The Foundation finds its inspiration in the words of Saint Augustine as well as in the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations
During the Intermediate General Chapter held in Dublin in 1974, the Augustinians began to reflect on the social and political dimension that their works had on the local and international level. In 1995, thaks to the work of Fr. Arthur Purcaro and Fr. John Szura, the Augustinians began to think about the usefulness of being recognized by the United Nations for the importance of the work being done by their missionaries in the world and in 1997 the Curia Generalizia Agostiniana was recognized as an NGO of the Department of Public Information of the United Nations. From the first year it was decided to entrust the representation of the Order to the UN to an Augustinian friar, beginning with Fr. Jesus Guzman who remained in the office from 2002 to 2007. Fr. John Deegan (2007-2010) and Fr. Emeka Christian Obiezu continued the work and in May 2014 the UN recognized the value of our work and gave to the Order an advancement in status, putting it among eh NGOs that are a part of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) with the name of Augustinians International. In February 2015, the Curia asked the Foundation Augustinians in the World to be a part of the project. Its competence is to involve in a greater way the Augustinian missionaries in the activities of advocacy and to support the UN in New York and to denounce the abuses committed against women, children, ethnic minorities and migrants, and to bring to the attention of the UN the needs of the most poor.
The commitment to the UN is developed in three areas: education, development, and respect for human rights.
Education because, taking up the words of Saint Augustine in the “Confessions”, no one must discriminate and all, boys and girls, must have the possibility to study. Further, study must be directed toward personal growth and above all spiritual growth and not just dictated by economic motives.
In his work, “The City of God”, we find the indications of what it means and how to foster the Development of Humanity, not centered on corporate or economic interests but rather on social equality and respect.
Finally, in his book, “On the Trinity”, Saint Augustine affirms forcefully the need to respect human rights and human dignity, independent from religious creed, social and cultural affiliation of sex.
Augustinians International, with the collaboration of the Foundation Augustinians in the World onlus, is part of the program Culture of Peace, begun in 1999 and financed by UNESCO. The program is based on six fundamental principles:
1. The respect for every human being and the dignity of every person;
2. the rejection of every type of violence (physical, social, sexual, economic and psychological) above all that which is use against children;
3. The sharing of resources in order to put an end to social exclusion;
4. To defend the freedom of expression and to dedicate oneself to the promotion of dialogue even between opposing parties;
5. To promote responsible consumption with respect for life and for nature;
6. To help to create on s single community, founded on democratic and solidarity principles, and which include women.
A work of advocacy, in order to be efficacious, must develop in collaboration with other organizations. Augustinians International and the Foundation Augustinians in the World collaborate on a permanent basis with International Catholic Organizations Network, Caritas Internationalis, Congregation of the Mission, Congregations of St. Joseph, Dominican Leadership Conference, Franciscans International, Passionists International, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur e Vivat International.
Besides, Augustinians International is a part of the following commissions: Committee on Financing for Development, Committee on Migration, Committee of Religious NGOs, Committee on Social Development, Committee on the Status of Women, Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons, Committee on Sustainable Development e del Working Group on Girls.
In order to help the work of the advocacy of the representation of the Augustinians to the United Nations, the Foundation Augustinians in the World has begun a collaboration with Caritas Internationalis, Caritas Italiana, CONCORD Italia, CIDSE, FOCSIV e Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat.
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