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No. 46 – May 2004

From the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, the social justice and human rights
agency of the Catholic Church in Australia -

                                               official unemployment statistics would
                                               provide a more sober assessment of our
                                               nation‟s economic performance.
• From the Secretariat                         BEHIND THE OFFICIAL STATIS-
• Latest publications                          TICS
• Current issues                                 One of the fundamental realities of re-
• May Notices                                  cent economic change is that, despite a
• April News Monitor                           decade of high economic growth, Austra-
• May Social Justice Calendar                  lia‟s performance in providing full-time
                                               jobs has been poor. Indeed, there have
                                               been periods of „record growth‟ when
                                               full-time employment has declined. It
                                               has been the growth in part-time and
                                               casual employment, much of it insecure
                                               and poorly paid, which has bolstered the
FROM THE CHAIRMAN                              overall employment figures.
                                                 In such a setting the „official‟ rate of
Dear Friends,                                  unemployment is far less meaningful
  Below is the text of a Pastoral Letter       than when full-time employment was a
issued to mark the Feast of St Joseph on       more typical pattern of work.
1st May, which I invite you to consider          While „official‟ unemployment has been
and circulate in your parish and local         falling, the concentration of „work rich‟
communities:                                   and „work poor‟ households has been in-
                                               tensifying. The true extent to which
THE HUMAN COSTS BEHIND THE                     people are excluded from employment is
OFFICIAL UNEMPLOYMENT RATE                     much higher than the official rate. When
  This pastoral letter marks the Feast of      the numbers of official unemployed are
St Joseph the Worker, which we cele-           added to those who are „under-employed‟
brate in an environment of apparent            and to discouraged jobseekers, the offi-
prosperity and wealth. For many Aus-           cial rate of under 6% would more than
tralians these are bountiful times; un-        double to around 13%.
employment, we are officially told, is           The fact that there are 1.3 million Aus-
now at its lowest since 1981. It has even      tralians who are unemployed or under-
been suggested that Australia is within        employed presents a serious challenge to
reach of full employment.                      the value the Church places on the im-
  On this Feast Day, when the faithful         portance of work in the lives of individu-
are reminded of the dignity of human           als and families.
work, the Church draws attention to the          In his 1981 encyclical, Laborem Exer-
significant number of Australians who          cens, Pope John Paul II presents work as
have not enjoyed a fair share of the na-       being integral to the life and develop-
tional prosperity. Consideration of the        ment of the human person, who is des-
circumstances of people who are under-         tined to share in the making of the
employed or excluded from the labour           world. To the extent that our society al-
market but who are not included in the         lows unemployment and underemploy-
ment to continue at these levels, we are     ily to escape poverty and stay out of pov-
denying a significant number of our citi-    erty. For many, this is no longer the
zens their rightful dignity as human be-     case.
ings and withholding the means to par-         Around one million Australians are in
ticipate in the life of the community.       poverty despite living in households
  That such a denial should occur in Aus-    where one or more adults are in em-
tralia following a decade of record          ployment. The growth of casual em-
growth is all the more unacceptable.         ployment to around 27% of the labour
                                             force (or 2.2 million people), and the in-
HUMAN COSTS OF UNEMPLOY-                     secure and low paid nature of many jobs,
MENT AND UNDEREMPLOYMENT                     has contributed to „working poverty‟.
  Between 1990 and 2003, Australia in-         The minimum wage is regarded as in-
creased its production of goods and ser-     adequate to the needs of a family, but
vices by nearly 50%, while its population    irregular hours can result in people
grew by 16%; yet only 9% more people         earning less than the minimum. The
had full-time jobs. When the situation is    recent poverty inquiry showed that low-
stated in these terms, many remain un-       paid workers – particularly women and
moved. However, the picture becomes          young workers – are most susceptible to
clearer when we discover some of the         poverty. As a nation we need to consider
human costs of the relative decline in       ways to improve the security of these
full-time work and the resulting unem-       jobs and the adequacy of their remu-
ployment and underemployment.                neration.
  The Church has a great concern for the
wellbeing of families – particularly those   FAMILY FORMATION
living in poverty. This concern encom-        Another feature of persistent unem-
passes those conditions of economic          ployment and the lack of secure and
