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Read Update No. 25Update 25 media

This Update Update March 2017, provides us with lots of interesting information and links. We have a Reflection from IBVM General Leadership on the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda as an integral framework for implementing our Christian and religious charism and our General Congregation Orientations or calls. As an institution called to be where the need is greatest, universal social protection as proposed by the NGO Committee on Social Development is a way forward.  Read about Global citizenship both at the United Nations and from our network, preparations for the “Oceans Conference”, learnings from the Holocaust , brave young girls from Darjeeling, India, awareness raising on Human Trafficking in Ireland. Remember and recognize the Afrolatino Community . Libby Rogerson IBVM recently arrived comments on International Women’s Day. Note link to IBVM Canada on International Women’s Day.

International Women’s Day 2017 8 March for web

On March 8 every year, International Women’s Day is celebrated to celebrate women and their achievements. Women have come a long way in their struggle for equality, but there is still a long distance to cover.  This year, the United Nations calls upon all actors, that is all of us, to “Step It Up for Gender Equality towards a Planet 50-50 by 2030.  Watch a video of Libby Rogerson IBVM speaking from our office in New York.  Read the information sent by IBVM Canada on International Women’s Day

Workshop during 55th Commission on Social Development Good three

The Coalition for Global Citizenship 2030 organized a workshop on “Education for Global Citizenship in Eradicating Poverty: A Crowdsourced Conversation”  It explored how global citizenship interfaces  with all aspects of SDGs in the process of eliminating poverty taking as its starting point the Statement submitted by the Coalition.  We were privileged to have as First Respondents H.E Ambassador Hahn, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the UN and Mr. Maxwell Haywood, Focal Point on Cooperatives DSPD/DESA. It included a lively crowdsourced input by the participants.  The workshop was moderated by Cecilia O’Dwyer, Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary/Loreto .


CSocD50 Civil Society Forum

Forum NGO

The theme of this year’s Civil Society Forum, held on 30 – 31 January 2017, was “The Social Protection Floor Initiative (SPFI) – Bridging the Gap to Poverty Eradication.”  The civil Society Declaration reads:  ‘The institution of social protection, including floors, is one of the clearest means of fulfilling the vision of eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development for all. The concept of protecting at risk or vulnerable citizens is rooted in the recognition of the equal moral worth of all members of society – in short, it puts people at the center and leaves no one behind. Every member of society has the human right to social protection, which must translate into the establishment and maintenance of social protection floors as a fundamental element of national social security systems. Progressively, social protection – in order to fulfill its potential of involving all people in the development of their communities – must gradually extend beyond the implementation of floors towards ever more comprehensive systems.  Read the  Civil Society Declaration .


The 55th Commission for Social Development. CSocD

The fifty-fifth session of the Commission for Social Development (CSocD55) took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 1 to 10 February 2017. The priority theme for the 2017-2018 review and policy cycle is “Strategies for eradicating poverty to achieve sustainable development for all”. NGOs submitted written statements prior to the session. Read the joint statement in which we recall the words of ILO Director General Juan Somavia:” The world does not lack the resources to abolish poverty; it only lacks the right priorities” .  We encourage governments and NGOs to build coalitions of local NGOs and Faith Based Organizations to engage in public policy processes.  It is essential that the people concerned, those living in poverty, are actively involved. We focus on rural farmers who would benefit from social protection, from improved management of land and water resources, access to land ownership. We note the negative effects of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) and the impact of climate change on agriculture and especially for impoverished rural farmers.  Read Joint Statement to CSoCD here.


UPDATE January 2017 Update 24 

Read all the interesting information in Update January 2017 !  To begin with we have the recent changeover of UN Secretary General.  The US sends a Cabinet Exit Memo which gives an excellent overview of the work of a Member State Mission to the United Nations. How are we doing with the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda?  We hear from Mauritius, Canada , South Africa and Youth at the UN.  Emma, our Youth Representative, has been following the new youth- friendly version of the “Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women” (CEDAW). Read about work on Human Trafficking at the United Nations and IBVM in Ireland and Peru.  Two of the main UN Commissions are around the corner and an important process moving towards the banning of nuclear weapons is in the pipeline.


UPDATE  November 2016Update 23

Read UN UPDATE November 2016 . We are one year into the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.  Our Youth Representatives has a message for us. Some keep on looking at ways to end war.  Others remind us of our Human Rights. How are our cities doing?  Members of our network show us what they are doing about their city and about Human Trafficking.  One member received an award for her work on Human Trafficking recently. We show our concern on the situation of women and girls and we are happy to share as our country prepared to address climate change.


