May 22, 2013
Mercy Global Action and Presentation Justice Network co-organised a meeting at McAuley Centre Baggot Street on 28th August, 2012. The purpose of the meeting was to report back on the Rio + 20 Conference and to plan for continued action on the issues arising. More than 30 people attended, representing many religious Congregations in Ireland, Sisters of Mercy, Presentation Sisters, Trocaire, Irish Sisters of Charity, Columban Missionaries, CORI, Spiritans, Daughter of Wisdom and Edmund Rice Foundation.
Catherine Gibbons rsm and Betty Lacey, intern researchers with MIA ~Global Action led the group through a reflection process – Moment of Quiet.
Aine O Connor rsm and MIA Global Action representative at the UN spoke about Mercy experience of lobbying at the conference and at national level to support this advocacy. She thanked Sisters of Mercy who were involved in this lobbying and who played a vital part with other civil society groups in influencing the Rio+20 negotiations.
Aine outlined the four major areas that MIA Global Action lobbied on in Rio and the outcomes of the lobbying.
Aine O Connor, MIA Global Action Representative at the United Nations
A full report on the impact of Mercy lobbying can be accessed here.
Susan De Guide rsm, Nora Burke rsm and Maura O Connell PBVM lobbied the Irish government and received a very favourable response. The official delegation to Rio + 20 were sympathetic to most of the issues put forward by the Sisters, particularly the gender issue. Susan and Maureen continued to be in contact with the delegation while they were at Rio and the officials were very pleased to listen and were influenced by their inputs.
Selina Donnelly, Policy Officer for Trocaire represented the organisation at the Rio Conference. Trocaire in common with Mercy and the Presentations had lobbied on the Rio principles and the rights based approach. They had also lobbied on the interlinked global challenges of poverty eradication, environmental sustainability, economic equity, gender inequality and climate change. One of the outcomes of Rio+ 20 is that a new process is being put in place to develop sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Selina Donnelly, Policy Officer, Trocaire
A major concern for Trocaire is that this process of developing these SDGs would be separated from the Millenium Development Goal process (MDGs) distracting from the full implementation of the MDGs. Trocaire argued that these processes should be merged; that civil society should be included in their development, that they should be universally applicable and that they should have a strong rights focus.
Trocaire’s policy input paper on Rio + 20 can be found here.
Groups were then formed to discuss the following questions:-
a) What issues need to be taken forward from the Presentations
b) Where do we need to take them and how?
Issues to be taken forward
Where to take them
Carmel Bracken rsm rounded off the programme with a song she had written entitled – There is a dream
Carmel Bracken rsm, member of MIA Global Action working group on Cosmology/Eco Justice
Messages to: Mary Purcell - Assistant director Mercy Global Action