On Friday 21 May 2021, in the middle of the Laudato si’ Week, the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and the Anglican Centre of Rome are organizing a joint ecumenical initiative on the theme “Building fraternity, defending justice. Challenges and opportunities for Insular Peoples”.
The conference aims to explore concerns about the human rights and peoples' rights situation in the specific context of insular states, including social and environmental challenges, in light of Pope Francis' Encyclical Letters Laudato si' and Fratelli Tutti. It will be held online from 2 pm to 5 pm (CEST time). The event is also intended to give visibility and express solidarity with the populations concerned, as well as to build networks of solidarity with a view to joint action.
Among the topics that will be examined are the rights of indigenous peoples, the right to self-determination and the sovereignty of peoples over their natural resources. At the same time, the event will explore the contribution of insular peoples to building a more inclusive and just world, especially through "reflection proceeding from a religious background that gathers centuries of experience and wisdom" (FT, 275).
The initiative will concern the insular peoples of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans and will involve local actors, such as government authorities and civil society organizations, following an ecumenical and interreligious approach. The conference will also involve young people from the regions concerned.
During the opening session, after introductory greetings by Card. Peter K.A. Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, and Rev. Michael Burrows, Bishop of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory, Ireland, and Chairman of the Board of Governors, a message from the Holy Father Francis will be read and a videomessage from the Archbishop of Canterbury, His Grace Justin Welby, will be screened. The first session, which will address issues of common interest and be jointly moderated by Card. Turkson and Archbishop Ian Ernest, Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome, will feature papers by: H.E. Wavel Ramkalawan, President of the Republic of Seychelles; Jack Palmer-White, Permanent Representative of the Anglican Communion to the United Nations; Maribeth Stewart Blogoslawski, Vice-President General of the World Union of Catholic Women's Organizations (WUCWO).
In the second session, dedicated to issues of local and regional interest, Prof. Raymond Ranjeva, President of the Académie Malgache, former Vice-President of the International Court of Justice; Rodne R. Galicha, Executive Director of Living Laudato si' Philippines; H.E. Howard Gregory, Archbishop of the Anglican Diocese of Jamaica; H.E. Msgr. Peter Loy Chong, Archbishop of Suva-Fiji, President of Caritas Fiji; Dame Meg Taylor, DBE, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. The third session, entitled "Building bridges: for regional cooperation", will be moderated by Sr. Georgeanne Marie Donovan, Superior General of the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary. Speakers will include: Sheran Harper, President of the Mothers' Union, on the role of women; Maria Krabbe Hammershøy, Vice- President of Justice and Peace Europe, on the perspectives for justice and peace; Julianne Hickey, Director of Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand, on the Caritas perspective; Fe'iloakitau Kaho Tevi, Convenor Pacific Region, Nia Tero, on the perspectives for young people.
The last session, moderated by Msgr. Segundo Tejado Muñoz, Undersecretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, will be dedicated to the concluding remarks of Card. Peter K.A. Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and H.E. Archbishop Ian Ernest, Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome.