De Vittoria Fund

The Fray Francisco de Vitoria Justice Fund was created by the Dominican Order in 2004 and it was confirmed by the General Chapter of the Order in Cracow (2004): "We confirm the establishment of the Fray Francisco de Vitoria Justice Fund to support and sustain the presence of the Order at the United Nations." (ACTA: Caput VII: De Re Oeconomica; no. 28). One of the main reasons for the Justice Fund is to assist the Order in giving witness to the Gospel message at the frontiers and in speaking truth to the international community on justice and human rights issues. The Fund will also allow the Order to meet the ongoing and growing demands for interventions at the UN on behalf of our brothers and sisters, especially at the UN Commission on Human Rights and the UN Sub-Commission on Promotion and Protection of Human Rights. Furthermore, the Fund will serve to highlight the historical and ongoing role played by Dominicans in the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide.

 

Presence of the Order at the United Nations in Geneva

The Dominican Order has been present at the UN in Geneva since 1997. In1998, the General Council approved the creation of a non-governmental organization, Dominicans for Justice and Peace, that was granted ECOSOC Special Consultative Status at the UN, in January 2002. Dominicans for Justice and Peace has now reached a threshold in terms of growth and its capacity to meet the demands of our brothers and sisters who work with the poor and the voiceless in many parts of the world.

Our presence at the United Nations in Geneva:

  1. Serves as a place to give witness to the Gospel message at the frontiers, to speak truth to the world community and to participate in the ongoing discourse on social justice and human rights.
  2. Provides Dominicans with a greater capacity for advocacy and intervention concerning human rights violations.
  3. Promotes networking and collaboration between members of the Dominican Family working in human rights.
  4. Responds to the requests from the international community for interventions on the part of the Family on issues of justice and peace.

Purposes of the Justice Fund

  • To provide financial assistance to enable brothers and sisters from developing countries to participate in and give testimonies at the UN in Geneva.
  • To provide opportunities for members of the Dominican Family to serve in the office for a one-year or a longer period of time, in order to ensure continuity of the Order's presence at the UN.
  • To provide assistancefor interns to serve in the office for short or long terms.
  • To offer the possibility for brothers and sisters to come to Geneva for training programs.
  • To assist in the operation of the Office in Geneva.
  • To enable Dominicans for Justice and Peace to enhance their publication of reports,bulletins and other information as well as improving their web site for the information of brothers and sister.

The Office serves Dominicans for Justice and Peace in a number of ways.

  • Generally:
    • Gives testim ony of various religious groups in their joint work for human rights and for the rights of the poor;
    • Allows us to have a permanent presence in Geneva;
    • Enables the joint drafting and delivering of written and oral statement at the UN on country situations such as Iraq, Pakistan, Vieques, Chiapas, Bolivia, Brazil as well as thematic issues such as religious discrimination, the trafficking of persons, right to development, indigenous rights, the rights of the child, the human rights of women, impunity and environmental rights;
    • Provides reports on UN meetings in Geneva that are of import to Dominicans for Justice and Peace;
    • Shares reports on seminars, workshops and other events organized by the office;
    • Co-sponsors with Dominicans briefings at the Commission and other workshops organized on issues such as the right to development;
    • Creates opportunities for joint contacts for advocacy efficacy with other NGOs and diplomatic missions in Geneva;
    • Assists in prov iding orientation to our representatives at UN meetings in Geneva.
  • Administratively:
    • Offers an international headquarters address, staff and office space in Geneva;
    • Arranges visas internationally and accommodations in Geneva for our representatives;
    • Assists in making funding requests for our representative from developing countries;
    • Offers assistance and advice in fundraising;
    • Provides technical and other help in publishing newsletters or reports;
    • Assists in the accreditation process at the UN for representatives at the UN;
    • Collects and provides access to documentation and archival material kept in the Geneva Office.
    • Provides office equipment (e.g. computer, printer, telephone line) for use by representatives of Dominicans for J&P.
    • Provides space, direction and training for interns.

Location of the Fund

The Fray Francisco de Vitoria Justice Fund is located in and administered by the General Curia of the Order, at Santa Sabina, in Rome. The Fund will be used for the objective and purposes as outlined in this document.

Donations can be made to the Fray Francisco de Vitoria Justice Fund at

Francisco de Vitoria Justice Fund
Convento Santa Sabina
Piazza Pietro d'Illiria 1, (Aventino)
00153 Rome, Italy

FUTURE CHALLENGES

In dealing with human rights and justice issues at the UN level, Dominicans have embarked on a long and challenging journey. The international human rights issues that our brothers and sisters raise are often long term and cannot be dealt with expeditiously and in a short period of time. Furthermore, we recognize that these are difficult and challenging times for the protection of human rights and for speaking out for justice in a world context dominated by other issues. At times, Dominicans for Justice and Peace is called to serve as a voice of conscience at the UN. Additionally, our action as well as our voice is a sign of hope for those whose rights are violated daily in many countries where our brothers and sisters live and work.

Collaboration with the Dominican Leadership Conference (DLC) NGO Office at the UN in New York

Dominicans for Justice and Peace collaborates with the NGO Office of DLC in New York on a number of issues including: the humanitarian situation in Iraq, trafficking of persons, peace and security and poverty eradication and financing for development.

The purpose of the NGO DCL Office at the UN in New York, is:

  • to speak truth based on a commitment to the gospel
  • to be present as members of the world-wide Dominican Family
  • to situate the work for justice in a global context
  • to support, educate and collaborate with members of the Dominican Family and other organizations

The general objectives of the Dominican Leadership Conference NGO Office at the UN in New York are to complement and support the efforts for justice by the DLC and the Promoters for Justice of the Dominican Family and to join our efforts to those at the United Nations and other non-governmental Organizations in shaping a world order that is just, peaceful and in harmony with the natural world.