ON BEHALF OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI
TO HIS EXCELLENCY Mr GORDON BROWN,
BRITISH PRIME MINISTER
Dear Prime Minister,
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has received your kind letter of 23 May 2008, and has asked me to respond in his name, thanking you for your courtesy and assuring you that he has taken due note of your comments. In your letter you recall certain practical initiatives in the ream of international cooperation undertaken recently by the British Government and the Holy See for the benefit of poor countries. At the same time you propose the creation of a broad international coalition with a view to honouring the commitments made in 2000 and, consequently, attaining the MDGs by the year 2015.
In this regard, I wish to refer to His Holiness' Message of 3 June 2008 to the FAO Summit on Food Security, in which he asked for a courageous effort to "globalise the expectations of solidarity". In this way it is hoped that due attention will be given to respect for human dignity in all negotiations, all decisions and in the manner of their implementation, so that the fruits of creation will be available to all people, and to all future generations. Only a deeply-felt and responsible sense of generosity will ensure that the MDGs are reached within the projected time scale.
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.
With sentiments of esteem, I avail myself of the opportunity to extend my own good wishes to you personally and in your duties as Prime Minister.
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone