DAILY CATHOLIC    THURSDAY     September 23, 1999     vol. 10, no. 181

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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International Forum to Offer Concrete Solutions

        ROME, SEP 21 (ZENIT).- An international Forum on the foreign debt of developing countries is being held today and tomorrow in Rome to promote the "Indemnification of Debt to Live A Millennium Free of Debts." The event, which takes place within the framework of the U.N.'s Peoples' Week, is dedicated to the role of the global civil society and economic justice. It will end with a walk from the city of Perugia to Assisi.

        The organizations convoked by the Forum have called for the complete cancellation of the poor countries' debt before the year 2000. The Forum is being attended by groups that adhere to the "Jubilee 2000" initiative, which has received numerous support from stars of the entertainment world.

        At the heart of the problem are the debts that the poorest countries cannot pay without imposing on their neediest people an unbearable burden. Often the debts are the result of decisions taken by unscrupulous governments, especially dictators, who used the money to purchase arms. One of the factors aggravating the already difficult situation of these nations are the interests: as a result some countries end up paying $13 for every dollar loaned to them. This is the reason why the forum is calling for the cancellation of the debts that have already been paid, without taking the interest into account.

        "Jubilee 2000" Association member, Anne Pettifor, who spoke about studies that state it would be enough for every person in the Western countries to donate $4 a year to overcome the problem. In addition, she referred to the biblical meaning of the Jubilee, which is centered on forgiveness and reconciliation.

        At the conclusion of the Forum's sessions on Thursday, the Pope will receive a delegation of "Jubilee 2000," including Bono of U2, Bob Geldoff and others. ZE99092105

Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

September 23, 1999       volume 10, no. 181


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