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Saints Andrew Kim, Paul Chong & companions
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Ending global poverty is not a luxury but a duty



162 Catholic charitable organizations associated at Davos

06/02/2009: Switzerland

The Secretary General of Caritas International, Lesley-Anne Knight, took part in the World Economic Forum organized at Davos (Switzerland) to deliver a fundamental message: in this time of crisis, the poor have not been forgotten. The world leaders met again as each year in the Swiss city from 28 January to 1 February to discuss how to face up to the worst crisis the world has had to face in 80 years.

The chief officer of Caritas International, a world confederation of 162 Catholic charitable organizations for aid, development and social service, present in over 200 countries and territories, has declared that « it is terrible that in 2009 there is still much suffering in the world because of poverty. The international community must make a greater effort to face this scandal. The present global economic crisis will dominate discussions at Davos. I can guarantee that fears such as poverty and the enormous humanitarian crisis which we face today will not entirely disappear from the agenda. » Knight has declared herself concerned by the fact that the millenium development objectives to put an end to poverty by 2015 have been put aside for the duration of the economic recession and has emphasized that « the end of global poverty is not a luxury but a duty. Climate change is another important question that will be discussed at Davos, but I will see to it that priority is given to the interests of the poor, who are most affected by this change. »

Caritas has declared that « it wants to be present at Davos because it desires to change global systems. » The Secretary General of Caritas International will take part at a round table on the discussion of values, vision and leadership. In the meantime, 150 Caritas representatives from 14 countries were present at Belém (Brazil) at the World Social Forum, in which representatives of civil society and NGOs took part, a global platform for the debating and exchanging of ideas on the social challenges confronting a globalised world.

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