CIDSE and other Catholic organizations supporting systemic change

March 7, 2018

CIDSE is a member of GCCM’s Steering Committee.  This blog post is excerpted from CIDSE’s newsletter for this period, called “Supporting systemic change”

CIDSE Systemic Change Forum: Rethinking our relationship with nature

Deepening the CIDSE narrative

CIDSE will hold its first bi-annual Systemic Change Forum in April. Participants, among which members, partners, allies and friends, will have the opportunity to learn and engage in conversations with others and contribute in further shaping the CIDSE network systemic change strategy and narrative. They will be testing, sharing and learning, while challenging each other to think “outside the box”.  CIDSE says they are looking forward to the rich exchanges that will take place among people from different backgrounds and to the many inspirations that will feed our work and hopefully contribute to construct a more just society.  Registrations are closed but we look forward to hearing back from CIDSE and reporting here!

World Social Forum:  Another world is possible

After Montreal in 2016, the WSF is back in Brazil where it was first held in 2001. Representatives from the Secretariat, Development & Peace, KOO/DKA, Fastenopfer and MISEREOR will be involved in a series of activities with partners and allies focusing on issues such as the impact of the extractive model, business and human rights, climate change, energy and sustainable lifestyles.

After Montreal in 2016, the World Social Forum is back to Brazil where it was first held in 2001. This year, it will take place in Salvador de Bahia from 13 to 17 March under the slogan “To resist is to create, to resist is to transform!” in a difficult national political context. We are looking forward to this space where alternatives to the current economic system are explored fostering our engagement for system change.

CIDSE, through its activities will be focusing on a range of issues among which the impact of the extractive model, business and human rights, climate change and energy. The World Social Forum will also be a chance to engage discussions on sustainable lifestyles through our campaign “Change for the Planet- Care for the People”.

Together with some of our member organisations – Development and Peace (Canada), KOO/DKA (Austria), Fastenopfer (Switzerland) and MISEREOR (Germany), partners and allies, we will be involved in the following events:


Novos Paradigmas para um Outro Mundo Possível, Evitar o desastre ecológico. Construir a sociedade do bem vive
All day. Venue: tba  Organised by: CIDSE, DKA, Fastenopfer, MISEREOR, ABONG, Iser Asesoria and others.


Novos Paradigmas para um Outro Mundo Possível, Evitar o desastre ecológico. Construir a sociedade do bem vive
All day (Continuation from Day 1). Venue: tba Organised by: CIDSE, DKA, Fastenopfer, MISEREOR, ABONG, Iser Asesoria and others.

Custos Humanos E Ambientais Da Mineração, Resistências E Alternativas
13:00 – 17:00. Venue: tba Organised by: Articulación Internacional de las Afectadas y Afectados por la Vale (PACS, rede Justiça nos Trilhos e outros), CIDSE, MISEREOR, Comitê Nacional em defesa dos Territórios frente à Mineração (Brasil), Diálogo dos Povos, Federación Internacional de los Derechos Humanos (FIDH), Iglesias y Minería, INESC (Brasil), CESE; Articulação Antinuclear Brasileira, Comboni Network.


Mega hidroeléctricas (en las Amazonas) – Problemas y Alternativas / Hydropower Mega-Projects – Problems & Alternatives
Time and Venue: tba Organised by: CIDSE, Fundacion Sólon, Fastenopfer, Plataforma de Lucha contra el Cambio Climático.

Workshop with screening of CIDSE documentary “Stories of change: sustainable food for the people and the planet”
16:00. Venue: tba Organised by: CIDSE and GCCM.

As always we are looking forward to meeting representatives of civil society organisations from all over the world, exchanging and generating new ideas for a fairer and more democratic future! Come visit us and feed our debates if you are in Salvador!

To keep up-to date on our activities and thoughts about this year’s World Social Forum, please visit our website and social media, which will be updated from Brazil by CIDSE, members and partners, through articles and interviews.
Additional reading about the WSF 2018
FSM: agonie ou résurrection”, interview by Bernd Nilles, Director of Fastenopfer (Switzerland) published by Alliance Sud (21 February 2018) (also available in German)
Dossier: “Forum Social Mondial 2018”, E-CHANGER/Le Courrier, Février 2018 (French only) (see attachment)

Read more >

© World Social Forum

Lent 2018

Open up your heart and engage
With the Lenten period starting, we are called to slow down and take some time to reflect, looking both inwards and at the community around us. In his message for the season, Pope Francis invited people to renew their enthusiasm for their faith and to revive the feelings of charity in their heart. Many CIDSE members are running national Lenten campaigns and offer opportunities to reflect and engage.
Read more >



The CIDSE secretariat will join a delegation from CAFOD to visit its strategic partner SECAM (Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar) and organise a training for staff on gender equality and church based on a new tool kit developed by CAFOD to be published in March.  (Accra/Ghana, 27/02-01/03)

CIDSE will participate in the (Alternative) World Water Forum which will follow the World Social Forum held in Salvador de Bahia. (Brasilia, 17-22/03/2018)

As part of a lobby tour organised by Broederlijk Delen, CIDSE will co-sponsor an event in the European Parliament with partners from four Andean countries on the situation of human rights defenders. The event will be hosted by MEPs Helmut Scholz and Estefania Torres. (Brussels, 21/03/2018)

CIDSE will launch a new multi-media report on Principles of Agroecology at a side event during the 2nd FAO Symposium on Agroecology. Venue: Campagna Amica, Via di S. Teodoro, 74, 00186 Rome, 03/04/2018, 7 pm to 8.30 pm (tbc).

