AIC International is a ECOSOC recognized Catholic NGO at the UN. At the UN in New York, for nearly two decades we have fought the feminization of poverty with a small group of volunteer representatives. For anyone who has engaged in this work, it is obvious that one cannot keep pace with the proliferation of ubiquitous meetings. Yet we have continued knowing that it is a privilege to raise our voices in support of ending poverty and enabling women to achieve their rightful human dignity. One of the most helpful eventualities has been working with The Vincentian family at the UN in New York. We have developed strong bonds of collaboration with the Congregation of the Mission, the Daughters of Charity, the Sisters of Charity Federation and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. These bonds have been strengthened by the formalization of periodic meetings and planning sessions. This year we are focused on two Vincentian priorities: ending poverty and ending homelessness.
By working together and building on the leadership of each Vincentian group at the UN we will be lifting up the issue of Homelessness as a means of ending poverty. Thanks to the leadership of Guillermo Campuzano, CM, Mark McGreevy the CEO of the FAMVIN Global Alliance to End Homelessness will be speaking at a High-Level Panel on Monday, January 29 at the Commission on Social Development. His talk will highlight how this issue effects three of the Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 1, eradicating poverty in all its forms; SDG 3, ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages; and third, SDG11, making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. He will also call upon all nations to measure street homelessness to the end of designing effective strategies to alleviate this blight. On Wednesday, January 31, thanks to the Daughters of Charity’s relationship with the Mission of Ireland, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and ATD 4th World, the Vincentian Family and other NGOs are hosting a side that will feature Mark McGreevy and a homeless man and woman. As we know involving people effected by the issue in designing strategies to solve the problem is key to systemic change.
Collaboration is key to moving this issue forward in the most important Global policy body, the United Nations. Our colleagues in Europe will benefit from the dialogue that has begun in New York. But most importantly people who live on the street, in slums and inadequate shelters, will benefit as our efforts to recognize housing as a human right, understood to be not only a physical structure but also a right to human dignity and participation in society. We are most powerful when we work together to effect change. As Vincent de Paul encouraged, “We should assist the poor in every way, and do it both by ourselves and by enlisting the help of others.”
Mary Ann Dantuono – AIC NGO Representative to UN-NY