It has been two years since Brazil was hit with the worst environmental disaster in the country’s history when a dam burst at an iron-ore mine and toxic mud swept over villages and into rivers. Known as the Mariana Disaster, it is now the rallying cry for a UN treaty on transnational corporations and human rights.
In our often divided world, one place where all of humankind is invited to come together to work for the common good is the United Nations. Despite its limitations, the UN system is our most effective tool for uniting with others in order to create and implement policies that secure a life of dignity for all of God’s children.
Article 71 of the Charter of the United Nations reads: “The Economic and Social Council may make suitable arrangements for consultation with non-governmental organizations which are concerned with matters within its competence. Such arrangements may be made with international organizations and, where appropriate, with national organizations after consultation with the members of the United Nations concerned.”
Based on this article, two of the Maryknoll branches have Consultative Status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and the MOGC carries out the work of implementing this status. Maryknoll’s work at country level, and the MOGC’s work for peace, social justice and integrity of creation, relates closely with the concerns and work of the UN and its committees, agencies and field offices. Our work with the UN aims to influence its agenda and is done by:
- participating in NGOs committees and working groups
- presenting oral and writing statements
- participation in global UN conferences and regular sessions
- participating in the monitoring process of UN treaties
- networking with other NGOs, and
- facilitating the voice of local people in the UN and NGOs gatherings.
Articles, alerts, events
Under pressure from nuclear-armed nations that insist a world without nuclear weapons is not possible, a grassroots movement has achieved a UN nuclear ban treaty and a Nobel Peace Prize.
Maryknoll Sister Elizabeth (Claris) Zwareva, who represents Maryknoll at the United Nations, reports on the latest efforts at the UN to incorporated intergenerational dialogue in efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Maryknoll Sister Elizabeth Zwareva reports on the negotiations at the United Nations to adopt a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading toward their total elimination.
The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns co-organized an event on “Nonviolence as a Style of Politics for Peace” at the UN in New York with the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See and the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative, a project of Pax Christi International.
Isaac S. Villegas, pastor of Chapel Hill Mennonite Fellowship and board member of the North Carolina Council of Churches, shared this reflection at the “Loving Our Neighbor: Embodying Sanctuary” conference at Duke Divinity School on January 28, 2017.
In one of his final acts as UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon said the United Nations was "profoundly sorry" for the outbreak in Haiti, which first developed near a UN base in 2010, and committed to mobilizing a response by UN member states.
Tell President Obama and Congress we need real leadership, cooperation, and solutions at the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants on September 19.
Following the UN civil society hearing on ending HIV/AIDS in April, ministers, heads of governments, and civil society representatives gathered in June for a UN High Level Meeting on ending HIV/ AIDS.
Since the beginning of his papacy three years ago, Pope Francis has repeatedly named nuclear disarmament as a major goal, alongside addressing climate change and welcoming migrants. All three issues are essential to Francis’ vision expressed in Laudato Si’, for a “culture of care which permeates all of society.”
Maryknoll Sr. Claris Zwareva. Sr. Claris reports from the UN on the latest developments in addressing the needs of the approximately 60 million displaced people around the world.