Éamonn Meehan, Executive Director of Trócaire, has been elected President of CIDSE, the international family of Catholic social justice organisations.
Mr Meehan has been a member of the CIDSE Board’s Executive Committee since 2014 and brings 30 years of experience in international development and global justice to his new role. He has been elected to the position for a three-year mandate and is succeeding President Heinz Hödl, director of KOO, the office of the Austrian Catholic Bishops’ Conference for International Development.
Upon his election Mr Meehan said, “Since its foundation over 50 years ago, CIDSE has always remained true to the call to challenge global structural injustices in order to improve the lives of the world’s poorest people. With inequality increasing, climate change rapidly advancing and war and displacement destroying the lives of millions, this challenge is even more urgent today. As President of CIDSE, I am committed to building on the work of the network and contributing to the change our world so badly needs.”
Bernd Nilles, Secretary General of CIDSE, welcomed the appointment saying, “CIDSE looks forward to the presidency of Éamonn Meehan. His experience will help the CIDSE alliance to further unite in its efforts and strategies to promote greater societal and economic transformation and to bring positive changes by putting the struggles of frontline communities at the centre of our work.”
Cardinal Peter Turkson, Prefect of the new Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, and Mr Stefano Manservisi, Director-General of DG DEVCO, were welcomed as special guests at the meeting to discuss Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home, as well as the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Éamonn Meehan acknowledged Pope Francis’ positive influence saying “CIDSE’s work is founded on Gospel values and the Church’s social teaching and has been renewed and energised by the work of Pope Francis.” Former president Heinz Hödl described Laudato Si’ as a personal “kairos moment”, saying, “It was a highlight for CIDSE and myself to be a kind of ‘megaphone’ for the Holy Father’s messages towards people, church leaders and political decision makers. I wish my successor all the best and God’s blessings.”
CIDSE is an international family of Catholic social justice organisations, working together to promote justice, harness the power of global solidarity and create transformational change to end poverty and inequalities. For more information see www.cidse.org. The election was held at the annual meeting of their Board of Directors.
Trócaire is the official overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in Ireland. For more information on Trócaire please see www.trocaire.org.