Economic solutions need broader vision, pope tells G-20 leaders

IMAGE: CNS photo/Abir Abdullah, EPA

By Junno Arocho Esteves

CITY (CNS) — World leaders attending the Group of 20 meeting in Hamburg,
Germany, must reflect on the repercussions their decisions may have on the
entire global community and not just their own countries, Pope Francis said.

it is reasonable that the G-20 is limited to a “small number of countries
that represent 90 percent of the production of wealth and services
worldwide,” a multilateral approach in solving economic problems must be made
“for the benefit of all,” the pope said.

pope’s message to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, host of the July 7-8
leaders’ summit, was dated June 29 and released July 7 at the Vatican.

states and individuals whose voice is weakest on the world political scene are
precisely the ones who suffer most from the harmful effects of economic crises
for which they bear little or no responsibility,” the papal message said.

great majority, which in economic terms counts for only 10 percent of the
whole, is the portion of humanity that has the greatest potential to contribute
to the progress of everyone,” he said.

members of the G-20 are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France,
Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi
Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the
European Union.

his apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium” (“The Joy of the
Gospel”), Pope Francis proposed four principles “for the building of
fraternal, just and peaceful societies.”

on the principle that “time is greater than space,” the pope said the
migration crisis, which is “inseparable from the issue of poverty and
exacerbated by armed conflict,” requires an effective solution spread over
time with a clear “final objective.”

the minds and hearts of government leaders, and at every phase of the enactment
of political measures, there is a need to give absolute priority to the poor,
refugees, the suffering, evacuees and the excluded, without distinction of
nation, race, religion or culture, and to reject armed conflicts,” he

also urged world leaders to promote economic policies where “unity
prevails over conflict.” Economic differences, he said, cannot be resolved
if leaders are not committed to “substantially reducing levels of
conflict, halting the present arms race and renouncing direct or indirect
involvement in conflicts.”

is a tragic contradiction and inconsistency in the apparent unity expressed in
common forums on economic or social issues, and the acceptance, active or
passive, of armed conflicts,” the pope said.

leaders, he continued, must follow the example of past world leaders who were
guided by “the primacy of the human being” and turn away from “new
ideologies of absolute market autonomy and financial speculation.”

their tragic wake, these bring exclusion, waste and even death,” the pope

Francis said to resolve today’s economic problems and challenges, the G-20
leaders must first “consider the eventual repercussions on all countries
and their citizens, while respecting the views and opinions of the latter.”

also expressed his hope that the meeting would be led by “the spirit of
responsible solidarity that guides all those taking part.”

ask God’s blessings upon the Hamburg meeting and on every effort of the
international community to shape a new era of development that is innovative,
interconnected, sustainable, environmentally respectful and inclusive of all peoples
and all individuals,” the pope said.

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Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.


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