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Church Leaders and Experts Gather for 3rd Vatican Conference on Impact Investing July 26th, 2018

(2nd from right) Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI, Chief of Faith Consistent Investment, OIP Investment Trust  (Photo credit: Remo Casilli)

From July 8-10, 2018  the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (IHD) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) co-hosted the third conference on impact investing with the theme, Scaling Investment in Service of Integral Human Development. Information about the conference can be found by clicking here.

Held in Rome,  the event  drew experts and Catholic leaders from around the world, including  Frs. Séamus Finn, OMI and Rufus Whitley, OMI. Fr. Séamus spoke on the panel Advances within the Catholic Church and Fr. Rufus participated in discussions on  Deploying Capital for Impact at the Base of the Pyramid. 

Fr. Rufus Whitley, OMI, President and Chief Investment Officer, OIP Investment Trust  (Photo credit: Remo Casilli) 

Other panels addressed issues like climate change, health, migrants, refugees, and youth unemployment and how impact investment can improve conditions for people affected. The conference was billed as a ‘results-oriented’ event and a long-term global commitment.

(Photo credit: Remo Casilli)

 


Making Migration Work for All: The Global Compact for Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration August 16th, 2018

Submitted by Fr. Daniel LeBlanc, OMI

On July 12, in her opening remarks during the first multi-stakeholders dialogue held at the margin of the first intergovernmental negotiations on the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Migration, Ms. Louise Arbour, made the following plea: “Over the long-term the evidence is clear: the benefits of migration vastly outweigh the challenges. And without a clear understanding of migration, negative narratives surround migrants. “We must not allow xenophobic political narratives about migration to distort our objective to enhance international cooperation on migration.” She further stressed that “it is only with facts and context that we can have a respectful and realistic discussion about migration, one that pushes back on the many inaccurate and negative narratives being touted for short-term political gains and misguided policies.”

The large influx of refugees/migrants from some Middle Eastern and African countries into Europe between 2014 – 2016, following the escalation of conflicts and the socio-political and economic challenges in these regions raised a huge global concern, as well as socio-political backlash from some European countries. The UN General Assembly (UNGA) responded to the situation by convening a high-level summit to address the large movements of refugees and migrants in September 2016. At the end of the summit, UNGA adopted a resolution 71/1, also known as the New York Declaration (NYD). According to the UNGA, the New York Declaration “expresses the political will of world leaders to save lives, protect rights and share responsibility on a global scale.” Explicit in the NYD was a commitment by the Member States to negotiate and adopt separate global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration and refugees by 2018.

UN General Assembly

While work on the Global Compact for refugees was largely coordinated by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva, the process for negotiating the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration was strictly state-led, and facilitated by the Permanent Representative of Switzerland and Mexico to the United Nations. After extensive multi-stakeholder consultations and six intense months of intergovernmental negotiations, Member States came up with an agreed document on 13th July 2018. The agreed negotiated documents for both the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration and refugees, will be adopted by the UN General Assembly in early December 2018, in Marrakech, Morocco. When adopted, the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration will be the first-ever global framework on migration governance.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

In her remarks at the end of the negotiations, the UN Deputy Secretary General, Ms. Amina Mohammed, commended Member States for staying in the process despite as she noted, “some profound issues that migration raises such as sovereignty of states and human rights; what constitutes voluntary movement; the relationship between development and mobility; and how to support social cohesion.” Ms. Mohammed pointed out that, “this compact demonstrates the potential of multilateralism: our ability to come together on issues that demand global collaboration – however complicated and contentious they may be.” All Member States of the UN was part of the intergovernmental negotiations for safe, orderly and regular migration except for the United States of America and Hungary.

Read more:  Intergovernmental negotiated and agreed outcome document of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration; https://bit.ly/2LP0ycL

The UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants 2016: https://bit.ly/2bqPpvC

The New York Declaration: https://bit.ly/2o9ItXe

 


Reflections from the 2018 Global Forum on Responsible Recruitment: Progress and Goals August 13th, 2018

By David Schilling, Senior ICCR Program Director

At the first Global Forum a year ago in Berlin, the Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment (LGRR) made the decision to focus on two countries—Malaysia and Thailand (and the respective recruitment corridors) to take steps to transform the foreign migrant recruitment system from ‘worker pays’ to ‘employer pays’.  This was a significant decision to change the recruitment model through collective action in one region of the world.  There was evidence at the 2018 Forum in Singapore that this was a good decision and that some progress is being made.  

