Opening Day at the UN Conference for NGOs
Sisters Eileen Reilly, Pamela Jablon, Stephanie Spandl and Anna Marie Reha at the opening session of the United Nations 65th Annual Conference for Non-Governmental Organizations.
The United Nations 65th Annual DPI-NGO Conference this week is not just about setting noble goals, U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power, told the 4,000 participants on Wednesday. “It is figuring out what can be done to meet them."
She noted the progress that has been made in achieving the U.N. Millennium Development Goals. More than 600 million people have moved out of extreme poverty in 15 years. Girls and boys are attending primary school in roughly equal numbers. Nearly 14 million people are receiving life-saving anti-retroviral treatment for HIV/AIDS. Rwanda has seen a reduction of child mortality by 10 percent annually since the year 2000, one of the fastest declines in recorded history.
Yet, there are many places in the world that have not seen changes in poverty or development.
“That is our most important goal – changing lives, changing the world, Power said. “And I’m confident that together we can do it,” said Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
Five School Sisters of Notre Dame are attending the conference this year, and SSND sponsored one of the workshops on Wednesday afternoon, “Four Zeros Add up to Positives for Global Education,” with the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, Sisters of Charity Federation, the Working Group on Girls, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM).
The workshop’s focus related to the Emergency Coalition for Global Education Action, which was launched this past April, said Sister Ann Scholz, SSND, who moderated the panel discussion (see video clip below).
“The initiative promises to accomplish four zeros – zero exclusion from education, zero discrimination against girls, zero child marriage and zero child labor,” Sister Ann said. “We aim to take a look exactly at how targeting those four barriers and accomplishing those four zeros will add up to education for all, and not just education for all but in helping to accomplish the whole of that post-2015 development agenda.”