Our 31st Congregational Chapter 2021 Direction Statement calls us to “Make a firm Congregational Commitment in alignment with the Laudato Si Action Platform” and the Congregational Position Papers to address the catastrophic consequences of the destruction of our planet caused not only by greed but also by apathy.” The UN Oceans Conference provides one such opportunity to learn more and engage. Laudato Si has some specific references to oceans in Paragraphs 24, 29, 37,40, 41, 48 and 174. The Conference will be held in Portugal with a theme of “Save the Ocean” and hopes to scale up ocean action based on science and innovation for the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14.
The opening paragraph of the position paper on Integral Ecology reads “we live in a time when science and theology offer reliable global insights about the interconnectedness of life and matter in all forms throughout the universe. This enriches our understanding of the world as a source of deep contemplation and sacred activity, calling us to the heart of what it means to be inclusive and reconciled in all ways with the Whole. It challenges us to re-evaluate prior perceptions, previous understanding, and unquestioned practices”. Paragraph 5 continues “we admit our complicity in perpetuating dualistic and domineering attitudes about the earth. We understand that reconciliation with our earth calls for a new consciousness, a new identity, and new behaviors centered on the kinship of all creation and the implementation of human rights for all. Interdependence demands inclusion of all – non-living and living, non-human and human – without discrimination.” This positioning provides the backdrop for interest in the UN Ocean’s Conference.
Mercy International Association is sharing resources – Mercy Oceans Campaign – which will run in tandem with the UN Ocean Conference next week. The TOOLKIT for this initiative contains videos produced by Mercy Sisters and partners from around the world, as well as thematic reflection papers and resources on many of the themes that will be discussed in Lisbon.
The materials below were compiled by the Mercy Global Action Oceans Taskforce and are available for download and use. It is an incredibly rich and holistic resource beautifully laid out and easy to follow.
The six theme are listed in the graphic above and below is a quick glance at the issues addressed and materials provided. By clicking on Download the TOOLKIT you have access to the link for the six themes followed by a thematic reflection. Don’t forget to share the “Prayer for our Oceans” and use it for personal prayer or in community over the coming week. SDG 14 is one of the goals under review during the High Level Political Forum from July 5 – 15, 2022
The process reviewing the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) each year is called the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). This year the HLPF starts on July 5th and ends on July 15th. Four days are given to thematic review of specific SDGs and three days to country reports – Voluntary National Reviews (VNR). A new website has been launched and it is user friendly. Unfortunately it is only in English. Website it is easy to navigate. These are the pages for the HLPF 2022; The Program; and Details of each day. Five SDGs are being reviewed this year
o Partnerships (SDG 17SDG 4, 5, 12, 14 and 15.) 5 July 3.00 PM – 6.00 PM, EDT o Quality education (SDG 4) 6 July 9.00 AM – 12.00 PM, EDT o Gender equality (SDG 5) 7 July 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM,EDT o Life below water (SDG 14) 7 July 3.00 PM – 6.00 PM, EDT o Life on land (SDG 15) 11, July 9.00 AM – 12.00 PM, EDT
For questions that will provide a panel focus on each SDG See. All sessions will be webcast live on UN Web TV.
The VNRs commence on Monday July 13th. 45 Countries will provide country reports. The list of countries as in the letter of the President of ECOSOC in October 2021 is as follows: Andorra*, Argentina**, Belarus*, Botswana*, Cameroon*, Comoros*, Côte d’Ivoire*, Djibouti, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, El Salvador*, Eritrea, Eswatini*, Ethiopia*, Gabon, Gambia*, Ghana*, Greece*, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Italy*, Jamaica*, Jordan*, Kazakhstan*, Latvia*, Lesotho*, Liberia*, Luxembourg*, Malawi*, Mali*, Montenegro*, the Netherlands*, Pakistan*, the Philippines**, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal*, Somalia, Sri Lanka*, Sudan*, Suriname, Switzerland**, Togo***, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates*, Uruguay*** (Note: Countries with one asterisk * are second timers, those with two asterisks ** are third timers, those with three asterisks *** are presenting for the fourth time, while those without asterisks are presenting for the first time).
