Our collaborative work with the United Nations is just one of the ways Medical Mission Sisters have been called to be a healing presence.
Sister Celine Paramundayil has been the Medical Mission Sisters’ full-time UN representative since 2010. She says Medical Mission Sisters’ involvement with the UN is “an extension of our healing presence.” In our committee and in other collaborative work there, “we strive to give voice to the voiceless by advocating for policy changes that are vital for the health of humanity and our planet.”
The primary goal of the United Nations is to maintain international peace and security. In light of the current global context, for the first time a high level forum on the culture of peace was held at the UN General Assembly on September 14.
“According to Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury of Bangladesh, the culture of peace should be seen as the essence of a new humanity, a new global civilization based on inner oneness and outer diversity. A culture of peace is a set of values, attitudes and ways of life based on principles of freedom, justice, democracy, tolerance, solidarity and respect for diversity, dialogue and understanding,” Sister shares. “His words resonate the kingdom values of Jesus, the very values we Medical Mission Sisters uphold.”
Sister Celine says, “While the problems of our world seem immense and continue to grow, we can have hope that the shared global network of committed persons is a clear indication of the growing role of civil society across our world.”
Sister has participated in many meetings and events in New York, facilitated the participation of other MMS and Associates in a variety of UN events, and enabled visitors, especially participants of our 2012 Gathering of Newer Members in Philadelphia, to get a firsthand experience of our contribution to this world body. She continues to see her mission at the UN as linked to all peace and justice involvements that work in the spirit of the Millennium Development Goals and other global peace initiatives.
Medical Mission Sisters have been involved with the UN for over 20 years, receiving DPI (Department of Public Information) accreditation in 1994 and EcoSoc (Economic and Social Council) consultative status in 2000. We also are active participants in work for Women and Climate Change.
Sisters Janet Gottschalk, Teresita Hinnegan and Philo Morris led the way for Sister Celine’s current full-time involvement. They continue to participate in UN meetings, as does Sister Senait Mengesha in Ethiopia.
December 15, 2012