change that reduce the job and income        adequately paid employment is its im-
security necessary for family living.        pact on the structure of the family.
                                              Without the economic security that
CHILDREN IN POVERTY                          comes with employment that is stable,
 The Report of the recent Senate In-         adequately remunerated, and offering
quiry into Poverty and Financial Hard-       the prospect of progression, many cou-
ship revealed that poverty resulting         ples find the cost of starting a family
from unemployment – particularly child       prohibitive.
poverty – remains a significant problem       The collapse of full-time work and the
in Australia.                                persistence of long-term unemployment
 Since the early 1990s, the proportion of    have had a particularly harsh impact on
children in jobless households, depend-      young men. Recent research by Profes-
ing on what period we look at, has been      sor Sue Richardson of the National In-
falling only marginally, remaining con-      stitute of Labour Studies has revealed
stant, or actually increasing. Together      that over the past 25 years, there has
with the stagnation of full-time employ-     been a fall from 70% to 50% of men aged
ment, the problem of „jobless growth‟ has    25-34 getting married, holding a job, and
resulted in a situation in which a stag-     setting up a family. Over the same pe-
gering one in six Australian children        riod, male full-time employment in the
now lives in a jobless household.            prime working age group has fallen by
 Many families remain in poverty be-         10%.
cause of the inadequacies of an income        If this trend could be wholly attributed
support system that is no substitute for     to voluntary choices to become the sub-
a family wage. How can we celebrate          sidiary income earners of their house-
Australia‟s economic achievements while      hold, or full-time homemakers, there
700,000 children in poverty are denied a     would be no cause for concern. The much
decent future?                               higher rates of unemployment among
                                             unmarried men, however, suggest that
WORKING IN POVERTY                           any voluntary component of this trend is
 Not long ago, it could be said with some    small indeed. Typically, unmarried men
confidence that finding a job and receiv-    have an unemployment rate around
ing a wage was the surest way for a fam-
three times that of married men of the
same age.
 This reality, combined with the trend of
an increasing proportion of men never        *****
marrying, suggests that those who can-       LATEST PUBLICATIONS
not gain full-time employment have           (orders Tel: 02 9956 5811 or download
fewer prospects of becoming marriage         an order form from the ACSJC website:
partners and fathers. In an economic
and social environment such as this          CONTENT/PDF/TEMPLATE-
fewer men can hope to emulate the ex-        ORDERFORM.pdf)
ample of St Joseph: husband and father,
working in dignity and supporting a
family.                                      FEAST OF ST JOSEPH THE
                                             WORKER: THE HUMAN COSTS
NEED                                         Download the Pastoral Letter from the
 On the Feast of St Joseph the Worker        ACSJC                 website             -
we celebrate the importance of work to
the human person – to the whole person,      on-
to the family and to the common wealth       tent/issues/the_human_costs_behind_the
of our nation. We remember those who         _official_unemployment_rate.html (or go
are denied their rightful claim to work      to
and to the kind of work that rewards
effort, supports family living and en-       and click on 'issues')
ables participation in the life of the
 We cannot be content with our nation‟s      OCCASIONAL PAPER: FROM ETH-
economic performance while so many are       ICS TO SPIRITUALITY
unemployed or underemployed. The             Catholic Social Justice Series no.49 – Fr
challenges are complex and the solutions     Gerald Gleeson reflects on the links be-
will necessarily be multifaceted. There      tween philosophy, theology and Chris-
can be legitimate disagreement about         tian spirituality. (Cost $6.60 plus post-
solutions to these problems. However,        age).
we will fail to find adequate solutions if
we do not acknowledge the true extent of
a problem that is hidden behind the offi-    2004 SOCIAL JUSTICE CALENDAR
cial overall unemployment statistics.        The 2004 Social Justice Calendar fo-
 The recent Senate Poverty Inquiry rec-      cuses on the theme “Cultivating a Cul-
ommended a national summit on poverty        ture of Peace”. This coincides with the
involving all levels of government and       theme for the 2004 Social Justice Sun-
sectors of the community to develop a        day Statement.
comprehensive anti-poverty strategy.         Cost: $6.60 (inc. GST), plus postage.
 Today, we repeat the earlier call, in
2003, from the heads of Christian            on-
churches and leaders of the Jewish and       tent/publications/social_justice_calendar.
Islamic faiths for a national forum on       html
poverty. They identified as an important
focus the emergence of second and third
generation unemployment in Australia         POSITION AND INFORMATION
and the needs of hundreds of thousands       PAPER – DETENTION OF AUS-
of children in families that have never      TRALIAN CITIZENS AT GUAN-
known an adult in regular employment.        TANAMO BAY
                                             Website       paper      available      at:
Bishop Christopher Saunders        
Bishop of Broome                             Con-
Chairman, ACSJC                              tent/publications/positionpapers/2003_11
_at_guantanamo_bay.html                      mn?p=850)

