Hamburg – The leaders of the G20 states should find compromise on controversial matters, without abandoning their principles, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said as she opened the summit.
Merkel told leaders gathered around the summit table in Hamburg’s vast trade fair complex that “time is the essence” as the world faced up to a string of challenges.
She told the leaders that the summit could “strike a compromise if we accommodate each other’s views, but without bending over” with regard to members’ principles.
“We can also say we differ,” the chancellor said, noting in particular the summit’s agenda on trade and climate change.
NAN reports that Pope Francis in his message to the summit, urged world leaders to give “absolute priority” to the problems of the poor and marginalised and to efforts to end wars.
“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 ongoing 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.