Catholic aid networks ask G20 to prioritise serving the poorest

By agency reporter
2 Sep 2013

Leading Catholic organisations are calling on G20 leaders to consider how well they have served the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable people across the world.

The Caritas-CIDSE G20 Network is a network of Catholic agencies working in collaboration to advocate at the G20 for the most vulnerable in our world.

This year the G20 comes to the end of its first action plan on development. It is also five years since the G20 came together as a result of the ongoing economic crisis to address the shortcomings of the global economy.

In a briefing paper entitled ‘2013 – A watershed moment for the G20?’, addressing leaders gathering in St Petersburg, Russia this week, development agency networks Caritas and CIDSE insist the G20 has much work to do before its promise of a global economy that promotes sustainability, jobs and improving social impact is realised.

The paper declares: “The G20 still has some way to go to move from business as usual to making this new vision of the global economy into a reality...

“This year is a useful time for the G20 to reflect on how well it has served the poorest people, and on the extent to which it has fulfilled its purpose to make the global economy fairer, more stable and more environmentally sustainable.”

The G20 meeting takes place on 5 and 6 September 2013. It risks being dominated by debate on the Syria crisis at a time when the global economic downturn is increasing the vulnerability of the world’s poorest communities and families, say concerned NGOs.

CAFOD’s lead economic analyst, Christina Chang, commented: “Caritas and CIDSE are calling for urgent and tangible action from the G20 to address the root causes of poverty. From ensuring economic structures don’t prevent poor and vulnerable farmers from accessing markets, to climate change and corporate transparency; the G20 has promised to act.”

The Caritas-CIDSE G20 Network is calling on world leaders to adopt three solutions to better align its action with its vision.

Catholic organisations want it to adopt coherence in its work across all issues so they are all measured against the goal of a fairer and more sustainable global economy;

They are also calling for an increase the level and depth of inclusion of the voices of poor communities, developing country governments and civil society in decision-making.

Last but not least, they want the G20 to measure progress more in accordance with this new vision of sustainability and fairness, by adopting ways of measurement that go beyond overall economic growth.

[Ekk/3]

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