Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Another voice being heard before G-20: The Archbishop of Canterbury

The Rev. Rowan Williams was interviewed for his thoughts on the eve of the G-20 meetings. The Archbishop told BBC Radio that he wanted the needs of poorer nations put on the top of the agenda.

Rev. Williams wants to see the Millennium Development Goals promoted more by the leaders of the rich world, and he praised British Prime Minister Gordon Brown for doing so.

This Press Association story that we found in the Guardian relates the interview.

But he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "This is no time to think of alibis for that because there is no economic problem that is just local in our world.

"We have already seen growth rates slowing down in Africa. It is estimated that perhaps as many as over 50 million people could be in absolute poverty in the next few years.

"So I think that has to be at the top of the list this week."

The archbishop was among the signatories to a statement issued by Britain's religious leaders this week ahead of the G20, urging the politicians to remember the poor and vulnerable.

"To forget their needs would be to compound regrettable past failures with needless future injustices," they said.

Dr Williams said the economic crisis had raised a fundamental question about whether the practices of recent years were "a sensible way to run a human race".

"I'm certainly not saying this is just a wake-up call and we ought to be glad of the bracing message. People really are suffering and that's a major problem," he said.

"But if we can at least take the opportunity of saying: how did we get here? Is this a sensible way to run an economy? Is this a sensible way to run a human race, you might almost say.

"That is the fundamental question. And that is why … we can't lose sight of the connection with the environmental issue as well."

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