Loretto at the UN: Who we are
The Loretto Community has been present at the UN Church Center (the building across the street from the UN that hosts the offices of many religious-based NGOs) since 1991. Since that time, there have been seven UN Reps from the Community, a variety of Loretto Volunteers, and many interns. You can learn more about our staff here.
We serve on several NGO working groups and committees, work on many key UN commissions and conferences, and participate actively within the Loretto Community to advocate for the most relevant issues.
Our largest area of advocacy is centered around the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which allows us to invite many young students from Loretto and/or BVM high schools or colleges to UN Headquarters in New York City to observe the Commission meetings and attend (virtually or in-person) the non-governmental organization (NGO) Forum.
Partner: Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Since 2011, the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVMs) have participated with the Loretto Community in advocacy at the UN. The BVMs add their voices from the grassroots, contribute to the expense of maintaining the Loretto NGO’s office at the Church Center of the UN and share in the benefits of Loretto’s UN advocacy work. A BVM representative serves on the Loretto at the UN Advisory Committee, and each year BVM Sisters, Associates and/or Friends attend the annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in March. CSW attendees take new information back to the community and share it virtually or in-person.
In the fall of 2020, the BVMs co-hosted a focus group with Loretto in recognition of the UN’s 75th Anniversary. Feedback from the focus group was shared with UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, as part of the UN75 initiative. (For more information about this larger effort, see https://un75.online/).
Loretto is active on several NGO committees, including the following:
- Justice Coalition of Religious (JCoR)
- NGO Committee on Migration (COM)
- NGO Committee on the Status for Women (NGO/CSW-NY)
- NGO Mining Working Group
- Working Group on Girls (WGG)
- Committee of Religious NGOs Climate Working Group
- Religious at the UN
Staff of Loretto at the UN collaborate with these committees and working groups through active participation, tackling research projects, serving on advocacy teams, creating social media to amplify issues, taking notes, creating programs and even serving on leadership.
Loretto at the UN Advisory Committee
Loretto at the UN has an advisory committee that connects it with different committees and networks within Loretto, including the Ghana Committee, the Pakistan Committee, Loretto Earth Network, Loretto Feminist Network and Loretto Community Forum. A BVM representative and the director of the Loretto Volunteer program also sit on the Advisory Committee.