Un Update: December

December 11-15, 2023, was a historic week at the UN.  It celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights.

The more I ponder these rights, especially during this volatile time in our world with two world wars ongoing, Ukraine/Russia and Israel/Hamas, and the atrocities committed it is a reminder to us all to again work towards the fulfillment of the Declaration of Human Rights. 

On the other hand, I had the extreme pleasure of meeting two remarkable women and celebrating with our Franciscan International Team with whom we share the office.  The most important resolution that passed the UN on October 8, 2021, was the resolution that all people had the Right to a Healthy  Environment. This resolution was decades in the making. https://undocs.org/A/RES/76/300. Although, it is not a binding resolution more than 70 countries have already signed the document. This is a great start.

A core group of countries that were part of the drafting of this resolution these countries brought resolution 48/13 for its adoption in the council, recognizing for the first time that having a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment is indeed a human right.

To see a short video on what the resolution is click here.

More than 1100 Civil Society groups have been working on this resolution since 1972. And now they were awarded along with Franciscans International one of the five Human Rights Awards that were given on Friday, December 15, 2023.
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The two women who came to our office were Astrid Reyano, a lawyer from Colombia who has worked in Mexico for the last thirty years, and Cressida from Papua Guinea.  Astrid is a potential candidate for the position of Special Rapporteur for Human Rights on the Environment. She is a lovely woman, and she is the one who accepted the award on behalf of the 1100 civil society organizations. You can hear her response here. They shared with us the long road to the award.

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Here is a picture of our FI Franciscan International Team which were part of the award. In the Picture to the left is Father Ben Ayodi, OFM, Brother Christopher Fray Astrid and lead FI staff person lawyer, Ms. Marya Farah. 

To watch the entire awards ceremony please click here,  You will also hear the granddaughter of Eleanor Roosevelt, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

She was wonderful and a privilege for me to hear her share her insights into the Declaration of Human Rights. 

It is always good for us to refresh our memory on what is contained in The Declaration of Human Rights. Please take some time to recall this important document that still stands significant for us all.

We pray that Peace will Prevail in 2024. May you and your loved ones find ways to remember each other with care and the worn torn areas of our world.

May 2024 bring us all closer to the realization that Peace is Possible.