Building relationships and collaborating in the mission of preaching the Gospel for the sake of a more just world order.
U.S. Dominican Leadership Conference is an organization that unites and supports elected leaders of the Dominican Sisters Conference who are committed to building relationships and collaborating in the mission of preaching the Gospel for the sake of a more just world order.
UN Representative Durstyne Farnan, OP
October 2019 a new UN Representative for the Dominicans came to New York. Sr. Durstyne Farnan, OP, a member of the Dominican Sisters of Adrian is the third UN Representative of the Dominican NGO.
The Dominican NGO collaborates with many other faith-based NGO’s at the UN. There are over thirty (30) religious congregations at the UN.
The work of the Dominican NGO is done primarily through working groups.
The Dominicans are collaborators in the following working groups:
- Commission on the Status of Women,
- Commission for Social Development as the secretary
- Mining Working Group, specifically as chair of the Amazon subcommittee
- Homelessness Working Group, led by the Vincentian family
In addition to being in New York the Dominicans are present in Geneva the center of the Human Rights Council. Concerns, Vienna is the headquarters for the International Atomic Energy Agency, Drugs and Crime, Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear /test Ban Treaty Organization. The UN in Vienna (UNOV) was established in 1980 Nairobi, is the headquarters for two programs. The United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) and the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN Habitat). The Nairobi site was established in 1996.
January 2020, United Nations initiated dialogues within and across borders, sectors and generations to launch UN75 and beyond. The hope is to reach as many people as possible: through listening to their hopes and fears, tap into the experiences and empower the people to think and act globally.
In an effort to raise consciousness regarding the interconnection of all life and our common responsibility to care for both the human and the natural world, we approach issues by asking the questions:
What can we do to serve both people and planet? What is Earth asking of the Order?
In this spirit, our presence at the UN includes advocacy for:
- Poverty eradication, full and decent employment for all and social inclusion through our work on the NGO Committee for Social Development. Join us in advocating for a Social Protection Floor for all.
- Promoting the human rights of women and girls, including social, political and economic inclusion through our participation on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women and the Working Group on Girls.
- Eradicating human trafficking in all its forms by addressing the underlying causes of trafficking and advocating for victim support services as an active member of the NGO Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons.
- Creation of a global food system that ensures a secure and equitable supply of nutritious food, that are produced in environmentally, socially and economically sustainable ways, as a member of the NGO Working Group on Food and Hunger.
- A human rights-based approach to development which upholds the rights of all people and respects the integrity of Earth and her ecosystems through our work in the NGO Mining Working Group.
Dominicans at the United Nations
The United Nations was established in 1945 in the wake of World War II in the hope that the world would never again suffer the devastating effects of war. It was founded on the three pillars of peace and security, development and human rights. Although in the years since its inception the world has experienced a seemingly never-ending succession of war and armed conflict, and the gap between the developed and the developing countries has widened at an alarming rate, the United Nations remains the only truly representative global forum where efforts are made to resolve critical situations in a non-violent manner. Indeed, in the words of Cardinal Soldano, “If the United Nations did not exist, we would have to invent it.”
For us as Dominicans, representing non-governmental organizations (NGOs) at the United Nations in both Geneva (Dominican Network for Justice & Peace – Mike Deeb, OP), and New York (Dominican Leadership Conference – Durstyne Farnan, OP), the UN is a critical venue in which we can speak truth to power and influence policies, in an effort to create a more just world order in which all people can enjoy the fullness of their human rights and know the dignity which is theirs.
The United Nations in Geneva is the seat of the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights and the Human Rights Council. Human rights violations which are a consequence of war, genocide, religious persecution or any armed conflict are brought to Geneva, where they are dealt in an immediate fashion. However, over the years it has become more apparent that the peace and security envisioned by the United Nations can never be achieved without authentic development. Until people everywhere have access to clean water, food, housing, education, health care and sanitation and meaningful employment, genuine peace will remain elusive at best. The United Nations in New York, where the Secretary General presides, deals with the issues of development peace and security “over the long term,” working for systemic solutions for the good of both People and Planet.
It is a privilege and a grace to be a presence at the UN in the name of the worldwide Dominican Family, and we look forward to all the future holds in store for us as this important work unfolds.
– Margaret Mayce, OP (Amityville)
Former NGO Representative for the Dominican Leadership Conference