History               Association with UN             What You Can Do

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)

One of many non-governmental organizations affiliated with the United Nations, the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) seek to bring the urgent needs of the global community to the attention of UN member states and to bring the gift of their charism and the values of the Gospel to bear on the deliberations and decisions of the UN.

Their work at the UN is grounded in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Social Teachings of the Church. Their priorities at the UN flow from the charism of their foundress, Blessed Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger; You Are Sent, their Constitution and General Directory; the acts of their General Chapters which set direction for the international congregation; and the spirit of the living community.

SSND actively participates in the work of the UN through their association with the UN Department of Public Information (DPI) and the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) with which they have special consultative status. Their advocacy and educational efforts focus primarily on issues related to the rights of girls, women, and those who live in conditions of poverty—especially their right to education, economic justice, and sustainable development.

History of SSND at the United Nations

  • 1977—SSND General Chapter, the highest legislative body in the
    congregation, first considered seeking association with the United Nations.

  • 1992—The General Chapter voted unanimously to seek affiliation
    with the United Nations.

  • 1994—Application of the Congregation for association with the
    United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) was accepted.

  • 1998—SSND sought and was granted special consultative status with
    the UN Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC).

Association with the UN
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

  • Seek to
    Publicize UN activities around the world
    Promote UN observances
    Focus attention on global issues facing humanitY

The consultative relationship with Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is governed by ECOSOC Resolution 1996/31. 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
The School Sisters of Notre Dame invite their colleagues, students, and friends to join them in their struggle to create a more just and truly human world by sharing their experience, analysis, and expertise.

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

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Copyright © 2005 by SSND
Last updated: 29 August 2013