Charity is not charity unless accompanied by justice. —St. Vincent de Paul
Seeking lasting justice and peace in our world are goals of the United Nations and the Church. The good that can result from their shared efforts is evident in this month of Mary, Queen of Peace. May demonstrates how the UN is effective at producing dialogue around key issues creating research, new ways of thinking and best practices. It is also an opportunity to see how the Church participates in that process.
On the 15th of May, the UN in New York will celebrate the International Day of Families with the 2018 Theme: “Families and inclusive societies.” This year’s observance will explore the role of families and family policies in advancing Sustainable Development Goal 16 relating to the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development. SDG16 is especially relevant to the status of vulnerable family members. Inclusive societies need laws securing the rights of women to economic resources, ownership of land and decent wages. Children’s right to a legal identity, adequate nutrition and shelter, and to grow up in the atmosphere of love and harmony must also be secured.
The United Nations recognizes the family as the basic unit of society. Families and family-oriented policies and programs are vital for the achievement of many of the Sustainable Development Goals, a set of 17 goals aimed to eliminate poverty discrimination, abuse and preventable deaths, address environmental destruction and usher in an era of development for all people. These goals are shared by the Church as well.
On May 3, the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, together with Caritas Internationalis and Share the Journey Campaign, hosted a Conference at the United Nations entitled “Sharing the Journey of Migrants and Refugees: An Interfaith Perspective on the Global Compacts” calling for the UN to recognize the work of faith groups in assisting migrants. Next week the Holy See Mission will participate as the UN hosts the fourth of six negotiation sessions on the 2018 Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.
Animated by Pope Francis’ call to solidarity with migrants, a solidarity that “welcomes, protects, promotes and integrates,” the Holy See Mission is actively participating in monthly negotiations and inviting collaboration with Catholic-inspired non-governmental organizations and other experts on migration. In previous statements, Archbishop Auza stressed the importance of migration as a two-way process based in mutual respect, of the need to promote poverty eradication and of the commitment to safeguard human rights. We Vincentians are committed to “welcoming the stranger” in our communities as we address their needs, particularly for housing.
The Church and the United Nations are working to protect fundamental human rights, preserve the dignity and worth of the human person and families, and promote the common good. The Vincentians at the UN are humbled to participate highlighting the concerns of poor people on issues that matter in the world and in the Church as we seek God’s justice and peace for all.
Mary Ann Dantuono – AIC NGO Representative to UN-NY