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Caritas: Poorer nations should have greater voice at UN, WTO

Catholic World News - January 27, 2010

Attending the World Economic Forum in the Swiss town of Davos, the head of Caritas Internationalis-- the consortium of Catholic relief agencies-- said that poorer nations should have a greater voice in the United Nations and the World Trade Organization and that wealthier nations should assist poorer ones in paying the costs of climate-related disasters.

“Finance has been focused on financial mechanisms, profits, and bonuses,” said Lesley-Anne Knight, the secretary-general of Caritas International. “Human beings were left out with dire consequences for us all, especially the poor. For humanitarian organizations, such as Caritas, the human person must be at the heart of everything we do. But this should equally be applied to economic systems, which are also ultimately at the service of humanity.”

Knight also expressed concern at the failure of recent climate-change talks in Copenhagen. “The richer nations of the world must provide assistance for developing countries who are bearing the brunt of climate-related disasters,” she said. “Economic growth and development must have regard for inter-generational justice. Rich countries have profited the most from the industrialization that has led to climate change, and now they must pay the costs of adapting and mitigating the damage.”

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