Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 301

Posts Tagged ‘solidarity’

“Solidarity AccorHotels” festeggia il suo decimo anniversario

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 21 dicembre 2018

Aiutare a combattere l’esclusione economica e sociale delle persone più svantaggiate è stata la motivazione che ha portato il Gruppo leader mondiale nei settori travel e lifestyle, alla creazione del fondo di solidarietà “Solidarity AccorHotels”.Dieci anni dopo la sua fondazione e con più di 300 progetti realizzati, AccorHotels ha misurato i risultati della sua attività attraverso lo studio condotto dalla società di consulenza Kimso. In particolare, la ricerca ha confermato l’importanza delle attività del fondo, il tipo di progetti realizzati e la natura del suo sostegno: in 45 paesi sono stati supportati 172.800 beneficiari diretti, spesso giovani, disoccupati e emarginati, con l’aiuto di oltre 20.000 dipendenti di AccorHotels, direttamente coinvolti a favore dei più bisognosi. Per selezionare i progetti proposti dai collaboratori e valutarli, sono stati istituiti un Consiglio di amministrazione e un Comitato di selezione dedicati.Lo studio ha anche evidenziato la caratteristica saliente di Solidarity AccorHotels, vale a dire un impegno che va oltre il semplice sostegno finanziario per fornire una risposta concreta ai bisogni espressi dalle associazioni locali.Ogni anno per una settimana a dicembre, il progetto aiuta a mobilitare i dipendenti attorno alle iniziative prescelte; in Italia diversi molti sono stati i progetti portati avanti dalle strutture: Ibis Verona si è fatta portavoce della mission della Fondazione Più Di Un Sogno Onlus a favore delle persone con sindrome Down e disabilità intellettive attraverso l’esposizione dei prodotti della fondazione.

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Humanitarian emergencies in the Mediterranean and solidarity: debate in plenary

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 15 giugno 2018

MEPs will discuss with Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos and the Council how to deal with humanitarian emergencies in the Mediterranean, following the decision by the Italian and Maltese governments not to allow the MV Aquarius, a ship operated by French NGOs SOS Mediterranée and Medecins sans Frontières, to land more than 629 people after rescuing them in the open sea.The migrants and asylum-seekers will be brought to Spain, after the Spanish Government announced it would welcome them on humanitarian grounds.

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Solidarité/ Solidarity

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 14 giugno 2017

SolidaritéParis. Depuis 2007, malgré l’ajout de la cohésion territoriale dans le Traité de Lisbonne, la notion de solidarité s’est affaiblie et a disparu, portant un coup à la légitimité de l’UE au passage. Dans le cadre réglementaire actuel, l’essentiel du soutien concerne les régions les moins développées en lien avec l’objectif de convergence, très peu les autres régions pour contribuer aux objectifs de la stratégie EU2020, et encore moins la coopération territoriale.
Il devient évident que la contribution de la politique de cohésion à l’investissement public et à la stratégie EU2020 n’est pas suffisante pour convaincre les décideurs publics nationaux et les citoyens européens de l’intérêt de maintenir des financements pour toutes les régions. En conséquence, si nous voulons assurer la continuité de la politique de cohésion nous devons substantiellement la réformer.
Dans la période qui s’ouvrira en 2020, la politique de cohésion devra répondre, dans son ambition et dans son contenu, au double problème que posent l’adaptation aux changements géopolitiques, socio-économiques, technologiques et environnementaux, et le renouvellement des formes de la solidarité. Compte-tenu de sa visibilité dans la vie quotidienne des citoyens, il n’est pas exagéré de considérer que l’appui de l’opinion publique à la poursuite d’autres projets majeurs européens dépend de sa capacité à relever ce défi.
Dans ce Policy Paper réalisé avec le soutien de la Commission – DG REGIO, Marjorie Jouen, conseillère à l’Institut Jacques Delors revient tout d’abord sur les fondements théoriques de la notion de solidarité, sur la façon dont elle a été déclinée dans la politique de cohésion au fil des périodes de programmation successives et sur les défis et besoins de solidarité qui se posent aujourd’hui à l’UE. Elle examine ensuite les différentes voies possibles de refondation de la politique de cohésion en formulant des propositions pour le futur. (Policy paper par Marjorie Jouen)
Territorial cohesion may be enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty but, since 2007, the concept of European solidarity has weakened to the point of vanishing almost completely. The legitimacy of the EU as a whole is at stake. The current framework regulation of the cohesion policy provides the most support to underdeveloped regions in relation to the convergence objective, less finance to other regions in order to stay with the EU 2020 Strategy objectives, and even less subsidies to support territorial cooperation.
It becomes clear that the important contribution of cohesion policy to public investment and the achievement of the goals laid down in the EU 2020 strategy will not be enough to convince national policy-makers and European citizens that maintaining funding for all regions is in their own interest. Consequently, if we want to ensure cohesion policy’s continued existence, we must substantially reform it.
In the programming period beginning in 2020, cohesion policy will therefore have to respond, both in its ambition and its content, to the dual problem of adapting to geopolitical, socio-economic, technological and environmental change and renewing forms of solidarity. Given its visibility in the daily lives of citizens, it is no exaggeration to argue that public support for the pursuit of other major European projects depends on the ability of cohesion policy to rise to this challenge.
In this Policy Paper, realised with the support of the European Commission – DG REGIO, Marjorie Jouen, adviser at the Jacques Delors Institute, first reviews the theoretical basis for the notion of solidarity, outlining its uses in cohesion policy over successive programming periods as well as presenting the current challenges to solidarity and the need to promote it within the EU. In the second part, she examines various ways of reconstituting cohesion policy by putting forward a series of proposals for the future.
(photo: solidarité)

