Droughts across West Africa, storms smashing into North America and the Caribbean, glaciers melting faster than imagined: the impact of bad and unusual weather patterns were clearly visible in 2012. But what was less clear was the political and public will to make the sacrifices necessary to address the driving forces behind climate change and its impact on the poor and vulnerable. The UN Climate Change Conference is meeting once more, this time in Doha, Qatar 26 November -7 December. Caritas believes 2012 is an important year in these negotiations. Government must build on some of the breakthroughs made at the Durban conference held this time last year. They must come up with concrete proposals on greater cuts in Green House Gas emissions, money to support vulnerable communities most affected by climate change and a clear work plan towards a global climate deal in 2015. Read our statement paper The Caritas confederation of [...]
Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez speaks at the United Nations about youth and combating poverty. Video courtesy of the national Catholic weekly, America
Read an account in America Magazine Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga says that young people have a central role in eradicating poverty through voluntary and community action. The Caritas Internationalis President is speaking at an event at the United Nations on 24 September on how young people can be given the tools to transform society for the common good. Cardinal Rodriguez says, “Caritas is reliant on young people as volunteers after natural disasters, in our advocacy campaigns and in providing social services to the poor. We look with hope and confidence to young people to seek the truth, to stand up for justice and to discover new ways of doing things. In return, they look to us for support and a sense of purpose. And too often, we are letting them down.” The Cardinal urges the international community to support the family and educational institutes, to provide employment opportunities for the […]
By Martina Liebsch, Caritas Internationalis Director of Policy and Advocacy It has become a tradition that faith based organisations host a side event together at major global conferences, like at the UN conferences on climate change in Cancun and Durban. Over 120 people gathered in one of the last of the side events at the Rio+20 conference, which, in spite of the general frustration about the outcome of the summit, gave some hope. The title of the event was “Ethical and Religious Insights on the Future we Want” sponsored by the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, Religions for Peace and Caritas Internationalis.
By James Stella On entering the Rio+20 Conference centre, the participants are instantly greeted by an enormous blue coloured digital billboard displaying the extensive list of side events scheduled for the day. Listed on the board one will find the name, location and time of the event. With events scheduled around the clock, from 9:00 in the morning to 8:00 in the evening, there are approximately 55 side events everyday with each having a duration of one and half hours. Some of the wide array of topics include, ‘Glaciers and Sustainability in the Anthropocen’ by CEDHA, ‘Motorcycle Safety al Rio+20′ by Ecuadorian Motorcyclists Association; ‘The Forest Green Economy and South-South Cooperation’ by WWF International and an event presented by a Palestinian organisation that focused on sustainable development under the Israel occupation.
By Roeland Scholtalbers, CIDSE Media and Communication Officer (Caritas and CIDSE Catholic networks are working together in Rio) In Rio de Janeiro, the differences between Copacabana and the Rocinha favela exemplify what is wrong with our world, but hopes that Rio+20 will result in bold action are fading. The bustling beaches of Copacabana and the centre’s shiny skyscrapers show participants to the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development the bright side of Brazil’s booming economy. But the country’s economic growth is leaving many behind, like the inhabitants of the Rocinha favela. Here, nearly 200.000 people live in less than one and a half square kilometers, struggling to make a decent living. The gap between Rio’s rich and poor is only one example of the consequences of our flawed economic system, but it is an unmistakable one. Sadly, the final declaration text of the conference, which negotiators have passed on to their […]
Espanol Solidarity can be the currency of an alternative economy agreed Caritas representatives at a panel event during Rio+20 Summit, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development taking place in the Brazilian capital. Caritas Brazil, France, Peru and Costa Rica and other staff of the Catholic confederation of aid agencies reflected on how to democratize economics so that it works for all humanity and for a greener planet. Humberto Ortiz from the Church in Peru presented an overview on the impact extractives industries such as logging and mining were having on the Amazon basin. He urged for an economic model for Latin America that promotes solidarity and a green economy through dialogue between the public, private and civil society sectors and that policies must work on all levels.
By James Stella On Sunday, 19 June, Caritas members attending the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development enjoyed a memorable day when they participated in a Holy Mass with Archbishop Orani Tempesta of Rio de Janeiro at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro. Dedicated to the patron saint of Rio de Janeiro, St. Sebastian, the conical shaped Cathedral is located in downtown Rio. Over 60 Caritas Members filled the Cathedral and their presence was noticeably visible as one could see them proudly displaying their Caritas Rio+20 bandanas. After the mass a delegation of church and civil societies leaders held a press conference to outline their positions for the much anticipated Rio+20 summit. The delegation emphasised that despite the significant strides made since the advent of Conference 20 years ago, much still remains to be done for governments to embrace the green economy approach and to ensure individuals economic and social […]
Caritas hosted a side event on the 18 June on ‘Achieving Sustainable Development through Solidarity Economy: Outstanding Issues and Perspectives of “Converting” Economy into Ecology’.
By Roeland Scholtalbers, CIDSE Media and Communication Officer (CIDSE is working with Caritas at the Rio Summit), from Rio de Janeiro. We have seen shy attempts by politicians to mend things, to address global challenges like poverty and climate change together. But our carbon-driven global economy has marched on in the meantime, increasing material well-being for some, but also fuelling economical, environmental and social inequalities. Climate change, which poses huge challenges to some of the world’s poorest communities experiencing increasingly extreme weather, is an obvious example. The exploitation of natural resources, which leaves the people of some of the world’s most resource-rich countries dirt poor, is another one.
With the planting of a tree, the Brazilian Episcopal Conference, with bishops and priests from the Latin American church, began Mass in the Cathedral of St. Sebastian in the city of Rio de Janeiro. The faithful prayed for a renewed commitment of world leaders to work for the elimination of poverty and the protection of nature at the UN Rio +20 conference beginning this week. Archbishop Orani João Tempest of Rio de Janerio and Bishop Leonardo Ulrich Steiner, president of the Brazilian Episcopal Conference held the evnt in Spanish, French, Portuguese and English as a sigh of communion between the countries. At the start of the Rio +20 Summit, Bishop Ulrich called on the conscience of world leaders and all people of good will to find an alternative development model based on ethics and responsibility for the environment and the human being, on justice, solidarity and the gospel values. [...]
The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to be held in Rio de Janeiro on 20-22 June is expected to represent a new stage in the political process that began back of 1972. Ever since the UN Stockholm Conference on Human Environment, political leaders have been discussing how to reconcile human development needs with environmental protection. The UN Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio in 1992, declared “Human beings are the centre of concerns for sustainable development. They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature”. Its programme of action, “Agenda 21” identified sustainable development as a strategy based on the integration of the economic, social and environmental pillars. Twenty years later, world leaders and tens of thousands of representatives of the private sector and civil society will gather again in Rio to rethink how to reduce poverty and achieve greater social equity and environmental protection. The [...]