News from the United Nations…
The month of September is busy with various meetings including the beginning of the 68th UN General Assembly which is still going on. Due to the remodeling of the UN building, the spaces are extremely limited and access to the UN building is highly restricted especially when the heads of states are around.
A short review of the past events: 1. Sept 5th International Day of Charity was observed in honor of Mother Teresa on her 16th death anniversary. Interestingly the proposal came from the Civil society of a communist country, Hungary! Several speakers spoke on the occasion high lighting the need for volunteerism, and philanthropy for caring for fellow human beings and for systemic change as well.
2. Sep 6thfor the high level forum on the culture of peace, the Patriarch of Serbia spoke and the National director of Islamic society of North America narrated the history of 7 million Muslims in America and the cordial relationship established fostering the diverse religious traditions in US. Anwarul Chaowdhury, the former ambassador of Bangladesh, an inspirational champion for advancing the cause of the global movement for the culture of peace reminded that each one of us particularly the UN has a role to play for promoting a culture of sustainable peace through out the world.
3.Sept 19th we had an excellent high level side event on gender justice and economic justice for Sustainable Development with the ambassadors of Norway and Timor Leste , UN women, and Frederic E.Foundation Amb of Norway said from their experience that “women empowerment is smart economics.”Azra from Pakistan spoke for women.
4. Sept 20th was the historic moment of the end of the commission on Sustainable Development -CSD and the beginning of High Level Political Forum-HPLF as decided at the Rio+20 conference. Emotions of both Joy and grief filled the air as the speakers recalled the past. The President of GA, Amb. John Ash said “addressing the relationship between Human and the Environment has been the h/o the UN since last 68 years. At the close of the session, all the participants were invited to the podium to mark the historic moment by a group photo. I was privileged to be part of the crowd as well as to thank the Director of SD Nikhil Seth for his services.
5. Sept 21, The Peoples general Assembly was held in the Foley s square NY and the stories and testimonies of human right violations across the globe was heart rending. Taslima,a Journalist/ activist from Bangladesh brought pictures of Rana plaza victims of Bangladesh. She uses powerful pictures to communicate her messages.
6. Sept 22 Sunday morning the President of the General Assembly met with the civil society and briefed his 6 priorities for the year and answered the questions from the audience. In the afternoon was the NGLS (Non governmental Liaison Service) briefing headed by Anita Nayar. She gave a superb report of the regional consultations of the “World People Want” as part of the post 2015 Development agenda which his the high light of the year. There was high energy in the room even though the meeting adjourned only at 7 pm. The following days 23rd, 24th continued with the high level meetings and several parallel events. I attended a special event, discussion and reception for Bunker Roy, founder of Bare Foot College in India who trains grandmas (42 least Developed Countries) into Solar engineers. He was in the city to receive the Global Clinton Award.
A group of children from India led by Christian Br. Steve, under Wada Na Todo campaign (do not break your promise) was remarkable with their presentation on “the world, children want”.
7.Sept 25th– special event on MDG-Millennium Development Goals as the target date 2015 is approaching.
Upcoming events: Oct 3&4th High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development
Oct 7&8, High Level Dialogue on Financing for Development, and
Oct 11th ,Special programs to mark the Day of the Girl Child.
Wish you all a Happy MMS Foundation Day!