Continuing to connect the dots at HLPF in readiness for the SDG Summit on September 25

An analogy to help describe the experience of attending the High-Level Political Forum is that of an 8 ring circus. There is (i) the official program, (ii) voluntary national reviews, (iii) special events, (iv) VNR labs, (v) side events, (vi) parallel events, (vii) constituency events and (viii) collective events. How to strategize on what is important to attend? How to feel the pulse of each ring? How, when and where does one raise one’s voice or do advocacy? How can one be heard? The numbers below also hint to the complexities involved:

Taken from Sustainable Development Goals Knowledge Platform
Taken from Sustainable Development Goals Knowledge Platform

Good Shepherd has a presence in twelve of the countries that presented Voluntary National Reviews. Seven of these countries contributed to a survey which the GSIJP Office compiled into a REPORT – GSIJP – HLPF Survey Results We acknowledge the work done on this by Caileigh Finnegan, a summer intern in the office.

I attended a set of VNR’s on July 18. Among the presentations made was the one from Mauritius. Review their slide presentation. The REPORT on page 134 lists Soeurs du Bon Pasteur as among those consulted and who contributed! The following points remains with me – the reported growth over 50 years moving from sugar cane production to technology and becoming an upper middle income economy. It was also reported that there is a social housing scheme, inequality has lessened, minimum wage is implemented and there is a universal pension with free broadband to all families on the social register. It was further shared that women can access loans without a guarantor. Sr Donatus Lili, NGO Regional Designate visited Good Shepherd in Mauritius and made vital connections between the sisters, ministries, local communities and the UN Resident Coordinator who facilitated a meeting with personnel from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who were compiling the VNR Report.

The sisters had a fruitful conversation with Kelly Culver who came with two officers, Miss Prateema Kutwoaroo (Senior Analyst) and Mr. Hemal Munoosingh, both from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration. Mrs. Madelon from ATD Fourth World, and Mrs. Josiane Schultz (Mission Partner) together with representatives from the six workshops also participated in the dialogue.

Included in the photograph are Kelly Culver (extreme right) with Miss Prateema
Kutwoaroo (Senior Analyst) and Mr. Hemal Munoosingh, both from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mauritius

The group reviewed the workshops conducted by Donatus while in Mauritius and how they see the SDGs. Mrs. Madelon suggested that the SGDs need to be translated into local languages and simplified so that they are more accessible and practical for people at the grassroots. Ms. Culver was delighted about the prison ministry and said that Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd is the first group who did not forget the voice of prisoners.  She was very interested in Marie Therese Saturday’s program with children and in the college. She hopes to follow-up with these three places and proposed to visit in the future for effective partnership. The team spoke about the two groups formed during the workshops for the VNRs, and requested that the sisters send their final recommendations to be inserted in the State Voluntary National Report for the HLPF. This will be the first-ever input of the Congregational achievements in Mauritius to be included in the State database. Ms. Culver had the opportunity to meet the girls in Pelletier,  so she could see first-hand the ministries in which the sisters are engaged.

Workshop in progress!

Very often there is a disconnect between what Good Shepherd reports from the grassroots and what is presented at national level. Why is this so? Because Good Shepherd are reaching out to do what they do best – reach the furthest behind, the one who is excluded, the one not counted, not heard, not recognized, focusing especially on girls and women, and bringing the voice of women prisoners to attention. While the provisions enumerated in the government report are available, it is a fact that dis-empowered people are unaware of them. Another challenge identified is the necessity of having materials in French Creole. Well done Good Shepherd, Mauritius!

Women’s Major Group

To the 9 Major Groups a number of other stakeholders have been added bringing the total number to 18 constituency groups – the most recent group is the LGBTI. Good Shepherd aligns and collaborates with the Women’s Major Group. Donatus contributed to the drafting of the Position Paper for HLPF 2019 and the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity endorsed the paper. The advocacy work of the Women’s Major Group can be captured in this quote from the executive summary addressing the need for structural and systemic change. “This Agenda’s success necessitates political changes so the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) truly benefit the marginalised and systematically excluded. There must be a profound shift from the dominant yet discredited fixation on economic growth to institutionalised leadership for development, justice and peace. This means moving away from extractivist industries, military investments, and emaciated humanitarian, gender equality and human rights action, and reorienting towards empowering feminist and social movements and human rights for all. Governments, corporations, the military industrial complex, international financial institutions, and other power holders must be held accountable to human rights and commitments to leave no one behind.” An analysis of the impact of the Women’s Major Group this year was phenomenal – Social Media reached 5 million people and made 42 million impressions. There were 21 interventions, 17 side events, 7 meeting with delegates and the daily colour campaign.

