On June 13, Pope Francis addressed the international community at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO). The Pope emphasized that while communication technologies bring us face to face with so many tragic situations, this information overload is gradually leading to the "naturalization" of extreme poverty and hunger. "In other words," he says, "little by little we are growing immune to other people's tragedies, seeing them as something 'natural'.... We cannot 'naturalize' that so many people are starving."
On May 9, the UN held a meeting on “Migration, Environment and Climate Change,” organized by the missions of Bangladesh and France. Presentations were given by five different nation state or organizational partners. Given some of our Congregation’s recent events, the meeting held a lot of interest for us.
New NGO representatives were given an orientation at the United Nations on March 3-4 at the UN Building at 42th street in New York City. I was joined by another 50, or so, relatively new NGO representatives to learn about our work and how it fit into the work of the UN.
Many people have asked me whether I was at the UN the day in September that Pope Francis addressed the General Assembly. No, like most others, I watched the activities on a TV screen. Very few NGOs were in the General Assembly. We were told, when we asked for tickets, that there was very little room because "all the ambassadors are bringing their whole family."
They wore Kelly green with a bright yellow logo: "Generation H - Light to the World". One hundred and fifteen high school seniors and juniors, student leaders from Christian Brother schools throughout eastern North America, were at the UN, learning how to be global citizens.
"So yes, we are forever beginning, and the best we can do is be very grateful that each new beginning is one more chance to grow. "
Margaret Byrne, CSJP