Empowering people to challenge financial and economic structures
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Empowering people to challenge financial and economic structures

A Global Ecumenical Conference on a New International Financial and Economic Architecture has underlined the role of communication rights in empowering communities to develop alternatives to the current structure.

The conference, meeting in Guarulhos, Brazil, from 29 September to 5 October, was a joint initiative of the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC), World Council of Churches (WCC), and the Council for World Mission (CWM).

The World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) was represented by its General Secretary, the Rev. Dr Karin Achtelstetter, and WACC-Europe Vice-President, Dr Stephen Brown.

WACC believes that the whole panoply of communication rights – beyond freedom of expression and opinion – must play a key role in the development of a new global financial system.

In a final statement, the 60 participants set out a framework and criteria for a new international financial and economic architecture that is based on principles of economic, social, climate and ecological justice; serves the real economy; accounts for social and ecological tasks; and sets clear limits to greed.

The statement called on churches to “affirm a commitment to communication rights to advance the empowerment of communities in developing alternatives to the current financial and economic structures.” It also urged steps “to promote information and communication structures that support alternative financial and economic structures”.

Speaking after the meeting, Achtelstetter related its theme to WACC’s own emphasis on the democratization of communication. She said, “The World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) joins the WCC, WCRC and CWM in their efforts to advocate and design a new economic and financial architecture. WACC welcomes and supports the commitment in the statement to develop alternatives to the current financial and economic structures by affirming the communication rights of those who are marginalized and dispossessed.”

Achtelstetter urged “our ecumenical partners to use the upcoming World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)+10 review to address the unjust communication and information structures that are the central nervous system of the current international financial architecture.”

Link to the provisional text of the “The Sao Paulo Statement: International Financial Transformation for the Economy of Life.”

Link to WACC input to the conference:“Towards a new international information and communication architecture.”

Link to “Communication for All”.

 Link to other conference documents: http://www.wcrc.ch/node/868/

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