Countries were Good Shepherd are present are Argentina, El Salvador, and Uruguay in ECLAC; Italy, and The Netherlands in ECE; Pakistan, The Philippines, and Sri Lanka, in ESCAP and Senegal and Sudan in ECA. By clicking on the link below your country flag you can see the messages and reports that have been prepared and uploaded
The Report of the Secretary General on the Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals has been prepared and posted. This reports contains an analysis of each of the 17 SDGs. Another report was launched on 2 June entitled Sustainable Development Report 2022: A Global Plan to Finance the Sustainable Development Goals. A dashboard with country ranking has been prepared. Find your country ranking and an interactive map The key findings presented at the launch of the report were 1. Peace, diplomacy, and international cooperation are fundamental conditions for the world to progress on the SDGs towards 2030 and beyond. 2. For the second year in a row, the world is no longer making progress on the SDGs. A global plan to finance the SDGs is urgently needed. 3. At mid-point on the way to 2030, policy efforts and commitments supporting the SDGs vary significantly across countries, including among G20 countries. • 2023 Heads of States SDG Summit should be an opportunity to re-commit to this Agenda. 4. Rich countries generate negative international spillovers notably through unsustainable consumption; Europe is taking actions. 5. The COVID-19 pandemic forced data providers to innovate and build new forms of partnerships; these should be leveraged and scaled up to promote SDG impacts by 2030 and beyond. • Science, technological innovations, and data systems can help identify solutions in times of crises and can provide decisive contributions to address the major challenges of our times. These require increased and prolonged investments in statistical capacities, R&D, and education and skills.
The recording of the launch is available on the UNSDSN YouTube channel. There were two international panelists in conversation with the moderator – Ms. Susanna Moorehead, DAC Chair of the OECD and Prof. Jeffrey D. Sachs, President of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). This was followed by the launch of the report with a PowerPoint presentation. In the last segment Arsène Dansou, Director General of the Debt Management Office, Ministry of Economy and Finance of Bénin and Dr. Simona Marinescu, UN Resident Coordinator Samoa, Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau shared on promising national experiences.
During the HLPF there will be a number of VNR Labs and Side Event -to date a scheduling of these events has not been posted. You can watch for postings at https://hlpf.un.org/2022
The HLPF will end with a ministerial declaration. This declaration is currently being negotiated. Draft two is available HERE Paragraph 13 reads “We take note with appreciation of the Secretary-General’s report on Progress towards the SDGs. In particular, we note with alarm that years, or even decades, of development progress have been haltered or reversed, due to multiple and widespread impacts of COVID- 19, conflicts and climate change. We are particularly concerned by the rise in extreme poverty, hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity, inequalities, education disruptions, violence against women, unemployment, additional social and economic vulnerabilities affecting in particular those already in the most vulnerable situations, in addition to the increased challenges posed by climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution . We recognize that the multiple and interlinked global crises we are facing are putting the SDGs at great risk and jeopardize the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. We commit to mobilize and accelerate actions for rescuing the SDGs and leave no one behind by to adopting resilient, sustainable, inclusive and low-carbon development pathways for the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda.” The bold print is mine.
UN Women has published “Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: The Gender Snapshot 2021” This 30 page book provides a good snapshot of the current situation of Gender Equality in relation to each of the SDGs. If you like visuals then you will appreciate the charts and graphs. One interesting one comparing the target with the reality is below. One of our strong advocacy points over the years has been for implementation of Social Protection Floors in line with ILO Recommendation 202. See Article 5 for a definition of Social Protection Floors.
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 2021 theme for the Season of Creation is ‘A Home for All? Renewing the Oikos of God.’ A celebration guide has been prepared by the eccumencial steering committee in 6 lnguages including French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian It is accessible ENGLISH, FRENCH, SPANISH, PORTUGUESE, and ITALIAN. While the guide is a rich resource covering prayer opportunities and actions there are some advocacy points on page 17 that maybe of interest to you. There is refererence to COP 15 October 11 – 24 Convention on Boidiversity where the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework will be negotiated in light of the global community failing to reach the Aichi targets on biodiversity management set ten years ago. The second meeting from 1-12 November 2021 is COP26 on climate change where new national commitments to tackle the climate crises under the Paris Agreement are due to be delivered.
The Ecumenical Prayer Service for the Season of Creation is pages 25 – 32 followed by an Earth Examen – Rich resources for every and communities to use. Pages 37 to the end is a themed lectionary for the Sundays within the season of creation. Below is the logo featuring Abraham’s tent which symbolizes “a home for all.”
“Sowing Hope for the Planet” is a project in which every Sister whose congregation is a member of UISG, and their connections are provided with an opportunity to make a difference in our care of the planet. This project is a collaborative effort of the JPIC Commission in the name of UISG and theGlobal Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM). During this webinar Winifred Doherty presented the “Integral Egcology’ Position Paper of the congregation. French and Spanish. Starts at 1:15:44
The Laudato Si Movement promoting “Healthy Planet, Healthy People” petition is inviting you to tell world leaders how they should care for our common home later this year. The two COP Conferences (Conferences of the Parties), are COP 15 on biodiversity and COP 26 on climate change.
