AMERICA/ECUADOR - "We have taken the first step, Ecuador needs us to continue walking together": dialogue tables concluded

Wednesday, 19 October 2022 peace   social situation   dialogue   catholic church  


Quito (Agenzia Fides) - Four great reflections and as many challenges have emerged at the end of the work of the "dialogue tables" attended by representatives of the government, indigenous and social organizations, the Church, experts and guests , to discuss the main issues of life in the country. The final document summarizes in these words the four fundamental points that emerged: "We are a unitary, multinational and intercultural State. We are all responsible for the proper functioning of the State. Political power is at the service of citizens and the common good. Dialogue is the only responsible way to resolve conflicts".
In each of these points, different challenges to be faced are indicated. First, eradicate all forms of colonialism and hostility that seek to fragment and oppose cultural differences, especially the weakest. "Never enemies, but companions, brothers and friends who share a single homeland." The second challenge is to educate oneself not only to demand that the State fulfill its constitutional and legal duties, but also to contribute to its financing and progress. "A civic education in rights and duties is necessary that contributes to the strengthening of the Ecuadorian State and its democratic institutions."
In addition, the third challenge points out that politicians and all State officials must be held accountable, so that they do not serve their personal or partisan interests, but rather the great aspirations of citizens, who
"many times lack the minimum to live with dignity, such as the lack of work, education, health and safety, among other things". The last challenge is to ensure that in all areas of human coexistence a pedagogy is applied that implies a serene and transparent dialogue, based on listening, empathy and cooperation. "At all levels of the country we have to overcome the idea that talking to those who think differently to seek agreements means betraying one's own point of view."
After the general mobilization that marked the country for 18 days, including episodes of violence, the Peace Acts signed on June 30 by the government and indigenous and social organizations, provided for dialogue on various issues of social, economic and policy, asking the Catholic Church to be a guarantor. Next, a coordination table and ten technical tables were created, which concluded their work on October 12 (see Fides, 1/7/2022; 19/7/2022).
The final document signed by the Presidency of the Ecuadorian Episcopal Conference, dated October 14, 2022, highlights that the Bishops have accepted the task of guaranteeing dialogue in these difficult times at the request of indigenous and social organizations and the Government, but above all of all Ecuadorians, beyond any ideological or political difference, as children of the same land. "When it comes to guaranteeing peace, seeking justice, dreaming of a new country, it is worth taking any risk, and no one should hide or exclude themselves, for fear of losing prestige or good name," they write in the document.
In addition, the bishops reaffirm their task: to facilitate dialogue, accompany the process and officially disseminate the results of the dialogue tables. They then express their gratitude to all the participants who have intervened, "with dedication, patience and perseverance" in this process, and conclude with this statement: "We have taken a first step, Ecuador needs us to continue walking together". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 19/10/2022)