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The Treaty of Rome: 60 years for the promotion of peace, solidarity and cooperation

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 27 marzo 2017

europeOn 25 March 1957, the Treaty of Rome established the European Economic Community. This was the first of major steps in implementing the Schuman declaration of 1950, which called for the pooling of coal and steel production with the view of creating economic stability and preventing another great war.The founding of the European Economic Community 60 years ago was a significant decision for its six founding Member States—Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany—in deepening their relationship and commit to cooperation at a European level, which led to the building up of the European Union. The Treaty sought to “lay the foundations of an ever-closer union among the peoples of Europe.”In the generations since the signing of this historic treaty, Member Churches of the Conference of European Churches have accompanied this process and worked for a Europe characterized by peace, solidarity, and reconciliation. In the post-World War II era, the churches saw European integration as an opportunity for the flourishing of Europe and its people, and to develop a new relationship with the world beyond Europe.
In the era of the Treaty of Rome the Conference of European Churches was born. With its distinctive mission to bridge the divide between East and West cleaved by the Iron Curtain, CEC brought into conversation churches in European countries separated by different political, economic, and social systems.Today, the achievements brought about by this impetus are at stake. Europe is confronted with multiple crises and confidence in the European project is eroding. The European Union, and our continent as a whole, needs courageous decisions and a renewed orientation to its future as a peace project and community of values. In this spirit, the Conference of European Churches launched a broad process reflection with its Member Churches through its open letter “What Future for Europe?” and a series of regional consultations leading to our 15th General Assembly in Novi Sad (Serbia) in 2018.“While Europe faces challenges relating to mass migration, economic instability, growing Euroscepticism, and outbursts of violence, we must also remember the goods of integration and cooperation,” remarked CEC General Secretary Fr Heikki Huttunen. “The era inaugurated by the Treaty of Rome has brought about freedom of travel, work, and study, and contributed to the overcoming of dictatorships and the promotion of democracy throughout Europe. We must also recall original vision of the founders of social equality throughout the EU as we continue to work for just social and economic conditions for all Europeans.”Together the churches in Europe are shaping a vision for our common future and in commemorating the historic Treaty of Rome we express again our commitment to a “humane, social and sustainable Europe at peace with itself and its neighbours in which human rights and solidarity prevail.” (CEC Constitution). (Erin Green Communication Coordinator Conference of European Churches)

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EU countries that do not host asylum seekers should not get EU solidarity funding, says lead MEP

