Welcome to IBVM

UN Update August 2018Photo 33

Welcome to Update August 2018  Several important meetings all focusing on creating a more peaceful and sustainable world for all its inhabitants are recorded in this Update. The 2018 High Level Political Forum where we reviewed progress on the sustainable development goals aimed at creating a more peaceful and sustainable world where we leave no one behind. We witnessed and participated in the final stages of the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration process. The UN NGO/ DPI Conference on We the Peoples… Together Finding Global Solutions for Global Problems was held on 22 – 24 August 2018.  Read about the people from our NGO who took part in those events and those who visited our office and the United Nations recently. It was also an important time for the future of the migrant children, women and men throughout the world.

Reflection on Sustainable Development Goal 11 (SDG 11)cities

Progress towards the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals will be measured at the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) which  takes place from 9 – 19 July 2018.  This year Goal 11 is one of the goals on which the revision will focus.  The aim of Goal 11 is to “make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”.  Read the reflections on Sustainable Development Goal 11 – Sustainable Cities of Sisters in the Congregation of Jesus (CJ) and Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM) who have contributed to our deeper understanding of SDG 11. We wish to thank Una Coogan, IBVM; Theodora Hawskley, CJ; Rachel McLoughlin, IBVM; Sandra Perrett, IBVM and those in Sydney, Austrailia who contributed to the response; Eunice Njeri Ndabih, IBVM and Clemenciah Nyakambi, IBVM and all from Kenya and Ghana who contributed to the Eastern Africa response; Priyanka Topno, IBVM; and Ursula Witkowska, IBVM.



Preparations for the 2018 High Level Political Forum (HLPF) are almost complete and representatives from member states and NGOs are beginning to gather in New York.  The IBVM NGO will have a wonderful representation this year including youth representatives and a group from Canada. The first week will include numerous panel and roundtables on the theme and on the SDGs under review. 47 countries will carry out Voluntary National Reviews (VNR) during the second week. Read more about HLPF 2018

Justice Coalition of Religious (JCoR) Press ReleaseImage for facebook etc

The Justice Coalition of Religious (JCoR) is a new coalition of 18 UN-accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) run by Catholic Religious. JCoR aims to strengthen the capacity of Religious working at the grassroots and those representing them at the United Nations to: advocate internationally, nationally and regionally for people living in poverty; address the root causes of unsustainable development; and promote equitable and rights based development via a just implementation of the SDGs. Read the  JCoR office press release of 1 June 2018.

Towards Global Citizenship No 4.Global Citizenship No 4

It is almost a year since some 60 representatives of IBVM and CJ schools met in Pretoria, for that engaging Conference which delivered the “Mary Ward Schools Compass”.  And, two years ago a smaller group met in South Korea for a UN Conference on Education for Global Citizenship.  The NGO Office celebrates these milestones with Towards Global Citizenship No 4. It includes wonderful contributions from Australia, Canada, Kenya, India, Italy, Mauritius, Nepal, South Africa and Spain.  We have a reflection on Global Citizenship, information on school policy and ongoing teacher learning.  Then we see ways in which the present curriculum contributes to educating for global citizenship. We are using the SDGs, Model United Nations and our present JPIC as tools.  We have an example of some cutting -edge work and of collaboration with a UNESCO project, with the World’s Largest Lesson and with Millennium Kids.  And, in case you have not noticed yet, we have the invitation to take part in the process leading up to the 2019 ECOSOC Youth Forum – an opportunity to allow youth between 16 and 35 make their voice heard.

Webinar for World Environment Day 2018Photo 2

On 5 June we will celebrate World Environment Day 2018. Recently representatives of five religious congregations, concerned about the devastation taking place, joined in a webinar with the title: Is it still possible to save the future?  You can watch it on our YouTube channel here where you will find lots of information and encouragement to join in the global effort to create a healthy planet for all its inhabitants.

 We represent our congregations at the United Nations where we work as part of civil society. An important aspect of our work here is to make the voice and concerns of vulnerable people  around the world  and our mistreatment of the  planet  we inhabit present in the discussions and the policy making for the global community, which is what happens at the United Nations.  We know that among the many huge global concerns, we have climate change and the devastation of our ecosystems and in this respect World Environment Day offers us a good opportunity to take stock of where we are and where we need to go.


