Journeying to and engaging in COP 28

Some of the NGO groups at the UN have started their travel to Dubai, UAE for COP 28 which starts on November 30th.

VIVAT International and UNANIMA International are among them. VIVAT had prepared recommendations and sent to the COP28 Presidency and the countries’ Focal Points: 
* COP28 UAE Presidency: Sultan Mohamed Al Jabar (President), Iman Ustadi (Deputy Chief Negotiator), and Hana Al Hashimi (Chief Climate Negotiator) * Pacific Countries: Vanuatu, Fiji, Cook Islands, Marshall Islands
* Asian Countries: Indonesia, the Philippines, Timor Leste, Maldives * Latin America and the Caribbean: Ecuador, Barbados, Costa Rica * African Countries: DRC, Ethiopia, Kenya. Mozambique, Niger, Senegal, South Sudan, Tunisia.

We have signed on this statement.

UNANIMA have prepared a position paper that reviews the key focuses of COP28 as outlined by the COP Presidency, and makes recommendations given our research and advocacy. The Policy Statement, on the other hand, focuses more specifically on the needs and experiences of women, children, and girls in relation to climate change and the need for a just transition to a more sustainable future.

UNANIMA delegation will be attending the first week of COP28 in Dubai from November 30th-December 8th. UNANIMA International is sponsoring a side event titled “A Global Catholic Letter on Climate Change to the COP28 Presidency” (along with Vivat International and other Catholic organizations) on Tuesday, December 5th, from 6:30-8:00pm (UAE time) which Jean will be moderating and Liana will be presenting at.

UNANIMA will provide updates on COP28, including a live stream to the side event once that’s available, and we hope that you’ll join us virtually on social media and other platforms. When published I will also insert the link for you to access.

The Laudato Si Movement offers opportunities for engagment with COP 28 in mind a) On line petition b) Virtual prayer service c) Panel event

Please join us for these three upcoming online events, held in the hope of authentic faith, praying and acting for COP 28:

Nov. 29, 2023 at 7pm – 8pm ET. Offered by the Boston Chapter of the Global Catholic Climate Movement and the NH Care for Creation Committee – a Laudato Si’ Circle

Join us in a spiritual wave of prayer for meaningful decisions and urgent action. We pray that all who gather for this COP will feel they are on holy ground and act accordingly, for the sake of all creation–God’s great gift of love. All are welcome. Register here!

Nov 30, 2023 at 12pm ET

Catholic Climate Covenant and Laudato Si’ Movement warmly invite you to an online conversation with renowned climate scientist, Dr. Katharine Hayhoe and Fordham professor of theology, Dr. Christiana Zenner about COP 28 and the invitation of Catholics in this gathering, both in Dubai and at home. Register here

UN General Assembly 78th Session – High Level Week – The Stakes are High

The words of the UN Secretary General at a press conference following the opening of the 78th Session of the General Assembly

” My appeal to world leaders will be clear: 

This is not a time for posturing or positioning. 

This is not a time for indifference or indecision. 

This is a time to come together for real, practical solutions.

It is time for compromise for a better tomorrow.

Politics is compromise.

Diplomacy is compromise.

Effective leadership is compromise.

If we want a future of peace and prosperity based on equity and solidarity, leaders have a special responsibility to achieve compromise in designing our common future for our common good.

Next week here in New York is the place to start.”

All you every need to know about the General Assembly and what is taking place from September 16 to 29

JCOR have prepared a very informative guide in Powerpoint to help us navigate at home and at the UN Headquarter in NY. It is available in four languages English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. Get a sense of when your national leaders are going to address the assembly on Slides 6,7 and 8. Social media with sample messenging are towards the end.

Read about the Sustainable Development Summit and the Sustainable Development Action Weekend in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese

My proposed scheduled

Saturday September 16: Mobilization Day: Opening Session of the SDG Action Weekend followed by ‘Towards a Rights-Centered Gender-Transformative Economy, including a new International Financial Architecture” organized by Women’s Major Group, with the suppor of UN Women. It will be live on UN Web TV from 12.00 pm – 2.00 pm. EST. This is followed by a side event at 2.15 pm. entitled from SDG Summit to Summit of the Future: building the UN we Need in Conference Room 4 and lastly at 4.15 pm EST : Towards the Realisation of SDGs: Multi-stakeholder, Intersectional and Intergenerational Approach.

