STOP THE WORLD (for a day)

T.G.I.F.! I’ve only been here for a week, but have learned a year’s worth of stuff–some related to the U.N. and its NGOs (Non Governmental Organizations) and a lot related to survival in New York City. Sister Jan and I agreed today that we feel like we’ve been run over by a truck, one bearing tons of information.

I’m just so impressed with the United Nations and what it does to promote peace and justice all over the world. When you think of it, it’s the only place in the world where all nations–rich or poor, large or small–can sit down and talk to each other on an equal footing. And I’m so proud of how women and men religious are using this venue to influence world policies. To give you an idea of what kinds of things we are working on through UNANIMA, here’s my schedule for this last Wednesday (each meeting was about an hour and a half long):
  • Working Group on Poverty and Climate Change (the environment is one of the top priorities of the current General Secretary)
  • NGO Committee on Poverty Eradication (the issue of poverty cuts across all UN agencies and activities)
  • Workshop in Advocacy Training (this taught us how to approach official groups we are trying to influence)
  • NGO Committee for Social Development (many religious community focus issues are involved in this–it deals with themes around family, aging, youth, disabled persons)

Needless to say, we missed lunch that day. Luckily, I had put two granola bars in my pocket to give to homeless people on the subway, so Jan and I co-opted them. In this one day, in a small way, we experienced solidarity with the hungry and the disabled (as I am still hobbling around on a sprained ankle), and suffered vicariously with the poor and those dealing with the effects of climate change! What an education…