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Dear Sisters, Associates/Friends

You are receiving this news letter through our renewed website      www.mms-un.org. Thanks to Mr. Colin Benko, the efficient Computer Volunteer.

6 to 15 Feb: Commission for Social Development: The 51st session of the United Nations Commission for Social Development was held at UN Headquarters in New York. The priority theme this year was “promoting empowerment of people in achieving poverty eradication, social integration and full employment and decent work for all.” Particular attention is also given to the empowerment of vulnerable groups, such as people with disabilities, youth, the elderly, and others. On the previous day, a Civil Society Forum had been convened by the NGO committee on Social Development, with a well prepared declaration to the Commission. Many of us used it as a tool for advocacy during the session. We got a chance to deliver a 3 minute oral intervention too. (Posted in our Website) The commission concluded with five draft resolutions by consensus.

14 Feb: In the morning was the special event: United for a Culture of Peace Through Interfaith Harmony at the General Assembly with inspiring speeches and prayers for peace from 11 religious leaders. In the afternoon was the MMS sponsored side event on empowerment of women through skill development as masons and carpenters with the main speaker, Ms.Thresiamma, the director of Archana Women Center (Kerala). Some of our MMS, friends and Associate from Philadelphia were among the participants.

The United Nations Innovation Award: Call for Stories on People’s Empowerment: This innovation award represents the Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) commitment to the promotion of people’s empowerment and social development globally. You can nominate yourself, or another person you admire who empowered you and therefore your unique and special story. The deadline is 14 May 2013. Please visit: http://empowerment.unsdn.org/

One Billion Rising: The United Nations joined millions of people around the world who are taking a stance against violence against women as part of the ‘One Billion Rising’ campaign. Secretary General, Mr. Ban said “today must be more than a day of advocacy”, and must trigger action. “On this special day, I urge all governments to send us a Valentine message: a concrete commitment of action to end violence against women and girls.”

Global Employment Trends 2013 report; The ILO (International Labor Organization)   estimates that 397 million workers are living in extreme poverty living on less than $1.25 a day, and another 472 million, moderately poor, living on $1.25 to $2 a day.

Nuclear Test: The UN Security Council has strongly condemned the recent nuclear test by North Korea as a threat to international peace and security.

Upcoming event:  4 to 15 March: Commission on the Status of Women: The fifty-seventh session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place at the UN Headquarters under the priority theme: “Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls.” The review theme chosen is “The equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men, including care giving in the context of HIV/AIDS. The 2 SNA  UN reps and Celine  are planning to attend the CSW 57.

Best regards, Celine Paramunda