Sunday September 17th: I will attend the Global People’s Assembly at the Church Center. 9.00 am EST Opening Plenary; 11.15 am Which Financial Architecture for Economic Justice; 1.30 pm Linkages of Pushback, Linkages of Resistence: Gender, Climate, Migration and Democracy and at 3.00 p.m. join the Climate March.

Monday, September 18 is the first day of the SDG Summit with a leaders dialogue taking place in the UN. From 9.00am – 11.00 am EST I will attend the second day Global People’s Assembly in a session entitled Feminist Economy. The conclusion of the day is around Civil Society Networking followed by Final Plenary and Public Action at 6.30 p.m. EST Concurrently, Religions for Peace have an event TRILATERAL PARTNERSHIP OF REGIONAL FAITH-BASED NETWORKS FOR THE SDGs: Register HERE to attend virtually. Register HERE to attend in person.

67th Session of UN General Assembly, New York Week of 19 September 2022 …

Listen to Amanda Gorman reading her poem, “An Ode We Owe,” read at the U.N. General Assembly on Monday, September 19th. Her poem addresses climate and equality.

The seventy-seventh session of the General Assembly opened on 13 September under the theme, “A watershed moment: transformative solutions to interlocking challenges.” The debate session started on September 20th. A flavour of what world leaders have been saying over the past few days at the UNGA 77th Session can be read from PassBlue, September 20, Day 1; September 21, Day 2; September 22, Day 3; September 23, Day 4. Access to the statement of each country has been uploaded HERE on the UN Website. You have a choice to read a summary, listen to the video, and in some cases read the full text. This is helpful if you wish to see what your country, President, Prime Minister, or Foreign Minister has said. The statement of the UN Secretary-General provides a good overview of the multiple and intersecting global issues impinging on people and the planet. Yet the prevalence of war and conflict dominate the conversation with calls for full commitment to the Climate Change Conference at COP 27 (Conference of Parties 27)in Egypt, 6 – 18 November 2022. It is difficult to find any evidence of transformative solutions – yes there are many aspirations that seem to evaporate in the face of the issues.

One event (virtual) on the sidelines of the UN GA that I attended was ‘Faith in the Future’ How faith-based organizations are tackling the hunger crisis. For 9 years hunger declined but today the emergence of acute hunger around the world is alarming. 828 million people go to bed hungry every night, 349 million are experiencing acute hunger with 50 million facing starvation! Why you may ask? The world has changed says Barron Segar, President, and CEO, World Food Program USA listing 4 Cs – Costs are rising, Climate Change, COVID-19, and Conflict. Because Government funding is flat, partnerships become important. Partnership with the private sector fills the funding gap and provides innovative technical assistance. Faith-based organizations and philanthropy are well positioned also because they inspire giving, are trusted on the ground, and have the ability to mobilize and hold values that are critical to problem-solving – the world is one, inclusion etc. The organizations represented on the panel were The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints, Islamic Relief USA, Food for the Hungry, (Africa), and Catholic Relief Services (Latin America). There is one lovely story of an authentic interfaith collaboration between Islamic Relief and Catholic Relief Services in Africa.

This event showcases what is happening on the ground to alleviate hunger on a daily basis while encountering the multiple challenges posed by the 4 Cs.

Concurrently while the UN GA is debating through each state making its own statement, CSOs are engaging in the ‘Global People’s Assembly’ September 20 – 22 with over 1000 civil society groups proposing bold steps to transform our world.

This is where the hope for change resides. A Declaration developed with inputs from over 30 national and regional people’s assemblies, was adopted at the three-day Global People’s Assembly on Tuesday 22nd of September. “The time to act is now,” the group calls for a shared political and economic power equally between the global north and global south, for global democracy and a robust civic space. The Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd is included in this through our membership in the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors. Implementation of Universal Social Protection is a part of the change we wish to see.

Another part of Good Shepherd’s advocacy toward structural and systemic change is through the Feminist Action Nexus for Economic and Climate Justice. The hashtag #FeministsWantSystemsChange, sums up the advocacy well but you may well ask how? In this session, Women’s Major Group (WMG) and Feminist Action Nexus members and allies will offer testimony of struggles against corporate capture and inspiration for a collective transformation towards a gender-equal world. I attended this event: Corporate Capture vs. Systems Change: Identifying a Feminist Way Forward on Wednesday 21 September. The current advocacy issue – asking UN Women to withdraw their memorandum with Blackrock. Inc based on the letter that was signed by over 700 organizations and individuals. Within Blackrock’s operations, many human rights violations have been identified and documented. Read more in an article in the Guardian.