@gsijp and @winifreddoherty engaging with social media

Each thematic review session at the HLPF opened with an overview of the relevant goal under review from ‘The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2019″ This paragraph from the forward outlines the current situation and set the scene for the SDG Summit on September 25th. “Notwithstanding that progress, this report identifies many areas that need urgent collective attention. The natural environment is deteriorating at an alarming rate: sea levels are rising; ocean acidification is accelerating; the past four years have been the warmest on record; one million plant and animal species are at risk of extinction; and land degradation continues unchecked. We are also moving too slowly in our efforts to end human suffering and create opportunity for all: our goal to end extreme poverty by 2030 is being jeopardized as we struggle to respond to entrenched deprivation, violent conflicts and vulnerabilities to natural disasters. Global hunger is on the rise, and at least half of the world’s population lacks essential health services. More than half of the world’s children do not meet standards in reading and mathematics; only 28 per cent of persons with severe disabilities received cash benefits; and women in all parts of the world continue to face structural disadvantages and discrimination.”

This glossy version is in English only but the text is also in Arabic, French and Spanish

This action needs to tackle deeply embedded issues at the structural and systemic levels within the global community and invoke a spirit of multilaterialism. There must be a profound shift away from the dominant yet discredited fixation on economic growth to institutionalised leadership for development, justice and peace.

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.

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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

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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

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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

 

 

Justice Peace Workshop – Ngong, Kenya

On Saturday evening January 13th a very successful 3 day Justice Peace workshop was completed at Ngong, Kenya.  It was attended by 12 sisters in Temporary Profession, 4 Novices, together with Sr Teresa, Formator with the Temporary Professed and Sr Catherine the community leader in Ngong.   There were 3 Resource Person – Donatus Lili,  NGO Regional Designate for RIMOA, (center) Michael Owino Coordinator of the Mission Development Office East Central Africa (right) and myself.  It was an experience of team work and integration of justice peace with ministry against a backdrop of spirituality.

See the suggested Schedule for Nairobi – January 2018     Invariably too much was planned but what was accomplished was substantive and with some depth.  Having been warmly welcomed by the community in Ngong, Day 1 began with introductions and sharing by each participant of experiences and the meaning of justice peace in her life.  Samples of sharing included standing firm and fighting corruption by not signing on a document; helping girls to bring cases to court in order to claim their rights; being an advocate in the court for children; having the courage to point out a judge  who was corrupt; advocating and representing children rights  with parents; being observant in the Metatu ( public transport) and noticing a girl who was being trafficked and taking appropriate action.  Some comments and reflections noted that there is no peace without justice;  the necessity of peace and justice to self; justice begins at home with self, within the community, and with staff by implementing just procedures; justice peace cannot be separated from compassion, forgiveness and reconciliation; justice and peace necessitates an analysis of root causes, calls for risk taking and is a process, a journey; being an agent of justice peace in society, within ministries,  within families, and it starts with me; being in solidarity with others; reflecting the face of Jesus in all circumstances.

Session two shared on the GSIJP Office – the who and the what, outlining structures and the job description of the Justice Peace Contact.  Winifred outlined some of the recommendations from the  workshop in 2016 as many of the participants had attended that workshop.  There was a review of vision and mission and the Congregational Direction Statement. See Thursday January 11 2018 Session 1& 2

Session 3 and 4 was learning around the Sustainable Development Goals using the lyrics We-Love-the-SDGs-Study-Guide-v2 and youtube  Group work followed making the connections between the various goals and presenting finding linking goals with what is happening in ministries especially the centrality of SDG 5.  This included familizariation with the targets of SDG 5 – no discrimination, no violence, no harmful traditional practices, recognize unpaid care work, women’t leadership, and sexual and reproductive health  and rights.  Thursday Session 3 & 4 on SDG’s January 11