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 11 marzo 2017

europa-comunitariaAll EU countries must share responsibility for hosting asylum seekers arriving in Europe. So it follows those that refuse to do so should not get solidarity funding from other EU member states, Cecilia Wikström (ALDE, SE), lead MEP on the reform the Dublin asylum system told the Civil Liberties Committee on Thursday.Ms Wikström presented her draft report on the proposal to review the Dublin III Regulation, which determines the member state responsible for processing an asylum application. She proposed making several amendments to the Commission´s proposal:
no option for member states refusing to accept asylum seekers to pay a “solidarity contribution” of €250,000 per person instead. If an EU country refuses to participate in the relocation system, then it should not be eligible for solidarity payments from other member states, through the European Structural and Investment Funds,
transfers of asylum-seekers to other EU countries should be automatically triggered when the first country has reached 100% of its allocated share (not 150%, as proposed by the European Commission),
no “admissibility checks” ahead of relocation,
faster family reunification and special focus on children, and applicants for international protection should have the option to register as a group (maximum 30 people) upon arrival in Europe. They would then be transferred together.

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Europe must rise to the challenges/ L’Europe doit s’élever à la hauteur des défis

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 19 marzo 2016

europeThe 28 Member States of the European Union must rise to the challenges they face in the refugee crisis, in the economic and monetary crisis with its prolonged high levels of youth unemployment, and in the wars and trouble spots in their neighbourhood. None of these challenges can be resolved by one Member State alone; they all urgently require shared solidarity. The current crisis of solidarity which is paralysing Europe therefore needs to be overcome. In these difficult circumstances, the blame game is in full swing. But the situation is too serious for us to waste time on recriminations. We want to look ahead together. We are convinced that the major tasks facing us must not be seen in isolation. Partial solidarity is not an option. Solidarity can only succeed when it takes into account the wider context, and it is only by taking this approach that we will find solutions. In this context, a strong Franco-German partnership and understanding is the foundation on which we can make progress. This appeal co-signed by French and German political and academic actors has been published on the 17 March 2016 in Les Échos, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and the Financial Times
Les 28 États membres de l’Union européenne (UE) sont mis à l’épreuve par la crise des réfugiés, la crise économique et monétaire qui génère un chômage des jeunes massif et persistant, par les guerres et les conflits qui secouent ses voisins. Aucun de ces défis ne peut être relevé par un État isolément ; chacun d’entre eux somme les États d’être solidaires. Il est donc crucial de surmonter la crise de solidarité qui paralyse l’Europe actuellement. Dans un contexte difficile, les accusations entre États fusent de toutes parts. La situation est pourtant trop grave pour perdre du temps en récriminations. Nous voulons aller de l’avant ensemble. Nous en sommes persuadés : il faut embrasser ces défis d’un seul regard. Il ne saurait y avoir de solidarité partielle. Ce n’est que dans une perspective globale que la solidarité pourra prévaloir et que des solutions pourront se dessiner. Et c’est sur la force de la coopération et de la compréhension franco-allemande que repose tout progrès.Cet appel initié par des acteurs politiques et académiques allemands et français est paru le 17 mars dans Les Échos, la Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung et le Financial Times.(photo: europe)

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The Born Free Foundation has welcomed news that the Government of Malawi will destroy their ivory stockpiles