UN Update May 2018Un Update may 2018

Welcome to Update May 2018 where you will find lots of information and stories. Three years after a ground-breaking commitment, we ask: Why bother with the Sustainable Development Agenda (SDGs)? We were part of national and regional meetings to review the implementation of the Sustainable Development Agenda (SDGs). Note how energy (SDG 7) relates to other aspects of our lives like poverty, inequality, education, health and others.  “Leave no one behind” is still at the centre of this development agenda. We work directly with those who are left behind. Students shine in various endeavors – future citizens and leaders. Our schools collaborate with movements to help achieve their rights for people in poverty or make our environment sustainable. Decent work or lack of it is a driving factor to fulfilling lives or la source of conflict. 

Just Show Up


Just Show Up! This is what Libby Rogerson ibvm did for the civil society preparatory sessions on the review of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda for her country. ”This year,” she writes, “Australia, and a number of other countries, will be reporting on the theme, Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies with specific focus on: water and sanitation (Goal 6), affordable, sustainable energy (Goal 7), safe, resilient cities (Goal 11), sustainable consumption and production (Goal 12), sustainable ecosystems, biodiversity, land and forest management (Goal 15) and the underpinning goal of developing partnerships (Goal 17). It is regrettable that there has been little discussion in Australia about our progress on these goals.” Read Australia Reviews SDGs, her evaluation of the implementation as Australia prepares for its national voluntary review which will take place in July 2018 during the High Level Political Forum to be held at UN Headquarters New York.

UN Update March 2018

UN Update

Welcome to another edition of UN Update March 2018. This time it is No 31 and has a lot of information on the ways that we, at the office and you around the world, have been engaging with United Nations processes recently. You can follow our Youth Representative, our efforts to eliminate poverty through Universal Social Protection and our contribution to the 2018 Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62). You may want to return to the video created give an overview of the ways in which IBVM/CJ do and can engage with the United Nations bringing our  General Congregation commitments and shared heritage to the task. Note some of the ways our network contributes. We engage with governments in Australia, Canada, Peru and Spain, to ensure the implementation of the 203 Sustainable Development Agenda (SDGs). There are many efforts to support women and girls and ensure they are not left behind, this time from Romania, Australia, Ireland.  It includes protest and a letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations from South Africa. We have examples of awareness raising and action to celebrate United Nations Days from Nepal and Patna.

Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62)Our CSW

This year the NGO Office contributed to the Commission with individual and group statements and by co-sponsoring 4 parallel and side events.  Our statements can be read here.   The two side events focused on Human Trafficking from different perspectives.   One, with the Holy See Mission as chief sponsor, drew attention to the work of Religious sisters in the prevention of Human Trafficking and the rescue and empowerment of survivors.  Another event with the NGO Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons focused on the use of technology.  While the internet is used in the most despicable ways to traffic young girls and women for the sex trade, huge efforts are under way to prevent this happening and to address other aspects of human trafficking.   We co-sponsored an event on Rural Women as Change Makers with stories of empowerment from India and South East Asia.  Sr. Cynthia CJ was one of the panelists. Finally we initiated a discussion on the economic empowerment of rural women through innovative financing and effective partnerships with the NGO Committee on Financing for Development.

Thank You for Joining Us!Thank You

Thanks to all who joined our webinar, held to celebrate a new step in collaboration for the Congregation of Jesus (CJ) and the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM), Saturday 17 February 2018  We hope it was helpful and gave you further insight into our work with the United Nations. Thank you for your feed-back. In case you could not join us, you will find a recording of the webinar at HERE. Since we began our journey more than 400 years ago there has been a significant evolution in governance in our world. The power of absolute rulers has weakened, decision-making processes have extended to a wider section of society and to the ideal that every member of society has a say in decision making process. In 1893, New Zealand became the first country to give women the vote. Conflicts led us to rethink modes of organizing ourselves until we developed the notion of nation states. At this point we recognize that the many global concerns affecting our world need a global body to address them. The United Nations offers a space where member states take decisions pertaining to the whole human family, our planet and our cosmos. We are privileged to be able to bring our voice and concerns to this conversation of civil society and the United Nations.

