In 2015, 70 years after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the world community is making important moves toward nuclear abolition.
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 commentary was written by Fr. John T. Brinkman, MM, who attended the launch of the encyclical Laudato Si' on June 18 at the Vatican.
Held two decades after the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women, which took place in Beijing, a repeated theme at this year’s Commission on the Status of Women was that, in too many places, not enough progress has been made.
In December, during the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, the Holy See contributed a ground-breaking paper entitled Nuclear Disarmament: Time for Abolition, which presents a compelling argument to move beyond limits set by political realism: “Now is the time to affirm not only the immorality of the use of nuclear weapons, but the immorality of their possession, thereby clearing the road to nuclear abolition.”