Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur is an accredited non-governmental organization (NGO) at the United Nations since 2001. In 2007, the Sisters of Notre Dame of Coesfeld chose to work for systemic change on an international level at the United Nations and were welcomed by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. The two groups collaborate on social and sustainable development issues with special attention to the rights of women and girls.
  • Sister Jean Stoner represents the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur at the United Nations, working primarily on issues related to poverty eradication, sustainable development, financing for development, education, and human trafficking.
  • Sister Mary Jo Toll represents the Sisters of Notre Dame of Coesfeld at the United Nations, working principally in the areas of education, migration, human trafficking, sustainable development, and girls' rights.
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The test of our progress is not whether we add more
to the abundance of those who have much;
it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.
US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt


Since at least 1.4 billion people still struggle to live on less than $1.25 a day, much more must be done to eradicate the scourge of extreme poverty. The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are coordinating a Social Protection Floor Initiative as a joint UN effort to build a global coalition committed to supporting countries in building national social protection for their citizens. 

The concept of a social protection floor (SPF) is very clear: no one should live below a certain income level and everyone should be able to access at least basic health services, primary education, housing, water, sanitation and other essential services. 

Among many examples of SPF success stories are extension of health services coverage in Rwanda, Ghana and Thailand; introduction of cash benefits such as social pensions and child benefits in Namibia, Bolivia and South Africa; introduction of public works programs to guarantee benefits for the unemployed and underemployed in India; comprehensive sets of social protection benefits introduced in Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Argentina. 

In support of the SPF initiative, the NGO Committee for Social Development is seeking a million signatures to present to the UN Commission on Social Development in February 2012. For SPF materials in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese, go to www.ngosocdev.net

Please sign the petition and invite others to do so as well:
www.gopetition.com/petitions/signature-campaign-social-protection-floor.html  (English)   www.gopetition.com/petitions/appuyer-le-socle-de-protection-sociale.html   (Français)  
www.gopetition.com/petitions/en-apoyo-del-piso-de-protecci%C3%B3n-social.html  (Español)
www.gopetition.com/petitions/patamar-de-prote%C3%A7%C3%A3o-social-para-todos-e-todas.html    (Portuges)


Through their NGO Office, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur can be registered for UN meetings as NGO participants. There is no fee to attend these meetings, but participants are responsible for their own transportation and room and board. Some funds are available to assist Sisters from Latin America and Africa. If you are a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur interested in attending a UN meeting in 2012, contact Jean Stoner as soon as possible at SNDatUN@sndden.org.

In New York, USA

February 1 – 10       50th Commission on Social Development (CSocD 50)   Theme: Poverty Eradication  
Read more about CSocD 50

 February 27 – March 9           56th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 56)   Theme: Empowerment of rural women   Read more about CSW 56

 May 7 – 18       11th Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII 11)     Theme: Right to food              
Read more about UNPFII 11 

In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

June 3 – 5       Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)     Theme: Green economy   
Read more about Rio+20


Impact of Microloans:  what can happen globally when people share resources

Assisting asylum seekers and raising awareness around refugee issues: Asylum Link Merseyside     www.asylumlink.org.uk/index.html

Development of sustainable mobility: Youth for Public Transport           


Yesterday UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met with NGOs and stressed their role in various UN priorities. Hopeful and informative.

Read more at http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=40206&Cr=ngos&Cr1


Wonderful news — the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to three women peacekeepers from Liberia and Yemen. Read more at  http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/07/us-nobel-peace-idUSTRE7963KM20111007


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