UN Updateupdate facebooketc

Read Update January 2018.  In this edition No. 30 you will hear about some of the important world concerns being discussed at the United Nations during the coming months. Migration, the ongoing implementation of The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Take note of the Webinar on 17 February and don’t forget to send your questions. Read about the reform of the United Nations System. Note the many ways in which CJ/IBVM Network contributes to creating a life of dignity and peace for all through art, media, formal and informal education and many other interesting endeavours.

Webinar for IBVM/CJ Worldwide Network

On Saturday 17 February 2018 we will hold a webinar on the United Webinar 2Nations and our involvement as members of civil society. We welcome the collaboration of Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Congregation of Jesus.  Cecilia O’Dwyer ibvm and Cynthia Mathew CJ at the IBVM NGO Office, New York will host a webinar to include all Asia and Australia and a second webinar for North and South America, Africa, Europe and Middle-East. Click here for more information on times and background. 

What to Watch Out For in 2018 

2018 a

During 2018, the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda will continue and hopefully advance decisively towards its completion. We commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The campaign which accompanies us this year has three core objectives: to promote, engage and reflect -  to engage a broad base of audiences the world over; to help promote understanding of how the Universal Declaration empowers us all; and to encourage further reflection on the ways that each of us can stand up for rights, every day. By September 2018 we hope to have a Global compact on Migration which will address the global and local dimensions of present day migration.

Towards Global Citizenship Towards Globalcitizenship

We are delighted to have this opportunity to help build up the Mary Ward Worldwide Network’ s engagement with the United Nations. The aim of  ”Towards Global Citizenship” is to  share knowledge, reflection and initiatives on our efforts to be and to educate global citizens both in formal and non- formal education systems. We have valuable knowledge and experience to share which will be helpful, not only for all educators worldwide, but for our work with the United Nations. So, let’s hope it will be a learning tool for all who wish to avail of it.  The third edition of the publication “Towards Global Citizenship”  brings contributions from Australia, Ghana, India, Mauritius, Peru, South Africa and Tanzania. It contains topics such as the personal integration of the concept of Global Citizenship, actions taken as  a result of the conferences, programs and experiences aimed at the empowerment of global citizens, a response to issues we would like to see covered in this publication and resources for education in Global Citizenship.  There are many links and to a video to complete the information.  You can also see the photos sent in for this edition. Enjoy it and make the most of the possibilities contained.

UNITE to End Violence Against WomenPhotos 16 days

On International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (Nov. 25) and during the next 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, the Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons, NGO CSTIP, is calling special attention to trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation. We join the United Nations Secretary General’s UNiTE to end Violence against Women campaign’s call to “Leave No One Behind: End Violence against Women and Girls.” As groups raise awareness about the pandemic of gender-based violence affecting 1 in 3 women in their lifetime, we cannot forget that sex trafficking is one of the most deplorable forms of violence against women and a crime that targets the most marginalized among us. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, women and girls make up 71% of all detected trafficking victims and 96% of all sex trafficking victims. Further, women and girls trafficked for forced labor also frequently face sexual violence and exploitation. No matter how you look at the issue, women and girls are disproportionately vulnerable to sex trafficking and sexual exploitation.  Read the complete Statement by the NGO Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons here.

Update November 2017

For Media

Read UN Update November 2017 as we make history!  Take note of the meaningful words of UN Sec General and UN president of General Assembly on United Nations Day 2017. We celebrated Africa Week and we are preparing for the Commissions that will take place early in 2018. Online collaboration for our work at the UN advances as we prepare for the 2018 Review of the sustainable Development Agenda.  Get to know the members of the NGO Advisory Committee. Read about the excellent initiatives from the Human Trafficking Network.  Appreciate the efforts to” Leave no one behind” as promised in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and watch the video as girls and teachers celebrate International Day of the Girl at Loreto, Eliot Rd. Kolkata, India.

