NGO Status at the United Nations

The Loretto Community is an NGO (non-governmental organization) accredited with consultative status at the United Nations. This means Loretto can participate in the UN process by attending UN Conferences, serving on committees in collaboration with other NGOs, advocating with UN 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.

Starting in 2017, Loretto has a new representative at the United Nations, Co-Member Beth Blissman. Beth brings a background in higher education community engagement, and has served as one of the Loretto Earth Network coordinators since 2000. She is deeply grateful for her intern, second-year Loretto Volunteer Ariana Alvarez. who serves as the assistant representative. After a year of service at Nerinx Hall in St. Louis, Ari is passionate about advocating for the rights of indigenous peoples, clean energy sources,and the rights of women and girls. As her time at the UN wraps up this summer, Ari is looking forward to graduate school at the University of San Francisco, where she will study higher education/student affairs.

Along with several NY-based volunteers, Ari and Beth work on issues related to social justice, the rights of women & 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. We share our 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 UN 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 2016, the Loretto Volunteer program has also 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 UN Member States and UN agencies. Having an office at the UN 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
  • Working Group on Food and Hunger

Learn more at the Loretto at the UN website.

Global Loretto Committees and Projects
Loretto Mission in Pakistan
Sister Communities: Holy Family Sisters (Guatemala), FST Sisters (Ghana)
Latin America/Caribbean Committee
United Nations/NGO
Loretto Hunger Fund

Loretto Mission Areas
Justice and Peace
Global Loretto