Day 2, session 5 and 6 focused on the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women.  CEDAW is the bill of rights for Women.  Donatus shared on her experience of being in Geneva and presenting a CEDAW report on Fistula.   Donatus began with an overview of the human rights mechanisms and then focused on presenting the 30 articles of CEDAW Convention.  Some articles of particular interest to us are Article 1 which defines discrimination against women to cover all facets of human rights and fundamental freedoms.  Article 3: Women are fundamentally equal with men in all spheres life  and countries must take measures to uphold women’s equality in the political, social, economic, and cultural fields.  Article 6 is an important one for Good Shepherd as countries are urged to take steps to suppress the exploitation of prostitution and trafficking in women.  Article 7 is about women’s right to engage in political and public life with the right to vote, hold public office and participate in civil society. Article 9 has to do with nationality.  Women have equal rights with men to acquire, change, or retain their nationality and that of their children.   Article 10 addresses the right to education, article 11 the right to employment and article 12 the right to health.  Article 13 Women have  equal right to family benefits, financial credit and participation in recreational activities. Article 14 concerns rural women and article 15 addresses equality before the law.  Women have the right to enter contract, own property and choose three place of residence.  Article 16 Women have equal rights with men in matters related to marriage and family relations.   The following articles 17 – 24 are related to the Committee on CEDAW and reporting procedures followed by Articles 25 -30 on the Administration of the Convention.  

Winifred led Session 7 and 8 Introducing the United Nations and presenting in depth the Social Protection Floor Concept as outlined in ILO Recommendation 202.  See  Friday January 12 Session 7 & 8  (The Declaration on Human Rights was not presented – time factor).  The decision of the group was to hear about Social Protections Floors.

Session 9 was led by Michale Owino, Mission Development Office Director for Kenya.  Sr Rose Mary, the monitoring and evaluation office attended this session.ahZCXEVkTuOgsgwLANQcPA

Michael presented in a very thorough and reflective way the Mission Development Office – team, broad objectives, focus areas, resource mobilization, co-ordination – communication, monitoring and evaluation, capacity building, workshops with project directors, centralization, mainstreaming justice peace, spirituality and Mission Partner development.

The final session was filled with appreciations for the opportunity to learn and share.  I appreciated the interest, and participation of each person. Karibu!

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Asante Sana!

September 21, International Day of Peace

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Background

A UN resolution established the International Day of Peace in 1981 to coincide with the opening of the UN General Assembly. The first Peace Day was celebrated in 1982 and was held on the third Tuesday of September each year until 2002, when September 21 became the permanent date for the International Day of Peace. The assembly decided in 2001 that the International Day of Peace should be annually observed on September 21 starting from 2002. By setting a fixed date for the International Day of Peace, the assembly declared that the day should be observed as a day of global ceasefire and non-violence.

By creating the International Day of Peace, the UN devoted itself to worldwide peace and encouraged people to work in cooperation for this goal. Since its inception, Peace Day has marked personal and planetary progress toward peace. It has grown to include millions of people worldwide and many events are organized each year to commemorate and celebrate this day.   Read more

See what people around the world are doing   # PeaceDay MLK-world-art

We signed on to an international peace day statement prepared by the Quaker United Nations Office joining with 131 other organizations promoting PEACE.  See   FINAL International Day of Peace Statement

The statement calls for fully embracing the commitment to peace in the 2030 Agenda; balancing  national efforts with a focus on regional and international drivers of peace, justice and inclusion; mainstreaming prevention; and protect and supporting civil society (you and I) in fostering sustainable peace.

The values of UN Secretary General António Guterres and the President of the General Assembly H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák are to be commended as imperative peace building attitudes and behaviors in a world in trouble, where people are hurting and angry, where societies are fragmented, and “we are a world in pieces.” (Secretary General)

Some quotes  Fiery talk can lead to fatal misunderstandings.”  Guterres was unequivocal about the need for a diplomatic solution to the North Korea crisis. “When tensions rise, so does the chance of miscalculation; fiery talk can lead to fatal misunderstandings. The solution must be political and this is a time for statesmanship—we must not sleepwalk into war.”

“Harsh crackdowns and heavy-handed approaches are counterproductive.” “It’s not enough to fight terrorists on the battlefield…we must do more to address the roots to radicalization, including real and perceived injustices,” he said, adding that “harsh crackdowns and heavy-handed approaches are counterproductive. As soon as we believe that violations of human rights and democratic freedoms are necessary to win the fight, we have lost the war.”

“The science is unassailable.” Reference to the Paris Agreement and climate change.  “Political figures stoke resentment in search of electoral gain.”   This was taking up the issue of migration.   “I have been pained to see the way refugees and migrants have been stereotyped and scapegoated—and to see political figures stoke resentment in search of electoral gain. Refugees, internally displaced persons and migrants are not the problem,” Guterres added, “the problem lies in conflict, persecution and hopeless poverty.”  See  or read or listen to the full statement in the 6 languages of the UN HERE

The President of the General Assembly echoed the same message … a message of hope

“Another major challenge that demands a focus on people is international terrorism. This is not a problem that can be solved with guns, or shut out by barriers. People are at its center. They are the ones contributing to it. They are the ones suffering because of it.

