“HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE AND EDUCATION: OUR SHARED RESPONSIBILITY”

04The United Nations General Assembly on 1 November 2005 adopted a resolution A/RES/60/7 designating 27 January, as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The General Assembly adopted the above resolution by “consensus condemning “without reserve” all manifestations of religious intolerance, incitement, harassment or violence against persons or communities based on ethnic origin or religious belief, whenever they occur.” The theme for the 2018 Holocaust Remembrance Day is “Holocaust Remembrance and Education: Our Shared Responsibility.” This theme, according to the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme highlights the importance of education on the tragedy of holocaust in order to encourage the future generation to reject all forms of racism, violence and extremism. “To build a future, you have to know the past.” (Otto Frank)

Hatred, intolerance, discrimination and demonization of an entire population simply on the basis of their race, ethnicity, sexuality or religious beliefs could potentially be the first step to inciting a genocide.  As the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres warns, “It would be a dangerous error to think of the Holocaust as simply the result of the insanity of a group of criminal Nazis. On the contrary, the Holocaust was the culmination of millennia of hatred, scapegoating and discrimination targeting the Jews, what we now call anti-Semitism.”

Read more:

International Holocaust Remembrance Day: http://bit.ly/MjAbc4

Resolution A/RES/60/7: http://bit.ly/2mQkbBW

Unforgettable; Holocaust Survivors speak; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVqmUtWBy8E

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SPOTLIGHT ON GLOBAL ISSUES: PARTICIPATE IN UN MEETINGS IN 2018

3Through the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur NGO Office, interested persons are able to participate in major UN meetings. There is no fee to attend these UN sessions, but participants are responsible for their housing, food, and transportation while attending the meeting. Funds are available to assist Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur from Latin America and Africa. If you are interested in attending a major UN meeting in New York in 2018, contact Sister Grace Amarachi Ezeonu as soon as possible at SNDatUN@sndden.org.  You can also follow UN meetings by webcast at http://webtv.un.org/. Below are some of the major UN sessions taking place in from January – April, 2018.

 

  • January 29 – February 7, 2018: 56th Commission on Social Development (New York). “Strategies for Eradicating Poverty to Achieve Sustainable Development for All” is  the priority theme for the 2018 policy cycle. http://bit.ly/2iJixzV
  • March 12 – 23, 2018: 62nd Commission on the Status of Women (New York).
    Theme: Challenges and Opportunities in Achieving Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Rural Women and Girls.” http://bit.ly/2AEUBoN
  • April 16 – 27, 2018: 17th Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (New York)  Theme: “Indigenous Peoples’ Collective Rights to Lands, Territories and Resources. http://bit.ly/2yXQtEa

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/

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

 

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Amina Mohammed of Nigeria.  UN Photo

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Enter a captionMaria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti of Brazil

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BREAKING NEWS: A NEW UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY GENERAL CHOSEN

11-16-3The United Nations General Assembly, on October 13, 2016, appointed Mr. Antonio Guterres as the new Secretary General. Mr. Guterres’ appointment was made by acclamation by the Security Council’s recommendation following the resolution’s adoption in a private meeting.

Many observers described the process for the election of Mr. Guterres as the most transparent and open process in the history of the UN’s election of any Secretary General. The process included a town hall debate at the General Assembly in July, where candidates for the position took questions from diplomats and members of the civil society. There were also several straw polls conducted by the Security Council. Many who had hoped for a woman Secretary General were a little disappointed.

Mr. Ban ki-Moon welcomed the appointment of Mr. Guterres, and described it as “an 11-16-4excellent choice.” Mr. Guterres brings his experience, as a former Prime Minister of Portugal and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, to his new role. He will assume his new position as the UN Chief on January, 1 2017, after Mr. Ban ki-Moon ends his tenure on December 31.
http://bit.ly/2eBcy0x

COMMITTEE OF RELIGIOUS NGOS AT THE UN

RNGOs

RNGO planning committee for World Interfaith Harmony Week at UN General Assembly

In a world where conflict is often precipitated in the name of religion, NGOs are working hard to foster mutual respect among people of differing faith traditions. The Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations (RNGO) is composed of the representatives of national and international organizations which define their work as religious, spiritual or ethical in nature and are accredited to the UN. RNGO meets regularly to share information and insights about complex issues and events at the UN.

The Committee’s focus is two fold: it serves as a forum to inform and educate our constituencies about the global challenges of our time and the constructive role that the UN can play in addressing those issues, and to exchange and promote shared religious and ethical values in the deliberations of the world organization.            rngos.wordpress.com

GENERAL ASSEMBLY: FOCUS AREAS

The United Nations Year begins formally each September with the convening of the General Assembly. The 192 member countries are currently working in six major committees on resolutions to be considered at their plenary session in December.     As NGOs we are not allowed to participate in General Assembly committee meetings, but we can monitor them to see what’s developing and how those living in poverty may be affected.

 General Assembly Committee focus areas:

  1. disarmament & international security       
  2. economic & financial                                    
  3. social, humanitarian, & cultural                 
  4. political subjects & decolonization
  5. UN administration & budget
  6. international legal matters

For more information:          http://www.un.org/en/ga/maincommittees/index.shtml