A CIDSE high-level delegation will travel to Israel and Palestine to meet with partner organisations and official representatives. (23-27/04/2018).

Watch the CIDSE website for details on upcoming activities:


CIDSE co-signed the CONCORD open letter to the European Commission on the reform of the Common Agriculture Policy. (12/2017)

The Board of Directors met with their accompanying bishops and other guests at the Irish Institute in Leuven/Belgium for the triennal CIDSE Bishops’ Forum. On this occasion, participants discussed how Laudato Si’ had inspired their work since the release of the Encyclical two years ago, and had an exchange with Fr. Bruno Marie Duffé, Secretary of the new Dicastery for promoting Integral Human Development. In the Board meeting that followed, the Directors approved the CIDSE 2018 workplan and paid farewell to Heinz Hödl (KOO/Austria, former CIDSE President) and Bernard Pinaud (CCFD-Terre Solidaire/France, CIDSE Vice President) who are both retiring and thanked them for their long support and commitment to CIDSE. They also elected a new Executive Committee member: Patrick Godar-Bernet (Partage Lu/Luxembourg).  (Leuven, 25-27/01/2018).

Members of the CIDSE thematic priorities met in Brussels to plan their respective activities and agree on a workplan for 2018. (30/01-01/02/2017)

Thanks to Manos Unidas, the CIDSE photo exhibition “Inspire Change”, is circulating among the Spanish universities of Castellón, Valencia, Murcia, Alicante and Cádiz (Spain). The exhibition captures 15 stories of people around the world who are taking action, caring for our planet and the people livings in it. After the Spanish tour, the exhibition will be displayed in Leuven/Belgium during the CIDSE Systemic Change Forum. If you are interested in hosting the exhibition, please contact Giorgio at gotra(at) The next organisation or city to host the photo exhibition could be yours!

Together with European networks and international human rights organisations, CIDSE sent an open letter to the EU and its Member States to express their deep concern about the situation of human rights defenders in the context of the post-election crisis in Honduras. (06/02/2018)

CIDSE and its French member organisation, CCFD-Terre Solidaire, along with Action Against Hunger and Oxfam France welcomed France’s decision to withdraw from the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. (09/02/2018)

CIDSE took part in a Holy See meeting which discussed plans for the December COP24 conference in Poland. (Rome, 26/02/2018)


Rapport de la conférence “Accaparement des terres en Afrique francophone“. (Abidjan, 11/2017). (French only)

Is the window of opportunity still open? Negotiating a UN Treaty on Business and Human Rights“. Report of conference co-hosted by sef: Development and Peace Foundation and CIDSE. (Brussels, 20/11/2017)

CIDSE submission to the open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights, on the occasion of the debate at the UN Human Rights Council’s 37th Session. (Geneva, 08/03/2018)

Blogs and articles

New entries on CIDSE’s blog series on gender equality: “Trudeau government brings an ambitious feminist vision to Canada’s foreign policy, but no budget to bring it to light” by Elana Wright, Development & Peace, Canada.

New entry on CIDSE’s blog series “Voices for change” : “What’s the place of transition in the Christian message?” by Daniel Wiederkehr, Fastenopfer, Switzerland.

Laudato Si’: The End of the Beginning for the Journey Toward Care for Our Common Home and One Another” by Josianne Gauthier, CIDSE.


CIDSE’s climate justice and energy intern, Giorgio Gotra is now working as Campaign Assistant. (01/02/2018)

Anya Verkamp, new Communication and Digital Transition Officer, will join the Secretariat to strengthen the Communication team. (05/03/2018)

CIDSE is looking for an External Funding Consultant. Deadline for applications: 1 March 2018. Check the CIDSE vacancies page for more information.





CIDSE is an international family of Catholic social justice organisations, working together to promote justice, harness the power of global solidarity and create transformational change to end poverty and inequalities. We do this by challenging systemic injustice and inequity as well as destruction of nature. We believe in a world where every human being has the right to live in dignity.

Members: Broederlijk Delen – Belgium . CAFOD – England and Wales . CCFD-Terre Solidaire – France . Center of Concern – USA . Cordaid – the Netherlands . Development and Peace – Canada . Entraide et Fraternité – Belgium . eRko – Slovakia . Fastenopfer – Switzerland . FEC – Portugal . FOCSIV-Volontari nel Mondo – Italy . – Luxembourg . KOO – Austria . Manos Unidas – Spain . Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns – USA . MISEREOR – Germany . SCIAF – Scotland . Trócaire – Ireland.
Valentina Pavarotti, Media & Communication Officer – [email protected]
T:+32 2 230 7722 – F:+32 2 230 7082 –


Published on 28 February 2018.
CIDSE Highlights is a bi-monthly newsletter.