UN Update, October 2016Update image

Welcome to UPDATE October 2016 Read Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s Final Report to the General Assembly. It provides us with an interesting overview of the work of the United Nations in recent years. Province UN Representatives, essential for development of relationship our work with United Nations with that at local and national level. How does our translator experience the job? Read about all the powerful and amazing things that are happening throughout our network. See the many ways in which we work as part of the International Community to create a more humane, just and sustainable world.


This new UN Update, UPDATE August 2016,  brings lots of interesting information about events at the United Nations and throughout our network.  It is almost one year since the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda was adopted. You can test your knowledge of the 17 SDGs. See young girls’ interpretations of the SDGs.  Meet our Youth Representative, Emma O’Kane. The situation of migrants and refugees is constant focus at the United Nations.  You will also find information of efforts from our network. Watch a video with our comments on the Town Hall Meeting with candidates for Secretary General. Read comments on UNCTAD 14 from members who participated.  Participants at the UN DPI NGO conference held in Korea are working on commitments made there.

Let’s Ratify the Paris Agreement!Ratify

UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon has asked world leaders to ratify the Paris climate agreement on 21 September at a “special event” during the General Assembly meeting in New York. On 12 December 2015 the Paris Agreement was adopted. On 22 April 2016, 175 that signed the Paris Agreement at the United Nations.  As of 3 August 2016, only 22 of the 180 States now signatories of the Paris Agreement have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval.  The deal requires the backing of 55 countries covering 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions to enter into force. Contact your President, Prime Minister or Minister for the Environment with the content of this letter.


The 14th United NaGrouptions Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), held in Nairobi, Kenya from 17 – 22 July 2016, closed with the adoption of two crucial documents. The two documents – Nairobi Maafikio and Nairobi Azimio – are aimed at ensuring fair trade between developing countries and developed nations as well as ensure action is taken on previous agreements. Five IBVM Sisters, Teresia Wamuyu, Eunice Njeri Ndabih, Selina Cherono Byomdo Veronica Mwanganga and Roselyne Ayienda took part in the Conference, Civil Society Forum and Youth Forum thanks to collaboration with the Sisters of Notre Dame (SND).

The ‘Nairobi Azimio’ document is a political declaration representing a broad expression of the social and economic state of the world. The Nairobi Maafikiano focuses on four main areas and the role UNCTAD has to play in each of these areas: The role of UNCTAD with regard to the challenges and opportunities in multilateralism for trade and development ; The role of UNCTAD in promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth through trade, investment, finance and technology to achieve prosperity for all; in advancing economic structural transformation and cooperation to build economic resilience:  and in the effective implementation of and follow-up to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and relevant outcomes from global conferences and summits, as related to trade and development.

You are invited to read the comments made by Selina Cherono IBVMEunice Ndabih ibvm , Veronica Mwangangi ibvm, and Roselyne Ayiende IBVM on the Conference.


Here is our first contribution to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals!


The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda is effective as of 1 January 2016. This means that we, civil society, have said through our political leaders that we are determined to end poverty and hunger, and ensure a life of dignity for all.  We are determined to protect our planet from degradation, to ensure that all human beings have prosperous and fulfilling lives, in peaceful, just and inclusive societies. We are saying that we will work together in partnerships to for People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership. “Transforming our World: the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda” is comprised of Declaration, 17 Goals with 169 Targets, followed by the Means of Implementation and Global Partnerships and finally, Follow up and Review.

We are happy to share the contributions made by members of our network in several countries.  In October 2015 we held four webinars, two in English and Two in Spanish.  Now we have short videos of the individual speaks as they inform us about the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the means of implementation, follow- up and review. The inspirational Declaration is also included in the recordings. We invite you to spend some time with members of our network from Australia, Canada, Italy, Mauritius, South Africa and United States.  Our Spanish speaking members hail from Argentina, Peru and Spain.  

Thankful for 2015

 Our human family, gathered as United Nations made three historic decisions this year; a new universal Sustainable Development Agenda, a commitment to finance it and an ambitious agreement to control climate change. In this we recognize a sense that we, humans, realize we all depend on each other and on the way we respect and care for our planet.   We are thankful for the efforts. Likewise Christmas and the last days of 2015 is a time to remember our efforts as IBVM Network around the world.  We recall the many ways in which we have contributed to this endeavor.  Much of this was possible because of your efforts and contribution for which we thank you.  Read our Christmas  UPDATE December 2015 and recognize your own contribution.

