Anglican Communion voices speak out ahead of the G20 summit

By ACNS staff
Posted Nov 14, 2014

[Anglican Communion News Service] Leading figures from the Anglican Communion are speaking out before and during this weekend’s G20 meeting in Brisbane, Australia, on a range of economic and development issues.

The G20 is a forum for the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies that are said to account for about 85% of the gross world product, 80% of world trade and two-thirds of the world population.

On the sidelines of the meeting will be people from countries not all represented in the G20, reminding world leaders that global growth should not come at the expense of the world’s poorest people.

The Anglican Board of Mission (ABM) reports that Archbishop of Polynesia Winston Halapua is asking the G20 to consider how they might cooperate to minimize the impacts of climate change which are already being felt by people in the Pacific Islands.

The Anglican Alliance regional facilitator for the Pacific will also be in Brisbane during the event. Tagolyn Kabekabe works with communities in the Solomon Islands that are experiencing the erosion of their homelands, poisoning of their food gardens by salt water and increasing exposure to extreme weather events.

Kabekabe represented the Anglican Communion, in particular those in the Pacific directly affected by climate change, at the C20 meeting – a civil society forum that met in June to feed in to the G20 discussions.

Archbishop Philip Freier, primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, has issued a statement in which he warns global leaders that “failure to address these issues of economic security and justice will lead to more international conflict and reduce the possibility of human flourishing.” [His full statement is below.]

ABM’s Greg Henderson has been organizing opportunities for people in Brisbane to meet Halapua and Kabekabe. He says that it is important for Australians to recognize that climate change is a justice issue, “because its impact is being felt most seriously by communities who have the least power to address the causes of anthropogenic warming.”

According to the G20 website, the meeting’s agenda has been built around the key themes of:

  • promoting stronger economic growth and employment outcomes;
  • making the global economy more resilient to deal with future shocks;
  • strengthening global institutions to ensure they reflect the new realities of the global economy.

Further information about the G20’s priorities are available here.

Statement by Archbishop Philip Freier, primate of the Anglican Church of Australia

The G20 meeting of the world’s 20 largest economies in Brisbane this weekend takes place in increasingly uncertain times. There are growing fears of global recession, rising international tensions and growing economic inequality between countries and within countries.

In the longer term there are vast challenges, such as managing climate change, global population growth and movement, international conflict, food security, water, and potential epidemics.

It is essential that the countries taking part look beyond their own short-term national interests and seek to address these challenges in a concerted and effective way.  I echo Pope Francis, who urged last week that the discussions move beyond declarations of principle to real improvements in the living conditions of poorer families and the reduction of all forms of unacceptable inequality.

It will require good will and trust on all sides if the G20 summit is to achieve real progress, and it is the nature of international politics that no one wants to go first on such a path. Yet without a clear-sighted optimism, real change will be impossible.

Failure to address these issues of economic security and justice will lead to more international conflict and reduce the possibility of human flourishing. They cannot be left to fester. The Anglican Church of Australia urges the G20 leaders to search for new and cooperative solutions that can work across the globe. To that end, we offer our support and prayers.

+Philip, Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia