Caritas says that the empowerment of people in poverty must be central to global development as the United Nations plans its strategy for closing the gap between rich and poor in coming years.
The Post-2015 agenda follows on from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as a framework for enabling people to rise out of poverty across the globe. This week’s UN General Assembly is key to outlining what form development until 2030 will take.
“Caritas works shoulder to shoulder with people in poverty in 200 countries,” said Michel Roy, secretary general at Caritas Internationalis. “Our programmes encourage communities to use their resources to work together and improve everyone’s lives. It is only through empowering those who are disadvantaged to contribute to their own development that any real progress on poverty can be made.”
Caritas urges the UN to develop accountability mechanisms which will monitor and evaluate commitments by governments and which will ensure that the needs of the disadvantaged are served.
In a letter to the G8 earlier this year, Pope Francis insisted that all political and economic activity, whether national or international, must centre on people and that “it must promote and guarantee their responsible exercise in solidarity, with particular attention to the poorest.”
As the charity arm of the Church, Caritas Internationalis echoes the Pope’s call to put the human person at the centre of development. Our vision is of a world that is sustainable for future generations, where everyone has access to healthcare, freedom from poverty and hunger, and the chance to live a peaceful and fulfilling life on a clean planet.
The foundation to informed participation by the poor is a strong institutional environment which allows the participation of civil society, including faith-based organisations, says Caritas. It is these organisations who represent the poor and most marginalised in development dialogue.
Michel Roy will introduce a side event organised by the Caritas confederation: “The voices of people living in poverty in the Post-2015 agenda: Inclusion, participation and dignity”. The directors of Caritas member organisations Trócaire and Cafod, Justin Kilcullen and Chris Bain respectively, will also take part in the event. Other Caritas member organisations will also be participating in the event.
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