Pope Benedict has called on wealthy nations to set aside their "narrow interests" to work toward a trade deal that would help poorer countries.
The pope Thursday said he is confident that a sense of responsibility and solidarity with disadvantaged nations will prevail at upcoming world trade talks.
Pope Benedict noted that rural areas and independent farmers suffer greatly because they do not have access to the global marketplace.
The pope made the comments to a delegation from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
The World Trade Organization is set to meet in Hong Kong next month to discuss reaching a global trade deal. Past efforts have been stymied largely because of disputes over how much developed countries are willing to cut agricultural trade barriers.
Some information for this story provided by Reuters and AP.