MDG summit reflections
Joseph Donnelly, Caritas International Delegation to the UN
One week after UN’s high-level meeting focused on human development and global responsibility, streets around international headquarters no longer congested, confronting ordinary NYC lifestyles. Urban calm, such as it exists, even as General Assembly high security is replaced by other alerts. Life in this city, as in thousands around the world, still needing answers for its poor citizens.
Meanwhile, to be sure, there is an enduring momentum from the MDG Summit held last week. Journalists, analysts, economists, concerned citizens, NGOs, faith-based organisation leaders. Stake holders far and wide weighing in with updated poverty eradication strategies and resources.
That’s the deal now in October: what we shared, advocated and learned from MDG meetings. Beyond the calculations and guesstimates remains the intense confrontation called 2015. To that end few are actually saying: “Summit was a failure…” despite many solid concerns.
More seem to be saying: “We know better what’s missing; we have tools to better monitor goals.” Others have said this last week: “I gave up on MDGs a few years ago thinking not much happens.” “Looks like there’s clarity, smart processing for next concrete steps; some governments acting.” Surprisingly, the fragile word ‘hope’ has been used to say: “We have not given up; will not let go.”
For Caritas, this is where we are accompanying every poor person we know, we meet, we find. No matter how hard we have worked from 2009-2010 with 24 million people with certain needs, We discover daily the gaps, the black holes, new lessons learned, circumstances and people. No matter how much ‘fixing’ we may have done, much remains broken or neglected.
For Caritas – this is another dose of reality, to talk with our sisters and brothers who are poor. This is another re-focused moment to speak with local and national partners to do more better. Our mandate demands we help all in need everywhere we are, to echo their voices not our own.
In Washington, American colleagues clamoured at Congress and Senate about 44 million poor this week. Caritas colleagues around the world adding compassionate intelligence with development expertise. Questions are being asked of our global confederation: “What do you see, what can Caritas do?” “Where does poverty eradication fit in your organisation’s strategic plan for 2011, 2013, 2015?”
Matching our own internal review come other assessments, reports, recommendations. There’s is recognition within Caritas and across diverse partnerships that: the poor call us home. Caritas mandate: precious people everywhere reminding us who we are, where we belong.
One week since UN’s official MDG Summit wrapped up long-planned talks and round tables, we have been invited once more to claim our place at the global table of intentional fellowship. Pressed today to use our leadership to take others with us toward 2015 implementations.
We go there as Caritas, as precisely the Gospel-mandated, inspired Catholic community we have consistently announced ourselves to be in poor countries and rich countries, in times of abundance and abandonment, to people and places we know as our communities. Caritas are being heard – no time to be silent.