São Paulo Statement presented to Latin American governments

Darío Barolin, AIPRAL

Darío Barolin, AIPRAL (WCRC/Greenaway)

Ecumenical organizations are engaged in a series of meetings with Latin American governments focused on a document proposing an alternate vision for the global financial system. Audiences with senior officials in Argentina, Bolivia and Peru have already been held.

The document known as the São Paulo Statement: International Financial Transformation for the Economy of Life was prepared during a consultation convened by the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) in partnership with the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Council for World Mission (CWM). The consultation entitled The Global Ecumenical Conference on a New Economic and Financial Architecture (29 September to October 5, 2012 in Guarulhos, Brazil) was organized within the framework of WCRC’s Justice Programme directed by Dora Arce-Valentín.

The Argentinean chancellery was the first to receive the document at a meeting prior to Christmas with an ecumenical delegation of representatives from WCC, the Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI), the Alliance of Presbyterian and Reformed Churches in Latin America (AIPRAL), the World Association for Christian Communication and the Latin American and Caribbean Agency of Communication.

The delegation was received by Juan Landaburu, the ambassador serving as Secretary for Religious affairs in Argentina’s Ministry of External Relations, and Andrea De Vita, Director of the National Record of Religious Organizations. When handing the statement to Landaburu, Darío Barolin, AIPRAL’s Executive Secretary and a member of the statement drafting committee, stressed the strategic importance of the conference.

“Written by theologians and economists, the statement mentions over-consumption and greed as key factors to consider in search for a fairer distribution of global resources,” said Barolin who was a member of the document drafting team. He pointed to the need for governments to make decisions for a “global financial system that would serve life”.

Despite being a wealthy country at one time, Argentina has faced recurring economic crises in recent years, persistent fiscal and current account deficits, high inflation, mounting external debt and capital flight. The major down turn in Argentina’s economy was from 1999 to 2000 and is still causing uncertainty among its citizens.

“Learning more about your advocacy and development work comforts us,” said Landaburu who expressed his commitment to share the document with other government sectors.

By Marcelo Schneider

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