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Week of March 4, 2016
The Summary of the Holy See Mission's Activities during the week of March 4, 2016

You are Invited

From March 14-24, the United Nations will hold the 60th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), a two week event for United Nations Missions, Entities, and NGOs to discuss the status of women throughout the world. This year's themes are women's empowerment and its link to sustainable development, and the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls. The Holy See will host several side events during the CSW to give witness to the dignity of women and girls through in light of Catholic social teaching. You are most cordially invited to join us for the following events. Please note you will need a UN pass, so please RSVP to each event you would like to attend through the provided links to obtain your pass.

Women’s empowerment and its link to sustainable development — See more here

March 16, 4:45-6:00

FEMM: Investing to Expand Reproductive Health Programming — Conference Room 1

Women's health is often discussed through the lens of contraception and abortion. Scientific research, however, points to the importance of hormonal health for both overal and reproductive health of women. Understanding their bodies and ensuring access to diagnosis and treatment, rather than simply management of symptoms, is essential to achieving informed consent and human rights for women, while also providing the highest standards of health to all women. FEMM offers personalized education, diagnosis and treatment to women. Collaborations with the Human Dignity Curriculum (HDC) allow the dissemination of recent science and health care information to communities, schools, adolescents and at risk populations, in the US and abroad. This event will introduce FEMM and the HDC, and describe these programs can better fulfill the commitments in SDG's 3 (health), 4 (education) and 5 (gender equality) through collaboration with both the public and private sectors. This event is co-sponsored by Fertility Education and Medical Management (FEMM), World Youth Alliance (WYA) , The Reproductive Health Research Institute (RHRI)


March 17, 4:45-6:00

Best Practices for Maternal Health Care in Africa — Conference Room 1

Fulfilling the maternal healthcare priorities for women and girls is a key component in achieving the post 2015 development agenda in Africa. Expert panelists will discuss obstacles and opportunities faced by African women in the context of successes and shortcomings in the distribution of foreign financial aid for maternal healthcare services. Keynote Speakers will be: Obianuju Ekeocha, founder and president of Culture of Life Africa; Dr. R.L. Walley founder and executive director of MaterCare International. This event is co-sponsored by Campaign Life Coalition (CLC), Real Women of Canada (RWC), and the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC)


March 21, 11:30-12:45

The Pastoral Care of Women and Girls on the Street — Conference Room 11

This event will share the experiences of helping women and girls living and working on the street and, with the help of the Action Plan of the International Symposium of the Pastoral Care of the Road/Street, discuss the best practices to enable women and girls to exit prostitution. This event is co-sponsored by Women at the Well.


March 22, 3:00-4:15

Women and Girls: Victims of Sexual Violence in Conflict — Conference Room 1

This event will feature the stories of women and girls who have been victims of rape and other forms of sexual violence in conflict situations in Iraq, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, from the survivors themselves and from those who are caring for them.


April 7, 3:00-6:00

Ending Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking by 2030; The Role of Global Partnerships— Conference Room 4

This event is a collaborative effort of the Holy See’s Mission to the UN and the St. Marta Group, which brings together senior law enforcement chiefs from over 25 countries with senior representatives of the Roman Catholic Church and civil society organizations to strengthen and coordinate the global response to modern slavery and human trafficking. It will focus on the coordination necessary to implement target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals, committing the nations of the world to “take immediate and effective measure to eradicate forced labor, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labor, including recruitment and use of child soldiers.” Among its objectives are to promote the commitment to end modern slavery and human trafficking by 2030; make efforts to end modern slavery a central focus in multi-lateral action over coming years; ensure clear leadership and strategic coordination provided by the UN system to support Member States to deliver Target 8.7; ensure that such leadership addresses tackling modern slavery and human trafficking holistically as a human rights, lob or rights, criminal justice, development and humanitarian issue; reframe action against modern slavery as smart development policy; promote new and existing global partnerships and multi-stakeholder alliances working in a coordinated and complimentary way; share best practices among Member States and build partnerships between source, transit and destination countries; leverage support and engagement from the private sector, particularly around supply chain transparency. Among the confirmed keynote speakers will be Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster (UK) and Commission Kevin Hyland, Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner (UK).


Religious Pluralism and Tolerance

"A culture of pluralism and tolerance is so important not just for individual believers, but for the world whose good the United Nations seeks to promote: for without a healthy mutual respect, fraternity and friendship, we won’t be able to save present and future generations from the scourge of war; we won’t be able to achieve integral and sustainable development; we won’t witness the protection and advancement of human dignity and rights; we won’t find respect for the rule of law that protects the rights of others; and we won’t be able to obtain so many of the other noble goals the United Nations was founded to achieve."

Read the full intervention here.