VATICAN - International Day for Peace: the human person above all interests

Monday, 21 September 2020 peace   caritas   human rights   development  

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - " Peace cannot be attained without the courageous selfless act of putting the human person and the human condition above any other vested interests", reads the note from Caritas Internationalis sent to Agenzia Fides on the occasion of the International Day for Peace, which is celebrated on 21 September each year. An important occasion for humanity to uphold peace as a unique value and to express unconditional commitment to peace above all differences. In line with Pope Francis, the organization firmly believes that a "culture of peace" needs to be nurtured, shared, and lived at all levels of society.
The appeal sent to Fides reaffirms, among other points, to stop the war and violence all over the world and especially in the Middle East; promote much-needed dialogue to find a political solution to all the problems; to lift the sanctions to encourage political leaders to get to the negotiation table; to support the effort of religious leaders and faith-based communities engaged in promoting interreligious dialogue in areas of conflict.
" At a time when COVID-19 revealed to all of us the fragility and vulnerability of human existence and brought the whole of humanity together in solidarity to combat the propagation of the virus, we need to stand together in order to fight against all forms of division, all temptation of hatred, reads the note. People at the grassroots aspire to peace and harmony and want to live their life in dignity".
Also inspired by the encyclical Populorum Progressio, in which Paul VI stated that "development is the new name of peace". Such a call has encouraged Caritas’ work to build a community of fraternity, dialogue and sharing in order to effectively fight against poverty and deep social inequality.
Unfortunately, our humanity today continues to witness millions of people living in dire conditions due to war and violence, which prevent them from living their human condition in dignity. Millions are dying due to the absence of peace, due to war and violence the causes of which are to be found in selfishness, greed, corruption, religious and ethnic discrimination and also the illegal exploitation of natural resources.
Among the many initiatives launched, in the Kachin and Northern Shan State, Caritas Myanmar is carrying out a Durable Peace Program with internally-displaced people, conflict affected villages and host communities. In Mindanao, Philippines, Caritas and the local Church are working for a peaceful solution in a region where violence prevails. In Pakistan, Caritas and the local Church work together to promote peace and harmony among communities through small development projects. In Central African Republic, the Archbishop of Bangui, along with the Imam and the national protestant Church leader, was at the forefront in encouraging warring factions to work for peace and reconciliation. In Columbia, Caritas is strengthening local development processes for a non-violent transformation of conflicts through people’s participation and empowerment. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 21/9/2020)