congregation of the sisters of st joseph of peace
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Notes from the UN - July 2015

Generation H at the UN by Sister Suzanne Golas, CSJP

They wore Kelly green t-shirts 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.

They were participants in the Lasallian Youth Summer Assembly. St. John Baptist de La Salle was the founder of the Christian Brothers, thus the name of the program. Their tour of the UN was followed by a session in which they learned about UN issues and processes.

Why, they wondered, was a nun at the UN - not the first time I've heard the question. They listened attentively to my explanation of the connection between our charism, peace through justice, and involvement in international efforts at the UN. They were surprised to hear that there are over 50 women and men (mostly women) religious at the UN, representing thousands of religious throughout the world, joined in a network called RUN (Religious at the UN).

These young leaders are now aware of the importance of the next six months. They will go home knowing the urgent agenda that the UN must address. It is likely that many of them, in September, will be paying attention to the General Assembly as it decides on a Post- 2015 Plan for Sustainable Development, a plan that, after two years of negotiating, connects the eradication of poverty with care of the environment. They know that Pope Francis will be addressing the General Assembly, challenging nations to make the difficult decisions on crisis issues such as climate change. They will be watching in December to see if, finally, the nations of the world will commit to the hard decisions on climate change at the Climate Summit in Paris.

Notes from the UN - July 2015

Their logo proclaims them as the "Generation H - Light to the World." The H stands for hope. Having experienced their seriousness, energy, enthusiasm and eagerness to make a difference, I suspect that these young people and other youth like them are, indeed, hope for the future.

"We are consciously choosing to shape the future rather than allowing the future to shape us."

Sheila Lemieux, CSJP