The World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) is among signatories on a joint letter to H.E. Sri Narendra Modi, prime minister of the Republic of India and chair of the Group of Twenty (G20), which urges G20 leaders to adopt a New International Financial and Economic Architecture (NIFEA).
“Today we live in a world where economics has taken precedence over all other aspects of life,” the letter opens. “This thinking has elevated and disconnected prevailing economic systems from social and ecological life.”
The G20 is meeting this year in India from 9-10 September with the theme “One Earth, One Family, One Future.”
The letter—signed by leaders of global faith-based groups as well as other organizations—expresses concern over the immense inequality across and within countries, and urges the G20 leaders to, among other measures, support a UN Framework Convention on International Tax Cooperation.
“Global tax discussions must take place under the aegis of the UN, where there is broad participation of countries and civil society,” the letter notes. “A legally-binding UN tax convention promoting fairer and more inclusive international tax rules would curb illicit financial flows and tax evasion by multinational corporations and super wealthy individuals, and enable developing countries to mobilise domestic resources.”
The letter also calls for implementing progressive wealth taxes, as well as progressive carbon and pollution taxes, and for releasing developing countries from their onerous and historic external debts. “Debt remains an obstacle to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals,” reads the letter. “Today, over 3 billion people live in countries that spend more on interest payments on debt than on education or health.”
The letter also calls for guaranteeing fundamental labour rights. “These are key to reducing socio-economic inequalities and will help to protect workers and their families especially in times of crises and transition,” notes the letter.
NIFEA is an initiative of the WCRC, World Council of Churches, World Methodist Council, Council of World Mission, and Lutheran World Federation. It is supported by funds from Otto per Mille.
Article courtesy of the World Council of Churches. Image: Members of a savings group in Panyagor, a village in South Sudan’s Jonglei State, record contributions to their personal accounts during a meeting (Paul Jeffrey/Life on Earth).