Read our Newsletter Towards Global Citizenship from the 66th United Nations DPO/NGO Conference held in Gyeongju, South Korea from May 30 to 1 June 2016. Fifteen members of the Mary Ward extended Family were present. We share some points on the content and what we did. What big ideas emerged for us? How do we, adults develop global citizenship in our own lives? You will find lots of interesting ideas in it. And do read the complete Action Plan which is a powerful tool and inspiration for us as we strive to create a peaceful and just world for all its citizens. Youth played a significant role in the Conference. The Action Plan reminds us of the need to include youth in decisions about their lives and the Youth Declaration is a tribute to all young people’s aspirations.
Read our UPDATE May 2016 from the NGO office where you will find information on important events at the United Nations such as the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement, The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. We are preparing for the 66th. UN DPI/NGO Conference to be held in Gyeongju, South Korea at the end of this month and for UNCTAD 14 Conference which will be held in Nairobi in July. Thousands from our network contacted their national leaders on the climate agreement.
During CSW 60 ask yourself: Do I live in a city? Do I feel safe? Is my city an agreeable place to live? What is my city like for women? Does every sector of my city demonstrate that people can live dignified lives there? Now, have you heard about UN Women’s “Safe Cities Free of Violence against Women and Girls” Global Programme” or the Global Safe City Initiative? UN Women states that “In cities all over the world, every day, women and girls face the threat of sexual harassment and violence in public spaces as they go about their daily routines—whether on city streets, on buses and trains, or in their own neighborhoods. These abuses limit women’s freedom as equal citizens to enjoy the urban environment, and to exercise their rights to education, work, recreation, collective organization and participation in political life”. Wealth does not shield women and girls from violence. However those living in poverty or marginalized communities often face greater risks. Despite disrupting the lives of countless millions of women and girls, this pattern of abuse is widely tolerated as a regular feature of city life. Even though the media and especially social media have highlighted extremely violent cases in some cities the issue or violence against women in public spaces remains a largely neglected issue. Few laws or policies are in place to address it, in spite of its social and economic costs to individuals, families and communities. Watch a UN Women video on global Safe City Initiative here.
Read Update February 2016
Update February 2016 offers you a combination of information on UN related issues and contributions from members of the network. We remember Doryne Kirby RIP who was our second Representative to the United Nations. Do take up the invitation to reflect on the Sustainable Development Goals and their connection with our lives. And what about writing to your national Ministers and encourage them to sign and ratify the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Young people and children are invited to adapt the youth version to their cultural setting. Young scientists from Loreto Ireland win an award just as the UN celebrates the First International Day for women in Science. Read how members of our network have been involved.
The 2016 Civil Society Forum is held on 1 – 2 February prior to the 54th. Commission on Social Development. The forum is organized to prepare civil society participants to engage in the Commission as well as in the ongoing discussions related to the application of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. We will address the theme of the Commission, “Rethinking and strengthening Social Development in the Contemporary World”, and its relationship to inequalities which is a distinguishing feature of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. The aim of the Forum is that, at the end of the two days, participants will have developed concrete recommendations for the Commission, deepened their understanding of the relationship between CSocD and Agenda 2030, and been galvanized to engage meaningfully both with governments in New York and at the grass roots. Read our Civil Society Declaration 2016 for issues that really concern us.
The UN NGO Liaison Service (UN-NGLS ) thanks all in civil society and the UN system for the extraordinary experiences working together during the processes and events of the last year. They provide a look back at our historic efforts via their YouTube channel. It presents individual videos of those selected to speak last year at UN Headquarters through an open and participatory process either led or co-led by UN-NGLS – more than 260 different people from more than 70 countries! There are separate clips of the full remarks delivered by each representative of civil society and the Major Groups. They include the UN Sustainable Development Summit, the POST 2015 Development Agenda Negotiations and Hearings, financing for Development Hearings, Sustainable Energy for All Forum, High Level Events organized by the President of the General Assembly and more. Each video has a description of the event and partners in the process, as well as links to programmes, concept notes and written versions of the statements as available.
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
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 Summit 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!
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 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 Nations 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 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 here. Our 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. 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 Migrants
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 2015 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.
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. 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 Disadvantage 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. 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 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. The 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. 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. 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