Briefing on COP 21 by members of the French Mission

Cop 21

Members of the French Mission to the United Nations gave a Briefing on the COP21 negotiations at this point.  The negotiations on the text are not easy as we all know from the media. Yet there is a constructive spirit and all delegations are willing to reach a deal. Focus is centered on the negotiations on the outcome document. But Paris is more than the legal text.  Read the good part, the difficult areas of negotiation and comments from those gathered at Briefing on COP 21 by French Mission New York

The UN Climate SummitAre you going The UN climate summit, Conference of Parties 21 (COP21) will be held near Paris from 30 November – 11 December 2015.  Hope is growing even though we know our hopes have been dashed on previous occasions. During the week end 27 – 29 November, the day before world leaders converge in Paris people will come together in thousands of cities and towns across the planet.  We will gather and march for those already at risk from climate change, for the children and grandchildren and for a safer world running on clean energy. See where you can join those gathering in your country at the following links: Global climate march: Avaaz global climate march: people’s climate march australia Pray for those participating in the climate summit with the following Prayer for participants. Read “Everything you need to know about the Paris climate summit and U talks”

Enjoy our Webinars!

Participants from Seven  countries in webinars

Participants from Seven countries in webinars

Our Network has been active recently.  We combined the commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations and the adoption of the new Sustainable Development Agenda. The result was four international webinars on “Transforming our World: The 2030 sustainable Development Agenda”.  We are aware that this endeavor involves everybody.  Therefore our initiative was “for the people and by the people”.  Members of our network agreed to inform themselves and share their knowledge with others from around the world. We invite you to link in and enjoy our two English language webinars. Transforming our World: The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda with speakers from Canada, Italy, United States and Zambia. Click here Transforming our World: The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda including speakers from Australia, Mauritius and South Africa. Click here

The United Nations at 70 page-0 We commemorate the 70th. Anniversary of the United Nations and welcome the adoption of the new Sustainable Development Agenda with a number of significant events. What a better way to commemorate the efforts of these seventy years that by focusing on the new Sustainable Development Agenda for people and planet comprising of a framework of action for sustainable societies, sustainable economy and sustainable environment.  Our world Leaders adopted this Agenda in September. Pope Francis gave an address to the United Nations in which he encouraged all people to work together to achieve a life of dignity for all, for people and planet. Two English language international webinars on “Transforming our world: The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda”. Saturday, 24 October.  Click here for time and link Monday, 26 October.   Click here for time and link 

Watch our Video  What We Think,  with voices of people around our world-wide network on issues of importance to them at local level and of world- wide resonance.  

Pope Francis addresses the United NationsPope Francis at UN In his recent powerful address to the United Nations Pope Francis reminded those gathered at the General Assembly on the important role the institution plays in our world.  He stressed the founding principles and international endeavors which make it a necessary institution for today’s world.  Yet it is an institution which needs constant updating.  He spoke of the need for equity within the organization especially in the Security Council and financial Institutions.  He noted the misuse of power among member states and specific issues related to people and the environment caused by unethical behavior. His mention of the possibilities of the organization if all work sincerely for the common good were encouraging words in the name of the whole human family.  Read Pope Francis Address to United Nations . International Day of the Girl Day of the Girl 2015 A grim statistic gives real poignancy to the theme of this year’s Day of the Girl Child – The Power of the Adolescent Girl. A murdered 12 year old child on the cusp of adolescence failed to achieve any power and her dreams for the future evaporated in yet another family situation of conflict and unrestrained rage. Read the complete text hereOur network throughout the world works hard so that girls have a safe and empowering environment worthy of their human dignity. At UN Headquarters Friday 9 October is going to be Girls Takeover! #SeeUs #HearUs #JoinUs Day.  The Working Group on Girls has organized a powerful and very important event.  Due to the overwhelming and enthusiastic response, we have a Full House for the occasion.   UPDATE N0 15.Portada Read our new UPDATE 15 with lots of information and links to recent videos made at the 2015 NGO Conference. We celebrated the past and present achievements of civil society collaboration with the United Nations. Imagining the future encouraged us to address issues around NGO sustainability and the challenges of future involvement.  Don’t forget to sign the climate petition if you have not done so already.  The Climate Summit is around the corner and we need support and courage from civil society to make sure our Leaders agree to do what is best for the common good of all people and our planet. Voices from our network highlight issues we will hopefully address successfully.  This and more……   The Awful situation of Refugees and MigrantsRefugees

