Pope Francis and World Council of Churches head address Davos participants

(Photo: World Economic Forum)India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi opens the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland on Jan. 23, 2018.

Pope Francis has urged participants at the World Economic Forum meeting to take bold steps to build a sustainable, human-centered future while World Council of Churches leader Olav Fykse Tveit has called on the world to say no to nuclear weapons.

The Pope echoed the theme of the meeting, Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World, calling on participants to build "inclusive, just and supportive societies."

The 48th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting is taking place Jan. 23-26 in snow-besieged Davos-Klosters, Switzerland and U.S. President Donald Trump who is expected to deliver the closing speech is drawing most attention due to his isolationist rhetoric.

Davos was opended on Jan. 23 by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the world is facing many new and serious challenges from the rise of anti-globalization to technological changes and the environment.

"Forces of protectionism are raising their heads against globalization, their intention is not only to avoid globalization themselves but they also want to reverse its natural flow," he said, CNBC reported.

Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, delivered a speech for Francis,

In it he said, "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 favor the family."

"The entrepreneurial world has enormous potential to effect substantial change by increasing the quality of productivity, creating new jobs, respecting labor laws, fighting against ... corruption and promoting social justice," said the pontiff.

He continued: "If we want a more secure future, one that encourages the prosperity of all, then it is necessary to keep the compass continually oriented towards 'true north'," represented by authentic values.


For his part, WCC's Tveit said he can think of no greater antithesis to a vision of shared life and responsibility than the continued existence of and political and social support for nuclear weapons.

"There is absolutely no moral justification whatsoever for using them," he stated. "The time has come to say together that for the sake of the one humanity there is no moral ground on which we can keep them and threaten one another with them."

The risk that nuclear weapons will be used because of a mistake or by irresponsible people is very real, Tveit noted.

"Still, this most destructive and indiscriminate type of weapon of mass destruction ever devised by men (and I use the gender-specific term deliberately) continues to be the keystone of our global 'security' regime," he wrote. "It is time to say together that this is wrong."

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