Your Voice at the UN

This edition contains news from the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council in Geneva, the UN Environment Programme in Nairobi, and the 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference, held in Utah, alongside other news and updates from SI’s UN Representatives.


Berthe De Vos, SI UN Representative, Geneva

SI at the UN Human Rights Council

SI UN Representative, Berthe De Vos, attended the Human Rights Council 42: ‘Widows in Conflict-Relates Situations’ panel discussion.

“Initially, I felt saddened by the lack of interest from the public, as only 8 people joined the meeting. But the passion of the speakers filled the empty chairs in the room as they spoke with mesmerising enthusiasm and knowledge”.

Click here to read Berthe’s blog.


SI at the United Nations Environment Programme

Mary Muia, SI UN Rep Nairobi, keenly follows discussions on possible UNEA-5 themes and considers how women’s and girls’ issues will be addressed by the CPR .

Mary Muia, SI UN Representative in Nairobi, attended the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Subcommittee Meeting of Permanent Representatives. During the meeting, the Secretariat made a presentation on the three tentative thematic areas that are being considered for the theme of the next UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5). Member States were encouraged to share their initial views on each suggested theme. The themes were as listed below:

1. Scaling-up/Implementing Nature-based Solutions for a clean Environment and Sustainable Development.

2. Blue Planet: Transformative actions to protect our freshwater and oceans.

3.  Addressing the water–energy–food interlinkages for sustainability .

Click here for more information on the three thematic themes.

Click here to read Mary’s full report of the discussions held during the meeting.


Evelyne Para, SI UN Representative, Paris

UN International Days

Earlier this month, we celebrated International Literacy Day and International Peace Day. Evelyne Para, SI UN representative in Paris, recognises the increase in global literacy rates and considers the role of multilingual literacy as a tool for peace.

“indigenous languages ​​are important for social, economic and political development, peaceful coexistence and reconciliation in our societies”.

Click here to read Evelyne’s blog.


68th UN Civil Society Conference

SI Delegation at the 68th UN Civil Society Conference

A delegation of Soroptimists, including President-Elect, Sharon Fisher; Advocacy Director, Bev Bucur; SI Board Member, Dawn Marie Lemonds; Sue Riney, Advocacy Committee Member; Governor Rita Offret of Soroptimist International the Americas (SIA) Rocky Mountain Region and Soroptimists from SIA Northwestern, Rocky Mountain and Southern Regions, attended the 68th UN Civil Society Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA on 26-28 August 2019. The focus of the Conference was Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11, ‘to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable by 2030’, and explored the interlinkages between the 17 SDGs, including critical issues relating to gender.

Click here to find out more about the 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference ‘Building Inclusive and Sustainable Cities and Communities’.

Click here to read a report from the Plenary Session by Dawn Marie Lemonds.

Click here to read the report from the breakout session focusing on the positive impact of the SIA Dream it Be it programme written by Sue Riney.

Click here to read the blog ‘Educating for Gender Justice: Stepping Stones to achieving the SDG’s’ by Karen Marshall.

Click here to read the blog ‘Peaceful Societies – Recovering from Conflict and Nurturing Peace’, by SI President Elect, Sharon Fisher.

Click here to read the blog ‘Plan B:Create an Opportunity’ by Aurora Daniels.


Maria Fornella, SI UN Representative, New York

Debrief Webinar

On August 14, 2019, SI UN Representative in New York, Maria Fornella, attended the Webinar “Debrief on HLPF 2019 and an Exchange on the SDG Summit”, which was held by Together 2030 and TAP Network (Transparency, Accountability and Participation for 2030 Agenda). Maria, who hadn’t attended the HLPF, and was glad of the opportunity to attend the debrief, found that the webinar developed into a very lively critique of the HLPF.

Click here to read Maria’s insightful blog from the HLPF Debrief Webinar.



Dates for the Diary

1 October: International Day of Older Persons

11 October: International Day of the Girl Child

14-18 October: Committee on World Food Security, Rome

29-30 October: Beijing +25 Review Meeting, Geneva

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