Masako Miyake, SNDdeN, is currently spending a month at the United Nations as an intern with the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur UN NGO Office in New York. Here is her reflection on her first week at the United Nations:
“The experience of being at the United Nations itself makes my understandings different from most of my other experiences. I joined five meetings in the first week. The direct subjects were different, but all connected with United Nations Millennium Development Goals and Post-2015, “THE WORLD WE WANT”. Those are mostly decided to help the people who are living in extreme poverty, discrimination and oppression. And those goals have been gradually progressed. The goals are urgent problems and progress in achievement is delightful news. But while joining the meetings, some questions occurred to me. What is development? I am from the so called developed country. Yes, we are called to help less developed countries.
About twenty years ago, I had a chance to live together with people in extreme poverty. They did not have enough food and pure water, the rate of infant mortality was high and children had no chance even for a primary school education. I could hear the voices of friends who are living in such environments. They justly said they want to develop like my country. But I could not answer ‘yes, we are your goal’. I think, when we talk about development, we usually have a diagram. When we say ‘Less Developed’, we also have image of ‘Developed’. Are Developed Countries the goal of Less Developed Countries?
The world now looks like a battlefield of ‘God and wealth’ (Mt.6/24). It seems that people who are suffering are living in the same social, global structure. Who builds this structure? Who keeps this structure? Who serves wealth? It is not the people living in poverty. It is not the people living under discrimination and oppression. So, the Developed Countries, decision- makers, and we, the people who have enough food, water, and a chance of education and health should not only be the sponsors or donors. We have not achieved the goals yet. We also (perhaps even more) need Development Goals and education for THE WORLD WE WANT. And these goals must be Development Goals for both Developed and Less Developed countries.” www.worldwewant2015.org