WASHINGTON (October 12, 2006) -- The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Department of Social Development and World Peace will co-sponsor a conference on strategies for alleviating global poverty that will bring together prominent Catholic leaders, international development experts and grassroots advocates from several countries, Oct. 27-28, in San Francisco.
Point 7 Now! Keeping America's Promise To Make Poverty History will take place at St Mary's Cathedral.
Jeffrey Sachs, author of The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time, will give the keynote address. The director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Sachs was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential world leaders. Additional speakers include:
- Cardinal Renato Martino, President, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
- Peter Kimeu, Director, Catholic Relief Services' Global Poverty Solidarity Partnership of Kenya
- Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, Co-Director, Fordham Center on Religion and Culture
- Javier Iguiÿiz, Professor of Economics, Catholic University of Peru
- Charity Musamba, Coordinator, Jubilee Zambia
- David O'Brien, Loyola Professor of Roman Catholic Studies, College of the Holy Cross
- Márcia Hora Acioli, Cáritas Brasileira
- John Donahue, SJ, Professor of New Testament Studies, St. Mary's Seminary
The gathering will help mobilize a sustained national commitment for the Catholic Campaign Against Global Poverty, a multi-year effort by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services that supports economic and social development for people living in poverty throughout the world. The campaign focuses on shaping U.S. trade policies with an emphasis on overcoming poverty and promoting human development; supporting effective aid programs that foster long-term development and empowerment of the poor; and eliminating the debt burden of poor countries. The World Bank estimates that 1.1 billion people live in extreme poverty. To learn more about the Catholic Campaign Against Global Poverty, please visit www.usccb.org/globalpoverty/.
Cardinal Martino will address how the Catholic Church throughout the world can help eliminate poverty by supporting the Millennium Development Goals, in particular committing 0.7 percent of developed countries' gross national product to developing countries, halving extreme poverty, stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education by 2015. Staff from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services will facilitate a variety of working groups for parishes, dioceses, health care institutions, Catholic schools and representatives from business and labor.
The conference is co-sponsored by the Archdiocese of San Francisco's Quinn Colloquium, Catholic Healthcare West, Catholic Relief Services, the Daughters of Charity-Province of the West, the Seton Institute, the University of San Francisco's Lane Center for Catholic Studies and Social Thought, Catholic Health Association, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The cost of the conference is $100. Group rates and scholarships are available. Registration and additional information is available at www.point7now.org. Media covering the conference are admitted free. For press credentials call Julia Dowd at (415) 422-2531.