“There is a need to give absolute priority to the poor, refugees, the suffering, evacuees and the excluded, without distinction of nation, race, religion or culture, and to reject armed conflicts,” Francis wrote to summit host, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.
According to the pontiff, the G20 target of achieving more inclusive and sustainable global economic growth is “inseparable from the need to address on-going conflicts and the worldwide problem of migrations.”
The leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics made “a heartfelt appeal for the tragic situation in South Sudan, the Lake Chad basin, the Horn of Africa and Yemen.
He said that these were where 30 million people are lacking the food and water needed to survive.
In what could be seen as coded criticism of the U.S. pulling out of the Paris Agreement on climate change, Francis also urged G20 leaders “to respect and honour international treaties, and to continue promoting a multilateral approach.”
“I ask God’s blessings upon the Hamburg meeting and on every effort of the international community to shape a new era of development that is innovative, interconnected, sustainable, environmentally respectful and inclusive of all peoples and all individuals,” he concluded.