Dominicans at the United Nations
The United Nations was established in 1945 in the wake of World War II in the hope that the world would never again suffer the devastating effects of war. It was founded on the three pillars of peace and security, development and human rights. Although in the years since its inception the world has experienced a seemingly never-ending succession of war and armed conflict, and the gap between the developed and the developing countries has widened at an alarming rate, the United Nations remains the only truly representative global forum where efforts are made to resolve critical situations in a non-violent manner. Indeed, in the words of Cardinal Soldano, “If the United Nations did not exist, we would have to invent it.”
For us as Dominicans, representing non-governmental organizations (NGOs) at the United Nations in both Geneva (Dominican Network for Justice & Peace – Mike Deeb, OP), and New York (Dominican Leadership Conference – Margaret Mayce, OP), the UN is a critical venue in which we can speak truth to power and influence policies, in an effort to create a more just world order in which all people can enjoy the fullness of their human rights and know the dignity which is theirs.
The United Nations in Geneva is the seat of the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights and the Human Rights Council. Human rights violations which are a consequence of war, genocide, religious persecution or any armed conflict are brought to Geneva, where they are dealt in an immediate fashion. However, over the years it has become more apparent that the peace and security envisioned by the United Nations can never be achieved without authentic development. Until people everywhere have access to clean water, food, housing, education, health care and sanitation and meaningful employment, genuine peace will remain elusive at best. The United Nations in New York, where the Secretary General presides, deals with the issues of development peace and security “over the long term,” working for systemic solutions for the good of both People and Planet.
It is a privilege and a grace to be a presence at the UN in the name of the worldwide Dominican Family, and we look forward to all the future holds in store for us as this important work unfolds.