One Human Family
The Framework for our work with the United Nations is the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. This universal Agenda is a transformative plan of action for the people of the world, for our planet, and for our common wellbeing. Grounded in, and guided by, the fundamental values and principles laid down in the UN Charter, in particular its Preamble, it is inspired by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda commitment was made by governments on behalf of the people they serve. It is a collective endeavor calling our national governments, local and regional authorities and civil society to work together to eradicate poverty and give every person the possibility of a decent livelihood by 2030. It challenges us to end all forms of discrimination, to ensure our continued existence on this planet and to leave no one behind, beginning with the most vulnerable. As one human family we are aware of the absolute importance of caring for every member and for the planet we inhabit.
This vision is in itself a sacred reality. When the founder of the Loreto Sisters, Mary Ward, spoke of “referring all to God”, the meaning of that “all” has expanded over the years to bring me out of my own personal concerns to embrace other people, human processes and all of creation which science is unfolding for us.
As a non-government organisation (NGO) associated with the United Nations, we collaborate through all the works in which our organization is engaged and our work “on the ground” contributes to the work of the United Nations. On the other hand, my task at the NGO Office in New York is to keep the needs of the people we serve, especially people living in poverty and those who suffer different forms of discrimination, before the member states and to advocate on your behalf within the UN processes. NGOs have the task of ensuring that governments fulfil their promises. United Nations Staff, including the Secretary General, continually remind us of the importance of this role.
Therefore, the Loreto Sisters, their colleagues and our wider network are all integrated into this ongoing forward thrust. Our local institutions and projects combine as a global institution inserted into these ongoing processes.
One of the challenges of this task comes from the fact that we do not see any spectacular results. We only hear about what does not work well while the ongoing slow progress is rarely registered. At this time of crisis at many levels, the hope is that the work of many generous and noble persons will prevail in the end. It is encouraging to see how the SDGs call us to responsibility for the integrity of all creation, present and future.
Words: Loreto NGO Representative, Cecilia O’Dwyer ibvm
Loreto Sister, Cecilia O’Dwyer, is the current international IBVM NGO representative at the United Nations, promoting awareness of and communicating on issues of social development, gender equity and human rights. To stay up to date with IBVM developments at the UN, please click here
Linking Projects with UN Sustainable Development Goals
To see how our projects link with the UN SDGs, go to page 17 of our June 2017 Sustain Magazine here!