October 1, 2012
Presbyterian engagement at the United Nations General Assembly
Last week, New York City welcomed world leaders to the 67th United Nations General Assembly. The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations was active in raising the voice of Presbyterians from here in the United States as well as those of our partners in the World Communion of Reformed Churches.
- Worshiped with world leaders at the opening prayer service for the United Nations General Assembly.
- Empowering Youth dialogue with the President Lobo of Honduras and the Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations.
- Official NGO observer to the General Debate with heads of state or government.
- Met with the Mission of Ireland and a representative of Irish Aid to discuss food and hunger concerns at the General Assembly.
- Hosted a parallel event with ICAHD-USA. A small strategy meeting with the Presbyterian Ministry at the UN, Mennonite Central Committee UN Office and ICAHD followed later in the afternoon.
- Participated in Feed the Future event hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with President Banda of Malawi, President & CEO of Land O’ Lakes, Dr. Laurent Gouindé, Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources for Burkina Faso; Dr. Jajiv Shah, Administrator of USAID, Mr. Willimington Wamayeye, Gumutindo Coffee Cooperative (Equal Exchange Partner) and others on partnering with civil society on food and hunger concerns.
- Attended a small lunch meeting with Dr. Paul Bhatti, Adviser to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Minority Affairs with the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief with Presbyterians from Pakistan and Canada where we explored ways of engaging the UN General Assembly on passing a resolution in favor of religious freedom.
- Joined President Morsi of Egypt for a dialogue with a small group of religious leaders on minority rights and religious freedom in Egypt
- Attended an event with Mohammad Yousef al-Magariaf,
President of the General National Congress of Libya and focused on women’s representation and rights in the future of Libya as well as minority religious community rights.
- Participated in a strategic dialogue including, senior representatives from a number of states, the Secretary General of the OIC and the High Representative of the United Nations Alliance of Civilization will join outstanding representatives of faith-based organizations to discern how they can best work together to tackle the pressing challenges of our time.
- Joined Helen Clark Administrator of UNDP and former Prime Minister of New Zealand; Geraldine Fraser-Moelketi, former Minister of Public Service and Administration of South Africa; Ebrahim Rasool, Ambassador of South Africa to the USA and former Premier of the Western Cape with Fr. Michael Laplsley on a book launch and event.
- Hosted with the Food and Hunger Working group Evelyn Nassuna is the Uganda Country Director for Lutheran World Relief, an organization that works with local implementing partners around the world to seek lasting solutions to rural poverty. Willington Wamayeye is the co-founder and managing director of Gumutindo Coffee Cooperative Enterprises (GCCE).
- Participated in an "open house" vigil on the International Day of Peace at Tillman Chapel.
Now that the General Assembly is underway, the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations will continue to work in partnership with Presbyterians here in the United States and our partners around the world in lifting up the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s priorities to the United Nations and world governments.