In early May a two-day Conference was organized by Caritas Internationalis and the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations entitled Sharing the Journey of Migrants and Refugees: An Interfaith Perspective on the Global Compacts. A panel discussion featured religious leaders from different faith traditions including Judaism, Islam and Hinduism as well as Christian leaders from the Greek Orthodox church, the Anglican Communion and the Catholic Church. Each brought perspectives and insights from their religion on the topic of migration, and shared information about how their faith responded to the needs of millions of refugees and migrants on the move. As Cardinal Louis Antonio Tagle, President of CARITAS Internationalis noted “Migration is about human persons. They have human stories and dreams. By denying the humanity of a migrant or refugee, we reveal our own lack of humanity,….We all have migrant DNA!” One of those stories was shared by a young Iraqi refugee who had migrated to the United States as a teenager after being kidnapped and tortured by extremists.DOWNLOAD
The 67th UN DPI NGO Conference was held on August 22nd and 23rd with the commitment to foster people-centered multilateralism to address global challenges. Civil society partnerships to advance the Sustainable Development Goals were highlighted in a series of roundtables, workshops, exhibits and youth events. The conference attracted over 2,000 NGO representatives from more than 100 countries and resulted in a “Call to Action” and a Youth Declaration. The Call to Action emphasized the importance of international cooperation and civil society commitment, as well as partnerships with Member States, the UN development system, and the private sector.DOWNLOAD
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
On the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres gave a powerful message, opening the commemoration at the UN HQ. He noted that "Ending poverty is not a matter of charity but a question of justice. There is a fundamental connection between eradicating extreme poverty and upholding the equal rights of all people." The commemoration included messages from people living in poverty, ambassadors, activists and artists with the aim to build an inclusive world of universal respect for human rights and dignity. Nearly 1 billion people have escaped extreme poverty since the first International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 25 years ago, but too many others have been left behind. The commemoration served as an important reminder to step up efforts for the 783 million people still living in poverty.
The Commission explored various strategies for eradicating poverty to achieve sustainable development for all, including the creation of social protection systems, that would help lift the millions of people still living in poverty, especially those in vulnerable situations. At the end of the CSocD 56 four draft resolutions were presented to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), on ageing, strategies for eradicating poverty, Africa’s development and future working methods. For the first time the Civil Society Forum was incorporated into the Commission’s work, with a very strong attendance. A Civil Society Declaration was launched, focusing on “Social protection” for all.DOWNLOAD
During the Commission on the Status of Women an estimated 4,400 representatives from 170 Member States and more than 600 civil society organizations gathered at the UN HQ in New York. We were happy to be able to register 6 RSHM participants coming from 3 Provinces, as well as four other participants who were Marymount alumnae or collaborators.DOWNLOAD
In his 2016 Encyclical Pope Francis wrote “The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development” (Laudato Si # 13). In this issue of our News from the UN we focus on two major events during the last 2 months that are closely related to this challenge. Both the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (at the UN HQ in New York) and the World Social Forum (WSF) in Salvador, Brazil focused on
the struggles of peoples relating to the rights to land and natural resources.
Those on the margins of our society today are often far from the centers of power, left out of the dialogue, and most at risk of “being left behind”. Both Forums prioritized their voices, and their struggles for justice. RSHM were closely involved in both events. In this issue we are happy to share the experiences of Srs. Mary Jo McElroy (NEP) – RSHM JPIC Coordinator; Ana Helena Andreão RSHM (B) and Rita de Cassia - Coordinator of REAJE, Brazil who participated in the WSF (Brazil).