VISIT TO THE UNITED NATIONS: STUDENTS OF NOTRE DAME SEISHIN HIGH SCHOOL, HIROSHIMA, JAPAN

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Students in the SNDatUN NY Office

I was quite delighted to welcome 12 students from Notre Dame Seishin High School, Hiroshima, Japan, to the SNDatUN Office in New York, on 28th March 2018. The students were accompanied by Sister Mary Corripio, SNDdeN, and Ms. Aoyama, a faculty member. Below are comments from some of the students on the experience of their visit. Other

“From the visit to the UN, I learned about the importance of working together to build a

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Sr. Amarachi sharing about her work with the students

better world.  I knew that there were many problems such as refugees, conflicts, and global warming around the world before I came to New York, but by listening to your speech and going to a tour in the UN, and by experiencing the diversity in New York, I felt those problems more closely and felt the desperate need for them to be solved.  Thank you for giving us an opportunity to think again about these problems around the world.”  Ayaka Satani

“I was very surprised to take a lot of time to enter the United Nations the other day.  The exit gate of the United Nations was as secure as the entrance gate and we need our passport when we got there. After we made a study tour of the UN, hearing the explanations, we listened to the lecture by the sister who has been working at the United Nations.  And then, I was attracted to her and organization’s way of thinking. I want to try to work on the seventeen SDGs of aiming for sustainable society with my friends. Thank you so much for a charming meeting.”  Yuka Niimi

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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE: “IS MIGRATION A FEMINIST ISSUE?”

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Refugee women with babies.  UN Photo

The fourth round of negotiations on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration took place from 14 – 18 May.  Members of civil society organizations have consistently pushed for mainstreaming gender perspective in all sections of the compact. This is because many believe that migration is necessarily a feminist issue. The United Nations Population Funds (UNPF) also acknowledges migration as a feminist issue and suggests that gender perspective is taken into consideration when formulating policies on              migration. Below are some of the reasons given by   the UNPF for the above assertion:

  • There are about 250 million international migrants. Almost half of these are women and girls. And women are increasingly migrating alone or as heads of their family.
  • Female migrants face major risks, including sexual exploitation, trafficking, and violence
  • Migrant women face double discrimination – as women and as migrants
  • Women do not stop getting pregnant when they are on the move
  • Women and girls’ migrant are more likely to face health problems – both in transit and at their destination.

Read more:

United Nations Population Fund: https://bit.ly/2GL1gkU

Global Compact on Refugees and Migrants: https://bit.ly/2ATrj5o

“WORLD HEALTH DAY 2018 UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE: EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE

1Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is a human right. According to the Director- General of the World Health Organization (WHO), “no one should get sick and die just because they are poor, or because they cannot access healthcare services.” Sadly, a recent report by the WHO indicates that about half the world’s population still do not have full coverage of essential healthcare services. In order to highlight this issue, the WHO focused on Universal Health Coverage for the 2018 World Health Day commemorated on 7th April. WHO describes Universal Health Coverage as “means where all individuals and communities receive the health services they need without suffering financial hardships. These would include the full spectrum of essential quality health services, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care.”

ACTION: World leaders made a commitment in 2015 through the Sustainable Development Goals to provide health care for all by the year 2030. Do you know what2 progress your country is making to achieve this goal? Everyone can take the lead towards universal health coverage! Make your voice heard, start a local campaign on UHC. Click here to find out what you can do to educate yourself on this very crucial issue. Become an advocate for UHC, for those who otherwise cannot afford healthcare in your country!

Read more:   

World Health Day; https://bit.ly/2BxaPE6

Download World Health Day advocacy kit: https://bit.ly/2rCXC6n

WHO facts on universal health coverage: https://bit.ly/2jM1D4w

 

In case you missed this from our January newsletter:

8 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). DO YOU KNOW YOUR HUMAN RIGHTS? Learn the UDHR. Encourage others to do the same. Teach the UDHR to your students.  Click here to download illustrated copy of the UDHR.

ACTION: Join in the #standup4humanrights campaign and take the following pledge:

  • I will respect your rights regardless of who you are. I will uphold your rights even when I disagree with you
  • When anyone’s human rights are denied, everyone’s rights are undermined, so I will STAND UP
  • I will raise my voice. I will take action. I will use my rights to stand up for your rights.

 

Read more:

History of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; http://bit.ly/2nQeV4G

#Standup4humanrights campaign: http://bit.ly/2A5a81t

Illustrated booklet of the UDHR: http://bit.ly/2hTiaDI

Educational resources for teaching the UDHR to youths: https://bit.ly/2J7InJD

UN PERMANENT FORUM ON INDIGENOUS ISSUES: “INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ COLLECTIVE RIGHTS TO LANDS, TERRITORIES AND RESOURCES”

6The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) held it’s Seventeenth Session from April 16 – 27. The theme for the 2018 forum was; “Indigenous Peoples’ Collective Rights to Lands, Territories and Resources.” According to the UNPFII, indigenous peoples are inheritors and practitioners of unique cultures and ways of relating to people and the environment. Indigenous Peoples have retained social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live. Several indigenous communities from around the globe were represented at the UNPFII. Many of them had opportunities to present statements on issues of concern to their different communities.