Our postion paper on “Integral Ecology’ calls on us to engage on all levels and to advocate locally and internationally, to study and apply documents such as Laudato Si, and the The Earth Charter, and to admit our complicity in perpetuating dualistic and domineering attitudes about the earth. We understand that reconciliation with our earth calls for a new consciousness, a new identity, and new behaviors centered on the kinship of all creation and the implementation of human rights for all. Interdependence demands inclusion of all – non-living and living, non-human and human – without discrimination.
Want to learn more about the UN Biodiversity Conference. The 5th Global Diversity Outlook report was recently published and available in multiple languages HERE. This Outlook draws on the lessons learned during the first two decades of this century to clarify the transitions needed if we are to realize the vision agreed by world governments for 2050, ‘Living in Harmony with Nature’. SDG 15 has a target of halting the lost of biodiversity and integrating biodiversity values into national and local planning (15.5 and 15.9)
The Season of Creation begins on Tuesday. The theme for this year 2020 is ‘Jubilee for the Earth.’ Lots of resources are available for your information, reflection, and prayer. I love the symbolism behind this logo
The orb of the logo is planet Earth filled with the waves of God’s Spirit. The veins of the leaf suggest the web of creation. The leaf forms a tree of life that is also the cross of Christ. Leaves from the tree of life are for healing (Revelation 22:2).
The Dominican Center has prepared a liturgical guide for each of the Sundays in the season.
This text from Laudato Si #109 gives us the rational for being attentive during the season of creation “We are faced to by two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both environmental and social. Strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature.”
September 1: Creation Day/World Day of Prayer for Creation
Creation Day, also called the World Day of Prayer for Creation, opens the season each year. Pope Francis, Patriarch Bartholomew, the World Council of Churches, and many other leaders have called the faithful to celebrate this day. Globally, Christians are invited to join the online prayer service to come together in a joyful celebration of our common cause. More information will be updated at Season of Creation If you wish to participate you need to register The website and resources are in different Languages – French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian and there are specific links for different dominations. They have published a Celebration Guide and have set aside one week September 19 – 26 to act globally for the SDG’s. The list of other events can be seen HERE including regional webinars. The World Day of Migrants will be a focus on September 27th. A season of creation calendar has been published. If you check it out you may find local events that are of interest to you or you may be interested in hosting your own event.
Below are some advocacy points are outlined from page 32 of the Celebration Guide.
A reflection on COVID 19 and creation can be accessed at the ARRCC outlining 6 learning from COVID that can help us better care for creation. Literature, writings, suggestion, abound. What is important is that you choose one action to commit to. Happy Season of Creation to all readers!
Earlier this year a report was released in which it was shown that around 1 million plant and animal species are threatened with extinction. Read more here “The Report also tells us that it is not too late to make a difference, but only if we start now at every level from local to global,” Sir Robert Watson, Chair of Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES),said. “Through ‘transformative change’, nature can still be conserved, restored and used sustainably – this is also key to meeting most other global goals. By transformative change, we mean a fundamental, system-wide reorganization across technological, economic and social factors, including paradigms, goals and values.” See the animated video showing the 5 direct drivers of change in Nature with the largest relevant social impacts so far.
The Season of Creation is the time of year when the world’s 2.2 billion Christians are invited to pray and care for creation. It runs annually from September 1 through October 4. The theme for this year is ‘The Web of Life.’ It was first proclaimed by the Patriarch Dimitrios 1 for the Orthodox in 1989 and endorsed by people Francis in 2015. See letter of 23 May 2019 and letter of 5 June 2019 Visit their website and explore many resources it holds The website is in English, French,Spanish, and Portuguese
The UN Secretary General António Guterres has convened a Climate Summit for Monday 23rd September 2019. This will take place during the opening of the 74th Session of the General Assembly September 17th – 30, 2019. UN Secretary-General is calling on all leaders to come to New York on 23 September with concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050. Climate Week in New York City is September 23 – 29 in collaboration with the United Nations and wants to urge accelerated action for climate change.
In order to ensure that the transformative actions in the real economy are as impactful as possible, the Secretary-General has prioritized the following action portfolios, which are recognized as having high potential to curb greenhouse gas emissions and increased global action on adaptation and resilience.
