In a message to delegates at the 44th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, Pope Francis urged business and political leaders to adopt inclusiveness and openness in decision-making and “rid the world of social exclusion.”
The 44th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting is taking place from January 22nd to 25th under the theme The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business.
The special message was read by the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Cardinal Peter Turkson.
Pope Francis praised business’ fundamental role in lifting millions of people out of poverty. He also reminded economic and political leaders of their responsibility towards the weak, frail and vulnerable. They should use their professional expertise, ingenuity and innovation to improve the lives of people who continue living in poverty today.
With so much food available people are still starving today
Pope Francis said:
“The growth of equality … calls for decisions, mechanisms and processes directed to a better distribution of wealth, the creation of sources of employment and an integral promotion of the poor, which goes beyond a simple welfare mentality.”
Pope Francis said that it is intolerable that with so much food available in the world so many people die every day from hunger. He added that much of the food surplus is wasted.
“Likewise, we cannot but be moved by the many refugees seeking minimally dignified living conditions, who not only fail to find hospitality, but often, tragically, perish in moving from place to place,” he added.
He challenged the participants to make a difference. The world urgently requires us to adopt a renewed, profound and broadened sense of responsibility.
“We have to make sure that humanity “is served by wealth and not ruled by it,” he emphasized.
Pope Francis’ message follows an Oxfam report on inequality which said that 85 of the richest people in the world own the wealth shared by nearly half the population of the globe.
The Forum includes over 2,500 participants from 100 nations, including 30 heads of state/government, and 1,500 leaders of business from the Forum’s 1,000 Member companies.