Durban talks: Climate justice and food security

By |12 December 2011|

By Martina Liebsch, Director of Poverty and Advocacy at Caritas Internationalis Representatives from different faiths gathered at a ‘Climate Justice and Food Security: Moral, ethical and spiritual imperatives’ side event 7 December at the Durban climate change talks. The event was sponsored by Caritas Internationalis and World Council of Churches. The panel was chaired by Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban and included Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Hindu and Muslim representatives. Reverend Mardi Tendal, of the United Church of Canada, said we should work towards transforming cultures of consumption to cultures of responsibility. She said there is a moral imperative for action and solidarity in reducing the adverse effects of climate change. Rabbi Hillel Avidan from Durban said God maintains the creation, but gives us the responsibility to care for it. We have failed to do so and we have recognised it. “Change does not happen through treaties and conventions, but by bringing in compassion and [...]

Durban climate talks: What’s God got to do with it?

By |1 December 2011|

By Patrick Nicholson Q. What’s God got to do with it? A. Everything “At the centre of creation is human beings,” said Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, President of Caritas Internationalis at an event during the Durban climate talks. “Our economic system and its search for money above all have dehumanized human beings. Religious groups have a duty to humanize them again.” Cardinal Rodriguez was part of a panel on ‘What’s God got to do with it’ during Climate Communications Day, a side event at the UNFCCC. Other panelists included Lic. Elias Crisostomo Abramides (World Council of Churches); Bishop Geoff Davies (Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute) and Rabbi Hillel Avidan. Lic. Abramides said if we destroy plants and animals, we destroy ourselves. Bishop Davies said all faith groups were united in saying to the politicians that this is not just an economic world but a beautiful world worth saving. He said science and [...]

Advocacy in action at Durban climate talks

By |1 December 2011|

By Patrick Nicholson An insurance policy covering loss and damage to your property if there is hurricane or flood isn’t an option if you are poor. But one of the smaller issues discussed at Durban is how to provide communities with just such coverage through a ‘loss and damages’ fund. Dr Anwara Shelly from Caritas Bangladesh is taking part in the UN conference in Durban wearing two hats, both as Caritas and on the official Government of Bangladesh delegation. On the details of negotiations in the conference centre, Caritas experience in the field can have a real impact. At a session on the loss and damage fund, Dr Shelly raised her hand to urge that fund not be targeted at the national level, but at the local or district level where it can be most effective. “My 24 years of experience with Caritas Bangladesh has shown me that in a disaster, [...]

Cardinal Rodriguez at Durban climate talks

By |30 November 2011|

By Patrick Nicholson Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez of Honduras met UN officials today as talks in Durban on climate change continued. The Cardinal is representing Caritas Internationalis at the UNFCCC meeting along with Caritas members from South Africa, Kenya, Bangladesh, and the British Isles. Some 25,000 government officials, lobbyists and scientists are expected to attend the two-week conference that is seeking a new deal to follow the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Cardinal Rodriguez met with UNFCCC Chief of Staff Daniele Violetti to discuss the impact of climate change on the world’s poor and the importance of faith leaders in mobilising support for action. Violletti stressed the importance of bottom-up pressure from civil society and faith groups in combating climate change. This Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI’s called for delegates at the climate talks to agree a responsible and credible deal to cut greenhouse gases. “I hope that all members of the international community agree on a responsible [...]

Video from the climate change rally in South Africa

By |28 November 2011|

Joseph Kabiru of CAFOD talks about African perspectives on climate change at the We Have Faith rally (Durban, 28/11/2011)

Durban climate conference: Caravan of Hope

By |24 November 2011|

Hundreds of people from all over Africa are joining a “Caravan of Hope”, which is covering more than 4,000 miles and 10 countries en route to the UN climate talks in Durban, South Africa. The coach convoy set off from the Burundian capital, Bujumbura, on 9 November, and is picking up people all along the journey’s 17-day route, passing through Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Botswana and South Africa. Follow Joseph Kabiru on the Caravan of Hope on the CAFOD (Caritas England and Wales) blog

CAFOD response to Final G20 communique

By |4 November 2011|

CAFOD response to Final G20 communique CAFOD's lead economics analyst Christina Weller said: The kindest interpretation of the results of the Cannes summit is that it’s a work in progress; a more realistic one is that when it came to critical global issues the richest nations on Earth decided to decide later. The communiqué is short on substance, ideas and commitments – saved, in part, only by the ambitious agenda of the French presidency which meant some critical issues at least got an airing at the G20 table. As a result the G20 discussed two important reports on innovative financing – the World Bank and International Monetary Fund report on climate finance and the Gates’ report on innovative finance, but the only real commitment is to return to them again later. We are thankful that the door on these issues is still ajar, and perhaps pushed a little wider open, but it isn’t the [...]

