Pope says pandemic is opportunity to rethink the rules of financial activity
In a letter sent to the participants in the 2021 Spring Meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, Francis calls for the search for the common good to guide finance. Wealthy nations should pay their "ecological debt", "We particularly need a vaccine solidarity that is rightly financed".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - May the world crisis triggered by the pandemic be an opportunity for a rethinking of the rules that govern financial activity so that it is not simply speculative and, therefore, for the benefit of a few, but aims at the realization of the common good, which includes access to vaccines.
This is the invitation contained in a letter sent by Pope Francis to the participants in the 2021 Virtual Spring Meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund from 5 to 11 April. In the letter, the Pope hopes " A future where finance is at the service of the common good, where the vulnerable and the marginalized are placed at the centre, and where the earth, our common home, is well cared for.”
Francis writes, “our world has been forced to confront a series of grave and interrelated socio-economic, ecological, and political crises," for which a "model" of recovery is being sought which, the Pope hopes, "capable of generating new, more inclusive and sustainable solutions to support the real economy, assisting individuals and communities to achieve their deepest aspirations and the universal common good. The notion of recovery cannot be content to a return to an unequal and unsustainable model of economic and social life, where a tiny minority of the world’s population owns half of its wealth.”
“For all our deeply-held convictions that all men and women are created equal, many of our brothers and sisters in the human family, especially those at the margins of society, are effectively excluded from the financial world. The pandemic, however, has reminded us once again that no one is saved alone. If we are to come out of this situation as a better, more humane and solidary world, new and creative forms of social, political and economic participation must be devised, sensitive to the voice of the poor and committed to including them in the building of our common future (cf. Fratelli Tutti, 169)."
In this perspective " While many countries are now consolidating individual recovery plans, there remains an urgent need for a global plan that can create new or regenerate existing institutions, particularly those of global governance, and help to build a new network of international relations for advancing the integral human development of all peoples. This necessarily means giving poorer and less developed nations an effective share in decision-making and facilitating access to the international market. A spirit of global solidarity also demands at the least a significant reduction in the debt burden of the poorest nations, which has been exacerbated by the pandemic.”
Not only. Francis asks that "the financial industry" look for "mechanisms" to calculate the "ecological debt" - "which exists above all between the north and the south of the world" - so that " so that developed countries can pay it, not only by significantly limiting their consumption of non-renewable energy or by assisting poorer countries to enact policies and programmes of sustainable development, but also by covering the costs of the innovation required for that purpose.”
“It is time to acknowledge that markets – particularly the financial ones – do not govern themselves. Markets need to be underpinned by laws and regulations that ensure they work for the common good, guaranteeing that finance - rather than being merely speculative or financing itself - works for the societal goals so much needed in the context of the present global healthcare emergency. In this regard, we especially need a justly financed vaccine solidarity, for we cannot allow the law of the marketplace to take precedence over the law of love and the health of all.”