December 17, 2012

Intercongregational group forms in Ireland to work on Sustainable Development Goals (MGA)

Mercy International Association was instrumental with the Presentation Sisters in developing a group in Ireland to follow up on implementation of the plan committed at the Rio Conference.

Presently, Sisters of Mercy, Presentation Sisters, Franciscans and a representative of UNANIMA (which links many smaller religious Congregations at the United Nations) are represented on the group. We have had interest from other Congregations in being involved in the process and hope to expand the membership of the group after Christmas.

The group was established to lobby the Irish government and the European Union (which Ireland has the Presidency of in 2013) on issues related to sustainable development. At present the group is working on the Sustainable Development Goals which are being developed through an Intergovernmental process at the United Nations. Members of the group are inviting the leadership of their Congregations to write to decision makers in their governments to ensure that the 9 Majority groups (i.e Business and Industry, Children and Youth, Farmers, indigenous peoples, local authorities, NGOs, Scientific and Technological Community, Women and Workers and Trade Unions) are fully involved in decision making in this process. Sisters of Mercy are already responding and many have sent out the letter to decision makers in Ireland and in other parts of the world

The group is also working on a submission which they will make to the Irish government and the European Union. This submission will contain the principles which we consider are important to underpin the SDGs such as a commitment to human rights, goals that are measurable, equity, common but differentiated responsibility etc.

The extractive industries involvement in fracking in Ireland is another concern of the group. We intend educating ourselves on the issue and on the different organisations involved to see whether we can support existing campaigns or take independent action. The EPA (Environmental Protection Authority) is due to bring out a report on fracking in February 2013 and we would intend to respond to their findings.

Messages to: Mary Purcell – Assistant Director Mercy Global Concern

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