IRISH BISHOPS on the G8 Summit – June 2013
During their recent meeting in Maynooth Irish Bishops noted that the forthcoming G8 summit will be taking place in Enniskillen on 17 – 18 June. Bishops discussed the values that inform our choices in matters of social and economic policy, and they underlined the need for the value of solidarity to be the guiding principle in decisions currently facing world leaders.
They agreed that, against the backdrop of the widespread suffering caused by poverty, inequality and social exclusion, solidarity is needed to rebuild trust, restore relationships and give hope for a real and lasting recovery. Bishops wished to add their voices to those calling for greater transparency in matters of finance and taxation and stated that the protection of the rights of the poorest and most vulnerable is not only a question of charity, but is primarily a question of justice. It is a responsibility arising from our duty to care for our neighbour. It is also an essential prerequisite for a truly prosperous society; without fairness and social cohesion we will never achieve lasting prosperity.
Bishops said: It is a scandal that, despite all the extraordinary technological advances of the present age, one in eight people throughout the world are still going to bed hungry – including millions of children, who are not getting the start in life they deserve. As has been effectively highlighted in the ‘IF’ campaign, a more just and equitable distribution of resources is both achievable and imperative.
In the context of the forthcoming G8 summit, Trócaire, the overseas development agency of the Irish Bishops’ Conference, has called for action to address structural injustices that have contributed to one billion people going hungry every day. With the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set to expire in 2015, there is a need to strengthen efforts to tackle the underlying causes of poverty post-2015.
Trócaire, along with other development agencies from Ireland and the UK, is calling on the G8 leaders to take the political decisions at their upcoming summit to ensure that everybody in the world has enough food. It is asking the leaders to address: tax transparency, trade reform, climate change, and the negative impact biofuels have on food production.
Recognising that many people will be taking part in public manifestations on the margins of the G8 summit to highlight these and other social justice issues, bishops said it is vital that they are able to do so safely, peacefully and respectfully.
Bishops concluded: “We pray that the forthcoming G8 summit will be a fruitful and productive experience, bringing us closer to peace and prosperity throughout the world.“