Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – Build a new agenda of coexistence by fighting poverty, social exclusion and inequalities and promoting services and rights in cities and territories. Involve the widespread territorial realities and their protagonists: administrators, associations, universities, private entities, schools, sharing experiences, doing research, dialoguing. This is the objective of the "World Forum of Cities and Territories of Peace", which is now in its third edition.
After a four-year marathon and two international events in which hundreds of cities and territories around the world participated, due to Covid-19, the third edition had to be rescheduled - with many meetings in virtual form - for the two-year period 2020-2021. After the presentation in other countries of the world, today, July 30, 2021, with a webinar held at 3 p.m. (Italian time), the Forum will be presented at the Vatican during a virtual conference entitled "Access to rights and respect of human dignity". Among the participants are representatives of the Forum, international agencies and organizations, and representatives of the Catholic Church: Pablo Vázquez Camacho Undersecretary of Citizen Participation and Crime Prevention (Mexico); Anna Barrero, from the Spanish Association for Peace Research (AIPAZ) (Spain); Fr. Xavier Jeyaraj SJ - Director “Jesuit Secretariat for Social Justice and Ecology” (Vatican City); Andrea Ferrari president of Local Peace Bodies (Italy); Fr. Dinh Anh Nhue Nguyen, OFMConv, Secretary General of the Pontifical Missionary Union (PMU) and Director of the International Center for Missionary Animation (Vatican City).
The objective of the webinar is to identify points of contact, harmony and cooperation between the themes at the center of the Forum's reflection and the Magisterium of Pope Francis, especially from the Encyclicals "Laudato Sì" and "Fratelli tutti".
The "World Forum of Cities and Territories of Peace" is a global, non-denominational network, launched in 2017 with the participation of more than 100 cities around the world (with their mayors). It also includes representatives of international institutions, national, regional and local governments, civil society organizations, universities, companies and schools: all united in the objective of building coexistence, peace and human dignity in cities and territories. The Forum is a process of reflection and global, collective and ascending advocacy that, through networks, exchange actions, educational programs or campaigns in various parts of the world, aims to promote public policies, programs and citizen initiatives that help build a true education for peace, human dignity, authentic and inclusive development, starting with young people. In 2018, the Forum received a message from the Holy Father, Pope Francis, who urged the subjects of the network to "promote the construction of the social fabric, today so fragmented by selfishness, injustice and aggression" and encouraged the territories to promote "the most fragile members, the marginalized, the discarded, so that they can have the opportunity to feel at home within a community that welcomes, integrates, supports and favors the recognition of the other in its richness and diversity". The objective of the Forum is to share options, experiences and processes so that cities and human settlements are inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. The Forum acts in the name of a positive conception of peace that "should be understood not only as the absence of armed conflicts, but also as the presence of social justice, sustainable development, the democratic exercise of citizenship, respect for the human rights within and between States". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 30/7/2021)