CCIC International Catholic Centre for Cooperation with UNESCO : Declaration of Civil Society for the 20th Anniversary of the International Year of the Family – 15 May 2014

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International Catholic Centre for Cooperation with UNESCO
Declaration of Civil Society for the 20th Anniversary of the International Year of the Family

The representatives of civil society, grouped in the International Catholic Centre for Cooperation at UNESCO – CCIC – a platform regrouping more than 35 NGOs,

Noting the rights of Family as recognised in Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

Recognising that families, the essential basis of society carry out a crucial role in social development, by the functions that they fulfil, particularly the maintenance, the education and the socialisation of the children. Educating in the values of citizenship and belonging to society. Procuring material and immaterial care for their members, all during their lives. Protecting as best they can the sick, disabled and isolated persons from the harshness of life.
(1),

Recalling the importance of this support in a growing context of uncertainty and vulnerability, whereas the families are finding it increasingly difficult to fill the roles which are entrusted to them. (2),

Underlining that the policies centred on the family have proved their efficiency in the framework of social development and that the success of the Aims of the Millennium for Development is linked to the contribution of the families (3),

Expressing the desire to collaborate with ECOSOC on family issues, including the preparations for the AIF+20 celebrations (4).

Hails the Appeal of the United Nations for this celebration in 2014, takes note of the opportunity to review the policies favourable to the family in the general context of development efforts (5), supporting the objective aiming to respond to the challenges facing families, directing national efforts for the benefit of families in the world (6), integrating a family perspective by setting up an evaluation of the impact of all policies on family life (7);

Calls on the Member States to establish policies aiming to give the families living conditions that are sustainable, accessible and respectful of persons aiming to give families conditions of life that are lasting, accessible and respectful of the person ; to recognise their role for social cohesion and the economic development of their countries;

Anticipates and encourages particularly the Member States to set up measures to cope with the two challenges identified by the General Secretariat for AIF+20 : on the one hand, the eradication of poverty and social exclusion, and on the other hand, intergenerational relationships and the aging of the populations.

Notes : (1-2-3) Report of the General Secretariat of 29 Novembre 2010 A/66/62-E/2011/4 ,n.3 and Resolutions, 28 November 2012,A/C./67/L.12/Rev.
(4) ECOSOC 30 August 2012,E/RES/2012/10
(5-6-7) Report of the General Secretariat 11 November 2011, A/67/61-E/2012/3,n.57

Submits the following recommendations drafted by the CCIC, following the organisation of a day-long Meeting in Paris (France) on 15 Mai 2014, devoted to these two themes and illustrated by the practical activities of its members in different regions of the world.

I-a Foster the best conditions of peace possible, an essential factor for family life; and consider them as places of hospitality where the equal dignity of persons is due to each of its members, whatever his or her sex, age, state of health or disabilities;

I-b Consider the families as important partners of the societies in which they live; recognise in them through the associations which group them, field experts for the implementation of the policies which concern them.

I-c Consider the support given by the families as far as responsibilities, primary care and development are concerned as an investment for the future of societies and their well-being.

I-d Consider, in respecting the principles of subsidiarity, proportionnality and universality, the implementation of a family policy, as well as a social policy, as an efficient rampart against great poverty and the social exclusion of families.

II-a Consider the support given to the aging, through family, friendly and inter-generational links as participating in social cohesion, the fight against isolation and as a means of transmitting the integrated values of culture and civilisation.

II-b Implement the best means which would foster the stability of conjugal structures, a factor of links between the generations. Consider in local policies the specific contribution of transitional generations (between young children and aging parents) by implementing the means of accompaniment.

II-c Consider the aging of disabled persons by assuring them the best possible conditions of accommodation and life, especially when their own parents die.

II-d Assure the respect due to the dignity of senior citizens, whatever their state of health and their accommodation, under the control and with the aid of their family and society as a whole. The new means of communication can be an effective aid for the exchange of news, but they cannot take the place of contacts and visits.

II-e Guarantee the respect of all persons at the end of their lives, by giving them adapted care without deliberately causing death. This unavoidable stage of human life should be prepared and accompanied, in respecting all the constitutive dimensions of each and every person. .

Drawn up in Paris on 15 May 2014,

Christine Roche
CCIC President

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