Pope writes G20 wishlist

THE Pope has written an open letter to Prime Minister Tony Abbott and other G20 leaders urging action on poverty, "assaults" on the environment, and the root causes of terrorism.

Pope Francis released the letter online on Wednesday, urging G20 leaders "not to forget that many lives are at stake" behind the political talks.

He wrote there were far too many people suffering from malnutrition, rises in unemployment, an "extremely high" number of young unemployed and an increase in social exclusion.

"In addition, there are constant assaults on the natural environment, the result of unbridled consumerism, and this will have serious consequences for the world economy," he wrote.

Pope Francis wrote that despite gratitude for the "genuine dialogue", more was needed, including an agreement to halt "the unjust aggression directed at different religious and ethnic groups".

"It should also lead to eliminating the root causes of terrorism, which has reached proportions hitherto unimaginable; these include poverty, underdevelopment and exclusion."

The Pope wrote that it had become more evident that solutions to terrorism lay not in military action, but must focus on those who helped terrorist groups.

He also wrote religion should not be exploited as a means of justifying violence.