Meeting with the Pope to discuss 'Global Common Good'

Senior Lecturer in International Development, Dr Séverine Deneulin, was one of a select group of international experts to be invited to the Vatican to discuss how societies can create more inclusive economies at an event convened by Pope Francis last week.

With nearly half of the world’s population living on less than $2 a day, the invitation-only event ‘Global Common Good’ brought together leaders and experts from around the world to discuss and debate how a more inclusive economy could be forged.

Dr Deneulin, from our Department of Social & Policy Sciences, whose research focuses on the ethics of development policy as well as the role of religion within international development, was one of only 40 individuals invited. The stellar guestlist included leading economists, central bankers, Nobel Prize winners; as well as heads of international and intergovernmental organisations, plus NGOs.

Pope Francis continues to raise in public questions about how the global economy can extend benefits to all and reverse the gaping inequalities and exclusions evident around the world. Earlier this year, he challenged global business and financial communities to contribute more to the debate “by putting their skills at the service of those who are still living in dire poverty.”

Through the work of its Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, the Catholic Church aims at facilitating a better understanding of how to improve the shared lot of humankind within a globalised economy, and how to set a governance and regulatory global framework to put human dignity and the natural environment at the core of policy decisions.

During her sabbattical, Dr Deneulin will research ways of strengthening the voice of those living in marginalised areas of Buenos Aires, and work towards establishing better policies that create a more just and integrated city.

Commenting on the experience Dr Deneulin said: “It was a great privilege to be part of such a high profile event, with global leaders spending two days together to reflect on what they could do given their position of responsibility in the global economy and international governance.   

“As an academic, my contribution to the debate was to stress the need to restore hope and highlight the activities and initiatives already taking place which put people and the environment, and not financial gains, as their ultimate objective. Given my work around social ethics and public policy in Latin America, I also emphasised the importance of strengthening the political voice of the marginalised and excluded people to transform the unjust structures which keeps them in poverty."

This week, Dr Deneulin heads to the Pope’s homeland, Argentina, on sabbatical leave. There she will research ways of strengthening the voice of those living in marginalised areas of Buenos Aires, and work towards establishing better policies that create a more just and integrated city.

For regular blog updates from the Centre for Development Studies see http://cdsblogs.wordpress.com/.

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