TRADE AGREEMENT                              Caritas is rushing aid to victims of the
Available on the ACSJC website -             recent train explosion in Ryongchon     County, North Korea. Casualty figures
t/publications/positionpapers/2003_9_5a      provided by the North Korean govern-
ustra-                                       ment are 154 dead and 1300 injured, but
lia_&_united_states_free_trade_agreeme       it is feared that the actual number of
nt.html                                      victims may be much higher. After
                                             learning of the disaster, Caritas offered
(Postage rates for Catholic Social Justice   assistance such as drugs, medical sup-
Series Papers: 1 copy $1; 2-3 copies         plies and other relief goods for the vic-
$1.45; 4-5 copies $2.45)                     tims and their families. Within eight
                                             hours, a message was received from the
                                             Flood Damage Rehabilitation Committee
                                             thanking Caritas for the concern and
                                             expressing gratefulness and apprecia-
                                             tion for the help offered. If you would
                                             like to make a donation to the work of
                                             Caritas Australia please call 1800 024
CURRENT ISSUES                               4/april27.htm

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE – 29 April                 In March, Justice for Asylum Seekers
2003                                         released The Better Way – refugees, de-
Media release issued on the launch of        tention and Australians. The document
the Pastoral Letter marking the Feast of     reveals that there are viable alternatives
St       Joseph        the       Worker      to the current arrangements which are
(     achievable, responsible, affordable and,
leases.html)                                 most importantly, humane. The Better
                                             Way is available from the Melbourne
                                             Catholic Commission for Justice, Devel-
                                             opment and Peace (03) 9926 5710 or the
                                             ACSJC                             website:
ATSIC                                        Con-
The National Aboriginal and Torres           tent/pdf/risking_all_in_search_for_huma
Strait Islander Ecumenical Commission        n_rights2.pdf
(NATSIEC) of the National Council of
Churches in Australia has condemned
the decision by the Federal Government       AMNESTY              INTERNATIONAL
to abolish the Aboriginal and Torres         SCHOOL RESOURCES
Strait    Islander   Commission     (AT-     Amnesty International Australia has
SIC). NATSIEC acknowledges that AT-          produced a series of web-based resources
SIC is in need of structural reform as       for schools that deal with the campaign
reported in the ATSIC Review. How-           for permanent protection, children and
ever, abolishing ATSIC and replacing it      families out of detention and informa-
with a non-elected advisory body flies in    tion on TPVs. This information can be
the face of the principles of self-          accessed                             at:
determination and the democratic proc-
ess.                              (refer:    ning/refugees/resources/for_schools
*****                                       2004-05.doc)

