Fr. Séamus P. Finn OMI at 2018 G20 Interfaith Forum

Buenos Aires, Argentina

October 1st, 2018


The G20 Interfaith Forum took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina from September 26th – 28th, 2018  in advance of the G20 2018. The 2018 theme is “Building Consensus for Fair and Sustainable Development: Religious Contributions for a Dignified Future.” 

(The work of the OIP Trust, the Missionary Oblates and the members of the ICCR was represented on two panels by Rev. Séamus P. Finn OMI)

The Imperatives of Better Governance: Fighting Corruption is a Sine Qua Non for Global Agendas

Panelists from regions throughout the world referenced the teachings of the faith traditions on the ways that corruption is reflected in the lives of individuals and in the institutions and organizations that they rely on each day. It was recognized often in their comments that corruption remains both a deep disorder and disease that operates in all societies across the world.

Generalizations about groups of individuals and specific cultures and particular industry sectors are not very helpful in any analysis of this topic and in fact can be instrumental in profiling and stereotyping groups of people and certain organizations and institutions.

Recent decades have shown a marked breakdown in the trust and confidence that many citizens have in their governments and many customers, clients and investors have in their institutions and organizations. Much of this rupture has been traced to the arrogance, misbehavior and lack of responsiveness of representatives, leaders and managers.

The erosion of this trust and confidence will continue to result in serious consequences for the social bonds that hold a society together and on the many relationships that individuals rely on as they seek to live fulfilling and meaningful lives. The importance of adopting education curricula in all countries that are comprehensive and not hostile to the teachings and experience of faith traditions was emphasized in the formation of individuals and communities that are able to resist the vices that enable and promote corruption.

Religions have an important role to play is helping people and institutions to create and promote cultures that value transparency, accountability and trust while protecting and sustaining institutions that promote the common good and care for Mother Earth, our common home.

Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI is on far left

Human Rights, Faith and Sustainable Development: Institutional Contributions to Global Priorities.

This panel reviewed the numerous ways that faith traditions have worked to integrate their beliefs and values in the ways that they manage their assets both fixed and liquid. A question that often guides this review is to ask if we know what our money is doing while we sleep or whether our property and institutions are seen as witnessing to the principles that our institutions are founded on. This has often been accomplished by refraining from investments in certain sectors and companies as well as actively engaging the managers of those institutions where investments are held.

The panelists recalled the contributions of the faith traditions to the establishment and expansion of microfinance and microcredit as well as their work on revolving loan funds and community development funds. Much of this work has recently been enhanced by giving priority to “Impact Investing” whereby practitioners are no longer focused on what they want to exclude from their portfolios but on the projects, sectors and funds that they want to support. The Sustainable Development Goals adopted by 193 countries at the UN in 2015 provide a good working framework for those who are committed to “Impact Investing”.