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Exchange of letters highlights Pope Francis' support for UK's G8 priorities
On 15 June 2013, Pope Francis sent a letter to the British Prime Minister David Cameron on the eve of the UK’s G8 Summit at Lough Erne, Northern Ireland. David Cameron had written to the Pope on 5 June 2013, setting out the priorities for the UK’s G8 Presidency.
The Prime Minister stated:
Everyone - regardless of gender, ethnicity, income, disability, age - must have their basic needs met, and their economic and human rights respected. It too makes a strong call for economic growth that promotes social inclusion and preserves the planet’s natural resources for future generations.
Freedom from violence, good governance and justice are not only fundamental to achieving poverty eradication, but goods in themselves that all citizens of the world have equal right to enjoy.
Pope Francis welcomed the priorities that the Prime Minister had set out and especially the call for concerted action to eliminate the scourge of hunger. The Pope also highlighted:
The actions included on the agenda of the British G8 Presidency, which point towards law as the golden thread of development – as well as the consequent commitments to deal with tax avoidance and to ensure transparency and responsibility on the part of governments – are measures that indicate the deep ethical roots of these problems.
A further sign of attention to the human person is the inclusion as one of the central themes on the agenda of the protection of women and children from sexual violence in conflict situations.
The Pope also expressed concerns over serious international crises, and called for an immediate and lasting cease-fire in Syria.