Pope Francis Reminds Leaders of Their Proven Ability to Make a Difference "for the Authentic Development of the Human Family" as Annual Meeting Begins

Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, (PresseBox) - .
- Pontiff calls on political and business leaders to adopt inclusiveness and openness in decision-making
- Speech delivered to participants gathered for the opening of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2014
- The theme of the 44th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting is The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business
- To read the Pope's message in full, click: http://wef.ch/pfsm14
- Watch live webcasts at http://wef.ch/live and on demand at http://wef.ch/davos14video

Pope Francis, in a special message to participants of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, today called on the world's business and political leaders to use determination and far-sightedness in their efforts to promote inclusiveness and rid the world of social exclusion.

In the message read by Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, to participants gathered for the opening of the Annual Meeting, Pope Francis lauded the fundamental role that business has played in lifting a great number of people out of poverty. He also emphasized the responsibility of political and economic leaders towards the frail, weak and vulnerable. He called on leaders to use their innovation, ingenuity and professional expertise to improve the lives of those still living in poverty.

"The growth of equality ... calls for decisions, mechanisms and processes directed to a better distribution of wealth, the creation of sources of employment and an integral promotion of the poor, which goes beyond a simple welfare mentality," he said.

The 44th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting is taking place from 22 to 25 January 2014 under the theme, The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business. More than 2,500 participants from 100 countries are taking part. Participants include over 30 heads of state or government and 1,500 business leaders from the Forum's 1,000 Member companies, as well as Social Entrepreneurs, Young Global Leaders, faith leaders and representatives from civil society, media, academia and the arts.

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