The Congregations of Saint Joseph at the United Nations are committed to be engaged in Social Development throughout the world, grounded in their mission to serve the dear neighbor without distinction. Social Development is about creating an environment in which people can bring their full potential to birth and lead productive lives. It embraces multiple issues, some of which are: poverty eradication, adequate employment, universal education, migration, and social integration. Recognizing that solutions to problems are best developed by those most affected, it gives priority to the input of the affected groups, making them protagonists in shaping their own life and future. Thus it has as underlying focus the empowerment of persons, which is achieved when they have a sense of their self-worth, recognize that they have the right to make choices for their own well-being and have access to opportunities and resources.
The goal of social development requires mobilization on two levels: that of government and that of civil society (non-governmental organizations). It is the task of every citizen to become engaged, working for a more just society through advocacy for good legislation as well as through grass roots movements. Since nearly 80% of the world’s population lack adequate social protection and so feel powerless to improve their position and one billion persons are struggling to move out of a situation of poverty, this is a pressing problem for governments and persons around the globe.
To learn more about what the UN is doing on this issue and the Commission for Social Development (CSocD), click here.