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Celebrating 20 Years Collaborating with the United Nations

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The Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM Loreto) established a non-governmental organization (NGO) to work with the United Nations in 2023 to enhance its global presence and impact on issues faced by communities with whom we live and work globally. The IBVM UNNGO office represents the interests of the global IBVM/CJ network, including its members on six continents, associates, current students, teachers, parents, communities and the more than 2 million alumni of IBVM/CJ schools.

With our status as an NGO with Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) we are able to be present at sessions, forums, consultations and conferences. We are also able to submit Written and Oral Statements reflecting the experiences of our global network on the ground. We have also invited some of our members to advocate and speak at events we have hosted in collaboration with other Member States, UN departments and NGOs.

We have also had young people join us as volunteers and interns at our office in New York. They have enhanced and became agents of change not only for their issues but for the many young people who are unable to be present at the UN table. It is our hope that we will continue to collaborate with our global network to advocate for systemic change at a global, regional, national and local level.

Watch and learn about the history of IBVM/CJ UNNGO office HERE.

Listen to members of the Mary Ward Youth Advocates share their experience at the 37th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women. We hope that the students in our schools worldwide will be encouraged to collaborate with us. Watch HERE.

We invite you to join us on October 26 at 8:30AM EDT for a Webinar – Just Souls: Mary Ward Family and Faith Based Organisations at the United Nations

Civil Society, especially faith based NGOs have been advocating at and partnering with the UN since its inception. The significance of the contribution of civil society is acknowledged with its inclusion in the UN Charter Article 71, which states the provision to consult with NGOs on “matters within its competence.”

Our Keynote Speaker, Azza Karam, will share with us why it is important that faith based NGOs continue to engage at the UN and advocate for systemic changes to the existing global political, social and economic systems. She will also share her experience working closely with and advocating at the UN, negotiating with Member States and Civil Society. As a previous Secretary General of Religions for Peace and various roles at the UN, she is able to share her insights on the importance of collaboration among faith based organizations and the critical role they have at the UN.

Our first panelists – Pat Murray ibvm, Evanne Hunter ibvm, Anne Kelly ibvm and Cecilia O’Dwyer ibvm will share their thoughts and experience of working as IBVM/CJ UNNGO Representatives to the UN and their reflections on the experience. The Keynote speaker and panelists will have a conversation on the role of faith based organizations and respond to questions from the audience.

Our second panelist – Prisca Vadakepoondikulam CJ and Deepti Beena CJ will share their experience of working with the IBVM/CJ UN Office and participating in UN processes and events virtually. Our Mary Ward Youth advocate, Aarya Jha will share her experience engaging with other youth advocates from around the world.

Register HERE.