Emmaus International

For a renewed insurrection of intelligence against absurdity and in favour of justice

Jesolo, Italy, 22 April 2016

While once again, we hear hundreds of migrants have lost their lives in the Mediterranean, the representatives of Emmaus, who work in 37 countries on four continents, met in Jesolo, Italy, for their World Assembly.

The actors of Emmaus once again note the unstoppable rise in exclusion and inequality. The daily lives of the vast majority of people are shaped by the struggle to survive and the poorest amongst us are not even guaranteed minimal access to basic services – food, healthcare, education, housing and work. The outrageous logic that underpins our financialised economy, in which the most powerful rule, means that the value of human life is utterly disregarded and the environment is being destroyed rather than allowed to thrive. Conflicts, mindless violence, corruption and a lack of democracy characterise a now globalised system, whose sole objective is to maintain the dominant position of a minority.

The delegates of Emmaus unite around the values bestowed upon them by Abbé Pierre and urgently call for priority to be given to the respect forpeople and their dignity as well as the environment, for sharing, openness, solidarity and a culture of welcome.
In a climate in which people are becoming increasingly inward-looking, the notion of solidarity is being deliberately destroyed and we are faced with growing disarray all around the world, our priorities must be:

-    To develop economic activities truly based on solidarity and respect for people as well as the environment,
-    To develop actions and combats that enable everyone to access their fundamental rights,
-    To defend the common goods needed for the world to remain inhabitable for us and future generations,
-    To pursue ethical finance practices that benefit both the public and private sectors of the economy,
-    To advocate openness and freedom of movement for people,
-    To enable all people to have a full say at all levels of the decision-making process on public policy.

Emmaus International will continue its relentless fight against poverty and for the rights of the world’s weakest. It calls on people and civil society organisations everywhere to lose no time in uniting in pursuit of these two objectives.

Together, following in the footsteps of Abbé Pierre, we call for an “insurrection of intelligence against absurdity and in favour of justice”.

Together, we call upon ourselves to reach out and join forces with those working passionately to tackle the causes of poverty all around the world. We invite them to meet for a forum with all those excluded from society to discuss and formulate the alternative approaches we need to eradicate poverty.

Together, we reaffirm that “it is not enough to act, we must conquer - defeating the forces pushing against us”.