Statement by Dr Philip Freier, Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia and Archbishop of Melbourne:
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