Launch of UN Women – A Historic Moment in the UN General Assembly Hall

February 24, 2011   The Launch of UN Women – the new organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowrnment of women.  It was a momnet of honouring the past – envisioning the future for Women and Girls.  The ceremony is on webcast and can be accessed here

The program ended with a song ‘One Woman’ composed especially for the occasion.  March 8th is the 100 anniversary of International Women Day!

Parallel Event during CSW 55

CSW 55 flyer for CSW 51 On Wednesday February 23rd, 2011 the International Presentation Sisters together with the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd and the Anglican Women’s Empowernment, all members of the Working Group on Girls sponsored a parallel event entitled ‘ Girls Voices – Promises Made – A Review of CSW 51.

Some photographs from the event  

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Clean Cook Stoves – Gaia Association and Good Shepherd in Addis Ababa

See some pictures   Gaia Association Visit by USEPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia February 23, 2011 Good Shepherd Sisters & Gaia Association.  Report by Wubshet of Gaia Association.  “We had an exciting morning at the Good Shepherd Sisters (GSS) compound.  USEPA Administrator Lisa Jackson had visited the GSS member houses first including houses with the CleanCook stoves. We had provided ethanol for those households which have CC-stove and she visited while they were cooking.  She saw households using firewood with lots of smoke and she was impressed when she saw how clean the ethanol stove is.  We explained our project during her visit at Gaia’s s table.   She also visited the other tables of GTZ, SNV, the Ethiopian Energy Center and the Peace Corps.  At the end of the program the US Ambassador in Ethiopia and the Administrator made speeches.  And here was the excitment.  The administrator talked for long about USEPA’s  partnership with project Gaia and their support for the project and she was so generous to appreciate our effort.  This was recorded by Ethiopian Television and it will be available to be seen.   Gaia also had media coverage from Voice of america in Amharic and English.  GSS has expressed their thanks for the exposure they experienced through Gaia”

Promoting Social Integration – Voices from the Grassroots

  Read the response to a survey results conducted among 180 civil society groups from 60 countries on the Implementation of the Resolution Promoting Social Integration.  Good Shepherd has its voice in this survey survey-report-2011   The report of the Secretary General on Social Protection can be accessed here

Eradicating Poverty through Fair Trade: Promoting an Ethical Consumerism

February 9, 2011

On the opening day of the Commission For Social Development Handcrafting Justice together with Fair Trade presented a side event entitled ‘Eradicating Poverty through Fair Trade:  Promoting  an Ethical Consumerism.   Flyer for Side Event During the Commission for Social Development

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Photographs from February 9, 2011 on the opening day of the Commission for Social Development

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Some quotations from the opening remarks of Ambassador Jorge Valero, Chair of the Commission for Social Development, Permanent Representative of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United Nations. “It is necessary to implement a new paradigm of development with a humanistic character. The current economic and social model hinders the full enjoyment of human rights and the right to development, hinders the eradication  of poverty and the reduction on inequality, it is ineffective in creating jobs and voraciously destroys the environment, mainly punishing the poor and vulnerable.  In this context, it violates – among others – the right to work and health.  It also denies the right to food, which is now subject of an international market that has turned food into objects of speculation. … The dilemma facing the world today is very simple: either we promote development with equity and social justice, or we promote economics and financial policies that deepen inequality and injustice among human beings. … The construction of a new model of development must be centered on the human being.  Social justice, equitable distribution and social protection are the most effective mechanisms to reduce poverty and inequality.”

Panel Discussion on Poverty Eradication

Disconnect between Reality of Poverty — Actions of Governments Explored,  as Panellists, Delegates Alike Call for Alternative Poverty-Eradication Paradigm

This is a head line from the Department of Public Information on the panel discussion at the Commission for Social Development on Thursday February 10, 2011  Read more

One of the panelists was Jimi O. Adesina, PhD, Professor of Sociology, Director, Transformative Social Policy Programme University of the Western Cape, South Africa.  You can read his notes here   “In my small town, the equivalent of R270 per month (which would take everyone above the US$1.25/day benchmark and suggest that we have met MDG1(a)) may eliminate hunger but the person will have to be naked, homeless, and die of hypothermia by mid-July, when our winter is most severe. I am assuming that eating a loaf of bread and three cups of water eliminates hunger, but hardly malnutrition. And if you are of a „Malthusian‟, cold conservative bent, you can argue that by August poverty level would have fallen in my small town—death by hypothermia. I have used this case to illustrate a simple point: even for a measure of destitution living below that condition must be grim, indeed. …  I would suggest that a broader vision of human existence requires that we pay attention to the “Precarious Non-Poor”, in other words, those above the poverty line but are so close to it that any shock pushes them into poverty, swelling the ranks of the poor. Not paying attention to this category creates an illusion of prosperity or achievement of poverty reduction targets. The proportion of a society lives within this band is extremely important in human and policy terms. The severity of the deleterious impact of structural adjustment policy programmes in most African countries is, in part, because a significant proportion of our population were in this category: the Precarious Non-Poor.”   



Civil Society Forum in preparation for the Commission on Social Development

The NGO Committee for Social Development held the Civil Society Form on the theme of ‘Poverty Eradication: Human Dignity Demands It!’ prefacing the 49th Session of the Commission for Social Development

While opening remarks by the community of experts both lamented and celebrated the co-existence of greater poverty and greater progress, it concluded this polarisation only served to highlight that the ‘System’ has failed. It has failed because it has increased inequality. It has failed because it does not generate descent work. And it has failed because it has destabilised global climate. However, H.E. Jorge Valero, Chairperson of the 49th Session of the Commission for Social Development echoed the many voices from the Forum in asserting a new economic model that is human-centred must be implemented. Jane Stewart, Director of the International Labour Organisation added that social development needs to link strongly with both economic and environmental development in order to truly commit to the eradication of poverty.

Martin Lees, International Affairs Expert recalled the words of Albert Einstein that “no problem can be solved in the same consciousness that created it”, which serves as a timely reminder that the advances that catalysed industrialized nations into
their current prosperity are no longer appropriate mechanisms to lift today’s least developed nations into economic stability. Mr Lees reminded us all that the impending catastrophic effects of climate change will bring food and water security to the point that civilisation as we know it will be compromised; poignantly citing that “nature will not wait; it is indifferent to the fate of
humanity”. However, he provided us with the hopeful truth that it is also humanity that can prevent this catastrophe if we reframe our current economic systems of growth, accept, anticipate and mitigate the environmental reality, embrace the
positive potential of globalisation to undo the inequality it created and place a strong emphasis on women in the economy.

In the afternoon, our own Good Shepherd NGO Representative, Sr Winifred Doherty artfully facilitated a very dynamic and thought-provoking workshop on microfinance, featuring Caroljean Willie from ‘Microfinancing Partner in Africa’, Inez Murray
from ‘Women’s World Banking’ and Susan Saiyorri from ‘Jamii Bora,’ Kenya’s largest microfinancing institution. Susan roused the room with her exclamation “the poor are bankable!” and inspired us with her story of how Jamii Bora grew from 50 street beggars to more than 300,000 members in eleven years.

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