Pope Benedict Exchanges Letters with Gordon Brown Ahead of G8


08 July 08 - Ahead of travelling to Saparro Japan for the Group of Eight meeting, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown expressed his personal concern regarding the international community's shortfall on its commitment to the millennium development goals, in a letter to Pope Benedict XVI.

In the letter Prime Minister Brown highlighted Pope Benedict's speech to the UN General Assembly in April this year, during which the Pope spoke of the challenges facing our world and the responsibility on those in positions of leadership to act together to promote solidarity in the most fragile regions of the world.

Responding to the British premier on behalf of Pope Benedict, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone writes that "The Holy Father prays that the important international meetings planned for the second half of the present year will be able to provide an effective response to the economic crises afflicting several regions of the planet, and put into effect a concerted international plan of action aimed at freeing the world from extreme poverty, from the scourge of hunger and from the chronic lack of general medical care".

Jon Liden is the spokesperson for the Global Fund to fight aids, malaria and tuberculosis.

He says that while G8 nations remain financially committed to fighting disease, other crises are claiming the attention of world leader.