Pope Paul VI established a Pontifical Commission on Justice and Peace in 1967. Article 5 of the Encyclical Populorum Progressio states: “The purpose of this commission is ‘to awaken in the People of God full awareness of their mission today.’” The same article adds: “The name of this commission, Justice and Peace, aptly describes its program and its goal… man’s complete development and the development of all mankind.”

To achieve the same purpose and goal, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) established the Commission for Justice, Peace and Development (JPDC) in 1972. Having a mandate ‘to inspire, guide and animate at National level’, the JPDC, since its inception in 1972, has evinced much interest in the issues of Justice, Human Rights and Peace Building among people of all faiths and culture. Coordinated by the CBCI, JPDC joins hands with some other Commissions of the CBCI such as: the Commission for Women, the Commission for Labour, the Commission for Scheduled Castes/Tribes and Backward Classes, on issues concerning Social Justice, Peace building and Human Rights.

JPDC started its independent existence and operation from 2001. Continuing from the past, various attempts were made to foreground the vision and the mission of JPDC. Efforts were made to establish JPDC both in terms of concept and organisation.

From its inception in 1972, the Commission for Justice, Peace and Development (JPD Commission) of the CBCI has been closely linked with Caritas India to facilitate its operations. But form October 2001 it is functioning with a full timer under the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI).