Rome: Global Spring Meetings

April 8, 2021

In a new official letter addressed to the annual World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund “Spring Meetings” Vatican calls for a “global plan” and “vaccines for all.”

On April 4, 2021 Vatican addressed an official letter to the annual World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund “Spring Meetings”, which are currently being held online from April 5 through April 11, calling for a “global plan” and “vaccines for all”. The letter, dated on Easter Day, was delivered to the participants via Cardinal Peter Turkson, Prefect of the Holy See’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.

The concise letter mentioned the word “financial” six times, “finance” three times, “economic(s)” five times, “market(s)” four times, “debt” six times, “common good” five times, “development” four times, “ecological” four times, “(un)sustainable” four times, “vaccine(s)” three times … and God just once, in the final line. Jesus Christ: no data received.

Vatican letter says: “I am grateful for the kind invitation to address the participants in the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund 2021 Spring Meetings by means of this letter, which I have entrusted to Cardinal Peter Turkson, Prefect of the Holy See’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.”

“In this past year, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, our world has been forced to confront a series of grave and interrelated socio-economic, ecological, and political crises. It is my hope that your discussions will contribute to a model of “recovery” capable of generating new, more inclusive and sustainable solutions to support the real economy, assisting individuals and communities to achieve their deepest aspirations and the universal common good. The notion of recovery cannot be content to a return to an unequal and unsustainable model of economic and social life, where a tiny minority of the world’s population owns half of its wealth.” …..

“While many countries are now consolidating individual recovery plans, there remains an urgent need for a global plan that can create new or regenerate existing institutions, particularly those of global governance, and help to build a new network of international relations for advancing the integral human development of all peoples. This necessarily means giving poorer and less developed nations an effective share in decision-making and facilitating access to the international market. A spirit of global solidarity also demands at the least a significant reduction in the debt burden of the poorest nations, which has been exacerbated by the pandemic. Relieving the burden of debt of so many countries and communities today, is a profoundly human gesture that can help people to develop, to have access to vaccines, health, education and jobs.” …..

“Nor can we overlook another kind of debt: the “ecological debt” that exists especially between the global north and south. We are, in fact, in debt to nature itself, as well as the people and countries affected by human-induced ecological degradation and biodiversity loss. In this regard, I believe that the financial industry, which is distinguished by its great creativity, will prove capable of developing agile mechanisms for calculating this ecological debt, so that developed countries can pay it, not only by significantly limiting their consumption of non-renewable energy or by assisting poorer countries to enact policies and programmes of sustainable development, but also by covering the costs of the innovation required for that purpose.” …..

“It is time to acknowledge that markets – particularly the financial ones – do not govern themselves. Markets need to be underpinned by laws and regulations that ensure they work for the common good, guaranteeing that finance – rather than being merely speculative or financing itself – works for the societal goals so much needed in the context of the present global healthcare emergency. In this regard, we especially need a justly financed vaccine solidarity, for we cannot allow the law of the marketplace to take precedence over the law of love and the health of all. Here, I reiterate my call to government leaders, businesses and international organizations to work together in providing vaccines for all, especially for the most vulnerable and needy.” …..

Holy See Press Office, “Letter to the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund”