Our spiritual, cultural, and traditional belief systems speak of creation as a garden. Humankind, it is said, is the receptacle and caretaker of the garden. After more than two years of pandemic crisis, ongoing wars and conflicts, and a heating planet, the nations of the world have resumed in-person meetings to discuss their mandates and treaty bodies regarding life in the garden called earth.
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” –Article 1, Universal Declaration of Human. On Dec. 9, 2021, the NGO Human Rights Committee gathered to Honor the 73rd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was my first United Nations in-person meeting since the COVID-19 March 2020 shutdown.
The United Nations General Assembly, held Sept. 21-15 in New York, on day two commemorated the Durban Declaration and Program of Action (DDPA), which was adopted in 2001 at the world conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance in Durban, South Africa. The trans-Atlantic slave trade, apartheid, and colonialism were recognized as sources of much modern-day racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance.
The Palestine Committee meeting on the morning of Dec. 1 at the United Nations was in commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. All too often I hear “Palestine” and it does not register that about 2 million Palestinians live under occupation in the densely populated area of the Gaza Strip, under a 13-year blockade, in a place where 90 percent of the water is undrinkable. The people depend on international humanitarian aid in order to survive from day to day.
The Working Group of Experts on the People of African Descent was established in 2002 following the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance. Their mandate was renewed by the Commission on Human Rights and the Human Rights Council in various resolutions during the subsequent years leading up to their 2016 findings which were put forward at the Sept. 26 meeting of the council.
The 193 nations of the United Nations opened the UN’s 70th anniversary (Sept. 23-Oct. 2) at the headquarters in New York with 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that reflect the desires of the world’s people.
We lined up two by two in rows on Liberty Street in Manhattan to enter onto the Foot Prints grounds where the Twin Towers had once stood. In the line were the families of survivors and those like myself, representatives of our faith communities. As the line began to move you first hear the sounds of the water flowing, and then all eyes beheld the sight of the mighty pool of never-ending, streaming waters.
The following report from Doris Abdullah, Church of the Brethren representative to the United Nations, reports her experience at the 54th Commission on the Status of Women: So exactly what was the 54th meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women from March 1-12 at the United Nations in New York all about anyway?