MAY NOTICES                                 MAY 3: PUBLIC LECTURE, “BUSI-
                                            NESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS”. A lec-
PARISH FUNDRAISER, “RAFFLE                  ture by Prof David Weissbrodt, former
TO BENEFIT EAST TIMOR”. Our                 member of the UN Sub-Commission on
Lady of Mt Carmel Parish in Wen-            the Promotion and Protection of Human
tworthville, Western Sydney, is cur-        Rights, 6pm, Leo Cussen Institute, 1st
rently running a raffle to raise funds to   Floor Lecture Theatre 360 Little Bourke
purchase a tractor and farming equip-       Street,        Melbourne          (refer:
ment for a village in East Timor. Fr
Laurie Timms will be travelling to East     ews_and_events/news_and_events.html)
Timor mid-year to assist with the pur-
chase of the equipment. Tickets are
$2.00 ea. Or $20 for a book of 10. Raffle   MAY 4: STUDY AND ACTION PRO-
to be drawn on 29 May 2004. Great           GRAM, “FROM VIOLENCE TO
prizes including a Toyota Echo car val-     WHOLENESS”. Therese Douglas is co-
ued at $18,000. To purchase a book of       ordinating this program in the Maitland-
tickets call (02) 9631 8302 or email        Newcastle Diocese from St Paul‟s                       Church in Rutherford. “From Violence to
                                            Wholeness” is devised by the Pace e
                                            Bene Franciscan Non-Violence Centre in
APRIL 22 – MAY 30: PLAY, “IN OUR            the U.S. The program offers both a theo-
NAME”. Tells the true story of the Al       logical vision of non-violence and tech-
Abaddi family: their escape from violent    niques for use in daily life. The Program
persecution in Iraq and their attempts to   will be run every second Tuesday eve-
find a secure and peaceful home in Aus-     ning from 7.30pm in St Paul‟s Meeting
tralia. Belvoir Street Theatre, Surry       Room, Rutherford. Cost: $27.50 for re-
Hills, Sydney. Contact: (02) 9699 3444 or   source book. Contact: (02) 4932 0544 or      (02) 4930 1603.
                                            MAY 6: PUBLIC FORUM, “WEAP-
                                            ONS OF MASS DISTRACTION”.
MAY – JUNE: SBS TV SERIES,                  Former Intelligence Officer, Andrew
“ETHICS OF JOURNALISM – FINE                Wilkie addresses Australia‟s involve-
LINE”. A documentary series by Ellen        ment in the unilateral intervention into
Fanning looking at the working life of      Iraq and directions taken by Australia in
well-known journalists and the difficult    international affairs. 7.00pm, Fly By
ethical judgements they make. The se-       Night Club, No.1 Holdsworth Street,
ries will be broadcast at 7.30pm on SBS     Freemantle, Perth. Cost: $15 waged, $10
TV on: 28 April; 5,12,19 May; 2 & 9         unwaged.                           (refer:
June. An accompanying study guide can
be             downloaded            at:    ?day=6&month=5)
o/frm.htm?highlight=2                       MAY 6 – 27: COURSE, “AN INTRO-
                                            DUCTION TO HUMAN RIGHTS”,
                                            convened by the Edmund Rice Centre on
MAY 3: PUBLIC FORUM, “CHILOUT               Thursday evenings from 6.00 to 8.30pm
INFORMATION           NIGHT        ON       at the Aquinas Academy, 141 Harring-
NAURU”. Chilout is convening an in-         ton Street, The Rocks, Sydney. This
formation night that will be addressed      course will examine the scope and na-
by Democrats Leader Senator Andrew          ture of human rights from a variety of
Bartlett. Held at 7.30pm at St James‟       perspectives. It will consider the core
Anglican Church Hall,Level 1, 169-171       human rights documents and the inter-
Phillip    Street,   Sydney.    (refer:     national legal framework that supports
                                            them.                            (refer:      The Manly Catholic Social Justice
.htm)                                        Group, Islamic Society of Manly and
                                             MRA-Initiatives of Change are conven-
MAY 10: PUBLIC LECTURE, “A                   ing a community event starting at
PERSONAL JOURNEY”.              Richard      3.00pm at Cromer Community Centre,
Frankland talks about his life as an In-     150 Fisher Road North, Dee Why, Syd-
digenous person, his time as an investi-     ney. Chaired by Dr Peter McDonald,
gator with the Royal Commission into         Mayor of Manly, with speakers including
Black Deaths in Custody, his film mak-       Bishop Kevin Manning, Abdalla Eissa
ing and music, whilst sharing his per-       (Islamic Society of Manly) and Wendie
sonal perspective on current Indigenous      Wilkie (Uniting Church National As-
issues. Convened by RMIT University,         sembly). Entry by donation. Contact:
10.00 to 12.00 noon, Building 94, Cardi-     (02) 9977 6616) or
gan Street, Carlton Library, Melbourne.
Contact (03) 9926 4885 for further de-
tails.                                       MAY 25: PUBLIC LECTURE, “IN-
                                             AUGURAL           RECONCILIATION
                                             LECTURE” to be delivered by Patrick
MAY 14 – 23: EVENTS, “LANDMINE               Dodson, 6.00pm, Great Hall, Parliament
