Along with other NGOs, the SSVP attended an ECOSOC meeting (United Nations)
From 1st to 10 February 2017, representatives of member States and non-governmental organisations from all over the world, accredited by ECOSOC, met in New York to discuss the following topic: “Strategies to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development for all”.
The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul was represented at this discussion in February by Pattie Hughes along with other members of the Vincentian Family, to explain its global involvement in this fight against all forms of poverty.
During the discussions, the members of the Vincentian family and especially the permanent mission to the United Nations from the Council of Ireland, presented a document to the members of the assembly, which covered the SSVP’s poverty eradication strategy, entitled “challenge of popular involvement, defence and systemic change”.
Representatives of other international organisations also spoke. Pattie Hughes shared one statement with us: “In India, a former prostitute from a very poor background has managed to turn her life around: through a microfinance system, she has set up a chicken farm. Today, her business is self-sufficient and is producing an income. This woman can now pay for her daughter's education, so that in turn she will be able to work and be empowered as a free woman. Aside from the practical aspects, a real change has taken place in her own mind: she feels at peace, and free of the networks of prostitution on which she used to depend. Her life has changed.”
The SSVP has been active in ECOSOC since 2011, and now intends to develop and maintain close relationships with institutional bodies such as the United Nations, an area which is also part of the programme for the President General, Renato Lima de Oliveira.
He recently wrote to the new Secretary General of the UN, Antonio Guterres, who officially took over from Ban-Ki Moon in January. Speaking for the SSVP, he pointed out that for almost 200 years the organisation has gained a thorough understanding of public policy relating to human development, and that it wants to continue to participate in and support the collective effort to build a real “culture of peace” throughout the world.