Franciscans Prepare to Address Concerns in Brazil
Franciscans gathered from across Brazil in July for a ‘Workshop on the Second Round of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and the Environment in preparation for Rio +20 Conference’, co-sponsored by FI, the Franciscan Family of Brazil and SINFRAJUPE (Brazilian group of Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation).
A main outcome from the week-long event is that Franciscans in Brazil have committed themselves to developing a stakeholder report for the second UPR cycle. It is likely that a joint report will be developed together with another civil society partner. Following training from FI staff including FI’s Regional Director of Asia-Pacific, Mateusz Tuniewicz (RIP), participants will run small workshops throughout Brazil to share their knowledge and gather information on in-country human rights concerns.
The workshop also focused on the forthcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil in June 2012. FI Advocacy Officer for the Environment, Sr. Odile Coirier FMM, gave a comprehensive overview of the conference and described how they could get involved. They discussed pressing issues concerning the environment that need to be addressed and decided to take up the issue of “Green Economy and Poverty.”
Held during the Pentecost weekend, participants were reminded of the important image of Spirit as “Fire” who brings to us many gifts in our work for peace, justice and the care of creation. At the conclusion of the workshop, Friar Michael Lasky OFM Conv., FI’s Regional Director of the Americas, reminded everyone of the words of St. Clare who asks us to daily: “Place our minds before the mirror of eternity, in the brilliance of the Fire of God’s glory.”