“I am horrified and heartbroken at the latest loss of lives of refugees and migrants in the Mediterranean and Europe” states Ban Ki-moon in a Statement issued on 1 September on the situation of refugees and migrants.  Read the statements on the terrible situation where, around the world, more than 60 million persons are displaced:  Statement by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and  Statement by UN High Commisioner for Refugees, António  Guterres on refugee crisis in Europe. The Catholic Church raises its voice and begs us not to become indifferent. The IBVM has a long tradition of supporting refugees and migrants in different ways.  It would be helpful to share our present efforts and experience.  Could you do so to ibvmunngo@gmail.com. Our efforts are part of the groundswell from people who care about our fellow humans.   Read our New UN UPDATE

Update 1 The formidable Post 2015 Agenda process comes to an end. It now awaits final adoption by the UN General Assembly and world leaders in September 2015.  You might like to hear about our IBVM Network of Province UN Representatives, their work and activities they are undertaking.  We recently received Special Consultative Status with The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).  We had impressive responses from members of our network to requests from UN Women and NGO Committees.  You will sign the Catholic Climate Petition. Right? Discussion around the appointment of the next Secretary General of the United Nations has begun. The NGO Conference to commemorate the Anniversary of the United Nations is almost upon us.   World Day Against Trafficking in Persons 2015bh_WD_logo_EN_final The UN launched the Day Against Trafficking Persons for the first time on July 30, 2014, to end human trafficking and raise awareness worldwide. World Day Against Trafficking in Persons 2015, 30 July reminds us that all around the world, men, women and children are kidnapped, tricked, blackmailed, or manipulated into slavery, like prostitution, forced labour, or organ removal. One in four victims are children. According to the United Nations, at least 2.5 million people are trapped in modern-day slavery.  Every country in the world is affected by human trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims. The UN works with governments and communities to promote the day through different events and activities. The UN has created a social media campaign, called #igivehope, invitin people to post a photo of a heart formed with your hands to express your support to end human trafficking. Find out about the Givehope activities here. Remember survivors, people presently trapped in trafficking in prayer and advocacy.  Remember those who engage in trafficking of persons and those who collude with them or cast a blind eye to situations.  Link to Prayer for World Day Against Trafficking in Persons- Read about  “Have a Heart for Victims of Human Trafficking”Listen to the vicitms. Join with the United Nations to express your solidarity with the missions of victims of Human Trafficking.  Hope and Give Hope #givehope   Partnership between a local Salvadorian community and IBVM/Loretto, Canada.

