February 10, 2011

Caritas workshop at World Social Forum

By |10 February 2011|

By Christine Campeau This was my first time at the World Social Forum and I must admit, I had no idea what to expect from this event. However, I didn’t expect it would have been this disorganised. The Universite du Chiekh AntaDiop that housed the event was still filled with students writing exams. The daily programmes were not posted until midday, well after half of the workshops should have already taken place. Plus, once the workshop locations were announced, most of the classrooms were still full of students writing their exams. As rumour has it, there were so many strikes by both students and teachers that the exam season was still in full swing. The government tried to force the university to clear the rooms but students protested that they should be able to write their exams (rightly so). So while the university and the government battled it out, students [...]

“Democratization in Africa is irreversible”

By |8 February 2011|

Civil society uniting to build a different world

By |8 February 2011|

Civil society uniting to build a different world

By |7 February 2011|

By Clémence Richard from Secours Catholique-Caritas France  Dakar, 2 pm: Under the burning sun, Sfax Place in the city centre is filling with crowds of marchers. African women dressed in colourful outfits dance to the rhythm of a tune that goes: “Solidarity with the women from all over the world”. Further down, Amnesty International shows a banner denouncing forced expulsion of people. “One human family, zero poverty”, members of Caritas Internationalis shout. The 2011 the Word Social Forum began on 6 February with a march through the streets of the host city Dakar in the West African country of Senegal. Until 11 February, almost 70,000 people from all over the world will share their experiences and think about how to create a better world. There are around 100 Caritas representatives from many countries. To the rhythm of the drums and slogans, they are heading towards the Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar [...]

Caritas at the World Social Forum

By |7 February 2011|

Around one hundred delegates from different Caritas organisations are taking part in the World Social Forum in Dakar, Senegal, from 6 to 11 February. Almost 70,000 people from all over the world will gather in Dakar to share their experiences and think about how to create a better world. Since its creation in 2001 in Porto Alegre, the World Social Forum has provided civil society movements from all over the world with an open space for debate, the exchange of experiences and the development of propositions. It has been created as a social alternative to the World Economic Forum that takes places every year in Davos, Switzerland. Caritas fights for the rights of the poorest, climate justice and migrants’ rights through advocacy actions targeted at international organisations, its participation at events and conferences like the World Social Forum and the World Economic Forum and through the organisation of its own conferences. At the [...]

Worldwide solidarity at the World Social Forum

By |7 February 2011|

An African proverb that would best sum up the global movement that is the World Social Forum would be: “Many small people in many small places will do many small things to change the world”. An estimated 70,000 participants from across the world attended the 11th WSF at the University Campus Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal. Participants included people from the business sector, trade unions and government, however the largest demographic was composed of non-governmental actors and civil society organizations. In the weeks leading up to the forum, several caravans drove across Africa in an attempt to raise awareness about this social justice movement. The caravans joined thousands of activists who walked the streets of Dakar during the official opening march with the message ‘another world is possible’. While the forum is loosely governed, an impressive number of platforms for dialogue were created throughout the campus. From 6 to 11 February, hundreds [...]

January 24, 2011

What Cancun meant

By |24 January 2011|

By Christine Campeau, Climate and Food Security Advisor, Caritas Internationalis  The sixteenth conference of parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change concluded on 10 December 2010 with Patricia Espinoza, Mexico’s foreign minister welcoming the Cancun Agreements. The conference has sparked renewed hope in the overall UNFCCC process and, thanks to the dedication of the Mexican Presidency, restored credibility in its transparent working methods. It also showed the willingness of governments to work together under the UNFCCC framework - a place where the voices and concerns of the poorer countries carry equal weight to the richer ones. After two weeks of intensive negotiations by almost two hundred countries, the major achievement of COP16 was the creation of a Green Climate Fund. This fund will receive and distribute up to $100 billion a year by 2020, becoming a major channel for the financial assistance that will help nations cope with negative effects [...]

November 24, 2010

Good news on climate justice from Cancun

By |24 November 2010|

The Cancun summit has not delivered climate justice for poor countries, but it has produced a way forward for a future deal to safeguard the lives of the poor and future generations. The pressure will continue on governments to produce a legally binding deal in Durban South Africa next December. Climate justice will mean deep and urgent cuts in greenhouse gas emissions led by developing countries and secure public finance for poor countries to adapt to climate change and develop sustainably all under a legally binding agreement. Government agreed in Cancun to curb climate change and provide funding for poor countries. Read about the progress made in Cancun and follow reaction from Caritas members on the blog.  Bishop Gustavo Rodriguez Vega, President of Caritas Mexico speaking on behalf of the faith based organizations called for climate justice and for courageous, equitable and binding agreements at Cancun. It seems that his call was not in vain. Read about [...]

