Highlight of the week at the UN – International Day for the Eradication of Poverty Tuesday October 17th

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This is the spirit of the day – coming together to ensure that human rights be respected’ quoting from Fr. Joseph Wresinski.  He was born to immigrant parents on February 12th, 1917 in Angers, France and knew the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd as a child, serving Mass each morning in the Contemplative Community.  He founded the organization International Movement ATD4th World.  We were celebrating 100 years of his birth and more. Each year since 1987 – 30 years – the International Day has been celebrated at the United Nations stemming from a Resolution proposed by  tow UN Member States – France and Burkina Faso and adopted by the General Assembly inaugurating October 17th as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

This was my 11th time celebrating this day at the United Nations with ATD4th World.  My first experience was at ‘the commemorative stone’ on the North Lawn in 2007  and part of this celebration was at the commemorative stone which has now been replaced following the UN building renovations.   Below is a good photograph of the restored stone and the words of Fr Wresinski.  IDRPYou can see baskets with stones on the corners – each participant at the celebration was invited to take a stone home with them.  This is my stone.

A group photo of all the participants. 

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Your UN Representative Winifred and Cecilie at the stone  – STOP POVERTY 

The UN Webcast has the full recording of the event in Conference Room 2 when people living in poverty (this year from around the world)  take the microphone and speak truth to power – experiences of  humiliation, stigmatization, exclusion, inhumanity, disrespect, marginalization and the words  , to those in poverty: “Demand that the world learn from you and your courage”

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Event entitled “Answering the Call of October 17 to end poverty: A path toward peaceful and inclusive societies” (on the occasion of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (A/RES/47/196)) (co-organized by the Permanent Mission of Burkina Faso and France, in collaboration with the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and ATD Fourth World)

Webcast   17 Oct 2017 – Event entitled “Answering the Call of October 17 to end poverty: A path toward peaceful and inclusive societies” (on the occasion of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (A/RES/47/196)) (co-organized by the Permanent Mission of Burkina Faso and France, in collaboration with the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and ATD Fourth World)

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IDF Musical Interlude

Another moment of insight for me – read the tweet …IDEP 8

The STOP Poverty Campaign did not end today!  No, there was renewed commitment to ‘ALL TOGETHER IN DIGNITY.’

A video live stream is available HERE  We need to hear the voices of the people.

Do you know the Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights and the handbook “Making Human Rights Work for People Living in Extreme Poverty’.  The handbook is available in three languages.   Download Here

 

 

Reflections on October 11 – International Day of the Girl (IDG)

IDG 2017 MoniqueOctober is a busy month with the 11 days of Action in preparation for the celebration of International Day of the Girl.  It is followed by a number of other important days – October 15, International Day of Rural Women; October 16, World Food Day; and October 17th International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.  Indirectly all these days impact negatively on girls as girls live in rural areas, are often hungry and experience multidimensional poverty.  All these issues were summed up in the hashtags for the International Day of the Girls #JusticeForGirls and #GirlsRights.

The GSIJP Office Sponsored one of the 11 days with Twitter Chat on October 8th.   Cecilie prepared a set of question  and then answered them from the @gsijp twitter account.  Here are a few samples Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 3.57.24 PM

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The highlight was October 11 with the Girls Speak Out from the ECOSOC Chamber of the United Nations, New York.  The Speak Out was cleverly crafted using a ‘Girls in Crisis Hotline’ to introduce stories and issues that affect girls. Three criteria were outlined prior to answering a call ‘Listen with full attention; Ask how they are feeling,’ and thirdly say ‘We love you, we believe you and you are not alone.’  You can view the full webcast HERE  There is a snippet with Under Secretary General Amina Mohammed remarks.

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The Member States of Canada, Turkey and Peru  (displaying their Day of the Girl writs band)

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were the sponsors of the resolution on the International Day of the Girl and present supporting girls.  The personal sharing of the Honorable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women Canada’s moving – a migrant, a muslim and the first woman muslim women to be a member of the parliament in Canada.  See marker 10.10 of the webcast.

