Africa, Asia, North America


Believing in God’s love for all people and desiring to witness to that love, we respond to the urgent needs of our times.


Friday at the UN Conference for NGOs

Sisters Pamela Jablon, Anna Marie Reha and Stephanie Spandl review Friday's schedule of events.


Sister Eileen Reilly waits for one of the workshops to begin.


Sister Ann Scholz, SSND, networks with another conference attendee.

As the 65th Annual United Nations DPI/NGO Conference drew to a close on Friday, U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson reminded the participants that they were crucial in building popular support for the Millennium Development Goals — the most successful anti-poverty push in human history – and that this is also a crucial time for creating a truly transformative post-2015 development agenda.

“The work of civil society — often with limited resources and much personal and political risk — has been central to human progress,” Eliasson said. “You are out there in the field, building bridges of solidarity. You advocate and engage. You debate and defend. You push and then push some more. And the world is better for it.

“The United Nations could not have achieved many of its successes without you. From decolonization to the fight against apartheid and the passing of the Mine Ban Treaty, you have been at the center of the action and advocacy.”

Five School Sisters of Notre Dame were among the 4,000 representatives from more than 900 Non-Governmental Organizations attending the conference. They attended roundtable discussions, workshops and sessions to work on the formulation of the new 2015 Sustainable Development Goals. The conference attendees on Friday adopted an outcome document that offers an “Action Agenda” for the post-2015 sustainable development goals. The document will be sent to the U.N. General Assembly for their work on the post-2015 development agenda.

“In today’s global landscape, no one can do everything, but everyone can do something,” Eliasson said. “The United Nations wants you to continue raising your voices, every step of the way.”

Sister Ann Scholz, SSND, said that Eliasson’s remarks about building bridges of solidarity resonated with her and with who she is as a School Sister of Notre Dame.

“We are each of us responsible for what goes forward,” Sister Ann said. “We are each of us responsible for sustainable development. None of us can do everything. But certainly each and every one of us has an obligation to do something. We have to identify what we can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals and do what we can.”

Sister Pamela Jablon, SSND, said that that the experience at the conference left her humbled, energized and proud.

“I just felt that really bold movement, and it made me think about our audacity. And there were such strong words. No violence is accepted. Children’s rights need to be considered. There has to be equality for all immigrants.

“I felt very proud to be a School Sister of Notre Dame in an international community that is trying to work for the same goals as the United Nations – that people can live in peace and can have their human rights  respected.”

School Sisters of Notre Dame (back two rows on left) listen to U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson during the closing session of the conference.


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