Mary Ward Family and the United Nationsoznor

On Monday 23 October 2017 a little bit of history in the story of the Mary Ward Family. Sr Cynthia Mathew CJ joined the IBVM NGO Office in New York where together we will work to create a more humane, just and sustainable world by collaborating with the United Nations. As part of civil society  at the United Nations we contribute to the implementation of the underlying goals and values for which it was founded – peace and security in our world, human rights for every person and a world in which every human being can live a life of dignity on a planet with limited resources.  It is hopeful to recognize values that are dear to us enshrined in this universal organization which works on behalf of the whole human family.

 Update September 2017

Image Update web

Welcome to UN Update No 28. See what’s happening at the United Nations at the moment –  The General Assembly and other important UN meetings which will take place in the coming months. Read about Our Summer Intern and Youth Representative and the many ways in which our network is collaborating with the work of the United Nations.  We have an excellent reflection on Stewardship of Financial Investments, delightful videos from students and lots of information and reflections from Canada, Peru, India, Mauritius, Kenya, Australia and the Network on Human Trafficking. Enjoy it! A big Thank You to all who contributed.


The Summer Youth Assembly at the United Nations 2017 Screen Shot 2017-08-17 at 3.56.31 PM

Aggy is an intern at the IBVM NGO at the United Nations. In this video, she answers questions on her experience attending the Summer Youth Assembly at the UN in New York.

Read more about her experience, and watch the interview HERE


Sustainable Fashion 

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….a design philosophy with the goal of creating a system which can be supported indefinitely in terms of human impact on the environment and social responsibility. LEARN HOW YOU CAN DRESS SUSTAINABLY HERE:

Ethical fashion


Intergenerational Dialogues on the SDGs  20597143_10212065599934349_864792890268334238_n

“Intergenerational Solidarity is not optional, but rather a basic question of justice, since the world we have received also belongs to those who will follow us” Pope Francis.

The Intergenerational Dialogues took place thanks to the Department of Public Information (DPI) at the United Nations, which ignited a spark between young and old in the quest towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

To read more about this enlightening day, click here


UPDATE July 2017Update

 The July UN Update July 2017 tries to capture the exciting and positive energy our collaboration with the United Nations and especially the is Sustainable Development Agenda is generating both in New York and throughout our network worldwide. You will read about the Oceans’ Conference, our IBVM Sisters beautifully presented reflections, a video on the Oceans from Loreto Students. The Forum for Accountability on the SDGs was another energy filled event in which we participated in different ways. You will find the impressions of a newly arrived intern thrown into the midst of it.  We are reminded of the integration of the spiritual development and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. And these universal goals have to be financed if they are to be implemented. Watch the video with impressions on this. You are invited to share your experience to contribute to UN Together: a global campaign to change attitudes and perspectives in our world in relation to persons who are migrants or refugees. And Try out #The Lunch Box Experiment.

World Day Against Human TraffickingWORLD DAY TRAFFICKING2

Human trafficking is a multi-billion-dollar industry, second only to the drug trade in financial gain and is estimated to involve around 21 million people. It is an industry which feeds off poverty, lack of education and desperation. No country is immune from the inroads of slavery – some send slaves around the world and others receive, but all are involved, The UN General Assembly in 2000 signed on to the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. This was a significant milestone in international efforts to stop the trade in people. While most countries signed on to the protocol the reality is that few criminals are caught and fewer are convicted. Pope Francis called human trafficking “a form of slavery, a crime against humanity, a grave violation of human rights, and an atrocious scourge” and urged all of us to take a stand against this evil which denigrates and destroys so many people, including millions of children Read the reflection World Day against Trafficking 2017  written by Libby Rogerson   ibvm, Australia.     

What is it like to intern at the United Nations? 

When you think of the United Nations, it is hard to conjure up a mental image of what exactly what goes on within those stone walls of the statuesque building on 1st avenue. No matter how much research I did on the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, no matter how many YouTube videos I watched on the internal happenings of the United Nations, nothing could have prepared me for the first week of my internship there.



To read more, click here:




World Day against Traffickingwould you recognise

 World Day against Trafficking in Persons is near. 30 July 2017 is the day.  IBVM Members: make it a day to renew our personal commitment and take action. Remember GC’14.

SPOT THE SIGNS. Would you recognize a trafficked person? Awareness can save lives. Remember that persons are trafficked all around us, in every country.

