The Claretian UN Team organized a Parallel event, within the framework of the High-Level Political Forum 2021, to present Good Practices of Claretian Experiences for Sustainable Development in the Peripheries, and as A Roadmap for Sustainable and Resilient Recovery from the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Superior General Fr. Mathew Vattamattam, CMF, and more than one hundred other persons participated in the event through Zoom Room and YouTube Channel. This event brought together voices from different regions of the world, and especially from those countries that presented their Voluntary National Review, or VNR (viz., Colombia, Cuba, Indonesia, Spain, Uruguay and Zimbabwe), where the Claretian Missions are present. The speakers presented their good practices and contributions to achieve the SDGs of the 2030 agenda, as well as the challenges they face in their countries to advance in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), held from July 6 to 15, 2021, is the United Nations mechanism for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

This event had the following objectives:

  1. Describe the implementation of the SDGs in the Decade of Action as the plan for the world’s recovery from the Covid-19pandemic
  2. Highlight the Claretian commitment to the implementation of the SDGs by 2030
  3. Present Claretian good practices of SDG implementation in different parts of the world (focused SDGs of the HLPF-2021)
  4. Strengthen partnership with all, in the spirit of shared mission toward achieving the SDGs to recover from the pandemic

Adriana Cuadra Turcios, a Claretian laywoman from Nicaragua, was the moderator of the event.

Among the speakers was Father Guillermo Campuzano, CM, a Vincentian priest and currently the Vice President for Mission and Ministry, DePaul University, Chicago. He pointed out that dreams and utopias must be nourished by our missionary charisms, and that in this sense the challenges proposed in the Sustainable Development Goals should challenge us from a prophetic spirit to continue maintaining and awakening hope in the poor. 

Fr. Mathew Vattamattam, CMF, the Superior General of the Claretian Missionaries, expressed at this event that the Claretian Charism is and must be in tune with what Pope Francis wrote in the Encyclical Fratelli Tutti, on social and political fraternity. He stressed that one cannot be a Claretian as if the poor did not exist. He also referred to the need to incorporate reflection and action in the face of the SDGs at the different levels of the Congregation; for this reason, this topic will be addressed in the next General Chapter.

Good Practices

The second part of the event included the presentation of five projects that express good practices of the Claretian Missionaries in the peripheries towards sustainable development, a sample of the Claretian participation in the implementation of the SDGs:

  • The first project presented was that of Casitas de Paz, Cuba, by the Independent Delegation of Antilles.  Br. Manolo Pliego, CMF, who presented the project, related it to SDG 16 and its interconnection with the elimination of poverty (SDG 1) and overcoming inequalities (SDG 10).          
  • The second experience was presented by Nikolaus Ilan, CMF, Prefect of Apostolate and Fr. Selestinus Panggarra, CMF, the coordinator of SOMI of the Independent Delegation Indonesia-Timor Leste, on Empowering women to increase income and survive in the pandemic, a project that seeks to alleviate poverty, a good example of the implementation of SDG 1 – No Poverty, in relation to Reducing Inequality (SDG 10) and Empowering Women (SDG 5).
  • The Province of Fatima in Spain presented the project Education changes lives, which is developed in six countries in Asia, Africa and America, with the presentation focused on what is organized in Zimbabwe. Joaquín Béjar, CMF and Gabriel Ponce, CMF shared the details of this project that focuses on responding to SDG 4, Quality Education, and connected to SDG 10, Reducing Inequality, and SDG 17, Building Partnerships for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
  • Lina Marcela Muños Puerta, Project Coordinator of Proclade ColVen, narrated through a video the Experiences of Peace-building in Colombia of the Claretian Province of Colombia – Venezuela, as a contribution to the strengthening of peace as stated in SDG 16 and in relation to the establishment of relationships to achieve the SDG 17 objectives. Anselmo Baru, originally from Indonesia and now parish priest of Claret Parish, San Felix, Venezuela, presented the project.
  • The fifth and last project presented was La Fragua, which aims to contribute to the eradication of gender-based inequalities. It was developed in Uruguay in the Claretian Province of San José del Sur.  Catherine López, a Claretian laywoman, led the presentation of the fundamental ideas of how to contribute to the implementation of SDG 5, Gender Equality, and of SDG 10, the Reduction of Inequalities. 

This event made it clear that the Claretian Mission has been accompanying different community processes in the key of sustainable development that promotes in the communities the necessary elements to find alternatives to overcome poverty and that promote food sovereignty to address hunger. It also accompanies and manages projects that allow progress to improve the quality of life in health systems, promoting the essentials for the enforceability of workers’ rights, and generating better living conditions.

Moreover, it works with local, national, continental and international networks that promote the protection of the common home, against extractive projects that destroy not only nature but the people who live in these territories as a result of environmental conflicts generated by extractivism.

In different regions throughout the world, the Claretian Mission accompanies peace-building processes in the midst of armed conflicts, wars and post-agreement processes, in seeking a stable and lasting peace.

These practices and accompaniment processes have taken place in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, these manifest the practicability of resilient proposals and approaches that allow us to face and rebuild better, seeking that no one is left behind.   

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