Caritas Plans a 4-Year Effort to Globalize Solidarity

Also Calls for Equal Representation of Women at Regional Level

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ROME, JULY 14, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Caritas Internationalis aims to dedicate the next four years to help the poor and marginalized take advantage of the benefits of a globalized world.



The Church's aid and charity confederation ended its 17th general assembly on Friday with the declaration entitled "Globalization is a Success When Everyone Enjoys its Benefits." The assembly drew 450 national delegates from 154 countries.

The declaration states that Caritas Internationalis "is committed to work for a society that includes the poor and those who have been marginalized from our increasingly globalized world. This means that solidarity must be globalized, and the Caritas Confederation will be dedicated to this over the next four years."

Caritas hopes to implement John Paul II's proposal in his apostolic letter "Novo Millennio Ineunte" in which he calls for "new creativity" in charity. The confederation's Work Plan 2003-2007 was written in the light of this objective.

"In their work plan, the organizations that are members of Caritas Internationalis reaffirmed their commitment to have the voice of the poor heard in international entities, and to carry out the function of linkup between those responsible for decision making and the people affected by the latter," the declaration explains.

"The members of the confederation will focus especially on topics such as care of the earth and sustainable development, HIV/AIDS, traffic in human beings, peace and reconciliation, paying special attention to the prevention of conflicts," the declaration says.

Given that "poverty affects women in a disproportionate way," Caritas Internationalis "considers that it is fundamental to declare oneself openly in favor of women's rights, as well as those of children and youth, and in the meantime to apply these principles at the internal level in its organizational structures."

To this end, the assembly ratified an amendment to the Internal Regulation of the Caritas Internationalis Confederation, establishing that, in the election of the member organization to the Executive Council, each Caritas regional conference must try to ensure that there is an equal representation of men and women.