ACTION WEEK”. The objectives of              House,        Canberra           (refer:
Land Mine Action Week 2004 are: to 
raise awareness of the issues; lobby the
Australian Government to contribute
$150 million over 10 years for the reha-     MAY 26: NATIONAL EVENTS, “NA-
bilitation of victims and the removal of     TIONAL SORRY DAY AND THE
landmines in our region. For information     WEEK OF PRAYER FOR RECON-
on the events that will be held through-     CILIATION”. Events being held around
out Australia during this week, visit:       the nation to commemorate the ongoing          Journey of Healing can be found at the
                                             following                      websites:
MAY 15: PEACEFUL PROTEST,                    ey/happening.htm
“FLOTILLAS OF HOPE 2004”. A di-    
verse group of people are taking to the      conaction/nrw.html
seas to draw attention to the plight of
the 264 people (93 of those children) in-    MAY 29: OPENING, “STOLEN GEN-
terned by the Australian Government on       ERATIONS MEMORIAL”. The open-
Nauru. The protest, will set sail from       ing of the Stolen Generations memorial
Australia mid-May, arriving on Nauru         will be celebrated from 11.00am at Rec-
on the 20th June (World Refugee Day).        onciliation Place, King Edward Terrace
(refer:                                      (next to High Court, Canberra). (refer:
                                             MAY 29: MEETING, “SOCIAL JUS-
                                             TICE      GATHERING        FOR     THE
BILEE SUNDAY”. Jubilee Australia             Catholic Justice and Peace Commission
has produced information and campaign        of Brisbane is convening a gathering for
material for World Debt Day. (refer:         social justice representatives from the    parishes of the Archdiocese to deal with
0_newsletters/Supplementary%20newsle         the three major themes of National Rec-
tter.pdf)                                    onciliation, the treatment of asylum
                                             seekers, and the relationship between
                                             Christians and Muslims. Fr Frank
MAY 23: COMMUNITY DIALOGUE,                  Brennan SJ will be speaking at this
“OPEN MINDS, OPEN DOORS: Mus-                event. Beginning with lunch at 12.30pm
lims and Christians sharing common           and concluding with Eucharist at
values and living together in friendship”.   6.00pm. Contact the Commission Office
for further details: (07) 3891 5911 or      CATHOLIC BODY COMMENDS VIC                    (refer:   GOVT LOW-INCOME FAMILY SUP-       PORT: Catholic Social Services Victoria,
                                            peak body for 65 community-based wel-
MAY 29: PUBLIC FORUM, “JUS-                 fare organisations, commended the
TICE FOR HICKS & HABIB”. The                Bracks Government on its pre-budget
Western Sydney Peace Group and Can-         announcement expanding and reforming
terbury-Bankstown Peace Group are           concessions for low-income Victorians.
hosting this public event. Hear Maha
Habib, Terry Hicks, Stephen Hopper,         TENTH ANNIVESARY OF DEMOC-
and guest speakers from the NSW Coun-       RACY IN SOUTH AFRICA: As the
cil of Civil Liberties and Amnesty Inter-   world celebrated 10 years of majority
national discuss the illegal detention of   rule in South Africa, Caritas Australia
two Australians by the U.S. at Guan-        congratulated the people of the country
tanamo Bay. 6.00 to 8.00pm, Granville       for their peaceful transition to democ-
Youth & Recreation Services, 3 Memo-        racy.
rial Drive, Granville, Western Sydney.
(refer:                                     CAMPAIGNERS CELEBRATE AS     IBM UNVEIL CODE OF CONDUCT:
r/?day=29&month=5)                          IBM adopted a code of conduct for their
                                            suppliers following the British Caritas
MAY 31: FUNDRAISER, “CHILOUT                organisation's campaign on extreme
FUNDRAISER”. Children Out of De-            working conditions in computer factories
tention returns to the NSW Nurses As-       in the developing world.
sociation at 43 Australia Street, Cam-
perdown, Sydney (from 6.00pm). Screen-      POPE SAYS DEATH PENALTY
ing of the Show Mercy video, "Punished      WON'T DEFEAT TERRORISM: Pope
Not Protected" and the opportunity to       John Paul II said that the promotion of
meet Human Rights Commissioner Dr           respect for the dignity of the human per-
Sev Ozdowski on the eve of the long         son - and not the death penalty - will
awaited launch of the HREOC Inquiry         overcome terrorism.
into Children In Detention. Cost: $10.00
(refer:                                     VATICAN OBSERVER CALLS HU-    MAN        TRAFFICKING         "WORST
)                                           RIGHTS VIOLATION": The Vatican's
                                            permanent observer at the UN in Ge-
(email news of your forthcoming social      neva Archbishop Silvano Tomasi high-
justice event by the last week of each      lighted the "forced expulsions and vio-
month to:               lent conflicts" that make up the growing
                                            phenomenon of human trafficking.