The President of the UN General Assembly, Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, in his opening remarks

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Indigenous Peoples at the UN.  UN Photo

at the forum, painted the grim picture of the situation of the over 300 million Indigenous Peoples around the world. He noted that while Indigenous Peoples make up about 5 percent of the world’s population, they comprise 15 per cent of the world’s poorest people.  A situation he described as ‘shocking.’ Mr. Lajčák also

highlighted some of the challenges faced by Indigenous Peoples as violations of their human rights, marginalization, and violence they face for asserting their rights. Focusing on the theme of indigenous land, territories and resources, Mr. Lajčák pointed out that, “Indigenous Peoples are being dispossessed of the lands their ancestors called home,” often by big time and multi-national farmers and mining corporations. The President of the UN General Assembly, Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, in his opening remarks at the forum painted the grim picture of the situation of the over 300 million Indigenous Peoples around the world. He noted that while Indigenous Peoples make up about 5 percent of the world’s population, they comprise 15 per cent of the world’s poorest people.  A situation he described as ‘shocking.’ Mr. Lajčák also

In a recent report by Conselho Indigenista Missionaria (“Indigenous Missionary Council” – a subsidiary of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil), some of the challenges faced by a number of indigenous communities in Brazil (as well as indigenous communities around the world) include; high rate of suicide, lack of health care, high child mortality, alcohol and drug, lack of indigenous education and lack of general support from the State.

Learn more:

UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues: https://bit.ly/2pvCccv

UN News on Indigenous Peoples’ land rights: https://bit.ly/2H4EU1M

Conselho Indigenista Missionaria report on violence against indigenous peoples in brazil in English, Espanol and Portugese: https://bit.ly/2F1w133

MOTHER EARTH DAY: “END PLASTIC POLLUTION!”

1April 22nd is International Mother Earth Day. The theme for the 2018 earth day is: “End Plastic Pollution.” International Mother Earth Day is celebrated to remind each of us that the Earth and its ecosystems provide us with life and sustenance, and our responsibility to care for the earth. Earth Day also provides an opportunity to raise public awareness around the world to the challenges regarding the well-being of the planet and all the life it supports. The theme for this year’s celebration is very timely. Plastic waste has become so pervasive that Mother Earth is almost “drowning in the ocean of plastic pollution.” Take a look around your environment, and you will be amazed at the number of items within your view that are made of plastic. It is estimated that there are over 150 million tons of plastic in the ocean. Plastic pollution is not just limited to the ocean, the land is also heavily polluted.  They say, it takes an average of 450 years for plastic to decompose!

ACTIONS: Say NO to, or at least resolve to minimize the use of plastic materials such as shopping bags, bottled water, straws, cups, etc. Plant a tree, if possible. Plant something organic!!!

Related Sustainable Development Goals:  Picture1

 

Learn more:

United Nations Environment Programme: https://bit.ly/2vvDIza

Religions for Peace Leaders Call for Action to Protect the Earth: https://bit.ly/2qOIsdt (video)

International Mother Earth Day – Animated: https://bit.ly/2FNeZLk (video)

Plastic pollution primer and action toolkit: https://bit.ly/2IWbvo3

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF REMEMBRANCE OF THE VICTIMS OF SLAVERY AND TRANSATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE: “TRIUMPHS STRUGGLES FOR FREEDOM AND EQUALITY”

5The transatlantic slave trade era which spanned from about 1501 to 1803, marked one of the darkest chapters in the history of humanity. Over 15 million children, women, and men were taken from the African continent and were enslaved in Europe and the Americas, to work mostly in plantations. The transatlantic slave trade became the largest forced migration in history. On December 17, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly in resolution 61/122 declared 25 March as the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, in commemoration of the victims of this horrendous act against humanity. The theme for the 2018 commemoration is: “Triumphs and Struggles for Freedom and Equality.”  Additionally, in 2014 The UN General Assembly declared 2015 – 2024, as the International Decade for the People of African Descent. Some of the main objectives of the International Decade according to the UN are to uphold the following:

Although, the transatlantic slave trade was formally abolished in the 19th century, modern day slavery continues to thrive till this day. In his remarks at the occasion of the unveiling of the Permanent Memorial to the Victims of the Transatlantic Slave Trade at the UN Headquarters in 2015, the Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, expressed his hope that “The Ark of Return will also serve as a call to action against the many contemporary manifestations of slavery, from human trafficking and sexual enslavement to debt bondage.”

 

Read more: Brazil: The Story of Slavery; http://bit.ly/2I3xzfM

International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and Transatlantic Slave Trade: http://bit.ly/15e9sGC

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the International Decade for the People of African Descent: http://bit.ly/2ocpCOc