The only way to succeed in both areas will be through choosing to focus on people, rather than rigidly sticking to our individual positions. We need viable global frameworks, which can be implemented by people – and for people – in real time.”

“I see the priority clusters of 1/ peace and prevention, 2/ people and 3/ planet and prosperity as three sides of a triangle. They might not all be the same length, or the same width, but one is as important as the other.”

Human rights are crucial. Neither peace nor development can take hold without them.

We must remember that we have a lot of work to do when it comes to gender equality. Women’s leadership and participation should be a priority in settings of both conflict and peace.”

“We can engage in real dialogue – not a succession of monologues. We can concentrate on how much – and not how little – we can give up in the spirit of compromise. We can look beyond our individual agendas and positions, and see the bigger picture of why the UN is here, and what it is trying to do.”  Read or listen to the full statement in 6 languages of the UN.

A good resource if you want to see what your country said at the opening of the UN General Assembly is to go to this website …. both the text and video is available HERE  You may have to navigate the dates to find your country.

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https://gadebate.un.org/en

 

International Day of the Girl 2017 – Yes, it is that time of the year again!

IDG 2017International Day of the Girl 2017 is almost here!  We celebrate the 6th annual day on WednesdayOctober 11, 2017.  Every year Good Shepherd around the world celebrate the day in amazing ways and I am sure that this year will be no different.  The International Day is preceded by 11 days of action starting on October 1 and concluding with ‘Girls Speak Out’ at the United Nations when girls initiate, prepare, and moderate the session speaking to world leaders of  girls’ experiences around the world.

What unique challenges are girls facing just because they are girls?  There are so many unusual challenges girls have to deal with today, from injustice in society, their community and in the workplace, to unfairness in opportunities in education, or gender violence, sexism, war, climate change, trafficking in person, sexual exploitation, migration and many others. There’s no right or wrong answer here. What’s important is how you define “crisis” or “injustice” and how you or a girl you know dealt with it.

The International Day of the Girl is our day to celebrate girls everywhere -– to celebrate our power, our voices, and our unique place in this world.  On August 4th you were sent a request to share stories.  The request was for creative work by girl sharing on ‘What it is like for you to be a girl facing injustice?”   While the closing date has gone for inclusion in the ‘Girls’s Speak Out’ it is not too late to share with the GSIJP Office and we will feature them on Winifred’s Blog and  on Day of the Girl Summit website and the GSIJP social media sites

Here’s how:
  1. Be a girl (or group of girls) up to 18 years old
  2. Describe the whole situation in any format that you want to express yourself. It can be a monologue, a story, a poem, a piece of visual art, a video, or a song. Be creative!
    • What happened?
    • Who was there?
    • When was it?
    • Where were you?
    • Why did you do what you did?
    • What was the outcome?
  3. Send us your inspirational story! Email your submission and consent form to:  gsijpoffice@gmail.com  and winifreddohertyrgs@gmail.com with your name, age, country, and contact information no later than October 13, 2017  

Full information can be found here. Be sure to include this consent form with all submissions.

GSIJP Office will be taking the leadership for Day 8 of the 11 days of action bringing attention to the importance of girls’ human rights and demands #JusticeForGirls.

 

Part of the Good Shepherd Team in NY attending the Girls Speak out 2016 – visitors from Australia, Tanya Corrie and Rome Monique Tarabeh and some pictures from last year.  Check out posting of October 2016 on this blog.

 

Check out this resource prepared by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girls Scouts WAGGGS – Hong Kong – Resource for IDG 2017

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Another resource is from 2015 entitled #Start the Convo: a guide to having healthy, meaningful and respectful discussion on gender equality #Start the Convo

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Civil Society Declaration- 55th Session Commission for Social Development

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The Declaration is available here in English, Spanish and French together with a copy of the program of January 30th and 31st.   cs-declaration-ecs-declaration-scs-declaration-fr2017-cs-forum-program

Like us on Facebook – GSIJP     Follow us on Twitter gsijp

Global Sisters Report – July 29th

 

stop-human-trafficking-word-cloud-related-words-sign-38417317Catholic sisters among those embracing international efforts against Human Trafficking writes Chris Herlinger, a reporter for Global Sisters who attended the July 13th ‘side event’ at the United Nations.

‘Mercy Sr. Angela Reed, who represents the Sisters of Mercy and Mercy International Association at the U.N. has conducted extensive research on the issue of sex trafficking in the Philippines and her native Australia.

“There is no quick fix or grand solution for eliminating the exploitation and commodification of people,” she said, stressing that the problem has its roots in poverty and related issues.’   Read the full article here