Four global organizations representing some 500 million Christians have written an urgent letter to G20 leaders, calling for them to leave behind the current broken financial architecture and promote a truly just and sustainable recovery:
13 July 2020
The Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of the Group of 20 (G20)
Our organizations, the World Council of Churches (WCC), World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC), Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and Council for World Mission (CWM), have followed with profound concern how the COVID-19 pandemic and the related economic crisis have continued to destroy lives and livelihood around the world. To date this has resulted in more than half a million deaths, massive unemployment, increase of debts, poverty, and inequality in many parts of the world.
We want to express our appreciation for the G20’s prompt efforts to address the crises by offering fiscal measures to support public health response, temporary debt relief for the poorest countries, and emergency financing facilities as agreed at your last meeting on 15 April 2020. We also welcome the G20’s recognition of the necessity for governments to work together in a coordinated and coherent manner. At the same time, we think that more can and ought to be done to mitigate human suffering and promote a truly just and sustainable recovery.
As you are well aware, the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how many countries are ill-equipped and poorly resourced to respond to an emergency of this scale and magnitude. It has exposed the deeper crisis which is a result of the current economic and development model, namely the exploitation of resources in a manner that destroys the planet and leaves the majority of people in poverty.
This moment offers us an unprecedented opening to collectively examine the current order and to ‘build back better’ a different system that nurtures the health, wellbeing and resilience of communities and the planet for generations to come. Here we would like to underline that COVID-19 recovery measures and policies must be compatible with urgent and ambitious action to address the climate crisis.
We believe that it is feasible today to embark on essential transformation in global and national development and economic policies and practices because the majority of people do not want to go back to the ‘old normal.’ For these changes to be viable and sustainable, discussions must also take place under the aegis of the United Nations (UN) where there is broad participation of countries and civil society. Multilateralism must remain as a key principle and approach for addressing global challenges.
In light of the foregoing, permit us to share, on behalf of the churches, some proposals for the G20 to take into consideration at the upcoming meetings of the finance ministers and central bank governors and at the Leaders’ Summit in November 2020:
Our organizations collectively represent more than 500 million Christians worldwide. We hope that you will take our proposals into account in your deliberations and would appreciate a response to this letter.
We pray that you have constructive and transformative meetings.
Prof Rev Dr Ioan Sauca
Acting General Secretary, WCC
Rev Dr Chris Ferguson
General Secretary, WCRC
Rev Dr Martin Junge
General Secretary, LWF
Rev Dr Collin Cowan
General Secretary, CWM