Pope Benedict XVI, speaking on the eve of the Group of 20 summit, urged world leaders to promote development focusing on people.

Referring to the summit which begins Thursday in Cannes, the pontiff, during his customary public general audience, said he hoped the summit “will help to overcome the difficulties being experienced at a global level.” These were difficulties that “hinder the promotion of authentically human and integral development,” the Pope said.

Last month, the Vatican called for radical reform of the world’s financial systems, including the creation of a global political authority to manage the economy.

The proposal, made by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, criticized “an economic liberalism that spurns rules and controls.” In a 2009 encyclical that focused on economic development, the Pope denounced a profit-at-all-cost mentality as responsible for the global financial meltdown.

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