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Photo outside the Davos Congress Centre ahead of the opening of the World Economic Forum Photo outside the Davos Congress Centre ahead of the opening of the World Economic Forum  (AFP or licensors)

Pope to Davos Economic Forum: Opportunites for integral development

Pope Francis in a message for the opening of the World Economic Forum in Davos, says it is vital to safeguard the dignity of the human person, in particular by offering to all people real opportunities for integral human development.

The World Economic Forum was established in 1971 as a not-for-profit foundation and has its headquarters in Geneva.

It’s aim is to demonstrate entrepreneurship in the global public interest while upholding the highest standards of governance and brings together people from all walks of life who can promote positive change.

In his message to the Executive Chairman of the Forum, Professor Klaus Schwab to mark the opening of the annual meeting in Davos, Pope Francis notes that this year’s theme Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World is very timely adding that “at the level of global governance, we are increasingly aware that there is a growing fragmentation between States and Institutions.”

Fractured World

The recurring financial instabilities, he says, “have brought new problems and serious challenges that governments must confront, such as the growth of unemployment, the increase in various forms of poverty, the widening of the socio-economic gap and new forms of slavery, often rooted in situations of conflict, migration and various social problems.”

The Pope reiterates that “men and women risk being reduced to mere cogs in a machine that treats them as items of consumption to be exploited, with the result that – as is so tragically apparent – whenever a human life no longer proves useful for that machine, it is discarded with few qualms” .

Policies that favour the family

In this context, the Pontiff stresses it is vital to safeguard the dignity of the human person, in particular by offering to all people real opportunities for integral human development and by implementing economic policies that favour the family.”

Artificial Intellegence

In his message the Pope also says that the world of labour is called upon to take courageous steps in order that ‘being and working together’ is not merely a slogan but a programme for the present and the future”. Appealing for the proper monitoring of  artificial intelligence,  Pope Francis calls for robotics and other technological innovations to be employed so that they "contribute to the service of humanity and to the protection of our common home, rather than to the contrary,..."

Speaking about the plight of vulnerable and suffering people, he underlines that “we cannot remain silent in the face of the suffering of millions of people whose dignity is wounded, nor can we continue to move forward as if the spread of poverty and injustice had no cause.”

Throwaway Culture

Pope Francis goes on to say that it is “a moral imperative, a responsibility that involves everyone, to create the right conditions to allow each person to live in a dignified manner.  By rejecting a “throwaway” culture and a mentality of indifference, the entrepreneurial world has enormous potential to effect substantial change by increasing the quality of productivity, creating new jobs, respecting labour laws, fighting against public and private corruption and promoting social justice, together with the fair and equitable sharing of profits.”

Concluding his message the Pope comments that “now is the time to take courageous and bold steps for our beloved planet.  This is the right moment to put into action our responsibility to contribute to the development of humanity.”

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23 January 2018, 10:41