Category Archives: MDG

Caritas voices against poverty No:1

By Joseph Donnelly, Head of Caritas Delegation at UN headquarters in New York

Ten years ago 189 Member States found themselves seized at the United Nations turn of the century meetings. Seized by the vast, grave social and economic needs, and injustices, around the world.

In a somewhat surprising, resounding manner they seemed to use their national and global power to speak truth, to state details, to the world and each other. They made promises and investments which invited all peoples and all governments into their Millennium Declaration agenda.

It was a unique moment, a promising momentum. They said it. They signed it. They shared it. They did it! What a way to embrace the 21st Century. Beyond predictable rhetoric, hopes were ignited. We chased that flame! Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Advocacy, Development, MDG

Bringing School Close to Home for Bangladesh’s Children

Tribal children in western Bangladesh can attend school in their villages thanks to CRS partner Caritas Bangladesh. Photo by Laura Sheahen/CRS

Available in French

I’ve rattled over a lot of dirt roads in trucks to get to CRS projects. We work in very remote areas—we’re everywhere Visa doesn’t want to be. But Bangladesh topped the list when it came to modes of transport. It took no fewer than five different kinds—planes, rickshaws, motorcycles, cars, and ferry boats—to get me and my colleague where we were going.

Bangladesh is one-third water and contains Asia’s biggest delta, so reaching coastal areas involves crossing dozens of rivers. On our way to visit cyclone survivors, we took a tiny seaplane towards the coast, landing smoothly on a river. On its banks, villagers lined up to see the newcomers.

We then got in a car, but not for long. Every hour or so we’d drive aboard a ferry and stand on deck as we drifted over a river.

Back in the car, we bumped over rapidly deteriorating roads. When those gave out, we switched to motos—small, lightweight motorcycles that can navigate narrow paths over Bangladesh’s many embankments. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Asia, Bangladesh, Development, Français, MDG

MDG campaign in 2010

World leaders declared the Millennium Development Goals at the UN in 2000 so that rich and poor governments would unite to eliminate the scourge of poverty and hunger, while implementing concrete sustainable actions across all sectors – basic human needs and environmental concerns.

Caritas has engaged this common framework with a strong sense of our collective responsibility. Amidst recent global crises it remains true, however, that “we still are the first generation that can put an end to poverty, and we refuse to miss this opportunity!”

“The MDGs can be achieved. there are No Excuses; End Poverty Now.”

To kickoff this 2010 MDG YEAR join us in the call to action as the March Against Poverty happens in Lisbon on Monday, January 25th!

Leave a comment

Filed under Advocacy, Development, MDG

Honking for justice in Zambia

Caritas Zambia’s has suspended its joint-ngo honking protest campaign against the acquittal of former-President Fredrick Chiluba on corruption charges after a request from the police.
Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Africa, Development, MDG, Zambia

G20: A view from Caritas Zambia

By Milimo Mwiba, Caritas Zambia

I have unexpectedly been thrusted into the spotlight. I am the closest my country, Zambia, came to sitting at the G20 table. Okay, I might not have been able to adorn myself with the necessary passes to enter the Fort Knox Excel Centre on Thursday, where the world’s leaders met. But I did represent Zambia, and indeed the voices of billions of other Africans, at last weekend’s ‘Put People First’ march, and at the St Paul’s Cathedral debate with Gordon Brown and the Australian PM, Kevin Rudd.
Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Advocacy, Africa, Development, High-Level Meetings and Events, MDG, Poverty Elimination, Zimbabwe

20 points for the G-20

By Humphrey Mulemba, Program Officer – Trade Policy & Capacity Building, Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection in Zambia

Anxiety about the future of the international economy is increasing with the Group of twenty (G20) meeting scheduled for this week. The finance ministers and central bankers of the twenty most industrialised economies in the world from France, Germany, Canada, United Kingdom, Japan, United States of America and Italy will meet including major emerging economies of the world namely India, Brazil, China, Russia, South Africa and other countries. The desire to recover quickly from the recession has seen a ripple effect throughout the international economy. Developed countries like the US and those of Europe have reacted against the failure of the market system by providing bail out packages and providing financial stimulus packages for the private sector. Developed countries have also embarked on a wave of protectionism such as the buy America strategy in the US, dairy export subsidies by the EU and a protectionist auto industry recovery plan in France.
Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Advocacy, Development, High-Level Meetings and Events, MDG

UN Declaration of Human Rights is 60

On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The 30-point document was adopted by the UN in the aftermath of WWII and emphasises rights and freedoms that are held to apply to everyone in the world.

Why not take a few minutes to read it and send us your reflections.

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Article 1.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2.
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4.
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6.
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7.

All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8.
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10.
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11.
(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.

(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 14.

(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.

(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 15.
(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.

(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 16.
(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.

(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.

(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17.
(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.

(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19.

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21.
(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.

(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.

(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 22.
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23.
(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.

(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.

(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.

(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24.

Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25.
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26.
(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.

(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27.
(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.

(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28.

Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29.

(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.

(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.

(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30.
Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.


Filed under Advocacy, Conflicts and Disasters, Development, MDG, Peacebuilding