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A purposeful meeting was convened on Monday, 18 March 2024, between the General Office for JPIC in Rome and Franciscans International in Geneva, at the Curia Generalate OFM.

This was the first meeting between the two offices in 2024. From the JPIC office, the attendees were Br. Daniel Rodriguez Blanco (director) and Br. Taucen Hotlan Girsang (vice director). While from Franciscans International, there were Mr. Blair Matheson (Executive Director) and Mr. Budi Tjahjono (International advocacy director).

The main objective of the meeting was to strengthen and enhance the synergy and collaboration between the two offices, which had already been established, by bringing to the table what the focus of each office would be throughout 2024. In the spirit of the Franciscan charism, the meeting opened by laying out two important agendas to be discussed, namely the cooperative involvement in the Franciscan Network (Americas, Mediterranean, Asia) and how to engage in international meetings and what could be further developed in the future.

During the discussion, the JPIC Office first explained what programmes are ongoing and being carried out through the Franciscan Network, including a number of challenges that are being faced in running the programme, especially when assisting refugees and migrants. At this stage, the JPIC Office presented the needs for knowledge and awareness of strategic advocacy programme to the Franciscan friars and some of the volunteers who working in the Franciscan Networks.

Then, Franciscans International explained the spirit of Franciscans International and the essence of its presence, that is, the perspective of defending human rights through advocacy, especially for the poor and marginalized, who are no longer able to defend themselves. Its mission is to bring human rights issue from the countries where the Franciscans work to the United Nations assembly.

In the next stage, the discussion continued to address areas where the two offices could amplify their strategic cooperation, namely, to intensify collaboration in the field of human rights advocacy including the rights to a healthy environment both in conferential level (through Franciscan Networks) and in international level (UN in Geneva).

Another thing that was discussed further was matters related to Franciscans International involvement in International Level Meetings for environment degradation such as the COP, which although not directly related to the human rights but there is a connection when talking about the human right to a healthy environment. From this point of view, Franciscans International is possible to participate in international meetings which the JPIC Office can also be involved in.


Br. Taucen Girsang

Br. Daniel Rodriguez Blanco