Catholic World News

Pope to G20: give priority to the poor

July 07, 2017

In a message to world leaders participating in the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, Pope Francis urged them to “give absolute priority to the poor, refugees, those suffering, the displaced, those excluded, without national, racial, religious or cultural distinction.”

The Pope’s message—address to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the host for this week’s meeting—the Pope encouraged the effort to provide for “a more inclusive and sustainable economic growth.” However he challenged the G20 power to be mindful of the world’s poor countries, which are not directly involved in the talks. He said:

Those 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. 

To provide for sustainable and equitable growth, the Pontiff said, world leaders must agree to “resolve economic differences peacefully and to agree on common financial and trade rules to allow integral development of all.” He also insisted that achieving worldwide development “will not be possible unless all parties commit themselves to substantially reducing levels of conflict, halting the present arms race, and renouncing direct or indirect involvement in conflicts.”

Pope Francis made a special plea for help from the world’s wealth nations to those who are living now in acute need “in South Sudan, the Lake Chad basin, the Horn of Africa, and Yemen.” He reported that 30 million people in those regions are facing an imminent danger of starvation.”

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