IBVM at the United Nations Update No 14. 08/15

Network of Province UN Representatives

This group of Province UN Representatives is essential in developing our ministry with the United Nations. Meeting online, several times a year, the group considers ways of aligning our work at local level with that of the United Nations. The group spent time reflecting on the Calls of the General Congregation and what they involve for this specific ministry. Communication and the use of a variety of communication tools, including social media is becoming indispensable for our work. Likewise, communication between MWI/JPIC/UN/Communications Offices will be essential to strengthen the ministry at both province and global levels.

Preparing for the Post 2015 Development Agenda

Members of the UN Province Representatives invited participants in two activities related to what will be the global Sustainable Development for the next 15 years. Our everyday concerns, whether we are aware of them or not, are integral aspects of Development. As members of a globalized world, educating ourselves on the global dimension of our local concerns is essential.

Voices from our Network

A collection of short videos has been gathered of people commenting, from their experience, on aspects of their lives and the world around them focusing, in particular, on poverty, water, energy, gender equity, health, peace, governance etc. Using cell phone technology videos in three languages from several countries have been submitted. They will be edited and presented on our YouTube channel in September.

Webinars on New Sustainable Development Agenda

Our UN Province Representatives also invited people to participate in an educational online webinar on the Post 2015 Development Agenda. Participants are already studying preliminary background information prior to the final Post 2015 Outcome document which will be endorsed by heads of state at the Sustainable Development Summit on 25 – 26 September 2015. Hopefully in late October/November the IBVM Network will host educational webinars, in English and Spanish, on what will be the Global Development Agenda for the next 15 years.

31July – 2 August 2015

After a marathon weekend of negotiations, the 193 country member states of the United Nations agreed on the outcome document of the Post 2015 Sustainable Development Agenda which will be adopted by World Leaders at the Sustainable Development Summit in September. A highly complex process of almost three years is almost concluded. What, at times, seemed impossible has happened. It is an important moment as this Agenda, contains the new Sustainable Development Goals that will be promoted for the next 15 years. Read the press release. And, the Secretary-General´s statement.

“Consultative Status” with ECOSOC

We have crossed a threshold in our ministry at the United Nations. Recently we were granted Special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), one of the six main bodies of the United Nations. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been actively engaged with the United Nations (UN) since its inception in 1945. ECOSOC is the only main UN body with a formal framework for NGO participation. In 1946, 41 NGOs were granted consultative status by the council; by 1992 more than 700 NGOs had attained consultative status and the number has been steadily increasing ever since to more than 4,000. More information on Consultative Status here.

IBVM Network Members Respond

The NGO Committee on Social Development (CSocD) requested information on community based projects. The information was sent to Mary Ward International contacts. There has been an excellent response from Zambia, Kenya, India, Peru, Albania and El Salvador. Some countries sent responses on several projects.

The NGO Committee on Financing for Development (FfD) requested reflections on the economic situation in the light of the Conference on Financing for Development which is central to the Post 2015 Agenda. Read comments sent by Janet Palafox (Australia) and Sarah Rudolph (Canada).

Preparations for the International Day of the Girl, (October 11) begin well in advance. This year, the Working Group on Girls (WGG) invited girls to imagine life and girls in the future. Girls from Loreto Msongari, Nairobi Kenya and Loreto Darjeeling, India sent delightful responses.

Members of the IBVM Network on Human Trafficking received and shared with other groups “The Communications Procedure of the Commission on the Status of Women” a new tool for individuals and organizations to use in order to raise awareness about injustice and discriminatory practices against women in any country in the world, including Human Trafficking.

Catholic Climate Petition

Catholics around the world are engaging in a coordinated response to climate change. The Catholic Climate Petition is mobilizing millions of people to put pressure on our governments for ambitious and effective decisions to solve the climate crisis. World leaders will meet in Paris for the UN Climate Summit in late November. We must convince them to think of the world we are leaving future generations. They owe it to us. Sign the Catholic Climate Petition

Appointment of next Secretary General of UN

Ban Ki-moon´s term as eight Secretary General of the United Nations will conclude on 31 December 2016. Voices are calling for a shakeup in the election process which is at present in the hands of five countries, those that have veto power in the Security Council. The 1for7billion Campaign raises awareness on the need to rethink the election process for what has been called the world´s most impossible job. Yet it is one of the most important. You will find lots of interesting information at that link.

NGO Conference 2015

The IBVM Network will participate in the 2015 NGO Conference held to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations. The Theme – Honoring the Past, Recognizing the Present, and Imagining the Future - goes to the heart of what the UN means in our world and the significance of collaborating in its´ vision and work. We are happy to welcome participants from Kenya, India and Canada.

UNHQ New York, 22 - 27 August, 2015

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