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 1 aprile 2015

ivoryHead of State, His Excellency Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika, President of the Republic of Malawi, will set light to four tonnes of ivory in a show of the highest possible political will and a demonstration to the world of Malawi’s commitment to combat illegal wildlife trade. Malawi is known for its vibrant culture and friendly people, and the occasion is expected to reflect the warm heart of Africa, the nation’s love of wildlife and a renewed commitment to protect its natural heritage. Members of the public will join the Government and NGOs in a solidarity walk to Parliament where the ceremony will take place. Just before the torching, the President will accept signatures from over 7000 people who recently joined the campaign to ‘Stop Wildlife Crime. Protect Malawi’s Wildlife’. This symbolic move will recognise both the public support galvanised through the campaign and the importance of engaging all sectors of society in the fight against wildlife crime moving forward.Speaking out in support of Malawi’s ‘stop wildlife crime’ campaign, led by Lilongwe Wildlife Trust, renowned conservationist and Wildlife Consultant for the Born Free Foundation, Ian Redmond OBE, said: “Last year I watched the French Government grind over 3 tonnes of illegal ivory to dust, last month Kenya torched 15 tonnes of ivory, and now Malawi has followed suit with its stockpile of 4 tonnes. People say, ‘Why not sell it and use the money to protect elephants’ but that would be like throwing petrol on a fire! As long as there is a legal ivory trade, there will be criminals trying to launder illegal ivory into that trade. Elephants and people will be killed in the process. As elephant numbers plummet across Africa, this is no time to repeat the mistakes of the past – Malawi is to be congratulated for sending a clear signal to the world – the fashion for ivory is over! Wildlife crime will not be tolerated. Criminals will be prosecuted and their contraband destroyed. Elephants will be valued for the role they play in the ecology of Africa as super-keystone species – mega-gardeners of the forest and savannah.”
Jonathan Vaughan, Director of Lilongwe Wildlife Trust, said: “We hope the world sits up and gives Malawi the recognition it deserves for this symbolic act. So much has been achieved here in the past year and the ‘Stop Wildlife Crime’ campaign is just one of these initiatives. We’re seeing stiffer sentences, better inter-agency collaboration and the re-writing of laws. Whilst next week we shall be taking a moment to celebrate Malawi’s accomplishments, these commemorations in reality signify the start of a long fight. We must keep an eye on our goal – to protect Malawi’s wildlife, not just for the benefit of tourism and the economy but also for its intrinsic value and its role as one of Africa’s keystone species. For years few people have paid attention to Malawi and its wildlife, but here we have the opportunity to become a role model for the region. At the very least, Malawi is the first SADC country this century to destroy its ivory. If there is continued co-operation between Government and NGO’s, both locally and internationally, then I believe we can succeed.”
Brighton Kumchedwa, Director of Parks & Wildlife, has said: “Whilst we have achieved some tremendous results in the last year, wildlife conservation is heading towards a crisis that requires collaboration, grit and determination. The fight has only just begun.” (photo ivory)

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FEI Awards 2014 opens search for global equestrian heroes

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 18 giugno 2014

equestrian athleteThe Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the world governing body of equestrian sport, has today launched the FEI Awards 2014, the annual global search to reward excellence, commitment, dedication and courage within the equestrian community.
Nominations are now open and submissions can be made until midnight on 9 September at http://www.feiawards.org for five categories.The Longines Rising Star Award, won last year by Reed Kessler (USA), the youngest equestrian athlete to compete at the London 2012 Olympic Games, is for equestrians aged 14 to 21 who demonstrate outstanding sporting talent and commitment.The Reem Acra Best Athlete, awarded to double Olympic gold medallist and current world Dressage number one Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) in 2013, celebrates the human or equine athlete – or the combination – who over the last 12 months have demonstrated exceptional skills in the arena, and have taken equestrian sport to a new level.The Against All Odds award, which went to Australian gold medal winning London 2012 Paralympic athlete Joann Formosa last year, rewards people who have pursued their equestrian ambitions despite physical handicap or extremely difficult personal circumstances.
The Best Groom award, won last year by Carmen Thiemann (GER) who manages Olympic Eventing team gold medallist Ingrid Klimke’s yard, is reserved for those all-important behind-the-scenes team members who work around the clock to ensure that their horses get the best possible care and attention.The FEI Solidarity award completes the FEI Awards 2014 category line-up, and will be presented to an FEI Solidarity or equestrian development project, or an individual or organisation that has demonstrated skill, dedication and energy in expanding equestrian sport.
The winners of the FEI Awards 2014 will be flown to a red-carpet gala evening in Baku, Azerbaijan in December, where over 350 guests representing National Federations, enthusiasts and stakeholders from around the world will celebrate their achievements. “The FEI Awards are all about celebrating the heroes and inspirational figures behind the scenes that make our sport the wonderful community that it is,” explained FEI President HRH Princess Haya.“Given the special year that we have before us, I urge all National Federations, athletes, fans of equestrianism and everyone working in the sport to take the time to nominate the individuals that have made an impression on them and deserve to be acknowledged far beyond the equestrian world.”
FEI President HRH Princess Haya will chair the FEI Awards 2014 judging panel, which also includes Mary Binks, FEI Bureau Member and Chairman of FEI Group IX (Botswana, Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Senegal, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe); George Dimaras, Executive Board Member of the Hellenic Equestrian Federation; and Betty Wates, President of the Equestrian Federation of Jamaica.