REPORT A CONCERN. This could be a positive action for World Day against Human Trafficking in Persons. Every country and usually every city has a number which you can call if you have a concern.  If you do not already know the contact number, ask your province contact person for Human Trafficking.

An essential step in helping to end Trafficking in persons is to educate ourselves about the crime and share information. The 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report was published recently by the US Department of State. You can browse through the different parts of the Report at 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP).You can check how your own country is doing. You will also find very interesting information in the Introductory Material (PDF)  .


Day One at the High Level Political Forum 


 Today’s meeting gave powerful, new voices a platform to discuss their innovative and progressive ideas centred on the eradication of poverty.

 To read more on this fascinating event, click here:


United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading Towards their Total Elimination

By resolution 71/258, the General Assembly decided to convene a United Nations conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination. The Assembly encouraged all Member States to participate in the Conference and decided that it would be convened in New York from 27 to 31 March and from 15 June to 7 July 2017. The Conference has finished its negotiations and has reached agreement on a Treaty, which can be viewed here: Draft Treaty Prohibit Nuclear Weapons. The Treaty recognizes the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from any use of nuclear weapons, and therefore the need to completely eliminate such weapons. By signing and ratifying this Treaty, Member States agree to completely prohibit the development, use, transfer and receipt of nuclear weapons, although they are free to develop and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The Treaty will be open for signature on 20 September 2017 and will enter into force when 50 Member States have signed and ratified it. The Treaty is an important step in the movement towards global peace and cooperation. 

How can we combat social exclusion? 


The IBVM contributed to an online chat with the authors behind the “Report on the World Social Situation 2016″.

Have a look at the summary here:



Full Responses to Oceans:Source of Life Oceans-Full-Responses

At the opening of the Oceans Conference held from 5 – 9 June 2017, The President of the General Assembly stated that “We will make this great conference the time to which those good stewards of the future will look back on as the turning point, the moment when we began the reversal of that cycle of decline of the ocean.” With these inspirations in mind, the IBVM UN NGO reached out across the IBVM network to ask our sisters to reflect on their experience of the oceans. We asked them to consider their relationship to the ocean, what they considered to be the key threats to its sustainability, and to name the actions and attitudes we need in order to improve ocean health. In this document, you will find the full responses we received from Institute members. As a companion to the Oceans: Source of Life booklet, we have put together a document that includes the full responses received from the IBVM network. Please read the Oceans – Source of Life – Full Responses from the IBVM network and discover how you can help to achieve SDGs. 

The High Level SDG Action Event on Education 

Read full summary here:


The United Nations’ Global Plan of Action to Combat Human Trafficking

Read full summary here:




Oceans: Source of Life

The UN Ocean Conference was held June 5-9, 2017 at UN Headquarters in New York to discuss SDG 14 on the health 1 copyand sustainability of the world’s oceans. In response to the conference, members of the IBVM network reflected on their experience of oceans and the actions they can take to contribute to global care of the oceans. The resulting document, Oceans – Source of Life gathers excerpts from these reflections for use among the IBVM network.

Online Launch of Global Citizenship: IBVM Educator’s Perspective    Flier 2-page-001      

Global Citizenship:IBVM Educators’ Perspective   is the result of the contribution of IBVM/Loreto schools around the world.  As part of an emerging world community, our actions contribute to building this community’s values and practices.  Education for Global Citizenship is a specific target (4.7) of Sustainable Development Goal 4 on access to quality education throughout our whole lifespan. Educators from our international network of schools share their views and ideas on different aspects of global citizenship and education for global citizenship.  The IBVM NGO Office in New York is happy to launch the Report online.  Thanks to all who took part in the project.   Global Citizenship: IBVM Educators Perspective is your work; these are your ideas; this is a useful tool, which you helped produce. You are contributing to the development of our students as positive, engaged, global citizens ready to change the world.


The Great Silence  IndigenousForum for website

The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda commitment to Leave No One Behind is a huge challenge for all sectors of government and civil society.  IBVM representatives at the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Libby Rogerson and Sarah Rudolph, share what they saw and heard from the Indigenous representatives themselves.  What they share impinges on all of us.  Watch the video and listen to the podcast.  Watch The Great Silence here.  

Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change

Listen to this podcast as Sarah Rudolph focuses on the effect of climate change on Indigenous People.  An excellent glimpse into the reality of their lives.  Avail of this opportunity to get to know about the people of Tuvalu in the Pacific Ocean, the indigenous communities in Alaska, the Sami, an Artic people and the Yanomami and Kanamary peoples in the Amazon region who suffer the most severe consequences of climate change 


Promote Peaceful and Inclusive Societies (SDG 16)Wamuyu 2

Promoting peaceful and inclusive societies and ensuring justice for all calls for a movement beyond our comfort zones and a change of negative and oppressive mindsets that blur our visions of an alternative world – a world where all can call home” writes Teresia Wamuyu Wachira ibvm, Kenya in this reflection on the intersection of Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and our IBVM commitment to “ bring those forced to live in poverty to the centre of our life and ministry (GC 14, 2). Wamuyu, who is a specialist on Peace Studies, is a member of the board of Pax Christi International and of the IBVM NGO Advisory Committee. Read her reflection Promote Peaceful Societies .

Happiness and the United NationsHappiness 2

The work of the United Nations consists not only of dealing with issues.  Member states also encourage engagement with the values and attitudes essential for the fulfillment of the mandate of the UN Charter to promote peace, human rights and development.  Since 2013 the UN has celebrated the International Day of Happiness. Each year we reach a new level of awareness about the role of political leaders in helping create a conducive environment for their people.  “Central to human existence, writes Libby Rogerson ibvm, “is happiness and without a sense of well-being societies become conflicted, divided and self-serving.  What was celebrated was the need for all people to have a sense of well-being, which is at the heart of stable and peaceful societies”.   Read the complete version of her very interesting reflection on International Day of Happiness 2017.

Welcome to Update No 26Update 26

Hi Friends!  UPDATE May 2017  comes with lots of exciting news and information from the NGO Office and our Network around the world.   Our amazing team in New York salutes you!  We share information and impressions on the recent Forum on Indigenous Peoples, The Commission on the Status of Women, International Day of Happiness, and Impact Investment.  Teresia Wamuyu Wachira ibvm, Kenya offers us a beautiful reflection entitled “Promote Peaceful and Just Societies”, the third reflection in our series of Reflections on the Spiritual and Ethical dimensions of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Out worldwide network continues to implement the Sustainable Development at local and national level. We contribute directly to UN processes and carry out our personal and group initiatives.  This is civil society building up momentum around the first universal Sustainable Development Agenda. You have lots to read, not only in the text but also in the additional information we offer you through articles, videos and audios, all prepared for you at the NGO Office in New York. Enjoy it!


16th Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

From 24 April to 5 May 2017, government leaders, UN representatives, and representatives from civil society are IMG_0606gathering at the UN Headquarters in New York to discuss issues affecting indigenous people around the world. The theme for this year’s session is the “Tenth Anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Measures Taken to Implement the Declaration”. The forum provides an opportunity to take stock of how the declaration has been implemented by the UN and Member States and to determine how best to address the gaps in implementation. Much action is still needed to address disparities experienced by indigenous peoples in terms of poverty, education, health, violence and abuse, discrimination and racism, economic empowerment, climate change, land rights, and culture and identity. Updates will be posted as the session progresses. 

Commission on the Status of Women 2017

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The 61st. Session of the Commission on the Status of Women provides us with another impetus on the long road towards a gender equal world. This year the conversations, negotiations, conclusions and commitments focus on women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work. In this video we share some comments with you in the hope that all, both women and men, are encouraged to put our best efforts into a world of equal dignity for women and men, for boys and girls. Watch the video here.  The issue of Domestic Work has gained prominence at this year’s CSW. “Emerging strongly from the myriad issues to do with women’s economic empowerment at this year’s UN Commission on the Status of Women is that of the domestic worker”, writes Libby Rogerson ibvm in this gripping and challenging article on  Domestic Work . Awareness of the situation of the women, of the legislation or lack of it to protect them and the ways we, civil society, can take action. Read the whole article here.  Watch the video on Domestic Work

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 en

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