Actions Panel

Dialogues for Justice, the Public Interest, and the Common Good : From the Margins and the Frontlines

When and where

Date and time


Church of St. Francis of Assisi San Damiano Hall 135 West 31st Street New York, NY

Map and directions

How to get there


Please select a ticket for the full day event AND one ticket for the afternoon dialogue sessions that will be held from 14:00 - 16:00h for a total of two (2) tickets. This secures your registration for the full day event and participation in one of the breakout dialogue sessions of your choice.

Costs and arrangements for travel, including visas, accommodation and transportation are the sole responsibility of participants. No individual invitations or other letters will be sent to registrants by the event organizers.


Member States of the United Nations have set 2015 as the year when they chart a new course for humanity – a path toward “sustainable development” that “leaves no one behind” and protects the planet. After nearly three years of consultations and intergovernmental negotiations, the document entitled “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” was finally agreed by Member States’ consensus on 2 August. This will be formally adopted by Heads of State and Governments at the United Nations Summit for the post-2015 development agenda scheduled for September 25-27, 2015.

On September 28, the day after these leaders’ global summit on development, we will hear voices from the margins and the frontlines who are worst affected by the current unjust and unsustainable mode of development in the world. They will take stock of the declaration and pledges made by global leaders in relation to their struggles against land grabs, austerity, rapid urbanization and migration, militarization, gender-based violence, and other problems impacting marginalized groups in society, especially in the global south.

The event will also consist of dialogues among grassroots groups, faith-based groups, social and environmental justice activists and advocates from all corners of “our common home”, reflecting the local in the global and the global in the local. It will also be a space for propounding solutions to peoples’ basic problems including those that governments are currently not addressing inasmuch as they go against entrenched elite interests and the status quo.


10:00 – 12:00nn. The Gaze from the Margins and the Frontlines

The morning forum/panel will consist of speakers from different constituencies representing marginalized and frontline communities including: women, youth, workers, peasants, indigenous people, migrants, the urban poor and cooperatives. They will be asked to share their reflections on the outcome of the UN Summit on the Post-2015 Development Agenda in the light of their human rights claims, demands for justice and system change.

13:00 – 14.00h. Discerning Power: from the ground to the summit

Resource speakers will discuss the actual and potential role of the United Nations, multilateral institutions and member states in advancing or hindering development justice and the common good. In particular, the impacts of the US government’s foreign and domestic policies not just on the US population but globally will be given attention.

A faith-leader will also reflect on the UN summit’s outcome using the lens of the Laudato Si followed by a civil society representative who will introduce the Global People Surge for climate justice and system change, a new international movement of frontline communities and advocates for genuine solutions to the climate crisis based on social justice and science.

4.00 – 16:00h. Dialogues for justice, the public interest and the common good

There will be simultaneous workshops where smaller breakout groups can discuss and brainstorm on how to engage governments and the UN system (campaigning and advocacy) on major issues and trends that are threatening peoples’ rights and the environment. This may include:

1. Austerity and privatization

2. Wage depression and job insecurity

3. Land, water and resource grabbing

4. Environmental degradation and climate change

5. Forced migration and human trafficking

6. Unfair international trade and financial system

7. State repression and militarization

16:00 – 17:00h. Continuing the journey

The workshop groups will report-back to plenary. There will also be plenary discussion on possible ways of coordination and follow-up towards agreeing on and promoting a peoples covenant for climate justice and system change.

17:00 – 18:00h Reception with media

There will also be a photo exhibit at the venue with the theme “Is this what development looks like?”