October 2018 MMS & UN News

Dear Readers,

October has come around and as the buzz of the start of the UN General Assembly settles down there’s still plenty taking place.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report: The landmark report released on October 7 issues a strong plea from over 150 scientists for global leaders to enact policy phasing out fossil fuels. The key take-away from the report (found here: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/sr15/) is the warning that carbon pollution has created a rapid trajectory that will burn through the 1.5°C carbon budget within the next 3 to 10 years unless  urgent action is taken. http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/vital-everyone-eat-organic/

FFD: “A Moral Economy that works for all” was the theme of an orientation by the NGO Committee on Financing for Development (FfD). Celine in her welcome speech highlighted the need for collective advocacy as she said, “there can be no Social Justice without Economic Justice”. Sr. Philo Morris, founding Chair of the NGO Committee on FfD saidWe are the voice of the voiceless and we represent those who cannot speak and cannot be here”.  Advocacy for the most marginalized in society, especially those facing extreme poverty, has been a driving concern of the Medical Mission Sisters at the UN. The Panelists were Daniel Leblanc, Sandra Vermuyten and Philo Morris who reviewed the work being done by the members to offer an alternate narrative for economic justice since 2004. Cecilie Kern explained a toolkit prepared for beginners on the “what” and “how” of Advocacy at the UN, was well received.

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 17 October. Fr. Joseph Wresinski inspired the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty with his historic Call to Action against extreme poverty over 30 years ago,(Founder ATD fourth world) declaring that “Wherever men and women are condemned to live in extreme poverty, human rights are violated.” This year’s theme was Coming together with those furthest behind to build an inclusive world of universal respect for human rights and dignity.

Nobel Peace Prize to Nadia Murad: Iraqi Yazidi (former sex slave to ISIS) human rights activist Nadia Murad was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her fearless advocacy against sexual violence by the Islamic State. “This prize also recognizes countless victims around the world who have too often been stigmatized, hidden and forgotten. Let us honor these new Nobel Laureates by standing up for victims of sexual violence everywhere.” Antonio Guterres. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=c9Vtzlyw54A

Upcoming events: Nov 1-7 World Parliament of Religions – Toronto Canada Urgent info for registration: Registration for the 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63) has opened. It will take place March 11-22, 2019 in New York. Those who wish to attend encouraged to register before Nov 20 since Celine will be away later in the year. Please go to https://bit.ly/2Rm2BTV

Signs of Hope:

    • Sikkim a small region in North East India has just won a top UN prize from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Future Council (WFC) for becoming the world’s first fully organic state. Sikkim successfully managed to educate and convert all 66,000 of its farmers to sustainable organic farming. In addition, the state’s policy implemented a phase-out of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and a total ban on sale and use of chemical pesticides.
    • Since Spain will be closing many of their coal mines by the end of this year, the government will be investing $285 million (€250 million) to ensure that coal miners can maintain their livelihood.
    • Dunkirk in Northern France became the largest European city to provide free public transportation to the masses. In addition to reducing air pollution, free public transit has increased mobility amongst older and younger residents and increased feelings of freedom.
    • “Smart Mobile Waste Transfer Centers”: Istanbul’s innovative new incentive for commuters allowing them to exchange plastic waste for credit on the city’s metro cards which can be used for multiple forms of public transit. Reduce Plastics and save the planet.                                                                                 


Diana Marin (Intern) & Celine