                                            COMMISSION SAYS AUSTRALIA
                                            'BULLYING' EAST TIMOR: Mel-
                                            bourne's Catholic Commission for Jus-
                                            tice Development and Peace jas accused
*****                                       the Australian government of making a
APRIL NEWS MONITOR                          "greedy grab" for the Timor Sea oil reve-
                                            nue to the detriment of East Timor.
DEREGULATION: The Toowoomba                 IN VICTORIA: The death of a motorcy-
Diocese Social Justice Commission           clist west of Melbourne on Friday
called on all consumers of milk to stand    showed the need for an immediate end
in solidarity with dairy farmers suffer-    to high-speed police pursuits, according
ing the impact of de-regulation.            to Jesuit Fr Peter Norden.

                                            CARITAS        DIRECTOR           SAYS
                                            RWANDA       ANNIVERSARY         CHAL-
LENGES ALL: Caritas Australia direc-         their reporting, always seeking the truth
tor said the tenth aniversary of the         and communicating it with integrity and
Rwanda Genocide should prompt all            respect for those of whom they speak
people to consider what they can con-        and write.
tribute to communities split by violence.
                                             MAY 23 WORLD COMMUNICA-
„BASIC HUMAN RIGHT‟ OF AF-                     World Communications Day is the only
FORDABLE HOUSING: The Office for             worldwide celebration called for by the
Peace and Justice of the Chicago Arch-       Second Vatican Council. Pope John Paul
diocese called for action to counter the     II has chosen The Media in the Family:
growing threat to poor and working class     A Risk and a Richness as the theme of
residents posed by the rapid "gentrifica-    his message for World Communications
tion" of housing in inner city areas.        Day 2004.
                                               The theme chosen by the Holy Father
CARITAS CONDEMNATION OF US                   reflects his concern that the media
ATTEMPT TO BLOCK CHEAP AIDS                  should enrich family life and not damage
TREATMENT: The British Caritas af-           it.
filiate CAFOD said attempts by the
United States government to force de-
veloping countries to use more expensive
US approved AIDS drugs in return for         MAY 26 NATIONAL SORRY DAY
aid are totally unacceptable.                  From 1800 to 1970 it was the policy of
                                             successive Australian Governments to
- courtesy Church Resources' CathNews,       remove some children from Indigenous
stories       in       detail       at       families to give them a “better life”             which would eventually lead to their as-
                                             similation into White Australia. Many
                                             persons who were “removed” are still
                                             living, but these policies not only af-
                                             fected those directly “removed”. Their
                                             original families and their children were
                                             affected, as well as Aboriginal society,
*****                                        language and culture.
MAY SOCIAL JUS-                                Today, we acknowledge the past hurt
                                             and its consequences, make a public
TICE CALENDAR                                apology for this practice, and promise to
                                             move forward together on the journey of
  On every continent, journalists, editors
and publishers are murdered, assaulted,      MAY 27 NATIONAL RECONCILIA-
detained or harassed. Their publications     TION WEEK
are censored, fined, suspended and           Week of Prayer for Reconciliation and
closed down. World Press Freedom Day         National Reconciliation Week occur be-
