressed to the Rome-based UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and read on the occasion of World Food Day.
"Those tragic events exhort us to look with special attention to a more profound motivation for a common commitment to the poor," the Pope said in his message, which was read by Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, Vatican permanent observer at FAO.
In the letter addressed to FAO Director General Jacques Diouf, the Pope said, "The problem of hunger, which affects more than 800 million people, of whom 200 million are children, is one of the most acute of our time."
The Pope appealed for the commitment of all countries in addressing this challenge at the next World Summit on Food. The summit has been postponed until next year because of the terrorist attacks and anti-globalisation protests.
John Paul II encouraged the leaders of countries to commit themselves to reduce by half the number of people who suffer hunger, in the period 2001-2016, as established five years ago at the Rome summit on hunger.