Between July 2 and 27, the world’s nation-states met at the UN headquarters in New York to negotiate an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to regulate the multibillion dollar international trade in conventional arms. Throughout the month most parties supported a new treaty to cover all conventional arms including ammunition, but in the final hours of negotiations, consensus was procedurally blocked by countries that asked for more time - including the U.S., Russia, North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela. The following article was published in the September-October 2012 NewsNotes.
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.
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The following piece was written by Marie Dennis, former director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns and current co-president of Pax Christi International.
Four Maryknollers attended the United Nations Earth Summit Rio + 20 which took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 2012. Sr. Ann Braudis, one of the participants, wrote the following reflection for the July-August 2012 NewsNotes.