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Speaking from the UN…

OWG 11th    : The 11th session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, were held from May 5-9. The Co-chairs of the OWG have produced a new version of possible goals and targets. There are now 16 focus areas (possible GOALS) with under each some 6 – 12 targets, almost all time-bound and quantified. In comparison to a legal text, the proposal for global goals will not be legally binding – as the MDGs are – and the co-chairs aim at simple targets of 1 line and all conditions should be addressed in indicators for these targets.  The Co-Chairs feel that we need a lot more informal conversations with the delegations to go through the working document. The Mining Working Group at the UN (MWG), a coalition of mostly faith based NGOs that, in partnership with our members and affected local communities, advocates at and through the UN for human and environmental rights as related to extractive industries. The advocacy brief is entitled “A Rights-Based Approach to Resource Extraction in the Pursuit of Sustainable Development”.  (Can send it if anyone interested). It was a hectic week with advocacy and lobbying delegates but encouraging too to see some of it reflected in their statements.

12-23 May: Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 13th session : The special theme of the session is : “Principles of Good Governance” Consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It was very moving to listen to the impact of the Doctrine of Discovery- a papal bull issued in the 15th century by the Roman Catholic Church (used for colonizing the Indigenous.)“Unbelievers deserve not only to be separated from the Church, but also… to be exterminated from the World by death.” – Thomas Aquinas (1271). There were systematic effort to destroy non-White Civilizations around the World. Now they are claiming their rights based on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: read more: http://post2015.iisd.org/events/13th-session-of-the-permanent-forum-on-indigenous-issues-pfii-13/

 Mother Agnes Mariam from  Syria talk to the NGOs at the UN:  Mother Agnes Mariam, the Lebanese-born head of St. James the Mutilated Monastery in Qara, Syria, is a controversial figure in the international debate over how to resolve the escalating violence in Syria. Her supporters, including Nobel Laureate Mairead say her message of forgiveness and reconciliation is a critical component to ending the civil war. Her opponents, including the Syrian American Council, say she is an apologist for President Bashar Assad. She showed us pictures of crucifixion and beheading, a barbaric Muslim law for ethnic cleansing. According to her Syria has 250, 000 terrorists, including those invaded from 75 countries and their intention is to destroy Syria and is supported by the west. Katharine and Celine were among those who listened to her but do not get the full truth.  

Pope to the UN: Resist the economy of exclusion, serve the poor : Pope Francis met with executives from the United Nations Agencies, Funds and Programmes on Friday, led by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Speaking to the leaders, he urged them to challenge “all forms of injustice” and resist the “economy of exclusion”, the “throwaway culture” and the “culture of death” which nowadays – he said – “sadly risk becoming passively accepted.                                                                                                                                                                                         June 5th : World Environment Day 2014 : the UN environment program announces the theme-     “Raise your voices not the sea level “     http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Mi4SbjDCjc4                                                              

Best regards,      Celine Paramunda MMS