The forum’s first panel on the “Experience of the Migrant Worker” made it clear that if we are to make the shift from ‘workers pays’ to ‘employer pays’, migrant workers must be at the centre of the change. Anne Beatrice Jacobs, North South Initiative, and Bhim Kumar Newar, Migrant Worker Network, highlighted the exploitative impact of worker paid fees and described the challenges to transforming the current system.  Representatives from Migrant Forum Asia (MFA), a regional network of non-government organisations, associations and trade unions of migrant workers, and a trusted partner, contributed a great deal to our understanding of on-the-ground realities facing migrant workers in specific countries in the region. 

Read the full post on ICCR’s website.

 

 


August 9 is International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples August 3rd, 2018

This day is celebrated around the world and at the United Nations Headquarters in New York each year, bringing together indigenous peoples’ organizations, UN agencies, Member States, civil society, academia and the general public. This year’s theme is “Indigenous peoples’ migration and movement.” The 2018 theme will focus on the current situation of indigenous territories, the root causes of migration, trans-border movement and displacement, with a specific focus on indigenous peoples living in urban areas and across international borders.

There are an estimated 370 million indigenous people in the world, living across 90 countries. They make up less than 5 per cent of the world’s population, but account for 15 per cent of the poorest. They speak an overwhelming majority of the world’s estimated 7,000 languages and represent 5,000 different cultures.

To learn more about this international observance visit the UN’s website.

Visit the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) page to download the event program and key messages.

Fr Daniel LeBlanc, OMI, Moderates NGO Side Event at the 17th UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

Oblate Mission with indigenous peoples

Indigenous People: A People with a Past, a History and a Culture


Vatican Marks the 3rd Anniversary of Laudato Si July 24th, 2018

The Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development organized an International Conference on the 3rd Anniversary of the encyclical Laudato Si’: Saving our Common Home and the Future of Life on Earth. The event took place from July 5-6, 2018 and drew representatives from civil society, religions, churches, scientists, politicians, economists, and grassroots groups to review past work and develop a plan of action. Speaking to attendees, Pope Francis remarked that “the “common home” of our planet also needs urgently to be repaired and secured for a sustainable future.”

Read the Pope’s full remarks here.

Conference recordings and presentations can be found here.

 


Climate Change: ICCR Members Review Past Work and Plan for 2018-19 Corporate Engagement Season July 18th, 2018

By Frank Sherman

The ICCR Climate Change Workgroup met in mid-June, hosted by the Nathan Cummings Foundation, an ICCR member in NYC, to evaluate the progress over the past year and chart out a path forward for the 2018-19 corporate engagement season. We took time to reflect on the social and faith trends; review the political and economic landscape; and map the growing investor actions on climate. We then evaluated our progress over the past couple years before developing a SWOT analysis, mission and vision. In the afternoon, we discussed the path forward by re-directing the existing programs and discussing some new areas to pursue.

Jake Barnett (Morgan Stanley Graystone), together with Mary Beth Gallagher (Tri-State CRI), presented the climate justice perspective by describing the disproportionate adverse impacts climate change has on vulnerable communities. These include decreased agricultural production due to drought resulting in increased migration, disproportionate impacts on women, increased disease burdens due to intensified heat and insect-borne diseases, and displacement from intensified storms due to lack of resilience (e.g. Hurricane Harvey and Maria). In addition, roughly 1.1 billion people lack access to electricity, making the provision of clean, affordable energy essential for communities trying to escape poverty. Unlike secular asset managers, the faith community can elevate climate change from a partisan political discourse to a moral issue that we are all called to address. We need to be bold and exhibit urgency by leveraging partner organizations (Human Rights Watch, Earth Justice, Sierra Club, etc.), and put a human face on the climate change impacts.

Aaron Ziulkowski (Walden Asset) provided the political and economic overview noting that, despite growing awareness, global GHG emissions continue to rise, although they have leveled off in OECD (developed) countries. The national commitments made in Paris fall short of the 2 degree scenario and get the world nowhere near the 1.5 degree ambition. Transportation has replaced electricity production as the top emitter in the U.S. due to the displacement of coal by natural gas. Despite the White House announced withdraw from Paris, several states have set targets for GHG reduction, renewable energy and CAFÉ standards (which reduce auto emissions) that exceed federal standards. Japan, the EU, China and India continue to increase CAFÉ standards while Trump’s EPA rolls back U.S. targets. The EPA is being sued for rolling back methane emissions standards in oil & gas production. Economists are confident that economics wins over politics with the cost of unsubsidized wind and solar electrical power now competitive with fossil fuels. We agreed to step up public advocacy and pressure corporations to do the same if the U.S. wants to remain competitive in a low carbon world.

Read the rest of the article on Seventh Generation’s website.

 

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