The Philippine Ecumenical Movement gathered for a summer reflection on Peace and Grassroots Development in Tiel (Utrecht, Netherlands), July 18-23.
Jaazeal Jakosalem, president of ARCORES International, presented a conference titled “Pursuing Peace, reflection from the heart of Pope Francis in Fratelli Tutti” and another one on “Humanitarian issues that impact the climate crisis, with emphasis on migration and the crisis of the refugees”.
The event covered topics on contemporary social issues, from global perspectives to grassroots struggles affecting the Philippines and Filipino emigrants.
In the first presentation, Jakosalem offered an overview of the need to promote peace between societies and the importance of the role of institutions in resolving the overwhelming social crisis as a requirement for peace. «There can never be peace if there is no social injustice and poverty. Peace can never be addressed in a symbolic laying down of weapons or in a political manner, but in providing comprehensive solutions to the roots of the social crisis,” explained the president of ARCORES International.
Peace and the Pope
Pope Francis affirms that if “we accept the great principle that there are rights that are born of our inalienable human dignity, we can rise to the challenge of conceiving a new humanity. We can aspire to a world that provides land, housing and jobs for all. This is the true path to peace, not the senseless and short-sighted strategy of sowing fear and distrust in the face of external threats. Because a real and lasting peace will only be possible “on the basis of a global ethic of solidarity and cooperation at the service of a future shaped by interdependence and shared responsibility in the entire human family” (Fratelli Tutti, 127).
In the second presentation, Jaazeal Jakosalem delved into the analysis of the humanitarian repercussions of the climate crisis, focusing on migration. Studies and facts from climate and humanitarian institutions have shown that “climate change is one of the main drivers of humanitarian needs and human suffering, particularly for the poorest countries. The impacts threaten to deepen already wide inequalities, leading to consequences felt by the world at large, including instability, violence and displacement” (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs).
He concluded with the following challenges: a) Participation of States and obligation to protect people and nature; b) Ensure an inclusive mitigation mechanism that addresses the adverse effects of climate change and disasters; c) Participatory response; and d) Addressing the central issues of the humanitarian crisis.