Update from the UN: Presidency of Hope

On November 17, 2021, the new President of the 76th General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid, sent an invitation to Civil Society NGO’s to come into the UN building for a conversation and dialogue about his vision and our concerns.  It was the first time we entered the UN since March 12, 2020. 

Here are a few pictures of the Religious NGO’s who attended the conversation. I believe one of the most powerful things he stated was that he would not attend any meeting at the UN unless it is gender balanced. This encouraging step for women.

His Honorable Excellency’s administration is based on five hopes.  He calls his Presidency, a Presidency of Hope. They are:

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  1. Recovery from pandemic a Vaccine for the world 
  2. Climate Commitment of 1.5 degree. He will convene a special event to give countries a chance to come together for a final commitment to 1.5 degree Climate
  3. Respect Rights of All
  4. Gender Equality  
  5. Multilateralism is the only way to solve the issues.  
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General Assembly is made up of 193 countries. We must make decisions on matters as the international conscious of the world, a conscience of Hope.

World Toilet Day November 19, 2021


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I remember my first November at the UN. I was amused by the large toilet outside the UN Headquarters. I was more amused than I was concerned. Until I learned the significance of sanitation and clean water for all. These stamps give us a clue about the importance of this worldwide day.

There are about 3.6 billion people now living without access to sanitation. This human health issue is an economic issue as well as health. This day moves us to action and implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. 

“The stamps depict three of the most important ways toilets, water, and hygiene add value to our lives.

  • 58¢ stamp – Safely managed toilets and water services dispose of waste, helping prevent food/crops contamination and ensuring sustainable use of water in agriculture.
  • CHF 1,00 stamp – Good hygiene practices are possible only with reliable and affordable water and sanitation services, which help protect people from preventable diseases like COVID-19 and cholera.
  • €1,00 stamp – Toilets at home, school, and workplaces are particularly important for women and girls especially during pregnancy and menstruation, which helps them continue to contribute to society.”

Access to sustainable sanitation, clean water, and hygiene facilities helps to maintain healthy communities and stop the spread of deadly infectious diseases – including COVID-19.

British illustrator Gail Armstrong created these stamps. She specializes in paper sculptures. Watch this video to see how she brought these stamps to life! Enjoy!

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Elimination of Violence Against Women

The 16 Days of Activism on the Elimination of Violence Against Women begins November 25th to December 10th. More than one in three women have experienced violence-that’s 700 million women or close to the total population of sub-Saharan Africa. 

Gender based violence doesn’t just impact individuals but their economic stability as well.

If women are not healthy and safe, they cannot care for themselves, or support their families. There are various forms of violence, e.g. acid attacks, poisoning, discrimination, intimidation through harassment or killing of women purely basis of gender. In 2021, the focus is on Domestic Violence in the world of work. This is the 30th anniversary of the Global 16 Days Campaign. To learn more about this event and the areas of work here.