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NewsNotes, January-February 2009

In this time of transition to a new administration and Congress, the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns has joined with colleagues to craft or endorse various policy proposals for in-coming lawmakers. Below is a list, with links, of some of the statements we’ve signed or helped shape:

1) The Platform for the Common Good was developed during the election year. It offers a vision of what is entailed to make the U.S. a “more perfect union” and to ensure the common good for all.
2) Transition recommendations were prepared by the Jubilee USA Network for the U.S. Department of Treasury/International Affairs Division on policy towards multilateral development banks and the IMF; poor country debt relief; and sustainable and responsible lending for poor countries.
3) A call to the new president for responsible U.S. global engagement is a letter from members of the Connect U.S. community to President-Elect Obama calling for the U.S. to fully engage with the international community on important global issues.
4) Forging new ties is the Washington Office on Latin America’s plan for an overhaul of U.S.-Latin America relations; it represents a new vision for this country’s relationship with our hemispheric neighbors and demonstrates strategic thinking on a critical area of U.S. policy and gives clear recommendations for the next administration.
5) Open letter addressing the food crisis explores several policy options endorsed by several groups that comprise the Food Crisis Working Group.
6) Refugees International coordinated a statement from NGOs on policy toward internally displaced persons.

Other statements of note:
1) Roadmap for peace is the American Friends Service Committee’s statement that calls on the next U.S. president and administration to engage in a new foreign policy based on five core principles.
2)  Joe Volk, the Executive Secretary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation, wrote to President-elect Obama outlining five priorities for peace with justice.
3) A Policy Agenda for the New Administration from Communities of Faith is a five page statement of policy goals covering selected international peace and development issues and supported by 11 U.S. churches, church agencies and ecumenical organizations.
4) Presidential Transition Briefs is Oxfam America’s policy options for the Obama administration to address poverty, hunger, and injustice.

African Proverbs Calendar 2009: The website African Proverbs, Sayings and Stories offers a PDF calendar for 2009, available to print out for use as a wall or desk calendar.

Enough for All: Seventh Annual Ecumenical Advocacy Days, March 13-16, 2009: The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns co-hosts this annual gathering of the ecumenical Christian community. This year’s theme, “Enough for All,” will connect the workshops on climate change, migration and poverty in the U.S. and around the world. Held in Washington, D.C., March 13-16. Conference fee: $160. Registration after February 13 will be $175. Scholarships are available. Visit, write Advocacy Days or call 202-386-6397 for more information. If you are interested in attending, please let the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns know: call 202-832-1780, or send us an email..



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