Oct. 19, 2022

Ecumenical panel looks ahead on ways to advocate for renewed international financial and economic ar

From 11-13 October, experts in finance, economics, sociology, and theology from the World Council of Churches (WCC), World Communion of Reformed Churches, Lutheran World Federation, and Council for World Mission met in Bali, Indonesia, for the fifth meeting of the working group on a New International Financial and Economic Architecture.
Participants gathered for the fifth meeting of the working group on a New International Financial and Economic Architecture. Photo: Rosiana Indah Purnomo
19 October 2022

Participants worked together to identify emerging and persisting elements of financial, economic, and climate injustice to understand priority areas for engagement for new and renewed actions and alliances.

Looking at the converging crisis the world faces today, Uhuru Dempers, director of the Social Development Desk at Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia, highlighted that the resources mobilized through improved tax collection should target programs aimed at addressing inequalities within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals and beyond. “Models such as the basic income grant could be considered as effective means for wealth redistribution,” explained Dempers.

Sandrine Dixon-Decleve, co-chair of the Club of Rome, called for five global turnarounds. “We must transform and accelerate human development in low-income countries by reforming the international financial and trade system. We also need to improve wealth distribution by ensuring the wealthiest 10% have no more than 40% of national income,” said Sandrine, also stressing the importance of transforming energy systems to halve emissions of greenhouse gases every decade and agriculture to make the food systems regenerative and nature positive. “Finally, we need to transform gender power imbalances. We must empower women and invest in education for all,” she concluded.

The panel discussion happened ahead of the G2 Summit taking place in Bali from 15-16 November and the 27th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 27) happening in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt from 6-18 November.

“The WCC assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany affirmed that a new international financial and economic architecture is necessary to address the food-fuel-debt crises, gaping socio-economic inequalities and the climate and broader planetary emergency,” said Athena Peralta, WCC programme executive for Economic and Ecological Justice. “We are pleased that the meeting has generated fresh analyses and ideas for a three-year plan, as well as content for a message addressed to the G20 leaders’ summit meeting from November in Bali.”

New International Financial and Economic Architecture is a joint initiative of the WCC, the World Communion of Reformed Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the World Methodist Council, and the Council for World Mission.

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