Fairfield University Jesuit joins Vatican delegation to UN

Fairfield University Jesuit joins Vatican delegation to UN

Image: Richard Ryscavage Rev. Richard Ryscavage, S.J., director of the Center for Faith and Public Life at Fairfield University, has been invited by the Vatican to become a member of the official delegation of the Holy See to the 61st session of the UN General Assembly in New York. The UN General Assembly meets each year from September to November.

Rev. Jeffrey von Arx, S.J., university president, said Fr. Ryscavage's work as a member of the Holy See's UN delegation fits in well with the Center for Faith and Public Life's goal of responding to the growing global awareness of the influence of religion on public affairs. "The Center's commitment to Catholic social thought and Jesuit spirituality complements the work Fr. Ryscavage will be doing at the UN on some of the most pressing social concerns of our day."

Topics to be covered in this year's session include: promotion of economic growth, maintenance of international peace and security, development of Africa, promotion of human rights, coordination of humanitarian assistance efforts, promotion of international law and justice, disarmament, and international terrorism.

A "High Level Dialogue on Migration" will be the first special event of the General Assembly. During the ministerial-level, two-day conversation on what the UN can do to help address the issue of global migration, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn, N.Y., will head the Vatican delegation with Fr. Ryscavage serving as his consultant. A separate side event of the migration session will include a discussion about the "Human Dignity of Women: Best Practices in Migration and Refugees."

Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the head of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Fairfield University in May. Archbishop Migliore succeeded Cardinal Renato Martino, now the President of the Pontifical Council on Justice and Peace, who will be visiting Fairfield University on Monday, Oct. 1, to speak on human rights and his work at the Vatican in Rome.

Father Ryscavage is no stranger to the UN. He had previously been credentialed at the United Nations as head of the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, a non-governmental humanitarian organization that has consultative status at the UN. He also had extensive experience representing the non-governmental American humanitarian organizations at the UN as chairman of the Washington-based NGO coalition, INTERACTION. In that capacity he was also a member of the United States government delegation to several UN High Commissioner for Refugees meetings in Geneva, Switzerland.

Posted On: 09-13-2006 10:09 AM

Volume: 39 Number: 29