MMS & UN News Update-August 2019

The highlight of August was the 68 United Nation’s Department of Global Communications annual Conference called the UN Civil Society Conference held in Salt Lake City -Utah from August 26-28, 2019. Inclusive and sustainable cities and communities (SDG. 11)  was the focus of this conference, noting that cities are well placed to help combat the global climate emergency and point the way towards sustainable, low-emission development. There were 4000 participants from over 100 Countries. Salt Lake City (SLC) has been preparing for the conference for over a year, led by Mayor Jackie Biskupski, who declared that cities and local communities have never before played such an important role in the health and well-being of the world. SLC became the first city (besides NY) in the US to host a UN conference since 1945.

Partnerships with civil society and youth are essential to achieving the goals of key UN-backed international agreements, such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Paris Agreement on climate change, María Fernanda Espinosa, the President of the United Nations General Assembly, told delegates at the Conference.

Outcome document:  Conference Outcome Statement will be submitted to the 74 GA along with the Youth Climate Compact.   The Link is here:              

Youth delegates focus on climate action: The significance and potential of youth was also recognized in the outcome document, and young people played a major role in this year’s Conference. The activism of the youth groups present at the event was evident in the closing session, during which a separate outcome document, the Salt Lake City Youth Climate Compact, was adopted.

MMS Participation: We organized a workshop with 4 other organizations on the title: Educating for Gender Justice -stepping stone to achieving the SDGs. Celine Paramunda was one of the speakers highlighting MMS grassroot involvement where Smita Parmar (UNI) and her team educating the Dalit women including the story of Sunita Devi. Also spoke of TEEN STAR. Thank you Smita and Sr. Miriam Paul (UNA) for the info shared with me. Other speakers highlighted on Curriculum developed by Loretto community and the Podcast by Global Goals and Gender Equality Reconciliation International. 

We were one of the 4 cosponsors of an event with Good shepared Sisters and Team on a Film “Mahila”  A grassroot Women’s Movement Rising’ in India and an interactive discussion about the dynamics of power

Organizers and Speakers of the workshops

UN 2020: To mark the 75 Anniversary of the UN in 2020 a global campaign “UN@75 the UN We want” had a global dialogue during the Conference which we all participated. This was to explore how renewed commitment to collective action can secure the world we want by 2045 when the UN reaches its 100 Anniversary.

UP Coming Events:  September is the beginning of theUN GA when the heads of states will attend a series of events at the 74 GA, High Level Political Forum, Special Clime Summit etc., from Sept 20- Oct 1 NGOs are not allowed to enter the UN except with a special event ticket.

Signs of hope:  

  •  For the first time ever, a crowdfunding campaign has raised enough money to buy out a new swath of Canadian wilderness as a protected park. More than $3 million was raised through individual donations to protect 2,000 acres (800 hectares) of the Princess Louisa Inlet on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast.
  •  Ethiopia May Have Just Shattered World Record by Planting 350 Million Tree Saplings in One Day.
  • Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish activist arrived NYC by a Sails boat and received   by the UN with 17 boats depicting 17 SDGS. She will speak at the 74 GA at the Special Climate Summit. She will be participating in several activities including a Climate Strike Rally in Battery Park NY on Sept 20.


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Season of Creation: Pope Francis invited the faithful to celebrate the Season of Creation.  Sept 1- Oct 4.

Warm Regards,

Celine Paramunda