Development and Peace employees express satisfaction with recent National Council resolution

MONTREAL, June 16, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - Last June 10, 11 and 12, the National Council of Development and Peace, a catholic international solidarity movement, adopted an important resolution related to the crisis that has been rocking the organization for several months now. The latter reiterates the commitment of Development and Peace members to its fundamental mission and mode of operation.

The National Council, the movement's highest decision-making body, thus "clearly proclaimed its position to the effect that carrying out its mission and its solicitude for the poor depends upon its capacity to continue working with networks and coalitions in the Global South and North". In the resolution, the National Council also affirms that "Development and Peace must maintain its decision-making capacity within the framework of its programs and partnerships in the Global South and North, and that the foregoing is a fundamental feature that characterizes the efficiency of our programs."

The preamble to this resolution underscores that many of the organization's members and partners have been asking the leadership of Development and Peace to reconsider certain decisions, notably with regard to the direct involvement of Bishops in the South in monitoring certain partnerships and the elimination of funding for the Mexican partner organization PRODH.

This resolution comes on the heels of a series of accusations made against Development and Peace by certain ultra-conservative catholic groups who claim that the organization maintains links with partners that promote abortion or contraception. Even though the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), investigated and countered these allegations in 2009, the rumours being circulated by these groups ended up achieving their objectives regarding this long-standing partnership. Under the pressure of increasingly radical lobbying, the leadership of Development and Peace recently tried to impose fundamental changes in how things were being done with its partners in the Global South. The National Council reminded the leadership that such changes must be debated and decided upon, in a transparent fashion, in the appropriate decision-making bodies.

The Union is encouraged
The CSN Union, which represents some 60 employees in the organization, is pleased to see that the members of the National Council share the concerns of the organization's employees and that they support their international solidarity action, which first and foremost is geared towards human development.

"Compelling us to secure a letter of support from a local Bishop in order for us to partner up with a group or then again compel us to not participate in coalitions with organizations that do not defend the Church's moral agenda undercuts the very foundations of the work we have been doing for the past 44 years, and in our opinion, this would not improve the daily lives of the vulnerable citizens with whom we work," explains the President of the Syndicat des employé-e-s de Développement et paix (CSN), Marcelle Sinclair.

Special Committee
The National Council agreed to set up a five-member committee to meet with the CCCB Standing Committee and to formulate recommendations. The Union wishes its voice to be heard in these discussions: "We are the people who are best positioned to measure the impact of these changes to how we go about doing things," explains Marcelle Sinclair.

The Union also seeks to defend the principles of democracy and transparency within Development and Peace: "The National Council is where the major decisions must be made. This speaks to the very independence and autonomy of Development and Peace, a movement that we all hold dear." It should be pointed out that the resolution stipulates that the recommendations arising from the dialogue with the CCCB will have to be studied, discussed and decided upon at the next meeting of the Development and Peace national committee.

Development and Peace has been engaged in the fight for justice around the world for the past 44 years. Some 60 people work there. Their CSN Union is affiliated with the Federation of Public Service Employees (FEESP-CSN), the Metropolitan Montreal Central Council and the Confédération des syndicats nationaux. Counting some 300,000 members, this year marks the CSN's 90th anniversary.

SOURCE Syndicat des employé-e-s de Développement et paix (CSN)

For further information:

Source: Syndicat des employé-e-s de Développement et paix (CSN)

For more information:
Jean-Pierre Larche, CSN - information (514) 605-0757

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Syndicat des employé-e-s de Développement et paix (CSN)

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