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(Vatican Radio)The World Meeting of Popular Movements has issued a statement at the beginning of their three day conference in Rome.

The culture of encounter at the service of poor people and poor nations

As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems. Inequality is the root of social ills.

     The thinking of Pope Francis, and how he has constantly accompanied the excluded in their struggles and their efforts to organize, have inspired and motivated us to hold this World Meeting of Popular Movements. We wish to bring to God, to the Church and to the world the voice of the voiceless. Not so that they raise their voice no more, but because they are silenced by those who hold economic power.

Presentation

These days, to analyse social and economic realities from the prism of the periphery, seems like a challenge. It appears that with the emergence of the biggest economies of the “third world” in the world stage the vision that places the periphery in that world, or the “fourth” one, has lost some of its purpose. The recent crisis of wealthy countries adds arguments to question traditional ways, at least in Latin America, of focusing on structures and international relations. Data on the very extensive growth, even in Africa, of the most elemental indexes of human development also seems to call for a non conventional analysis of the “centre - periphery” approach with a dynamic and complex reality unknown a few decades earlier.[1] Today even more than before, to the more classical economic dimensions one would have to add other equal or more important ones in the daily lives of the poor such as solitude, vulnerability, the inattention of their demands, the poor quality of public services, lack of public safety and many others which will not be addressed here. 

The ILO report “Global Employment Trends for Youth,” is an excellent document. It has practical approach to deal with youth's employment issues, ensuring their economic empowerment. Youth movements in the church need to take a look at this area of youth economic empowerment. Entrepreneurial opportunities and various income generation models for the marginalized youth are highlighted in this document. Labour Commissions in the church can play an instrumental role and translate this to various communities, especially the marginalized ones. I really insist one should read this, as it has helped me gain insights and ideas for promoting financial inclusion of youth through employment opportunities.

The Conference of INGOs has organized a workshop "Building Europe through Human Rights: Acting Together against Extreme Poverty on 17 October. The workshop has identified areas that can give impetus to the Declaration adopted by Council of Europe bodies on 17 October 2012.

A deep crisis

The so-called "developed" world, particularly Europe, badly supports financial crises that extend into recession. There is disagreement on ways to regain growth: labour flexibility that implies the loss of social benefits, public debt reduction with reduced investments and consequently loss of jobs, restructuration of the pensions and social security funds with its consequences of weakening of the life of the most vulnerable segments of society. The crisis hurts.

This event was held at the Council of Europe's Palais de l'Europe in Strasbourg on 21-22 February 2013.

Jérôme Grosnon, member of the Pax Romana delegation to the Council of Europe attended this event and produced the attached excellent report. Thanks to him.

The Conference pointed out the roots of the present crisis, its dangers regarding Human Rights and Democracy, moreover it proposed different solutions to eradicate poverty and promote a sustainable future for Humanity.

Excess is a common feature of the negative part of today's society (ecological destruction, accumulation of wealth). It is the result of social desease, individual (eg, toxicomania) and collective (eg, euphoria or panic in the market places).

Theme: Promoting Empowerment of People in Achieving Poverty Eradication, Social Integration and Full Employment and Decent Work for All

 Introduction

            The global economic and financial crisis continues to make an impact on the lives of people around the world.  It has been a major setback to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and the World Programme of Action for Youth.  The crisis has caused more people than ever to be living in poverty.  The crisis has also proven that youth are a very vulnerable group.  Now, as the global population reaches 7 billion, the world is in need of a strong coordination of efforts, the empowerment of civil society organizations, and true global solidarity.  With special regard to youth and the eradication of poverty, Pax Romana finds that today’s pressing issues are education, employment, and political participation.