The eighth edition of the Social Forum of Migrations took place in Mexico City from November 2-4, 2018. The Forum, born in 2001, is an initiative geared to research and the building of a fair and caring society for a world of greater solidarity. Taking part in the opening of the works are H.E. Carlos Aguiar Retes, Archbishop of Mexico and H.E. Archbishop Franco Coppola, Apostolic Nuncio in Mexico. Also attending the meeting is Father Michael Czerny, S.J., Under-Secretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Integral Human Development.
Here is a ZENIT translation of the Message that Pope Francis sent to the participants in the 2018 Social Forum of Migrations.
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The Holy Father’s Message
To the World Social Forum of Migrations
Mexico City – November 2, 2018
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
I am grateful for the invitation, extended by the organizers of the World Social Forum of Migrations, to address a few words of encouragement to you, at the beginning of the working sessions.The program of action of the eighth edition of the World Social Forum of Migrations recalls the mandate of the prophet Jeremiah, sent by God “to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant” (Jeremiah 1:10). As at the time of the prophet, so today there are evils to pluck up, injustices to break down discriminations to destroy, privileges to overthrow, dignities to build and values to plant.
The positive transformation of our societies begins by the rejection of all injustices, which today seek their justification in the “disposable culture” — a “pandemic” sickness of the contemporary world. This opposition placed as a first implementation of justice, especially when it’s able to give voice to the “voiceless.” And among the latter are the migrants, the refugees and the displaced, who are ignored, exploited, violated and abused in the culpable silence of many.
However, the transforming action is not limited to denouncing injustices. It’s necessary to identify concrete guidelines for concrete and viable solutions, clarifying the roles and responsibilities of all the actors. In the migratory realm (migrate) the transformation (transform) is nourished by resilience (resist) of the migrants, refugees and displaced, and it takes advantage of their capacities and aspirations for building (build) “inclusive, just and solidary societies, capable of restoring dignity to those that live with great uncertainty and are unable to dream of a better world! (Message to the Executive President of the World Economic Forum, January 23-26, 2018).
This Forum intends to address seven key topics directly related to contemporary migrations: human rights, borders, political impact, capitalism, gender, climate change, and transnational dynamics. They are very important topics that deserve a careful and shared reflection among all the actors; a reflection that seeks the integration of the different perspectives, recognizing the complexity of the migratory phenomenon. And it’s precisely because of the complexity that for two years the International Community has committed itself in the development of two processes of consultations and negotiations, whose objective is the adoption of two global pacts, one for safe, ordered and regular migration, and the other for refugees. As a contribution to these processes, the Migrants and Refugees Section, under my direction, has prepared a document entitled “20 Points of Action for Global Pacts, which advocates a series of effective and accredited measures that constitute, as a whole, a coherent response to the challenges posed at present. The 20 Points are articulated around four verbs: receive, protect, promote and integrate, which summarize the answer to the “challenges posed to the political community, the civil society and the Church” (Address to the Participants in the International Forum on “Migrations and Peace,” February 21, 2017, by the migratory phenomenon today.
Many of the stated principles and the suggested measures in the 20 Points of Action coincide with the statements the organizations of the civil society have subscribed to, with the desire to contribute to the process initiated by the United Nations in view of the World Pacts. Notable, likewise, are the coincidences of principles and measures among the 20 Points and the final text of the Pacts themselves.
Beyond their limitations, which the Holy See has not failed to point out, and of their non-binding nature, the World Pacts constitute “a frame of reference to develop political proposals and to put concrete measures into practice” (Message for the 2018 World Day of Peace, November 13, 2017). As for any action of global scope, the implementation of the recommendations and suggestions contained in the World Pacts requires the coordination of the efforts of all the actors, among whom, you can be sure, the Church will always be” (Address to the Participants in the International Forum on “Migrations and Peace,” February 21, 2017). Therefore, I hope I can count on the collaboration of all of you and of the organizations that you represent in this Forum.
The same collaboration is required to improve bilateral and multilateral agreements in the migratory realm so that they are always for the greater benefit of all: migrants, refugees, displaced, their families, their native communities and the societies that receive them. This can only be achieved with a transparent, sincere and constructive dialogue among all the actors, in respect of the roles and responsibilities of each one.
I wish to take advantage of this occasion to encourage the organizations of the civil society and the popular movements to collaborate in the massive diffusion of those points of the Global Pacts that are geared to the integral human promotion of migrants and refugees — as well as the communities that receive them — evidencing the good initiatives proposed. The same organizations and movements are invited to commit themselves to a more equitable allotment of responsibilities in the assistance of those requesting asylum and refugees. Likewise, their performance is determinant to identify promptly the victims of trafficking, carrying out all the necessary efforts to liberate and rehabilitate them.
Finally, I ask the intercession of the Virgin Mary, under the name Our Lady of Guadalupe, to take care of you and support you with her maternal help in your activities in favor of migrants, refugees and displaced.
May God bless your work over the next days.
Vatican, October 26, 2018
© Libreria Editrice Vatican[Original text: Spanish] [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]