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 at the UN also represents the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Dubuque, Iowa (BVMs) who are especially interested in the Commission on the Status of Women.
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. There is also the opportunity for a second-year Loretto Volunteer to serve alongside her as her intern.
Loretto at the UN’s primary areas of focus are climate justice, the rights of women and girls, and the rights of indigenous peoples and migrants. We also address disarmament, peace and security, and financing for development.
Loretto is active on several NGO committees, including the following:
- Working Group on Girls
- NGO Mining Working Group
- NGO Committee on Migration
- NGO Committee on the Status for Women
- NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace and Security
- NGO Working Group to End Homelessness
- Committee of Religious NGOs Climate Working Group
Loretto at the UN shares 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. We work collaboratively with other religious orders through Religious at the UN (RUN) and many other faith-based organizations of different religious traditions.
Each year Loretto at the UN has the opportunity (pandemic permitting) 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.
For questions or more information, please contact Beth Blissman through the form below.