Loretto at the UN
The work of the Loretto Community extends from the grassroots to the global. Loretto Community is an NGO (non-governmental organization) accredited with consultative status at the United Nations. This means Loretto can participate in the U.N. process by attending U.N. conferences, serving on committees in collaboration with other NGOs, advocating with U.N. Member States for issues and values of concern to the Loretto Community and serving as a visible presence for bringing the voices of marginalized communities into the global decision-making arena.
Loretto’s UN NGO Representative, Co-member Beth Blissman, brings a background in higher education community engagement and has served as one of the Loretto Earth Network coordinators since 2000. A Loretto Volunteer serves alongside her as her intern.
Along with several New York-based volunteers, Beth and her intern work on issues related to social justice, the rights of women and girls, people-centered development, poverty eradication, the rights of indigenous peoples and migrants, climate justice, the rights of Earth, disarmament, peace and security, and financing for development. They share their small, yet vibrant, office at the Church Center of the UN with the Feminist Task Force, currently led by Loretto co-member Rosa Lizarde.
Each year Loretto at the UN has the opportunity to bring a delegation of students from Loretto high schools and other Loretto members to the annual U.N. Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). It is here that these students have the opportunity to learn about global issues and to raise their own voices to advocate with women and girls around the world. Starting in 2015, the Loretto Volunteer Program also has joined in for the CSW.
The Loretto at the UN office works to disseminate information to the Loretto Community about issues being addressed at the United Nations and around the world. The NGO office also leverages the knowledge base of the Loretto Community for effective advocacy work with U.N. Member States and U.N. agencies. Having an office at the United Nations allows Loretto to advocate for human rights, Earth rights and a social-justice-oriented framework for creating international policy.
Loretto is active on several NGO committees, including the following:
- NGO Committee for Social Development
- NGO Mining Working Group
- Working Group on Girls
- NGO Committee on Migration
- NGO Committee on Financing for Development
- NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace and Security
Learn more at the Loretto at the UN website.