Vatican calls for greater vigilance over world’s financial operations

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican said the current market crisis calls for a new international agreement to effectively monitor global financial operations and give poorer countries a greater voice in economic policies. In particular, steps are needed to curb the abuses of offshore financial institutions, which many see as one of the causes of the financial meltdown, said a statement drafted by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace It is important that solutions do not favor rich countries at the continuing expense of poorer countries, the Vatican said. “There is a need to avoid triggering a chain of mutual protectionism. Instead, cooperation should be strengthened regarding transparency and vigilance over the financial system,” the statement said. Reported by Vatican Radio, the statement came in preparation for the U.N.-sponsored International Conference on Financing for Development, which was to take place Nov. 29-Dec. 2 in Doha, Qatar. The conference, to be attended by representatives of developed and developing countries, was expected to propose steps to respond to the current crisis.

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