exists to recognise the sacrifices made in   tween May 27 and June 3. May 27
the struggle for freedom of the press and    marks the anniversary of the 1967 refer-
to put pressure on the numerous coun-        endum in which 92% of Australians
tries that continue to deny their citizens   voted to include Aboriginal people in the
this basic human right. Last year 46         reckoning of the census. June 3 marks
journalists were murdered in 20 coun-        the anniversary of the High Court‟s
tries and at least 136 journalists are       judgment in the Mabo case in 1992,
currently imprisoned in 27 countries.        which recognised Native Title rights of
  This is also a day on which to remind      Indigenous people to their lands.
members of the press of the important         To promote reconciliation and maintain
duty they have to be professional in         awareness of and respect for the dignity
                                             of Indigenous peoples, always acknowl-
edge traditional peoples at every meet-     keepers are fulfilling roles as military
ing or gathering.                           observers, trainers and disarmament
                                            experts, civilian police, civil administra-
SUGGESTED WORDS OF ACKNOWL-                 tors, judges and prosecutors, economists,
EDGEMENT OF TRADITIONAL PEO-                human rights and humanitarian work-
PLES                                        ers. Others perform the more traditional
I would like to acknowledge the _______     peacekeeping functions of monitoring
people, the traditional custodians of the   ceasefires and buffer zones. More than
land on which we stand.                     1,800 peacekeepers have lost their lives
                                            in the line of duty.
This acknowledgement could be said to-        The day is intended to pay tribute to all
gether                                      the men and women who have served
We acknowledge and pay respect to the       and continue to serve in UN peacekeep-
_______ people as the original and ongo-    ing operations, as well as to honour the
ing owners and custodians of this land.     memory of those who have lost their
We commit ourselves to actively work for    lives in the cause of peace.
reconciliation and justice alongside In-      While peacekeeping by itself cannot
digenous people.                            end a war … it can prevent a recurrence
                                            of fighting. Above all, it gives time and
Site for identifying the traditional peo-   space for conflict resolution. It gives
ples of local areas:                        peace a chance.        UN Secretary Gen-           eral, Kofi Annan

PRAYER FOR RECONCILIATION                   Australian Catholic Social Justice
In the midst of conflict and division,      Council Leo XIII House, 19 MacKenzie
We know it is you                           Street, North Sydney NSW 2060. Tel:
Who turns our minds to thoughts of          (02) 9956 5811, Fax: (02) 9954 0056,
peace.                                      Email: Website:
Your spirit changes our hearts:     **
Enemies begin to speak to one another,      ACSJC Briefing is sent by email at the
Those who were estranged join hands in      beginning of each month (except Janu-
friendship,                                 ary). To subscribe or unsubscribe, go to
And nations seek the way of peace to-       the front page of the website Comments
gether.                                     and contributions are also welcome.

Let your spirit be at work in us.
Give us understanding and put an end to
Fill us with mercy and overcome our de-
Grant us wisdom and teach us to learn
From the people of the land.

Call us to justice.

(ACSJC Prayer Card)

 The date, May 29, was chosen because
on that day in 1948 the first UN peace-
keeping mission, the United Nations
Truce Supervision Organisation, began
operations with a group of unarmed
military observers in Palestine. UN
peacekeepers won the Nobel Peace Prize
in 1988. Today, more than 40,000 peace-

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