Finance: mobilizing public and private sources of finance to drive decarbonization of all priority sectors and advance resilience;
Energy Transition: accelerating the shift away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy, as well as making significant gains in energy efficiency;
Industry Transition: transforming industries such as Oil and Gas, Steel, Cement, Chemicals and Information Technology;
Nature-Based Solutions: Reducing emissions, increasing sink capacity and enhancing resilience within and across forestry, agriculture, oceans and food systems, including through biodiversity conservation, leveraging supply chains and technology;
Cities and Local Action: Advancing mitigation and resilience at urban and local levels, with a focus on new commitments on low-emission buildings, mass transport and urban infrastructure; and resilience for the urban poor;
Resilience and Adaptation: advancing global efforts to address and manage the impacts and risks of climate change, particularly in those communities and nations most vulnerable.
In addition, there are three additional key areas:
Mitigation Strategy: to generate momentum for ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and long-term strategies to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Youth Engagement and Public Mobilization: To mobilize people worldwide to take action on climate change and ensure that young people are integrated and represented across all aspects of the Summit, including the six transformational areas.
Social and Political Drivers: to advance commitments in areas that affect people’s well-being, such as reducing air pollution, generating decent jobs, and strengthening climate adaptation strategies and protect workers and vulnerable groups.
Check out each of the nine areas – see the countries that are working on a particular thematic area and who are supporting. While the graphics only illustrate 6 areas the one that we are most interested in is Social and Political Drivers ensuring that the economic, environmental and social aspects of the transformation of economies and societies towards greater sustainability are managed in ways that maximize opportunities of decent work for all, reduce inequalities, promote social justice, and enhance country’s efforts to improve the people’s health.
One heading on expected outcomes address gender equality and climate change focusing on national climate change plans with gender action plans.
Where does one start? It can all seem so vast and out of our reach. A very good place to begin is with the position paper – See especially Page 15 for the critical action points.
Are you aware that there are Regional Weeks on Climate? One in Latin America and one in Asia preceding the Summit in New York. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Climate Change Conference will take place in Santiago in December 2019 More information HERE Website in French and Spanish.
On September 1, Christians from around the world will be praying as part of Creation Day and the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. If you are unable to join a service in your local community, you can join our prayer service online or through your phone. Representatives from Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, and Episcopalian churches will guide us in a 30 minute service of prayer, silence, and reflection. There will also be a chance for participants to share their own prayer for creation and our brothers and sisters. Check here for the details
Have you been reflecting on ‘Laudatio Si’? HERE Are you following the ratifications of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change? HERE Signatures without ratifications leave the agreement unfulfilled. Sustainable Goal 13 is on Climate Action ‘Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.’ Read more on this here
The action plan is three and a half pages long, and is currently in English only. Four Good Shepherd Sisters were among the participants to the conference and contributed significantly to the document with the inclusion of two important concepts – that of gender equality and spirituality. It is unthinkable for us that education for global citizenship would not include both education for gender equality and spirituality.
and read 10 things you should know about women and the world’s humanitarian crisis of May 23, 2016 All of our ministries throughout the world are addressing gender based violence in one form or another. South Korea is no exception with services to women and children who experience domestic violence, services to pregnant girls and young women, shelter accommodation for individuals experiencing crisis and shelter for trafficked women.
While we in our ministries are continually challenged with the violence experienced by women and girls in their everyday lives it is imperative that curricula for education for global citizenship address all such gender based violence. 5.1 End all forms of discrimination against women and girls. 5.2 Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation and 5.3 Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
We, in our ministries throughout the world know the cumulative disadvantage that girls and young women face that makes they easy pray to traffickers for sexual and other types of exploitation. We know how they are oppressed, discriminated against, controlled by patriarchical forces, robbed of their dignity, and experience day in day out countless violation of their human rights.
President Michael D Higgins (Ireland) at the World Humanitarian Summit, Istanbul, Turkey, May 23 and 24, 2016. spoke to Gender Equality Listen to YouTube President Higgins said that gender inequality remains the most persistent and prevalent form of human rights violation in today’s world. “We must recognise…that no distorted version of culture, or mythical structures should be used to justify the most egregious violations of women’s rights in so many regions as happens at the present time”
The document is in three parts … affirmations, commitments and urging member states and united nations to act. The challenge how to implement in diverse cultural situations.
Last evening a 40 minute film was premiered in New York and will be launched today across the globe. It is a new phase in the climate movement. It is the story of four communities preparing to participate in Break Free from Fossil Fuel actions in May 2016.