In our often divided world, one place where all of humankind is invited to come together to work for the common good is the United Nations. Despite its limitations, the UN system is our most effective tool for uniting with others in order to create and implement policies that secure a life of dignity for all of God’s children.

ECOSOC Membership

Article 71 of the Charter of the United Nations reads: “The Economic and Social Council [ECOSOC] may make suitable arrangements for consultation with non-governmental organizations which are concerned with matters within its competence.”

Based on this article, two of the Maryknoll branches (the Maryknoll Sisters and the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers) have Consultative Status with ECOSOC, and the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns carries out the work of implementing this status. Our work with the UN aims to influence its agenda and is done by:

  • participating in NGOs committees and working groups
  • presenting oral and writing statements
  • participating in global UN conferences and regular sessions
  • participating in the monitoring process of UN treaties
  • networking with other NGOs, and
  • facilitating the voice of local people in the UN and NGOs gatherings.

Maryknoll missioners serve as NGO representatives to the United Nations in New York where they bring the Maryknoll mission experience to important conversations with policymakers and civil society members from around the world. 

Sustainable Development Goals

The UN member states adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which set out a 15-year plan to achieve the goals. The SDGs focus global efforts on lifting people out of extreme poverty, while also addressing the challenges of ensuring more equitable development and environmental sustainability, especially the key goal of curbing the dangers of human-induced climate change. Today, progress is being made in many places, but, overall, action to meet the goals is not yet advancing at the speed or scale required. At the core of the 2020-2030 decade is the need for action to tackle growing poverty, empower women and girls, and address the climate emergency.

Maryknoll representatives to the UN work to promote peace, social justice and the integrity of creation by organizing their UN participation around the following topics:

  • Ecology (climate change, oceans, forests, agroecology, sustainable agriculture)
  • Mining and Extractivism
  • Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • Migration and Human Trafficking
  • Social Development
  • Financing for Sustainable Development
  • Nuclear Disarmament
  • Women and Children

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