October 13, 2010

Caritas Mexico gets ready for climate summit

By |13 October 2010|

With Climate talks scheduled for December in Cancun, Caritas Mexico is keeping busy in their planning to raise awareness. Bishop Gustavo Rodriguez Vega, the President of Caritas Mexicana was part of the Caritas Internationalis delegation last year at the climate talks in Copenhagen and is eager to mobilize civil society organisations and the Church in Mexico. Caritas Mexico is organising a Holy Mass for Sunday 05 December and assembling the Caritas family together for a few days of capacity building on the thematic issues covered in the negotiations. Caritas has applied jointly with the World Council of Churches and ACT Alliance for a side event entitled ‘Faith based organisations advocate for climate justice’. If approved, the focus of this discussion will be around how communities address climate change, poverty and sustainable development, offering ethical contributions to international negotiations through awareness raising, social mobilization and advocacy. Caritas, the World Council of Churches and ACT Alliance [...]

Money will talk at Cancun climate summit

By |13 October 2010|

By Christine Campeau, Caritas Internationalis  Financing climate adaptation in developing countries is a must. It will determine the success of the upcoming United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 16th Conference of the Parties (COP 16) in Cancun, Mexico in 29 November to 10 December 2010. There is widespread pessimism over the lack of significant progress in reaching a climate change accord since the Copenhagen meeting last December. In an attempt to move things forward, Switzerland and Mexico co-hosted a meeting last month in Geneva to shed light on the status of the billions of climate-aid dollars pledged in Copenhagen. Details of this meeting centred on how to raise the pledged US$100 billion in annual long-term financing for 2020. While some view meetings such as this one as progress in the right direction, several critics complain that this is still the tip of the iceberg. Promised climate change aid has no scientific or economic [...]

June 23, 2010

Another world is possible

By |23 June 2010|

One hundred and fifty Caritas representatives from 14 countries attended theWorld Social Forum (WSF) in Belém, Brazil. TheWSF is seen as a vital opportunity for social movements, NGOs and civil society networks to discuss the issues of poverty and the effects of globalisation. “For Caritas, theWorld Social Forum is an opportunity for the globalisation of solidarity, something which is crucial in the construction of another world,” says Cristina dos Anjos, National Director of Caritas Brazil. Latin America has some of the greatest disparities between rich and poor. A quarter of the 500 million population live on less than a dollar a day, while the world’s richest man, a Mexican, is worth USD 53 billion (€42 billion) . Caritas Latin America and the Caribbean hosted a workshop on a solidarity-based model of sustainable development. “We believe that the power of theWord and the Spirit can convince the whole of society that promoting development [...]

Climate change: Seeking climate justice

By |23 June 2010|

The harsh effects of climate change are already becoming a daily reality for poor communities inmany countries where Caritas works. Unpredictable or extreme weather is undermining the humanitarian and development work of Caritas and threatens to increase the number of emergencies in the future. Calling for a new global ethic The answer to the climate change crisis lies in the hands of humanity – in a revived sense of solidarity and a realisation that we all have a duty to work towards the common good. Caritas published ‘Climate Justice: Seeking a global ethic’ – a synthesis of the ethical, moral and theological dimensions of the crisis, an analysis of its impact on the poor and an overview of Caritas programming and advocacy on climate change. Caritas argued that victory over climate change would only come at a price, and the lion’s share of that price should rightly be paid by those countries who [...]

A year in campaigning

By |23 June 2010|

The year 2009 was a year of intense activity on climate change in the run-up to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in Copenhagen in December. Hopes were high for a binding deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions and increase financial and technological aid for poor countries. Caritas Internationalis joined its Catholic sister network CIDSE in the “Grow Climate Justice” campaign. Supporters were asked to send postcards to their governments and sign an online petition calling for a just deal for the poor. There were a series of important meetings throughout 2009 leading up to Copenhagen. Caritas representatives attended UN talks in Bonn, NewYork, Bangkok and Barcelona to persuade governments to agree a just deal. At UN talks in Bonn, a report on the importance of low-tech climate change adaptation measures was launched. At the same time, a Caritas meeting in Malawi was discussing how best to prepare [...]

Prayers and petitions at Copenhagen

By |23 June 2010|

The Copenhagen Summit on climate change brought together 119 heads of state and governments. Caritas representatives and bishops came from 25 countries, including Mexico, Zambia, South Africa, USA, India, Kiribati in the Pacific Ocean, Mozambique, Kenya, the UK, Spain, Ireland and Germany.

May 26, 2010

Time for climate justice at Copenhagen

By |26 May 2010|

Caritas members from around the world are travelling to Copenhagen to lobby governments at a key climate change meeting. The UN summit (called the UNFCCC) is set to agree targets for cutting the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. It will also set funding for poor communities to tackle the impact of extreme or unpredictable weather and also for their future low carbon/sustainable development. Events Caritas is taking part in the meeting itself and at a number of events in the city aimed at getting a fairer deal for the poor. 19.00 Friday 11 December - all invited to ‘Holy Mass for Climate Justice’ at Sankt Ansgar Cathedral presided over by Caritas Africa President Archbishop Cyprian Lwanga of Kampala (Read his homily). Further information available at www.sanktansgar.dk. 13.00 Saturday 12 December - Caritas representatives will take part in the Planet First, People First walk through Copenhagen. 11.30 Sunday 13 December – Caritas representatives will handover pledges from supporters along [...]

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