The gift of our internationality sharpens our consciousness of universal needs and calls us to foster within ourselves and others a responsible concern for the people of the world. (You Are Sent, Constitution and General Directory of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, GD 36)
What we do
As one of many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) affiliated with the United Nations (UN), we seek to bring the urgent needs of the global community to the attention of UN member states and to bring the gift of our charism and the values of the Gospel to bear on the deliberations and decisions of the United Nations.
The foundation of our actions
Our work at the UN is grounded in the gospel of Jesus Christ and the social teachings of the Church. Our priorities flow from the charism of our foundress, Blessed M. Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger, our constitution and general directory, the acts of the general chapters which set direction for the international congregation, and the spirit of the living community.
Where we participate
We actively participate in the work of the UN through our association with the UN Department of Public Information (DPI) and the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) with which we have special consultative status. Our advocacy and educational efforts focus primarily on issues related to the rights of girls, women, and those who are poor—especially their right to education, economic justice, and sustainable development.
Association with the United Nations
NGO relationships with UN entities, like DPI and ECOSOC, offer special opportunities and carry certain responsibilities. Non-Governmental Organizations affiliated with the Department of Public Information (DPI)
Receive access to
- Publications and information about the UN and its agenda
- Educational resources
- UN staff expertise
- Publicize UN activities around the world
- Promote UN observances
- Focus attention on global issues facing humanity
NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC must demonstrate that their work is of direct relevance to the UN and that they have competence and ability to make their experience and expertise available to ECOSOC.
NGOs are expected to:
- Share their experience and expertise with ECOSOC by
- Submitting written statements
- Offering oral interventions
- Engage with member states and other UN entities
What you can do
We the School Sisters of Notre Dame invite you, our colleagues, students, and friends, to join us in our struggle to create a more just and truly human world by sharing your experience, analysis, and expertise.
Learn about UN activities and global concerns in the press, UN News Center, SSND Publications and the United Nations’ website’ website
- Join SSNDs around the world as we observe
- Education Action Week—3rd Week of April
- World Environment Day—5 June
- International Day of Peace—21 September
- Stand Up Against Poverty—17 October
- International Human Rights Day—10 December
- Follow the activities of SSND Delegations to ECOSOC Commission Meetings
- Commission for Social Development (CSocD)
- Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)
- Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PFII)
- Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD)
- Share Your Concerns, Experiences, and Expertise with the Director of the SSND UN/NGO Officer of the SSND UN/NGO Office
- Pray for the United Nations
Prayer for the United Nations
O loving and gracious Creator,
Your love embraces all members of the human family,
Your care extends to the least of those among us,
to all our brothers and sisters in every part of the world.
You call us to a mature love and concern for the entire human community.
You call us as individuals, as a nation, as a united community of nations.
Let us hear this prayer in our hearts and respond with faith and good will.
Bless all efforts toward uniting peoples and nations.
Bless the United Nations
As it strives to be an authentic community,
As it witnesses to the needs of all, to the rights of all,
As it toils in the difficult work of peacemaking in all its aspects
Grant us the wisdom and the grace
To become a true global family
And witness your reign on this earth. Amen.
From the Center of Concern