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The ECOSOC Chamber was filled to capacity with girls … and yes there were some boys too supporting the International Day for Girls also.  Our Sisters and mission partners in Indonesia share a lovely video implementing the ‘HeForShe’ campaign From Jakarta

and a short video show

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More photographs from Yogyakarta

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Other events were also hosted … UNICEF in the morning.  The video recording of the  UNICEF Event  An opportunity to the Honorable Minister from Canada again.  Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Loretto Sisters cosponsored an event also celebrating girls hope and resilience.  It was streamed on Facebook Live    Plan International had an event in the evening .

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At the end of July and into August there was a request from the Working Group on Girls and through our GSIJP Office to submit stories, poetry, art etc telling the story of what it is like to be a girl where you live.   These stories were collated and formed the backdrop for the Girls Speak Out.  Thanks to Indonesia for sharing their celebrations with the office and thanks to Monique for the lovely image used at the top of the page.  I had one other reply from the Democratic Republic of Congo but it was late for inclusion.  Much has been done – much remains to have #JusticeforGirls and #GirlsRights

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Happy International Day of the Girl 2017!

High-level meeting of the General Assembly on the appraisal of the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons – September 27 and 28, 2017

Today is the second day of the appraisal of the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons.  Member states are continuing to make their country statements in the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations, NY   If you want to red your country statement check HERE and navigate to your country statement over the 27th and 28th.

On Wednesday morning the session began with the adoption of the  The Political Declaration in 6 languages

Together with the plenary there were three important session – the official opening and two panels.  For the official opening that following presented statements:       H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, President of the UN General Assembly  UN Webcast             H.E. Mr. António Guterres, UN Secretary-General   UN Webcast                                         H.E. Mr. Yuri Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime                                                                                                                                           Ms. Mira Sorvino, UNODC Goodwill Ambassador for the global fight against human trafficking   UN Webcast                                                                                                              Ms. Grizelda Grootboom,  Civil society representative and a human trafficking survivor represented the power of survivor leadership and the critical importance of Member States to address sex trafficking and the exploitation of prostitution.   UN Webcast marker 34:32

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Grizelda is from South Africa.  Do listen to her experience of being trafficked.   “Welcoming the fact that the United Nations were gathered to address human trafficking — and that Member States had committed to implementing the Global Plan — she pointed out that women and girls made up 96 per cent of trafficking victims.  “Sex slavery is just another form of oppression, especially for the black child,” she said.  “It is so important to hear the voice of survivors,” she said, adding that it was also important for victims and survivors to see the commitment of the United Nations to helping them.  She stressed that she was not speaking because she wished to be an activist, but because she understood the true pain of being a sex slave.  She concluded by expressing hope that the Plan of Action would not take action merely on paper, but in every community, township and city across the globe.”  Read more

Grizelda is from South Africa.  Do listen to her experience of being trafficked.   “Welcoming the fact that the United Nations were gathered to address human trafficking — and that Member States had committed to implementing the Global Plan — she pointed out that women and girls made up 96 per cent of trafficking victims.  “Sex slavery is just another form of oppression, especially for the black child,” she said.  “It is so important to hear the voice of survivors,” she said, adding that it was also important for victims and survivors to see the commitment of the United Nations to helping them.  She stressed that she was not speaking because she wished to be an activist, but because she understood the true pain of being a sex slave.  She concluded by expressing hope that the Plan of Action would not take action merely on paper, but in every community, township and city across the globe.”  Read more

The Assembly’s first panel discussion was titled “The Global Plan of Action and effective partnerships for the prevention and prosecution of trafficking in persons: achievements, gaps and challenges, also taking into consideration the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals”.

Panel 1 was chaired by Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve (Belgium), it featured presentations by                                                                                                                             Purna Sen, Director of the Policy Division, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women);                                                                 Kevin Cassidy, Senior Communications and External Relations Officer, International Labour Organization (ILO); and                                                                                                 Rani Hong, Chief Executive Officer, The Tronie Foundation.

