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January 2014 



25 Years of Franciscans International

Dear friends and supporters, Sisters and Brothers,

Welcome to the January 2014 edition of the Franciscan Voice! After a period of restructuring here at FI, we are reestablishing the Voice to bring you news of our work from Geneva, New York, and around the world. Every month we will send out the newsletter in five languages, with a selection of articles from our website, overviews of country-specific issues, and opportunities to support the work of FI.

2014 is a very special year for Franciscans International. This year marks the 25th anniversary of our official accreditation as an NGO with the United Nations.  This was the culmination of the efforts of the Franciscan Family to establish a Franciscan voice at the UN, and the true beginning of FI’s advocacy work. Twenty-five years on, we are proud to uphold the vision of FI’s founders, and continue breaking new ground in international advocacy. Over the past year we have spoken out on the issues of children’s rights, trafficking, the rights of indigenous peoples and extreme poverty, among others.  Our booklet Development: sustainable for whom? was published in December, accompanying our work against destructive mining projects including fracking, and other concerns in environmental justice. We continue to undertake training and consultation projects with our partners around the world.  FI works for and with an international network of grassroots supporters. It is thanks to this partnership that our advocacy has an impact.

We would also like to offer our thanks to all those who have supported and strengthened FI over the past 25 years.  We hope you will follow us over the year ahead, as we continue to advance and focus our work.

We wish you a happy and peaceful 2014.

Markus Heinze, OFM



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Development: sustainable for whom?

The cover photo of FI's new booklet.

Franciscans International’s booklet Development: sustainable for whom? is now available for download from our website, or as a physical copy on request.  The booklet was written following the Rio+20 sustainable development conference of 2012. In the conference negotiations, FI argued for a greater emphasis on the human determinants of development, rather than solely economic growth.  Through its new publication, FI hopes to make the realities behind the issues discussed at Rio+20 accessible to all readers. Current patterns of consumption and economic growth cannot be sustained without damage to our environment and our communities. FI calls for world leaders to replace profit-driven development rhetoric with a commitment to “social and environmental justice”.

Download the PDF of Development: sustainable for whom?>>

To request a physical copy of the booklet, please email: communication@fiop.org.

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Mining Meeting in Lima

The Lima meeting participants visit the site of the Conga mining project, Peru.

From 4-5 November 2013, Franciscans International attended a vital meeting in Lima, Peru, on the impacts of mining projects in Latin America. FI’s objective was to explore ways to connect the Latin American grassroots network to the UN. In the face of exploitative and environmentally damaging projects in the extractive sector, we will seek to bring the concerns of affected communities before UN human rights bodies.  FI also visited Cajamarca, home to one of Peru’s largest and most controversial mining projects. In 2014, FI will continue to support latin american activists against mining through international advocacy.

Read the full story>>

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UN Special Session on the Central African Republic

Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic.

A statement from FI, in partnership with Caritas Internationalis and several other faith-based NGOs, was presented at a Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the 20th of January. CAR is still in the grip of widespread politically-motivated violence following a March 2013 coup.  Almost one million people have been forced to flee their homes.  Our joint statement focuses on reuniting refugees, particularly children, with their families, and restoring basic living conditions.

Read the full story>>

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Defending Women’s Rights in Cameroon

An urban health clinic in Cameroon.

Franciscans International has submitted an Alternative Report for the upcoming review of Cameroon by the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

During a July 2013 consultation in Yaoundé, FI’s partners raised the issues of child trafficking, maternal mortality, and forced marriages. Our research has also revealed suspected cases of child abduction in complicity with local authorities. These concerns will be brought to light at Cameroon’s review on the 12th of February. 

Read the report in full>>

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FI Website

Visit the regularly updated Franciscans International website for news, events, photos and reports: 

With a small donation of $5 per month you can support the important work of Franciscans International - the global ministry of the Franciscan Family. Subscribe now!

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