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Following arrest of suspect in Jewish museum attack, WJC brings solidarity mission to Brussels

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 2 giugno 2014

BRUSSELS – A solidarity mission of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) to Brussels will take place next Monday (2 June) following the terrorist attack last Saturday at the city’s Jewish Museum, in which three people were killed and one gravely wounded. On Sunday, police announced the arrest of the suspected killer in France.  The mission will be led by WJC President Ronald S. Lauder and include 25 senior representatives of Jewish communities from around the world. The delegation will hold talks with Belgium’s Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo, Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, Interior Minister Joëlle Milquet, Justice Minister Annemie Turtelboom, the head of Cabinet of the King of the Belgians, Frans van Daele, and the heads of the Jewish Museum, Philippe Blondin, and the Jewish community umbrella body CCOJB, Maurice Sosnowski.Lauder and Sosnowski will also give a WJC press conference on Monday at 13:00 (changed from 12:15), at the Steigenberger Grandhotel Brussels and brief the media about the impact this attack has on the Jewish community, the arrest of the suspected killer, and what lessons need to be learned from the incident. Ronald S. Lauder declared: “The entire Jewish world has been shocked by the horrible attack in the center of Brussels last week. We must now stand united with the community, and we also expect to get answers from Belgium’s politicians what will be done to ensure that the safety of Jews and Jewish institutions is improved and that Jews do not feel threatened.”

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World Jewish Congress brings solidarity mission to after Jewish museum attack

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 1 giugno 2014

BruxellesBRUSSELS – A solidarity mission of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) to Brussels will take place next Monday (2 June) following the terrorist attack last Saturday at the city’s Jewish Museum, in which three people were killed and one gravely wounded. The mission will be led by WJC President Ronald S. Lauder and include 25 senior representatives of Jewish communities from around the world. The delegation will hold talks with Belgium’s Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo, Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, Interior Minister Joëlle Milquet, Justice Minister Annemie Turtelboom, the head of Cabinet of the King of the Belgians, Frans van Daele, and the heads of the Jewish Museum, Philippe Blondin, and the Jewish community umbrella body CCOJB, Maurice Sosnowski. Lauder and Sosnowski will also give a WJC press conference on Monday, at 12:15 p.m., at the Steigenberger Grandhotel Brussels and brief the media about the impact this attack has on the Jewish community and what lessons need to be learned from it.“This visit to Brussels will take place on the eve of Shavuot, the holiday that celebrates the giving of the Torah to the entire nation of Israel at the foot of the Mount Sinai. So on Monday, by bringing together Jews from all over the world to stand in solidarity with the Jewish community of Belgium, we are guided by the message of Shavuot, which embodies the notion that all Jews are responsible for one another,” Ronald S. Lauder declared.
b He added: “The entire Jewish world has been shocked by the horrible attack in the center of Brussels last week, and we lament the fact that very little seems to be known about the background of these murders. We must now stand united with the community, and we also expect to get answers from Belgium’s politicians what will be done to ensure that the safety of Jews and Jewish institutions is improved and that Jews do not feel threatened.”

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Notre Europe

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 16 Mag 2012

The negotiations of the bailout plans for Greece, Ireland and Portugal as well as the adoption of new solidarity mechanisms have triggered a lively debate on the cost of these solidarity actions, particularly in those countries that are making the biggest contribution to those efforts such as Germany, The Netherlands, Finland and France. This Policy Brief by Sofia Fernandes and Eulalia Rubio aims to clarify some points concerning the cost of interstate solidarity exercised within the Eurozone. The analysis focuses on the budgetary cost of that solidarity, which has been at the heart of this debate. It first clarifies the nature of these solidarity actions as well as their impact on national public finances. Then it analyses the current controversy over the budgetary implications of the growing imbalances in TARGET2 positions (the payment and settlement system between the central banks in the Eurozone) and, more generally, of the exceptional actions undertaken by the European Central Bank (ECB). Lastly, in order to give an order of magnitude of this solidarity effort, the Policy Brief places the total cost of interstate solidarity efforts in perspective by comparing it to the amount of money set aside by the states to help their banks since the start of the crisis. (15/05/2012)

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Aggression on the Freedom Flotilla

