As we end another tumultuous year, it is time to look back at what has happened and what has not, and to look ahead at what is coming. The Paris Agreement on Climate Change has entered into force, a new Secretary General will take the helm at the United Nations in January, the fight against violent extremism continues, the search for peace in Syria and Yemen remains a top priority, and lasting solutions for the unimaginable stream of people on the move are still to be developed, to name just a few.
As 2015 draws to a close, it is natural to look back over the year that is about to end and to identify some of its highlights, invitations and challenges. What strikes me in doing so today is the urgency for value-based education in which every child is welcomed, accepted, heard and included.
Transformation seems a fitting theme for our presence at the United Nations (UN) as we begin our 12th year – a year that has been marked already by two important recent changes. That the Society of the Sacred Heart was granted special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the UN during the summer, might be new to some yet old news for others, but truth is that our presence at the UN will, from now on, need to include participation from our members. So get ready.
We have all heard and read media reports of the disappointments of Rio +20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. Critical reactions lament the lack of ambition in the Outcome Document. At the same time, the results are the world’s new benchmark...
Welcome back to the NGO Office newsletter. As you may have noticed, the newsletter has a new lay-out which complements the design of our website that was premiered in the fall...
“There is still too much discord, hatred, division, conflict and violence in our world here at the beginning of the 21st century. A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dream of. … It is so easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build.”
Our world is starved for hope. Whether we look back at 2010 or ahead to 2011, many of us do not look forward to reading the newspaper or watching television, with so much turmoil on all levels.
The UN is a place where hope finds a home in the persistent articulation of agreements and promises that must be translated into on-the-ground action. This was abundantly clear at the MDG Summit which took stock of what has been achieved so far, while struggling with what remains to done by 2015.
Many events have filled the past few months here at the UN, and many remarkable people have shared their lives with us and with each other. The situation of women around the world, in particular, has been explored and analyzed. There has been reason for celebration, but also a sense of urgency and pain because so much remains to be done.
We hope that you will enjoy the contributions of two young people to the newsletter, writing from different ends of the earth about their special UN-related activities.
Welcome to the first Newsletter of the Society of the Sacred Heart at the United Nations. This is our “Christmas card” this year. The Newsletter does not claim to be more than what its name implies: giving news about the UN and the RSCJ presence at the UN, in short, informational, articles. It is meant for wide distribution, so please feel free to share it with the larger Sacred Heart family.