LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND: END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS

1The United Nations General Assembly, in resolution 48/104, adopted the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women on December 20, 1991. In 1998, November 25 was designated as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Violence against women is a violation of human rights. However, sadly, it is still the most pervasive form of discrimination.  Violence against women is a consequence of persisting inequalities between men and women, through which discrimination thrives. Women around the world continue to face violence and discrimination within classrooms, boardrooms, and on battlefields. Some of the prevalent forms of violence suffered by women and girls are intimate partner violence, sexual violence and harassment, human trafficking, female genital mutilation, and child marriage.

Violence against women and girls is preventable, and the elimination of such violence is 2essential for building a healthy, peaceful society. However, as noted in the UN Secretary General’s 2017 report on progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, “Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will require more vigorous efforts, including legal frameworks, to counter deeply rooted gender-based discrimination that often results from patriarchal attitudes and related social norms.”

Ending gender-based violence and inequality requires the concerted effort of individuals, families, civil society organizations, community, and religious authorities. After all, “denying the rights of women and girls is not only wrong in itself; it has a serious social and economic impact that holds us all back.”  As rightly put by UN Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Guterres, “denying the rights of women and girls is not only wrong in itself; it has a serious social and economic impact that holds us all back.”

Read more:

UN Women website: http://bit.ly/2hIfTy3

Learn about 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign. The theme for the 2017 campaign is “Together We Can End Gender-Based Violence in Education.” Also download the toolkit on gender-based violence in education from this link; http://bit.ly/2zjgyOd

Explore the facts: Violence Against Women; http://bit.ly/2irh0iJ

Advertisements

THE CALL TO END POVERTY: A PATH TOWARD PEACEFUL AND INCLUSIVE SOCIETIES

2Extreme poverty is a violation of human rights. On December 22, 1992, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, in resolution 47/196, declared October 17 as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. The theme for 2017 celebration is, “Answering the Call of October 17 to end poverty: A path toward peaceful and inclusive society.” The observance of October 17 was inspired by the Call to Action by Father Joseph Wresinski; founder of International Movement ATD Fourth World, a nongovernmental organization that aims to eradicate extreme poverty through human rights based approach. Since the adoption of this resolution, some progress has been made toward global poverty eradication. Yet, significant work towards this goal remains.

There are sufficient resources in the world for fair allocation to every individual, yet3 millions of people live in extreme poverty. This occurrence is because only a handful of the world’s population controls the bulk of the world’s resources, leaving the majority of the world’s population in poverty. A recent report by Oxfam International clearly illustrates this sad situation.  According to this report published by Oxfam in January 2017 titled, An Economy for the 99%, eight men own the same wealth as the 3.8 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity. This is simply not acceptable! As stated by the former President of the United States, Barack Obama, to the UN General Assembly in 2016, “a world where 1% of humanity controls as much wealth as the bottom 99% will never be stable.”

In 2015, world leaders under the auspices of the United Nations made a commitment to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 by adopting the Sustainable Development Goals, with the eradication of poverty as its first goal.

Read more:

UNSG message on poverty:  https://youtu.be/GQ_ehELVScY

An Economy for the 99%: http://bit.ly/2jXPgES

Poverty is Political: These 3 Things Will Help Us Eliminate It: http://bit.ly/2yzT31B

THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY: 72ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY SESSIONS

1Every year, heads of government of all 193 Member States of the United Nations (UN) gather at the Headquarters of the organization in New York for the General Assembly (GA). The General Assembly (one of the six organs of the UN) is the only occasion that brings together leaders of all Member States annually. The 2017 Session of the GA, which was also the 72nd since the inception of the UN, was held from September 12-28.

What is the General Assembly? Below are some basic facts about the General Assembly. (Culled from the UN website).

Created in 1945, the General Assembly is the democratic heart of the UN. The General Assembly comprises of 193 Member States. Each has an equal voice in decision-making.It debates pressing issues that affects millions of people; Peace and Security, Human Rights, 2Development, and many more …It appoints the UN Secretary General.  And elects the non-permanent members of the Security Council. The General Assembly is where key decisions affecting all Member States are made. More than 500 Treaties have been created under the General Assembly auspices. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was agreed upon back in 1948. The 2015 Sustainable Development Goals were approved by the General Assembly, as a path to eradicate poverty and address climate change by 2030

 The 72nd General Assembly featured a signing ceremony of the new Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, and general debate on the following; UN reform, Climate Change Preventing sexual exploitation and abuse and Women’s economic empowerment.

 A number of global hotspots from Central African Republic, South Sudan and Yemen also took center stage during the 72nd General Assembly. 

