EU-CORD’s Vision for Advocacy

 In Influencing Change, Sharing Knowledge

At the EU-CORD General Assembly in May EU-CORD’s new vision for advocacy was adopted. This document, which can be accessed here, sets out EU-CORD’s vision for global justice. It is the understandings and aspirations explained here that guide our advocacy work, both now and in the years to come.

The document has come from a process that has involved the EU-CORD General Assembly, the Advocacy Forum, and the input of many different individuals. Key to this document is the first sentence: “At EU-CORD we want to live out and advocate for global justice”. This phrase reflects our belief that as well as advocating for policy change we must also change our own lifestyle and actions in order to bring about the transformation we desire.

Our understanding of global justice is comprised of three aspects – social, economic and environmental. We believe that all three aspects are interconnected and are central to understanding what global justice is and how we must work towards it.

We have a shared vision for a peaceful world where basic needs and human rights are met for all, including vulnerable and marginalised people; where the economy works for all and where development doesn’t do harm to our planet. (1)

The document is split into five sections – each one is summarised briefly here:

Our faith motivation

The first part of the vision document provides our theological basis for working for global justice. We believe that as Christians our mandate to work for justice comes from God and the core beliefs about what this looks like can be found in the Bible.

We believe that every human being is created in the image of God: all people have inherent dignity, equal rights and responsibilities. We also believe in a God who is restoring broken relationships, and therefore we strive for a world that is just, peaceful and reconciled.

As EU-CORD, we take inspiration from Ecclesiastes 4:12 ‘A cord of three strands is not quickly broken’, and we therefore believe in partnership and collaboration. This applies to our programmes work as well as to our advocacy work.

Social justice: An inclusive and peaceful world where basic needs and human rights are met

There are barriers that prevent people participating in society on an equal basis with others. We want to remove these barriers and prevent new forms of exclusion, inequality and marginalisation emerging. We also want to take a stand for peaceful societies, as they are the only place where cohesion and inclusion are possible.

In a just society everybody can participate, irrespective of differences in gender, race, religion, social background, ability etc.

We have identified three key areas to work for social justice:

  1. Strengthening the voices of marginalised people so that they are able to lobby and advocate for their own causes.
  2. Calling on other development and humanitarian actors, particularly the European Union, to take the diverse needs of marginalised and excluded people into consideration in their development, humanitarian and disaster risk reduction policies and practices.
  3. Asking policy-makers to work for governance structures that contribute to more peaceful societies as well as for supporting civil society organisations with the same aim.

Economic justice: A world where the economy works for all

Economic injustice, in many forms, deprives human beings of the opportunity to thrive economically. The root-causes differ from context to context: Lack of tax justice, unfair trade agreements, lack of private property rights, government neglect of money laundering, monopolisation, modern slavery, unacceptable economic inequalities – they all affect the economic opportunities of millions in the world.

We believe that Government’s calling is to establish and maintain public justice for the common good by facilitating an economy that will result in wholeness and completeness. Governments must also work together to build international institutions and agreements that will strengthen justice, including economic, social and environmental justice, among all peoples and states.

EU-CORD, its Members and their international partners outside Europe will advocate with policy-makers at different levels, especially with the European Union for just economic policies that take social and environmental considerations fully into account.

Environment justice: A world where development doesn’t destroy our planet

A world where all ecosystems and creatures are able to flourish is also the best and only genuine foundation for social and economic justice.

The adverse impacts of human activity on the environment could undo our efforts in reducing poverty. It is vulnerable people who suffer the most from a changing climate and we must act to ensure that we stay within the recognised safe operating space of ‘planetary boundaries’.

The planet is our shared home and therefore we all have first and foremost a shared responsibility for its care.

Environment justice requires both lifestyle changes and policy changes. Although some key international steps have been taken such as the Paris agreement and Agenda 2030, more is needed and we will look into ways for pushing the EU towards truly sustainable consumption and production patterns.

Global justice: A world we want to work for together

The final section of the document outlines how these different strands of global justice are intrinsically linked. It concludes by explaining our approach to collaboration on advocacy.

Global justice is a big aim, but as a network we are bringing together a wealth of expertise and ambition.

To read the vision document in full please click here.

 

Photo credits: EU-CORD Members archive

(1) All quotes are taken from the Advocacy Vision Statement.

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