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Dear Sisters, Associates and Friends,

Greetings from the snow covered US & the UN!  Some of the highlights from the UN are:

  6-10 Jan: OWG 7:  The seventh session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals dealt with: – Sustainable cities and human settlements, sustainable transport
- Sustainable consumption and production (including chemicals and waste)
- Climate change and disaster risk reduction.

Jan 15 : Remembering Rwanda:“ Understanding early warning of mass atrocities twenty years after the genocide in Rwanda” was an event held at the UN on January 15th.  “We must never forget the collective failure to prevent the Rwandan genocide,” Deputy secretary General jan Eliason told participants. “The demonization of people of different faiths or ethnic belonging is one of the most toxic deeds of which human beings are capable.

Jan 23- Feb 2- the GIFT Box Project :is a creative idea to Create Awareness and Actions to Stop Human Trafficking held in New York City. Human trafficking is one of the worst abuses of human rights. The United States State Department in its June 2013 annual Report estimates that 27 million people worldwide are victims or survivors of human trafficking today. Trafficking of persons is believed to be the fastest growing criminal industry in the world and is estimated to be a  $32 billion business annually, second only to illicit drugs. The GIFT Box, spearheaded by the UN NGO Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons, a network of more than 50 not-for profit organizations (including MMS) was in collaboration with several organizations like UNICEF and ECPAT USA.

Upcoming events in February  and March:

Feb 5th-6th the Youth Assembly at the United Nations: The youth, make up nearly half (48%) of the world’s population, and in less than 10 years they will account for almost 75% of the global workforce. Youth Assembly at the UN is a unique platform created to foster dialogue and generate partnerships between exceptional youth, UN officials and staff, as well as leaders from the private and the public sector.                                                                                                                                           Feb12th; World Interfaith Harmony Day: In observance of the world interfaith harmony week a special event will be held on 12th with two expert Panels and Musical Offerings. Registration is open till Feb 7th.  Some of the Sisters  and Associates  will be participating in it.

Feb 3-7 OWG 8  : The  8th  session is expected to discuss: Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity; Promoting equality, including social equity, gender equality and women’s empowerment, and Conflict prevention, post-conflict peace building and the promotion of durable peace, rule of law and governance .

 Feb 10- 21st CSocD 52 : The 52nd session of the commission on social development will be held with a civil society Forum on the 10th.  MMS written statement is accepted by the Secretary General and will be  posted in our website www.mms-un.org

March 3-7 : OWG Negotiation session I, an  important meeting to see what voice NGOs will have in responding to a Zero Draft  produced after the 8th sessions of the Open Working Group  .

March 10-21: Commission on the status of women CSW 58th with the Theme: Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls. MMS will be co-sponsoring parallel events  with other NGOs during the conference. Written Statement  by MMS will be posted on the  MMS UN web.

Best regards,    

     Celine Paramundayil