Panel 2:  The Assembly’s second panel discussion addressed the theme, “the Global Plan of Action and effective partnerships for the protection of and assistance to victims, including through the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, also taking into consideration the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals”.  Chaired by Alya Ahmed Saif al‑Thani (Qatar), it featured three panellists:                           Benita Ferrero‑Waldner, Chair of the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons;                                                                                         Andrew Gilmour, Assistant Secretary‑General for Human Rights and Head of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in New York; and       Joy Ezeilo, Executive Director of Women Aid Collective.

Good Shepherd was able to address the Assembly during this panel.  Webcast  Marker 56.58    Read full statement HLP Global Plan Final Sept 27 2017

Winifred HLP GPOA 2017

The Holy See made a statement during this session also paying tribute to the work of Religious Sisters throughout the world. See marker 34.32

 

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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Ending of the High Level Political Forum (HLPF)

The UN mechanism for reviewing implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (High Level Political Forum – HLPF) ended on July 19th with the adoption of a Ministerial Declaration.  The adoption of this declaration affirming what is already committed to was not without political tensions around two issues – foreign occupation and means of implementation.

It is interesting to compare our experience on the ground with all the rhetoric of 8 days.  Good Shepherd is present in 20 of the countries reviewed.  In a survey with 13 responses from the 20 of the countries making voluntary reviews there appears to be some discrepancy between the experience of the 8 days and reaching actual programs with people who are among those furthest behind.  Read our report on on efforts towards linking ministry with national implementation programs – Report HLPF 2017 GSIJP Office

Our analysis of 13 countries as an organizations was part of a bigger survey in preparation for the HLPF which was reported on July 17th  Grassroots

Cecilie was able to live stream the event on Facebook – Click on Event live-streamed

If you are interested in following up on what your government presented you have two options – look at the webcast or read the report.  The Voluntary National Reviews took place over three days July 17, 18 and the 19.  To find the relevant webcast  click HERE and then click on the date.

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July 17th – Voluntary National Review (VNR) 1 Nepal and Brazil;   Webcast    VNR  2 Indonesia and Japan;  Webcast VNR 3 Costa Rica and Kenya;  Webcast   VNR 4 Malaysia and Chile  Webcast

July 18th – VNR 5 Peru;  Webcast  VNR 6 Italy and Guatemala;  Webcast   VNR 7 Czech Republic, Thailand and Argentina; Webcast    VNR  8 Portugal and Uruguay; Webcast        VNR 9 Panama; (Webcast not available)

July 19 – VNR 10 Honduras and India;  Webcast and VNR 13 El Salvador; Webcast

The reports for each country can be accessed  HERE   Screen Shot 2017-07-31 at 7.09.52 PM

A very full account of the proceeding has been prepared by TAP Network  (Transparency, Accountability and Participation Network)   Another very informative way of having some insight into the proceedings are notes from  International Institute for  Sustainable Development  (IISD) – Summary Highlights Daily Coverage. Click IISD   There are some great photographs too!

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Take Action to End Poverty – Join the End Poverty Campaign

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An interactive report of this side event held on July 12th during the HLPF can be viewed HERE

A diverse selection of speakers were invited to the event, including Ms. Maryann Broxton and Ms. Kimberly Tyre, Human Rights and Anti-Poverty Activists, Ms. Hayet Zeggar, Counsellor from the Permanent Mission of France and Isabelle Pypaert-Perrin, Director General of ATD Fourth World. Powerful testimonies were shared in a respectful atmosphere allowing a rich and meaningful dialogue.+

The first to speak, Ms. Maryann Broxton, described the hidden difficulties and discrimination faced by those living on food stamps and other forms of government assistance. She also recounted her meeting with Ms Amina J. Mohammed, now UN Deputy Secretary General and shared the message that those in poverty want to be treated as human beings who have intelligence and knowledge to bring to the table.

Kimberly Tyre went on to reflect on her testimony at the United Nations on October 17th last year. She explained how meaningful it was for her to be able to participate and bring her experience to the table. Her powerful statement ensured her commitment to eradicating poverty and inspiring others like her to speak up for themselves and their communities.

Listen to Maryann  and Kimberly

Why not take action now and join the STOP POVERTY CAMPAIGN and sign the call for action HERE  You can even check to see if your friends have joined!

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