MMS & UN News Update – October 2019

Dear Readers,

October is the month of UN Day Celebration and the continuation of General Assembly started in Sept.  

Oct 11. International Day of the Girl 

The International Day of the Girl is October 11 and the 2019 theme was: “GirlForce: Unscripted and Unstoppable,” to emphasize the past work in the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, as well as future work in girls’ health, education and safety.  The girls literally occupied the UN Conference room and spoke with clarity and conviction. Link for more info:

Oct 17. Symposium on Women and Girls Experiencing Homelessness 

The CSocD Priority Theme of 2020 will be “affordable housing and social protection systems for all to address homelessness.” It is pertinent to understand the definition of homelessness and identify the most vulnerable groups, such as women and girls. Leilani Farha, the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, spoke about a framework that would highlight homelessness as a human rights violation and also stress accountability between governments and civil society. This will be the first time the UN addressing the issue of Homelessness by the pressure from the Civil Society. 

Oct 24. MMS & the UN – Sharing Mission for 25 Years

Medical Mission Sisters as a Society celebrated the 25 Anniversary of the ministry at the UN on Oct 24, the 74 Birth day of the UN in many countries around the world where MMS are present. In North America in Philadelphia Sisters and Associates had a festive day with a meaningful Liturgy in the morning and an informative and UN Model Panel by the originators and Representatives from the 1990. Estelle gave us a history of the heart and mind of 1991 Chapter where the “ One world concept “ was talked about. Jane Blewett  representing Center of Concern helped us in the process of getting DPI and ECOSOC ( Economic and Social Council)  Status. In 2000, Philo Morris  paved the path as the full time  representative for 10 years and since 2010 Celine Paramunda continue as the full time representative.   After the Panel we had a delicious meal , thank you to all you worked hard .               

UN Representatives from 1994-2019

While we were celebrating, the UN had a Concert organized by Qatar  with the theme : End Poverty ,  Fight Climate Change and Speak up for Social Justice.  Link:

Oct 30. Reparations and Human Rights Obligations to Ensure Racial Justice :                                                                               This side event opened up space for dialogue on the 2019 report by Tendayi Achiume, the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. Panelists and attendees discussed an interdisciplinary and multifrontal approach towards reparation, which would utilize international and national frameworks of legality, as well as the convergence of politics and psychology. A criticism of the report mentioned how the recommendations are lacking, especially when this issue can be appealed to multiple UN organs on the basis of peace and security and human rights violations. In order to move forward, national governments must also formally apologize and take responsibility for the past. Link to Concept Note: Link to UN WebTV:

Oct 30. Building Peace From the Ground Up

A key takeaway from this event was that “peace is more than an absence of war – it is access to resources, education and employment; presence of strong institutions; and a culture of peace, understood as mutual respect, harmony and inclusion,” as explained by Heela Yoon, a young Afghan girl who spoke of her inspiring activist work in Afghanistan. It is also important to understand that our gains are fragile, especially when they are tied to governments because they can easily be reversed after elections and changes in leadership. Link to GNWP Report:

Upcoming Events needing Registration: 

Commission on the Status of Women : March 

Commission on Social Development 58 session-  Feb 

Signs of Hope: 

  • The Housing First Community Coalition (HFCC) Texas (USA) announced that it had successfully raised the funds for its new 17-acre Towne Twin Village community that will provide housing and support services for seniors in San Antonio experiencing long-term homelessness.
  • An estimated one million people have joined a peaceful protest march in Chile’s capital, calling on the government to tackle inequality, people are protesting for justice and a decent life. 
  • Canada has its First Ever Tiny House Village for Homeless Veterans built by ATCO, a global provider of integrated energy etc The “Homes for Heroes” Village in Calgary.
  • A UN Treaty Guarantees Youth Rights Everywhere on Earth—Except the U.S.
  • Rajasthan (India) cop built a school to educate 450 children who used to beg on the streets; read more :


 Lea Khy and Celine Paramunda