 Read more: General Assembly of the United Nation; http://www.un.org/en/ga/

COLLABORATING FOR GOOD: VISIT FROM THE CONGREGATIONAL LEADER OF SISTERS OF NOTRE DAME DE NAMUR TO SNDatUN OFFICE

1By Teresita Weind SNDdeN, Congregational Leader, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. There is a big difference between talking about the problems of the world and being sucked into a hole of hopelessness; and being with people determined to meet and collaborate for positive changes for the good of our planet and peoples. Sister Grace Amarachi Ezeonu, SNDdeN, our NGO representative at the United Nations, chose a few events for us to attend while I visited her at the UN during the first week of Easter. The three events focused on positive change, featuring Youth Voices on Substance Abuse; Academic Panelists addressing The Rise of Nationalist Politics and Policy Implications for Migration; and an Interactive Dialogue on Harmony with Nature. Grace Amarachi is in the seventh month of this ministry at the UN, working with colleagues and committees at the UN, and reaching out to include contacts with our Provinces for Social Justice. Our Congregation is grateful for the attention Grace Amarachi is devoting to positive change and healing in our wounded world. Thank you, Grace Amarachi.

 

WORLD WATER DAY: “WHY WASTE WATER?”

InicefMarch 22, was the World Water Day. This year, the United Nations asks the world, “Why Waste Water?” According to a UN source, over 1.8 billion people around the world use sources of drinking water contaminated with faeces. This puts them at the risk of contracting cholera, typhoid, polio, dysentery, and other water-borne diseases. Women UNICEF/NYHQ2012-2002/Shehzad Nooran in many parts of the world still walk for miles to get water for domestic use, this sometimes expose them to the danger of attacks or sexual assault. Many girls in rural communities also miss school because they have to walk long distances to fetch water.

Access to safe and clean water is a human right. In 2015, the 193 Member States of the SDG 6United Nations adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals which includes access to “Clean Water and Sanitation” (Goal 6). SDG target 6.3 requires us by 2030 to “improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping, and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally.” When next you leave your tap or shower running for too long, recall the UN question: “Why waste water?” Click here to download a Fact sheet on water.

SISTERS OF NOTRE DAME de NAMUR: WORKING WITH OTHERS, TRANSFORMING LIVES

Picture 4Evalyne Aseyo, SNDdeN, teaches in the Community Health and Development department of the Tropical Institute of Community Health and Development in Kisumu, Kenya. Her work at the institute also includes community service and research.

Sister Evalyne’s research work involves working with others in the local communities to monitor and follow up on vital health indicators. They collect data, analyze the data, and share results in different forums to inform decisions within the health sector. She is part of a team involved in research aimed at designing and testing a novel child hygiene intervention in collaboration with other stakeholders, such as caregivers and health extension workers. This intervention targets children’s caregivers with the aim of changing key behaviors. Community Health Volunteers will deliver the intervention.

In her community service role, Sr. Evalyne reaches out to vulnerable communities in

Picture 5

Sr. Evalyne in class with students

collaboration with a network of community organizations. Her current project is composed of a team of members from Community Health Extension Workers, Community Health Volunteers, and Community Units. Their projects take place within a community situated in an informal settlement in the  Western part of Kenya.  Sr. Evalyne joins force with the                   aforementioned community partners to enhance community participation in health care service delivery.

 #17 development goalAt the Tropical Institute of Community Health and Development, partnership is defined as working together (individuals/institutions) in sharing resources, ideas, and experiences to support and enrich the work of each contributor with the objective of reaching increased valued and quality outcomes for all parties involved. Together, with other stakeholders, the team mobilizes and organizes communities into ‘Community Units’ with the aim of ensuring that communities are linked to the health sector at the centre, in order to generate informed dialogue, referrals and feedback mechanisms. Together with these partners, they collect data and follow up on indicators such as: immunization coverage, Ante Natal Care (ANC), use of insecticide treated nets for mothers and children under the age of 5, safe water, Vitamin A intake, health facility delivery, and many more. The results of these indicators are noted on community notice boards that are often located in central places within the community. The data on the notice board is usually discussed during forums scheduled for community dialogue. These forums, in turn, generate community action days to address health initiatives.  Sr. Evalyne participates in the community dialogue and action days, whenever possible.

 

 

THE NINTH UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY GENERAL: MR. ANTONIO GUTERRES ASSUMES NEW ROLE

Mr. Antonipic-3o Guterres began his new mandate as the ninth United Nations Secretary General on January 1st.  Speaking shortly after he took the oath of office on December 12, 2016, Mr. Guterres commended his immediate predecessor, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, for his leadership in charting out the future of the UN with the Sustainable Development Goals. He also highlighted the strategic priorities of the UN as; working for peace, supporting sustainable development, and reforming its internal management. Mr. Guterres stressed among other things, his desire to work with Member States on structural, legal, and operational measures to make the zero-tolerance policy a reality as he pledged to make human dignity the core of his work as the UN Secretary General.

On December 15, Mr. Guterres fulfilled one of his pledges; “to respect gender parity and geographical diversity,” by appointing three women as core members of his team. These team members and their respective appointments are; Ms. Amina Mohammed of Nigeria who is the deputy Secretary General, Ms. Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti of Brazil and Ms. Kyung-wha Kang of the Republic of Korea as his Chef de Cabinet and Special Advisor on Policy.

As he assumed office on January 1, Mr. Guterres pledged to make 2017 a year for peace.

Watch Mr. Guterres: https://youtu.be/fIErDYzxfps

 

pic-4

Amina Mohammed of Nigeria.  UN Photo

pic-5

Enter a captionMaria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti of Brazil

pic-6

Kyung-wha Kang of the Rep. of Korea.  UN Photo