Melvin Menjivar prepares to go on air at Radio Positiva

Melvin Menjivar prepares to go on air at Radio Positiva

Read about the “Radio Positiva” project run by teenagers of Marianella Garcia Villa, El Salvador. In a nation where violence is no stranger to its youth, a group of Salvadoran teenagers stand as a hope for their country’s future. These ambitious teens run Radio Positiva, the lifeblood of a small hamlet in El Salvador called Marianella Garcia Villa, in the municipality of Suchitoto. Supported by the Loretto Sisters, the radio station is run from a small room in the town’s community centre with a few microphones and a sound system connected to speakers perched in trees and on posts throughout the community. The Loretto Sisters’ Canadian province has supported the radio station for five years through a town twinning program run by SalvAide. SalvAide is a Canadian not-for-profit organization based in Ottawa that acts as liaison for North American groups and local organizations in El Salvador to build social and economic development in the country. The Loretto Sisters have been twinning with Marianella Garcia Villa, formerly known as La Bermuda, since 1988. Read whole article here.   Enjoy this UN UPDATE for June 2015. Update June 2015 The Pope and Ban Ki-moon collaborate on issues of extreme importance for the human family and our planet; the 2015 NGO conference at the United Nations to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the UN: Global collaboration through the Arts: Local justice issue, a global justice and our efforts to stop human trafficking.   Freedom to Flourish: Young People and Social DisadvantageMary_Ward_Justice_Lecture_2014_Hero Over the past few years the Australian Province, in collaboration with its schools, has run an expanding series of lectures and panel discussions on social issues aimed at provoking discussion and action. This year the focus of the Mary Ward Justice Lectures is on disadvantaged young people.  Social disadvantage, which prevents young people from flourishing, is not, unfortunately, just an issue for Australia but, for most of the world. In a sobering account of the situation of youth around the world, Libby Rogerson, UN NGO Province Representative, Australia, highlights the interrelatedness of youth issues locally and at a global level. And, she reminds us that “education is one of the key factors in breaking this cycle of poverty and disengagement but it cannot be a “one size fits all” approach.”   Click onFreedom to Flourish  to read the complete article. Read our latest UN Update.Update 12 Read our latest UN Update for some of the latest activities related to the United Nations and our worldwide network.  Learn about the Girls’ Survey on the Beijing Platform for Action and the 2015 Commission on the Status of Women.  Take a look at your experience of how the present financial system affects us as financial resources for the Post 2015 Development Agenda are being discussed.  How do we measure progress?  Is it exclusively about money?  Look at some alternatives.  Read about how we advocate at the United Nations for people forced to live in poverty. And our commitment to Human Trafficking: news from our Network. Update 12. Focus on Women’s HealthFocus on Women's Health The IBVM network of members, co-workers, associates, students, past-pupils and friends, being itself a global entity, is ideally situated to educate and respond to such critical issues that affect this global picture of women’s health… indeed much is happening already….  Pat Hanvey IBVM, Zambia shares key factors concerning women´s health, maternal mortality, female genital mutilation (FGM), HIV &AIDS and an important invitation to action.  Read Focus on Women’s Health here.   IBVM Beijing at 20 webcast. The 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing marked a significant turning point for the global agenda for gender equality. for webThe Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action, which was adopted unanimously by 189 countries, built on political agreements reached at the three previous global conferences on women, and consolidated five decades of legal advances aimed at securing the equality of women with men in law and in practice.  It is considered the key global policy document on gender equality. This year the Commission on the Status of Women, (CSW 59 )celebrated the last 20 years and  provided us with the impetus to keep moving on.  Our IBVM Network celebrated with a webcast including three speakers, Chris Burke IBVM in Manila, Philippines, Ephigenia Gachiri IBVM in Nairobi, Kenya, Pat Murray IBVM, Rome, Italy who were in Beijing in 1995 and Georgina Kelly at the IBVM NGO Office, New York, who was two years old at the time. Noelle Corscadden IBVM, our recently elected Institute Leader gave some closing remarks. The session was moderated by Cecilia O’Dwyer IBVM present NGO Representative in New York. Watch what we saw during CSW 59 Watch what we saw during The Commission on the Status of Women.  We marched in March along with UN women on International Women’s Day. We attended sessions of the Commission, some of the 190 Side-Events organized in the UN Headquarters and the 400 organized by NGOs in other venues. Women, men girls and boys from around the world were part of this energy filled occasion. Click on title to see the video.   Meet our Intern at the NGO Office, New York. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Meet our Intern Georgina Kelly, from Australia,who is doing a two month internship with the IBVM NGO at the moment. She began just as the 53rd Session of the Commission for Social Development (CSocD) got under way at the United Nations.  Although Georgina is already well versed in International Affairs, she had a rapid initiation to the Post 2015 Agenda process and the workings of CSocD.  Georgina has already visited the Zambian and Australian Mission to advocate on behalf of the Working Group on Girls.   She is also doing research on Sexual Violence against Women and Girls in Conflict Zones. Post 2015 Sustainable Development process in its final lap. What seemed so complex and almost impossible is becoming a reality. With enormous participation of all sectors of society, the United Nations process is in the final stages of offering to the world a series of Sustainable Development Goals aiming at promoting a people centered, prosperous and sustainable future for our planet and its inhabitants. Member states are now in negotiations on the final content of the Agenda. Watch the presentation on Post 2015 Agenda for Beginners.   Commission for Social Development.image (8) The 53rd Session of the Commission for Social Development held from 4 – 13 February celebrated the 20th anniversary of The World Summit for Social Development held in Copenhagen in March 1995. The Declaration and Platform for Action agreed upon by our governments highlighted the need to put people at the center of Development. This specific Commission follows up the implementation of those agreements. H.E. the Ambassador of Romania and her team, in photo on the right, guided the work with consummate skill.    A very lively Civil Society Forum preceded the Commission. Georgina shares her impression of the Civil Society Forum, held on 3 February, which preceded the Commission and reflects on some aspects of the content and interaction of the Commission. Read Coming out of the 53rd Session of the Commission for Social Development    

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