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Pope says 11 September must not affect struggle against hunger

The international community's struggle against hunger and its commitment to help poor countries handle their foreign debt must not be abandoned in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Pope said.

"Development is the new name of peace," John Paul II said in a message sent to the 31st Conference of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) currently being held in Rome.

A World Food Summit originally scheduled for this week was postponed until next June because of the attacks on New York and Washington.

In his message to FAO and the 183 delegations of its member-states, the Holy Father said it is critical that, "despite the difficult international situation, the world could have news that next year there will be real progress in the absolutely vital field of food."

"It is not possible that millions of people are undernourished or hungry in the world," the papal message states. "The earth is capable of providing them with what is necessary and, therefore, the reason for the lack of food must be sought elsewhere."