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JUSTICE AND PEACE / Initiatives / UN | SSND Connection

As members of an international congregation,
we recognize our obligation and opportunities
to develop a world vision and a sense of global responsibility.
A particular concern in all ministries is the establishment of a just society.
We appreciate and foster those values which reveal the reign of God
and confront with the gospel message
those elements which impede human development and unity.
SSND Constitution

School Sisters of Notre Dame and the United Nations both declare October 24th as their Foundation Day, one in 1833 and the other in 1945, respectively. Each organization carries out its mission through efforts toward unity, working for the education of all, and willing to be challenged by the future.

SSND Association
At their International Meeting in 1992, School Sisters of Notre Dame made a decision to become associated with the United Nations. An application was submitted to the UN Department of Public Information and the association as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) began in 1993. Find out more about NGOs and the UN.

A few years later, SSNDs received accreditation with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the organ of the UN that deals with humanitarian aspects of the global agenda. Throughout the years, SSNDs have been involved in issues of women, children, human rights, social development, and sustainable development.

SSND Participation
Each September, the Annual NGO Conference sponsored by the UN Department of Public Information (DPI) draws an SSND delegation from Baltimore and the other North American Provinces; some years a delegate may arrive from overseas. This conference provides a focus on the international issues as viewed by people from different continents, from government and non-governmental perspectives.

Thursday Briefings provided by UN DPI offer updated information on different humanitarian and security issues throughout the year. You may download the current version of the newsletter DPI/NGO Link in PDF format (you need Adobe Reader, which you may download for free, to view this PDF file).

Commission on Social Development meets each February to review the goals set for eradicating poverty, obtaining social integration, and providing employment. Governments and NGOs dialogue together in order to bring the voices of the marginalized to the table. Visit the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the Millennium Campaign's webpages to learn more about social development.

Commission on the Status of Women assembles each March to examine the world scene on the 12 critical areas raised at the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995 as well as current challenges and forward looking strategies for the advancement and empowerment of women and girls. These challenges are the world issues as seen through the eyes of women: economics, education, environment, girl child, health care, media, peace, poverty, and violence. Read about information and resources on gender equality and empowerment of women at the UN IANWGE website. Also visit Amnesty International's website to learn more about protecting human rights worldwide. Learn more about the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) which is often described as an international bill of rights for women.

UNICEF is the UN agency that addresses the issues of children. Several NGO Committees function within the departments of UNICEF and meet regularly throughout the year. The Working Group on Girls, one of the NGO committees, has been a part of SSND involvement since its beginning. Visit the UN Girls' Education Initiative to learn more about its goal to narrow the gender gap in primary and secondary education. The Convention on the Rights of the Child is a universally agreed set of non-negotiable standards and obligations which spells out the basic human rights for children everywhere.


to the United Nations

The School Sisters of Notre Dame
are an international community
of women who, through
are impelled by the Spirit
of Jesus Christ to:
long for the oneness of all in God,
believe that the world can be changed through
the transformation of persons,
envision the world as it is
destined to become,
give witness in our
interdependent world,
prefer the poor and marginalized
especially women and children,
educate with a world vision and
a sense of global responsibility,
accept responsibility for
the earth and its people,
struggle for reconciliation and unity,
extend Eucharist in our daily lives.*

In this twenty-first century,
our charism, vision and mission
continue to animate us and connect us with the goals and
purposes of the United Nations.

Therefore, in our struggle to create
a more just and global community,
we invite the entire congregation
to foster our relationship
with this world-wide assembly
of nations, especially by:
infusing the spirit of peace,
tolerance, and
interfaith collaboration,
promoting the economic and
social advancement of persons,
developing friendly relations
among nations based on
respect for the principle
of human rights.**

*You Are Sent (prologue, #22, 24, 25, 34, 36)
**adapted from Charter of the United Nations
(introduction, article 1)

Links for Additional Information about the UN | SSND Connection

If you would like additional information about issues of women, children, human rights, social development, and sustainable development, or wish to organize a workshop or invite a speaker to address these topics, please contact Sister Ethel Howley at 410-377-2071 or ehowley@ssndba.org.

Last updated: Tuesday, 8 March, 2005 9:40 PM

School Sisters of Notre Dame, Baltimore Province
6401 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21212-1016
Voice: 410-377-7774
Fax: 410-377-6945
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