Faith leaders urge G20 to keep promises to poor

 Today, religious leaders in Britain urged the G20 leaders not to forget their commitments to the world's poorest people in the current economic crisis.

In a communiqué issued in advance of next week's G20 meeting in London, they call on political leaders to consider the moral issues at the root of the current financial crisis, and to pay special attention to the needs of poor, marginalised and vulnerable people: "to forget their needs would be to compound regrettable past failures with needless future injustices".

Attention is drawn to promises made by the international community in "easier times" which now risk being "postponed by the pressing concern to rectify market failures". "Even in these difficult times we strongly urge the leaders of the G20 to hold fast to the commitments they have made to the world's poorest people."

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales said: "At a time of economic difficulty, it is important for all political leaders not to forget their promises to the world's poor. We pray for the poor, vulnerable and marginalised and also for the political leaders in their deliberations this week as we seek to create a more just world."

Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Scotland said: "The financial crisis is affecting everyone but it is the poorest people in the developing world who will be affected most. The leaders of the G20 countries have a moral responsibility to rectify past mistakes and build a fairer more equitable world for all. Our prayers will be with them so they may find the strength within themselves to cast aside narrow self interest and consider the wider needs of the global community."

The Archbishop of Canterbury The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dr Rowan Williams said: "The G20 meeting takes place in an atmosphere of high expectation: many people believe that this is a moment for the world's leaders to reaffirm their moral commitments to the welfare of all, especially the poorest, and to the care of the planet for future generations, as well as responding to the immediate challenges of securing a degree of financial stability. As religious leaders, we shall be praying that these expectations will be met and that the gathered politicians will be inspired to share a word of hope with all of us."

The Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth Sir Jonathan Sacks said: "Our prayers are with the world's leaders that they be blessed with the wisdom and courage to begin the journey from recession to recovery, and from the old world of national pride to a new age of global responsibility."

To read the full text see: 30 March 2009 - Text: religious leaders message to G20

Source: CCN

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