This October 2020, the United Nations System will celebrate the 75th anniversary of its founding. In preparation for this momentous occasion, several members of the community that represents Catholic Religious congregations came together to craft practical recommendations as to how the UN System could move forward from this fraught moment to "build back better" than it was before.
The statement they crafted offers a faith-based perspective on reform, which highlights the social principles of human dignity, option for the poor, and stewardship of creation, among others, which are cornerstones of Catholic teaching as well as the Charter and conventions of the UN. The statement has been circulated for signatures from any faith-based organization that wishes to endorse it. It was launched via an informal discussion held on September 15.
“Seventy-five years of unprecedented international collaboration have elapsed since founding the United Nations (UN) and the UN Charter’s signing. On this occasion, we, the undersigned faith-based organizations (FBOs), applaud the very many achievements of the UN System. Furthermore, as we reflect on the experience of these seventy-five years, we recognize that the UN has done much of its best and most important work on the ground when in dialogue and intentional collaboration with FBOs and members of our vast civil society networks. FBO input, guided by principles of subsidiarity and preferential option for the poor (among many others), has frequently been instrumental in ensuring that the world’s most marginalized communities are included in the design, delivery, and fruits of UN efforts on the ground. Our knowledge of grassroots realities and our roles as trusted community pillars paired with the UN’s technical support and multilateral strength have rendered FBO-UN partnerships uniquely impactful. Our shared history demonstrates that FBOs and the UN are truly stronger and better when we work together. We therefore celebrate the moments of tremendous positive impact created by the partnership between UN and FBO actors, including in the areas of popular education on climate justice and Sustainable Development Goals, confrontation of human trafficking, and provision of essential services in conflict-afflicted and remote communities.
The document is available online in three languages via the following links: