Beginning the Second Decade at the United Nations

Many thanks for your good wishes and for sharing your activities celebrating the 10th anniversary of the IBVM at the UN. Special thanks to the Advisory Committee and to those who had the task of distributing different pieces of information at close intervals. The beginning of the second decade of our presence at the United Nations brings with it hope and many possibilities for our International Network. The aim is to consolidate and grow in the hope of contributing to a life of dignity for all humans and respect for our planet. You can revisit the video here.

Meet our Youth Representatives

Carolyn and Erika, students of Mount St. Vincent´s College, New YorkCarolyn and Erika, students of Mount St. Vincent´s College, New York

Carolyn and Erika, students of Mount St. Vincent´s College, New York, are doing an internship as part of the credit system at their college. Carolyn is now doing a second internship to gather more experience. The interns gain “on the ground” knowledge of an NGO within civil society working with the United Nations and convert their learning into a tool for young people or children. Carolyn has prepared a brochure and an informative one-pager for young people and Erika is working on the blog for young people. Follow the blog.

Commission on the Status of Women. CSW58

Arlene Ashack, Cecilia O´Dwyer, with   Liz Delegio and Kathleen Desautels (8th Day Center for Justice, Chicago)Arlene Ashack, Cecilia O´Dwyer, with Liz Delegio and Kathleen Desautels (8th Day Center for Justice, Chicago)

Something to celebrate. - 6000 inscriptions to the Commission. Along with the official UN work programme, there were about 400 side events generating a sense of energy and urgency. Work at local level reveals a plethora of activities aimed at progressing the lives of women in every aspect. Girls as agents of change are more visible as they initiate activities and take charge of their lives. The necessary education and involvement of boys and men in the prevention of discrimination against women has advanced in recent years. Efforts have been made by governments in many countries and a number of member states shared initiatives they have put in place.

The appalling part is that violence against women has not decreased, and discrimination against women is still rife within the United Nations Agencies and among governments world- wide. Twenty years of work by a Special Rapporteur on Violence against women revealed that even though there has been a systematizing of information and possible legislation, action to deal with this “epidemic” is by no means sufficient.

The move from CSW 58 to Beijing +20 will be the focus of next year´s Commission and the place of women within the Post 2015 Development Agenda - there is much to be done. Raising awareness about the many dimensions of violence against women and girls and the multiple requirements to prevent and end it involves everybody.

Commission on Social Development

During this year’s commission we co-sponsored a Side Event along with five NGOs and the Zambia Mission to the UN. The event was based on the results of a survey sent to Members of all the Congregations at the UN in 2009 and followed up in 2011. Our Mary Ward Center, Chicago was one of the groups included in the survey. During the NGO Forum and throughout the entire Commission, the fact that there can be no social development without the empowerment of people was reiterated. Empowerment comes from within the person yet it requires an enabling environment on the part of governments.

News from Our Network

Girls from Zambia send their concerns for the “World they Want” for the next 20 years. Knowing the needs of their local area they want their voices to be heard. Quality education is their need and this means sufficient qualified teachers.

Loreto Toorak Australia. Thanks to Year 6 Girls for your letters. On World Social Justice Day February 20, they held their annual Leadership Day, in preparation for their election to various leadership roles in the school. To celebrate 10 years of the IBVM at the UN they ran a session on Loreto girls leading and working for justice around the world and especially at the UN.

Loreto Darhamtala, Calcutta sent two videos of activities on 20 February 2014. Loreto Schools, India will celebrate the 10th Birthday on Ist May 2014.


Annual DPI Conference 2014. The Department of Public Information is holding a Conference on 27 – 29 August 2014 focussing on The Role of Civil society in the post 2015 Agenda. This is an IMPORTANT EVENT where the NGOs associated with the Department of Public Information come together to learn, to share knowledge and experiences of the Millennium Development Goals and to plan for the world beyond 2015.This is a very important event for members of the IBVM Network so it would be helpful if some representation here in New York at that time.

Cecilia O´Dwyer IBVM