On the side of the vulnerable

A document for "global justice" and solidarity towards the poor shared by Catholic volunteering organizations" "

In the liturgical time of the Advent and on the occasion of the celebration, December 20, of the International Day of Human Solidarity, Caritas, Confer (Spanish Confederation Religious), Justice and Peace, Manos Unidas and Redes (Networks) released a manifesto in which they share with Christian communities and with the rest of society their desire to bring “the good news to those who suffer, to let the oppressed go free and break every yoke and proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour”, quoting from prophet Isaiah. Since 2013 these organization join efforts in the framework of the initiative “United for justice” to present cooperation for development programs inspired to Christ close to the poor, and to mobilize everyone to act in the defense of global justice, human rights, and the dignity of the most vulnerable, showing them the “scandalous reality of inequality and poverty that continues to hit many Countries and regions in the world”. Expectations for 2015. “Ahead of Christmas and before the New Year begins – the document states – we call upon everyone to reflect on the decisive meaning of 2015 for all of us”. First of all, “two decades will have past since the Spanish society first asked for 0.7% investments of its GDP in aid to development programs: an objective which at the time was still feasible, but to which today is dedicated only 0.16%. This is the consequence of the financial collapse that impacts international cooperation in our Country, that bears no comparison with other donor Country”. Furthermore, the deadline set by United Nation member Countries in the year 2000 for the achievement of eight Millennium Development goals – to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, making universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; develop a global partnership for development – will expire in 2015. “Our Church organizations and communities – continues the manifesto – have contributed with their rich experience, their resources and capabilities to advance in this commitment. And despite some progress, many of our brothers and sisters remain outside these Goals”. Moreover, “in the past year a global development model that triggers what Pope Francis described as ‘the throwaway culture’ has become consolidated”. For a more humane world. Starting with their “Christian identity”, Caritas, Confer, Justice and Peace, Manos Unidas and Redes intend to continue “to share the urgent task of accompanying the most vulnerable, all those brothers and sisters discarded in the race to development, who remain at the margins of development goals identified with the international communities for the post-2015 period”. Organizations equally demand “to participate in a joint responsibility commitment to continue denouncing conditions of inequality affecting people whom we accompany, and to fight a dehumanized economic model based on exclusion and on maximum profit, whereby children, old people, women, migrants, old people along with religious and ethnic minority groups are abandoned to their fate”. Joint commitment. The organizations signatories of the manifesto called upon the Christian communities in Spain, “to take action” in their vital sectors and communities “to transform this reality dominated by consumption, by the accumulation of material goods, and by individualism, through a change in lifestyle to become more sober, more open to solidarity and empathy with the rights and dignity of the poor”. “We propose to continue to work actively during 2015 – continues the appeal – in all areas of public participation to ask political leaders and social workers – at domestic and international level alike – to adopt austere, transparent, effective and valid administration policies in favor of the real priority of a social development project that is truly human: the fight against inequality and injustice, and the promotion and protection of human rights of the most vulnerable”. In the light of all this “it is our duty to ask public administrations to respect the commitment undertaken in the State Pact signed by all political parties in December 2007, and to recover public support to development that was discarded in public policy whereby solidarity fell below the levels of 20 years ago”. “We hereby renew our commitment for a development commitment based on reciprocity and co-responsibility, where the poor are at the centre – the document concludes-. We recall that we are all part of one human family: our faces reflect global diversity, and we share the same hope in the future and the firm defense of our dignity and that of our families”.

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