Climate change activists protest during the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 21. CNS photo/Arnd Wiegmann, Reuters

Put people first, Pope Francis tells leaders at Davos

By  Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service
  • January 23, 2020

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis told global business and government leaders that everyone has the moral responsibility to seek the integral development of all people, but especially those who are in need, suffering injustice or whose lives are threatened.

“The moral obligation to care for one another flows from this fact,” which must never be forgotten, that “we are all members of the one human family,” he said in a message read to those attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Likewise, this means putting the human person, “rather than the mere pursuit of power or profit, at the very centre of public policy,” he wrote.

The Pope’s message was read to the assembly Jan. 21 by Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, the Vatican’s representative at the forum.

The annual meeting in Davos Jan. 21-24 brought together people representing business, government, academia and media to discuss the theme, “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.”

With the World Economic Forum celebrating its 50th anniversary, Pope Francis said it has offered opportunities “to explore innovative and effective ways of building a better world. It has also provided an arena where political will and mutual cooperation can be guided and strengthened in overcoming the isolationism, individualism and ideological colonization that sadly characterizes too much contemporary debate.”

As the world begins a new decade, he said, the duty to put people first and protect their dignity “is incumbent upon business sectors and governments alike,” and must be part of the search for “equitable solutions to the challenges we face.”

“It is necessary to move beyond short-term technological or economic approaches and to give full consideration to the ethical dimension in seeking resolutions to present problems or proposing initiatives for the future,” the Pope said in his message.

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