Secretary-General's Message for October 17, 2016

"We are approaching the end of the first year of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. With its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the 2030 Agenda is a universal vision for peace, prosperity and dignity for all people on a healthy planet. Achieving this objective is inconceivable without fulfilling the mandate of SDG 1 to end poverty in all its forms..."

Voices from the Field

On Friday February 5, 2016, the Society of the Sacred Heart held its first side event during an ECOSOC Commission session entitled Social Transformation through Popular Education: Voices from the Field. It was a mixture of workshop and panel discussion, and an exciting step on our new journey of contributing to the United Nations from our lived experience in the provinces, in areas of our expertise: education.

Bringing Popular Education to the United Nations

Deciding upon the topic of our first written intervention to the Commission for Social Development at the United Nations was not a difficult one. Knowing that the theme of the session in February 2016 will be “Rethinking and strengthening social development in the contemporary world,” the popular education process, which is characterized by equity, respect, solidarity and the common good, seemed a good starting point...

Human Rights Day 2015

"Amid large-scale atrocities and widespread abuses across the world, Human Rights Day should rally more concerted global action to promote the timeless principles that we have collectively pledged to uphold. In a year that marks the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, we can draw inspiration from the history of the modern human rights movement, which emerged from the Second World War..."

Literacy for Social Inclusion

As an integral component of and essential building block for education, literacy has been part of the global development agenda for a long time. Starting with the World Conference on Education for All held in Jomkien, Thailand, in 1990, the need for increased literacy among peoples was subsequently included in the Education for All goals, formulated at the end of the World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal, in 2000.

DPI/NGO Conference 2014

From 27-29 August 2014, the NGO community at the United Nations gathered at UN Headquarters in New York for the 65th DPI/NGO Conference. It was nice to be back in New York after six years of being “on the road” due to renovations of UN Headquarters. This year’s conference had as title: 2015 and Beyond, Our Action Agenda.
Photo by Paola Paoli, rscj

The life of a displaced woman - finding the strength to carry on

Fuelled by competition for rich minerals, war, violence and instability have ravaged the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo for nearly two decades. With the devastation of the economy and infrastructure, impunity has reigned. Sexual and other forms of violence against women, particularly displaced women, are commonplace. Mapendo is just one of the survivors; this is her story.


Think·Eat·Save – that is the theme of this year’s World Environment Day (June 5). Did you know that more than a billion tons of food is being wasted every year? While nearly 870 million people go to bed hungry every night and at least an equal number of adults around the world are overweight, food is lost and wasted in unacceptable amounts.

A focus on empowerment

Poverty eradication, social inclusion, and full employment and decent work for all are key items on the international development agenda. In February 2013, empowerment was the theme of the 51st session of the Commission for Social Development, one of the functional commissions of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).


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