During the meeting Mr. Guterres expressed his appreciation for the work of Franciscans International, noting the overlap of United Nations and Franciscan values in their aim to eradicate poverty, combat climate change, and promote peace. He also stressed the important role of civil society in an international context where multilateral cooperation is increasingly under threat.
The IBD used the opportunity to highlight the work done by Franciscans International to connect the dots between advocacy at the UN level and the challenges faced by people at the grassroots. This included a toolbox by UNICEF, which recently cited our work with Franciscains-Benin to fight ritual infanticide as a best practice.
The board also expressed its concern about reprisals against Franciscan sisters and brothers in Central America and the Philippines, who have been repeatedly threated because of their human rights work.
The meeting closed with Mr. Guterres expressing his support for the future work of Franciscans International.