CAFOD calls on G20 to reform financial system

By |3 November 2011|

CAFOD (Caritas England and Wales) has called on the G20 leaders meeting in Cannes to reform the financial system. CAFOD says G20 leaders must ensure: The G20 continues to prioritise development and pays greater attention to the development impact of its core agenda, particularly in relation to sovereign debt and monetary system, tackling commodity speculation and improving financial transparency and accountability of transnational corporations (TNCs); The G20 redirects its development action plan to tackle the constraints thwarting the untapped potential of the majority of economic actors in developing countries – small businesses and farmers; It supports progress on identifying and mobilizing sources of innovative financing so that sufficient funds can be made available by 2020 to meet the target agreed for climate action at the UN and global commitments to tackle poverty and achieve the millennium development goals. See CAFOD's Economist, Tina Weller's briefing document . Read Tina's blog on the G20. Read Pascale Palmer's [...]

Voices against poverty

By |7 July 2011|

The eight Millennium Development Goals represent the basic human dignities which everyone of us should have. They seek to reduce hunger and poverty in Senegal and everywhere else in the world. Caritas members are working hard towards the targets. Backing up their work on the ground with advocacy, Caritas Internationalis launched its web-based campaign "Voices Against Poverty" in Australia in September.

Looking back and moving forward on HIV and AIDS

By |9 June 2011|

By Rev. Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo, Caritas Internationalis, at the High Level Meeting on AIDS, UN Headquarters It was not so difficult to wake up early in New York City since the streets there live up to their reputation of “never sleeping” – so I found myself out of my hotel and waiting outside the chain-locked gates of UN headquarters before 7am on 08 June 2011. I wanted to get a “head start” on the cue to register for the UN High Level Meeting on AIDS. Thus I was among the first people processed that day and, with my badge securely fastened around my neck, I proceeded to the section for non-governmental organisation observers, having obtained my ticket for a seat in this section even before 7AM! Then once again, I had to wait for the programme to start at 9AM. As one who enjoys “people watching”, especially in international [...]

Promoting Action: Caritas HAART for Children Campaign

By |9 June 2011|

By Rev. Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo, Head of Delegation to the UN in Geneva and Special Advisor on HIV/AIDS for Caritas Internationalis Let’s begin with the good news -  of a child who gained access to anti-retroviral treatment (ART) at the Village of Hope, a programme in Tanzania that is assisted by the Vatican’s Bambino Gesù Hospital. However, there are other tragic experiences, too numerous to tell, of children who are diagnosed too late to benefit from such treatment. Despite World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations to test all infants with unknown HIV exposure and to start treatment for all HIV-infected infants under 12 months of age, access is still a grave problem in many parts of the world. For example, in Myanmar, ART is available to only 1/3 of adults who need it, and there are no reliable estimates of infected children, let alone of those who need ART.  In fact, in [...]

Caritas co-sponsored event at UN HIV meeting

By |8 June 2011|

Caritas Internationalis General Secretariat and Caritas member representatives are attending the United Nations General Assembly High Level Meeting on HIV in New York this week, where they will be part of the launch a policy paper on the need for maintaining funding to tackle the pandemic in the wake the financial crisis. The meeting, which takes place from June 8th – 10th, will review progress against commitments made in 2001 and 2006. Although the global community has contributed more than US$32bn to achieve universal access to treatment for all those infected, these targets have not been met, particularly in the poorest countries. Finola Finnan, Trócaire (Caritas Ireland) Programme Leader for HIV and AIDS and Chair of the Catholic HIV and AIDS Network (CHAN), will stress the need for countries to fulfil commitments already made, while also calling on further long-term commitments to extend treatment and support to the most vulnerable. The CHAN paper [...]

Fr. Joseph Alimamy Turay at World Social Forum in Senegal

By |12 February 2011|

Caritas Italiana's interview with Fr. Joseph Alimamy Turay, Director of Justice Peace Human Rights Commission of Makeni Diocese in Sierra Leone

WSF: “dignified welcome for child migrants in Mali”

By |11 February 2011|

On 9 February at the WSF in Dakar, Secours Catholique and its partners held a workshop called "Migrants: give them a dignified welcome!" Bagayoko Seckna, coordinator of the Malian branch of the international NGO Environment and Development Action in the Third World (ENDA-TM), raised the issue of child migrants and their difficult living conditions.

WSF: Exploring migration

By |11 February 2011|

On Tuesday 8 February, Secours Catholique (Caritas France), together with the Association des cités du Secours Catholique (ACSC), ran a workshop on the lack of free movement of persons. The participants recreated migrants' journeys via a board game, and were able to communicate with immigrants in Paris via videoconferencing.

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