(Vatican Radio) The Vatican on Thursday reminded business leaders of the responsibility they have in promoting greater inclusiveness in the global economy. The call came during a press conference launching the latest annual report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
The head of the new Vatican office for Integral Human Development, Cardinal Peter Turkson sent a message to the meeting, urging financial leaders to “unlock a new way of doing business” to promote more equitable growth and development.
He noted that back in the 1930s, Pope Pius XI was already warning of the dangers of ‘a global economic dictatorship’, a concern about the growing influence of multinational corporations that has been repeatedly echoed by Pope Francis in recent years.
Addressing the press conference was former Vatican observer to the UN in Geneva, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi. He noted the new UNCTAD report, entitled ‘Beyond Austerity: Towards a new global deal”, reinforces the need for both a “strong moral awakening” and a more balanced “regulatory environment” to overcome the challenges facing poorer countries.
“Economic and financial crises like that of 2008/9 are only the more visible manifestation of a world economy that has become increasingly unbalanced in ways that are not only exclusionary, but also destabilising and dangerous for the political, social and environmental health of the planet”.
Archbishop Tomasi noted that these imbalances provide fertile terrain for “xenophobic rhetoric and inward-looking policies”.
The message of the 2017 UNCTAD report is that nations can no longer accept the ‘business as usual’ way of working and must instead by inspired by the ambitious goals of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. A decade on from the global financial crisis, the business community must seize the moment to relaunch a more equitable ‘new deal’, ending austerity and building inclusivity and sustainable growth for all.