Pope Francis says "...the pandemic of Covid-19 in all areas of daily life, which has demanded enormous sacrifices from each Nation and its citizens, and which calls on the entire international community..." to Ibero-American Summit





To His Excellency
Mrs. Rebeca Grynspan Mayufis
Secretary General
of the Ibero-American General Secretariat

In greeting you attentively, Mrs. General Secretary, I wish, through this letter, to send my greetings to all the Heads of State and Government participating in the XXVII Ibero-American Summit, in a particularly difficult context due to the terrible effects of the pandemic of Covid-19 in all areas of daily life, which has demanded enormous sacrifices from each Nation and its citizens, and which calls on the entire international community to commit, united, with a spirit of responsibility and fraternity, to face the many challenges already in action, and those who will come.

First of all, I want to remember the millions of victims and sick people. I pray for them and their families. The pandemic has made no distinctions and has hit people of all cultures, creeds, social and economic strata. We all know and have felt the loss of a close person who has died from the coronavirus, or who has suffered the effects of the contagion. We are all aware of how hard it is for families not to have been able to be close to their friends or relatives to offer them closeness and comfort in those moments. We have all seen how the consequences of this tragic situation have impacted on so many children and young people and we follow with concern the effects it may have on their future. The hard work of the doctors, nurses, health personnel, chaplains and volunteers is commendable, who,

Recognizing the efforts in the search for an effective vaccine for Covid-19 in such a short time, I wish to reiterate that extensive immunization should be considered a “universal common good”, a notion that requires concrete actions that inspire the entire research process. , production and distribution of vaccines.

In this area, initiatives that seek to create new forms of solidarity at the international level are particularly welcome, with mechanisms aimed at guaranteeing an equitable distribution of vaccines, not based on purely economic criteria, but taking into account the needs of all, especially those of the most vulnerable and needy.  

On several occasions I have pointed out that we have to come out "better" from this pandemic, since the current crisis is a propitious occasion to rethink the relationship between the person and the economy that helps to overcome the short-circuit "of death that lives in all places and at all times ”. For this reason, we must join forces to create a new horizon of expectations where economic benefit is not the main objective, but rather the protection of human life. In this sense, it is urgent to consider a recovery model capable of generating new, more inclusive and sustainable solutions, aimed at the universal common good, fulfilling God's promise for all people. 

Particular consideration should be given to the need to reform the international debt "architecture", as an integral part of our common response to the pandemic, since the renegotiation of the debt burden of the countries most in need is a gesture that will help the peoples to develop, to have access to vaccines, health, education and employment. Such a gesture must be accompanied by the implementation of sound economic policies and by good administration that reaches the poorest.

I highlight the urgency of taking measures that allow access to external financing, through a new issuance of Special Drawing Rights, calling for greater solidarity between the Countries, which allows the funds to be used to promote and encourage economic development. and productive, so that everyone can get out of the current situation with the best chance of recovery.

None of this will be possible without a strong political will that has the courage to decide to change things, mainly priorities, so that it is not the poor who pay the highest cost for these dramas that are hitting our human family.

Wishing the best successes to the XXVII Ibero-American Summit, I assure you of my prayers for the meeting to be fruitful, and I invoke abundant divine blessings on all the participants and the peoples they represent.

From the Vatican, April 21, 2021


 Source: Vatican.va