CSW continues into the Second Week March 21 – 25

CSW 66 is continuing in this second week beginning on Monday March 21 – with the formal program within the United Nations and Parallel Events as hosted on the NGOCSW Website. It is still not too late to register and gain access to all that is happening at the NGOCSW Forum including our Virtual Booth displaying the event that are happening this week in Asia Pacific and Latin America. The Congregational Event took place on March 16th with an attendance just short of 300 participants sponsored by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, Republic of Korea. We pay tribute to the panelists who shared from the wealth of their experience at the grassroots and the moderator Cristina Duranti, CEO from the Good Shepherd International Foundation.

Another event that Good Shepherd Co-sponsored was “My Voice our Equal Future” a girls hosted events. We are very proud of all the girls presenting and marvel at their knowledge, creativity, ingenuity and engagement within the CSW 66 processes. This programme includes a Good Shepherd girl student from India of whom we are all very proud. This was her second panel presentation – a much more comprehensive sharing than the first day. How exciting to see Good Shepherd girl advocates from around the world joining with other girl advocates for gender equality, sustainability and the future of our planet. Jasmine presented on Climate Change and Technology and the concrete steps she is taking at local level. Congratulations Jasmine!

Winifred was a panelist at the Religions for Peace Parallel CSW 66 Parallel Event entitled ‘Multi-religious Collaboration: The Tipping Point for Engendered Climate Change Policies ‘ where she addressed the issues of the issue of Human Trafficking.

“The root causes of human trafficking can be attributed to the inequalities caused by economics systems particularly the neo-liberal capitalist systems that exploit people and planet. … quoting Pope Francis “the Amazon today is a wounded and deformed beauty, a place of suffering and violence. Attacks on nature have consequences for people’s lives. ” Read the full text French Spanish

Girl events from Asia Pacific and Madagascar Africa were held on Saturday March 18th The event from Asia Pacific was a collaborative event across countries. This year the GSIJP Office worked to ensure that girls are present in events and present within the CSW 66 process.  We have had girls from India,  Philippines, Sri Lanka and Latin America take part in Girls’ Statement Writing, moderating and facilitating process and meetings with UN Member States and being part of the delivery of the Girl’s Statement to the CSW 66. This is scheduled for Tuesday 22nd.   All this was made possible because of the zoom platform, internet connectivity and the facilitation of Mission Partners in all regions of the world together with the dedicated follow through and skilled approach of my colleague Alexis Schutz. It is impressive to hear girls from Asia Pacific witness to their engagement on the global stage.  Indeed they are the policy makers and political leaders of tomorrow ensuring gender equality and sustainability.  It is indeed a source of HOPE for the congregations to have the privilege of engaging with Girl ‘Mission Partners’ in addressing the structural and systemic issues facing our world. They do so with ease while addressing various topics displaying both breath, and depth of knowledge – social protection, gender equity, social inequality, economic justice, climate crisis and the digital divide – all intersecting and interconnecting issues that require a new paradigm to address.   The global community needs to move from a mindset of  scarcity to abundance, from profit making to equitable sharing.   We must seek to change the current data indicating that the top 10% of adults hold 85% of the world’s total wealth, while the bottom 90% hold the remaining 15% of the world’s total wealth. and in relation to gender equality ‘the ten richest people in the world are men’  this too must change!   The crises facing humanity today are facilitated by the systems and structures of patriarchy seeking to control, usurp, own, and exploit both people and the planet.   This system has to give way to one of equity, human rights, gender equality, sustainability and sharing – with the implementation of universal social  protection for all; – access to medical care for all, universal child benefits for every child; a sustainable income for every person unable to work, and pensions for all older people.  The power struggle is equally at work in the dominance of the global north and its institutions over the global south – this too has to change! Enjoy the progamme entitled ‘Sirius Talk’. Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky. These girls are the brightest stars in our future!

This event was followed by a program from Madagascar, equally impressive and inspiring with new a learning for me on ‘Aquaponic Agriculture’. Aquaponics is a food production system that couples aquaculture (raising fish, with the hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) whereby the nutrient-rich aquaculture water is fed to the growing plants. Olivia presented aquaphonic agriculture which she had learned from an expert Mr Anton Lavale who works on this in Madagascar. Sambata and Hasina both sophomore students presented on social inequality and the threats and devastation caused by weather related events in Madagascar, so relevant to the CSW 66 theme ‘achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster reduction policies and programmes.’

