Claretians discuss A New Agenda for Peace

Apr 23, 2024 | UN Presence

New York. The Claretian UN team organized an online “Claretian Conversation on a New Agenda for Peace”on 13 April 2024 as a contribution to the upcoming UN “Summit of the Future” in September 2024. The Summit aims to forge a new international consensus, accelerate efforts to meet existing commitments and respond to emerging challenges through a “compact for the future”. Civil society organizations (CSOs) play a crucial role in influencing the Summit’s agenda and priorities. The Fondazione Proclade Internazionale-onlus, as a CSO, is actively contributing to the ongoing consultations. 

The Claretian Conversation, moderated by Fernando Guzman, CMF, Mission Procurator of the Province of San Jose del Sur, brought together a diverse group of Claretians from all regions, a Cordimarian missionary and a young woman from Colombia, representing different backgrounds and perspectives. The conversation centred on three key documents: the Pact for the Future – Zero Draft, the UN Secretary General’s policy brief “A New Agenda for Peace”, and the “Document on Human Fraternity” by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar. 

Discussion Points of the tree rounds of conversation

  1. Urgent actions for global peace: Identifying the most pertinent, urgent, and feasible recommendations from the UN’s ‘New Agenda for Peace’ and the ‘Document on Human Fraternity’ to achieve global peace, and outline strategies for local and global peace cultivation.
  2. Cross-cutting issues: Discussion on the role of women, climate change-conflict linkages, human rights protection, financing for peacebuilding, and youth engagement in shaping a new peace agenda.
  3. Claretian contributions: Exploring how Claretian ministries can actively promote peace, coexistence, conflict prevention, and human rights protection domestically and globally.

Key Outcomes of the Peace Conversation

1. Promoting Peace through Dialogue and Conflict Resolution

Dialogue and conflict mediation are crucial for fostering peace. Addressing root causes like poverty and human rights violations is key. Strategies include interfaith education programs, cultural exchanges, and partnerships with religious institutions.

2. Empowering Women and Youth

Transforming power dynamics and ensuring women’s participation are essential. Investing in quality education for youth and creating spaces for their inclusion in peacebuilding is vital. Empowering youth as peacebuilders through education and leadership development is crucial.

3. Addressing Climate Change and Environmental Concerns

The interconnections between climate change, conflict, and security must be addressed. Implementing the Church-supported part of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development is key.. Strategies include strengthening environmental laws, citizen participation, and protecting environmental defenders.

4. Reducing Militarization and Arms Spending

Reallocating government funds from defense to peacebuilding, sustainable development, and addressing root causes of conflict is recommended. This can help mitigate conflicts and human crises.

5. Protecting Human Rights

Safeguarding human rights is vital for conflict mitigation, including addressing impunity, discrimination, and ensuring justice and dignity for all. Access to information and protecting environmental rights defenders were also stressed.

6. Fostering Interreligious Dialogue and Understanding

Education programs, teacher training, and public awareness campaigns are needed to promote interfaith understanding and coexistence among diverse religious communities. Dialogue at academic and grassroots levels is essential for building harmonious coexistence.

7. Claretian Role in promoting peace, coexistence and conflict prevention

a. Role of Claretians

Actively promote peace, coexistence, and conflict prevention through education, advocacy, community development, and interfaith dialogue. Empower lay people and work closely with them to strengthen social ministries.

b. Collaboration and Networking

Network with like-minded organizations, develop online platforms, and implement development projects. Engage in interfaith dialogue, promote environmental awareness, and create spaces for dialogue.

c. Addressing Challenges

Prevent youth radicalization and weapon proliferation and contribute to conflict prevention. Eliminate violence, prevent weaponization, and strengthen peace operations.

d. Inclusive Approaches

Incorporate indigenous wisdom, collective cultures, and non-Western perspectives in mission and pastoral ministries. Base mission and pastoral ministries on data-driven realities like demography, social economy, and political contexts.

The Following were the panelists:

  • Angie Lorena Sosa  – Colombia –  Representing the Youth   
  • Sr. Danaia Alejandra Velazquez   Misioneras Cordimarianas  – Representing the Women   
  • Vincent Annes CMF    –      Kolkata Independent Delegation
  • J.M.J. Jeyaseelan CMF   –  St. Joseph Vaz Independent Delegation
  • Nikolaus Ilan CMF   –  Indonesia-Timor Leste Independent Delegation
  • Cletus Ikechukwu Uche CMF –   Province of East Nigeria
  • Andrew Contona CMF  – Jean Paul II Dependent Delegation/ Province of Poland
  • Jose Antonio BenitezCMF –   Province of Fatima
  • Agustin Ortiz CMF –  Province of Sanctus Paulus
  • Agustin Monroy CMF  –  Province of Colombia-Venezuela
  • Cesar Espinoza CMF  –  Province of Central América

Source: Source: Fr. Rohan Dominic, CMF, CMF at UN Team.

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