Good Shepherd Sisters attend international meeting of migrants and refugees
Maureen Catabian RGS, of the Women, Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation
(WJPIC) of the Good Shepherd Sisters in the Philippine Province is
participating in the International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees (IAMR) being held
November 6-12 in Mexico.
Sr. Maureen also participates in the meeting on behalf of the Asia-Pacific Justice and Peace Network.
This is the third IAMR being organized. The first was held in the Philippines in 2008 and the second in Greece in 2009.
to the IAMR, Sr. Maureen joined
some 60 people in the church sponsored conference, "Church
Witnessing with Migrants" held on November 5. Other Good Shepherd Sisters
who participated in the gathering are Srs. Adriana Perez, Juana Urbina Guerrero
of Mexico and Yolanda Sanchez of Colombia who is the communications coordinator
of the Good Shepherd International Justice and Peace Office in New York.
The group also traveled to Puerto Vallarta to join the People's Caravan against Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD).
More Info on IAMR and GFMD
The GFMD defines itself as an “informal multilateral and state-led multi-stakeholder process” that is meant to identify “practical and feasible ways to strengthen the multi-beneficial relationship between migration and development”.
IAMR1 (Philippines 2008) and IAMR2 (Greece 2009) dealt several counter punches to GFMD. First IAMR lead the opening salvo, demanding that the migrants must have a voice representing the autonomous voice of migrants and refugees – “They are talking about migration and development, without the migrants! They have always spoken for us, now we will speak for ourselves!”
The IAMR1 exposed the neo-liberal paradigm of development that has not only failed to deliver on its promise of development but actually ruined many of the underdeveloped economies.
In Athens, IAMR2 criticized the European Union (EU) Return Directive, a new policy which will drive an estimated 12 million undocumented migrants to face the prospect of arrest, detention and deportation. IAMR2 viewed it as a policy measure towards building what it calls “Fortress Europe”.
THE GFMD IN MEXICO AND IAMR3
The central theme of the 4th GFMD is “Partnerships for Migration and Development: Shared Prosperity – Shared Responsibility”. GFMD believes that such partnership – among governments, with civil society organizations, public and private sectors, and migrants – is a key tool for managing migration and still pursue its so-called “development” and “reduction of poverty and inequality” goals by 2015.
Regardless of whatever partnerships are built, these policies will not solve the realities of the current global economic and financial crisis and will remain as challenges for these engineers of neo-liberal globalization.