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 7 giugno 2010

Gaza Strip  The free Palestinian youth groups from accross the political and social spectrum denounce the military operations by the Israeli occupation army against the Freedom Flotilla in international waters, which caused tens of civilian activists to be killed and wounded. In a statement issued on Monday, the Palestinian youth has expressed grave concern due to the ongoing military operations against international solidarity groups, stressing that this is a flagrant war crime against civilians, whose perpetrators must be stopped, condemned and punished. Palestinian youth in Gaza, West bank, diaspora and Palestinian occupied territories demand that Israeli occupation forces stop military operations and release all participants in the relief operations in solidarity with the besieged Gazans. We stress that this uprising is part of a series of actions against Israeli racist attitudes towards any peace or support process, and we hold Israel accountable for all of its aggressive actions. The majority of Palestinians in Gaza are under 18, the age people become old enough to understand the injustice of the oppression, the age people become most disillusioned with so few opportunities open to them. Even for those fortunate enough to reach higher education, many are prevented from pursuing postgraduate and undergraduate degrees abroad due to the constraints on people leaving and entering the Strip. In all of the 35 academic institutions in Gaza, there is a shortage of books, educational material and stationary, as these are specific items along with concrete, toys, pasta and chocolate forbidden entry by Israel. We call on the international community to take serious steps against Israeli violations and suspend arms supply and military equipment being used by the Israeli occupation army to kill and injure people of different nationalities, and the Palestinians in particular. We also call upon all freedom-loving people and supporters of justice in the world to protest and condemn this crime, and continue siege-breaking campaigns until the siege is permantly lifted.

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Peace in the Holy Land

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 16 gennaio 2010

Catholic Bishops of the 10th Holy Land Co-ordination today urged political leaders and people of goodwill to be courageous in seeking a just peace in the Holy Land. The Holy Land Co-ordination represents Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of Europe and North America. It was formed in Jerusalem in 1998 at the request of the Holy See. The Bishops meet with the Ordinaries of the Holy Land every year and through prayer, encouraging pilgrimage and political persuasion seek to demonstrate solidarity with the local Church in the difficult socio-political climate. This year the focus was on the crucial situation in East Jerusalem: property confiscations and evictions. In the final communiqué, the Bishops said: “We urge all people to support public officials who take courageous initiatives for a just resolution of the conflict—a two-state solution with security and recognition for Israel, and a viable and independent state for Palestinians.  For us, this is not merely about politics; it is an issue of basic human rights.” One issue that was brought to the fore has been the growing distance between Israelis and Palestinians where a lack of human contact undermines trust and dialogue. In visits to parishes across the West Bank, Bethlehem University, the seminary at Beit Sahour the Bishops heard the stories of everyday life. There were also presentations from Israeli, Palestinian and international commentators about the current situation. Despite the lack of progress in securing a two-state solution for all, the Bishops believe progress is possible with determination and international support. “Despite the wounds of this land, love and hope are alive.  Peace with justice is within reach, but political leaders and all people of goodwill need courage to achieve it.”

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Ecumenical groups set priorities for European elections

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 6 marzo 2009

Concerned by low voter involvement in past European elections, the Brussels-based ecumenical organizations Aprodev, the Church and Society Commission of the Conference of European Churches (CEC), the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME), and Eurodiaconia have launched their own information campaign for the 4-7 June 2009 elections to the European Parliament. The campaign promotes the engagement of citizens in European affairs. All four Christian organizations are in regular exchange with members of the European Parliament on issues of concern to the churches and Christian agencies in Europe.This information campaign includes a leaflet, dedicated elections website and election-related activities throughout Europe. The campaign draws attention to four policy areas of priority for the churches in Europe: • Climate change and the environment: reduced greenhouse gas emissions; support for regions suffering environmental change; thoughtful discussion on GMOs.•Migration and refugee protection: migration and asylum policies that respect human dignity; EU policies combating human trafficking and promoting human rights of those trafficked; policies promoting anti-discrimination; enhanced intercultural dialogue.• Poverty and social exclusion: accessible quality social and health care services; intergenerational solidarity; gender equality; inclusion of people with disabilities.• Peace and development: peaceful conflict resolution; human-rights based approach to development; trade, agricultural, fiscal policies to reduce world poverty.   The 15-page leaflet, European Parliament Elections 4-7 June 2009: Guide for Churches and Christian organisations in the European Union, outlines key policy issues facing the European Union and questions for the candidates. It is available in English, French and German and will be distributed within European churches and Christian organizations, as well as among political parties and candidates for the European Parliament.

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