Some events are continuing for the rest of the week – do join in if you have the opportunity. A girls event will take place from Latin America tomorrow.

The Virtual High Level Political Forum ended yesterday, July 16

A disappointing end to the High Level Political Forum. Throughout the two weeks words abounded calling for accelerated action but the political will of the member states was lacking and we are without a ministerial declaration with committed resources to ‘build back better.’ Remember this was the theme “Accelerated action and transformative pathways: realizing the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development “.

An overall impression of the Forum was provided by Deputy-Secretary of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed. “It is clear from your discussions and from recent progress reports that the left behind are still being left behind. We simply must do more — much more — to reach the most excluded and discriminated in our societies — including migrants and refugees, women and girls, and persons with disabilities. We must respond with greater urgency to the moral shame that is world hunger and to the risks facing hundreds of millions of people living in fragile and conflict affected contexts. We must channel greater investment towards the full empowerment and employment of young people, We must speed up – not fall back – on our push for gender equality. And we truly must come to terms with the requirements of SDG10 – recognizing that extreme inequality is never inevitable” Read the full text or see the Video Recording

The closing words of the President of the Economic and Social Council , H.E. Ms Mona Juul ‘We also want to strongly reaffirm our commitment to multilateralism and international solidarity in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. I think we are close to an agreement on a declaration that will be visionary, well balanced, action-oriented, and focused on the key challenges of our times. I encourage all member states to support a consensus-based adoption of the Declaration very soon – its core messages are certainly more important than ever.’ Full Text

H.E. Ms Mona Juul – President of the Economic and Social Council

The GSIJP Team – Alexis Schutz and Donatus Lili were active and engaged and captured on virtual platforms.

Alexis Schutz (Center)
Donatus Lili – Right side column, center photo

The templates in vibrant colors drew attention to the theme of the day, the crosscutting nature of the agenda and the intersection of the SDG’s.

while the Tweets send out the messages and calls for action.

Catching a glimpse of Good Shepherd advocacy work from Paris to Indonesia, and from Washington to Santiago Chile.

An unusual moment to catch such a glimpse of advocacy work undertaken by Good Shepherd around the same time around the world.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Cristina Durante and Catherine Mutindi were actively engaged in the OECD meeting in Paris. Director of Good Shepherd International Foundation , Cristina Duranti participated on April 17th together with Amnesty International and other panelists at #Cobalt session at #OECDminerals in Paris, to present our DRC program in Kolwezi and discuss abuses suffered by the most vulnerable in the cobalt mining communities.  Catherine presented on community-based approaches to ending child labour in Kolwezi during an NGO sponsored side event.  This side event was in collaboration with Care and Protection of Children – CPC Learning Network  Photographs are from Facebook.  Catherine is with the co-found of CPC Learning Network Mark Canavera.    Read more    See the documentary

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Once again children to the fore – now from Indonesia!  Congratulations to  Maria Anggelina, who  won Hermann Gmeiner Award 2018.  Maria Anggelina is an Administrative staff, Kindergarten of Good Shepherd Sisters, Batam, Indonesia 
Maria Anggelina is a champion for the cause of children and marginalised women in Indonesia. She is particularly active in trying to save children who have been trafficked to Batam, an island in Indonesia’s Riau Archipelago. As part of her work with the Good Shepherd Sisters, Ms Anggelina and a team cooperate with law enforcement, the military, social services and church organisations to combat human trafficking on the island. Thanks to their efforts, at least 40 victims have been rescued and returned to their home villages. Seeing many cases, especially ones where children from her own hometown have fallen victim, makes Ms Anggelina very grateful to have been cared for by SOS Children’s Villages Flores in Indonesia. She realises, if it were not for SOS Chlldren’s Villages, she could have been a victim of trafficking herself. By raising the awareness of parents and children, Ms Anggelina hopes to reduce the number of trafficking victims.  Read more


The National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd are organizing a Human Trafficking Conference for Tuesday, May 15, 2008

In Santiago Chile, the regional preparatory meeting for the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) which will take place in New York, July 9-18, 2018 is presently happening.  The High Level Political Forum meets annually  to evaluate implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.   We have two members present at the meeting in Santiago – Marta Iris and Erika Sanchez.  Hedwig Joehl attended a similar meeting in Geneva.  Georgette hopes to attend in Beirut (April 24 to 26)  and Donatus will attend with the Sisters from Senegal at Dakar (May 2 – 4) the meeting for Africa.  Read more HEREErika 5

Click on – Video Clip