Friday, December 19, 2008

60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

This year is the 40th anniversary of many things--including my birth! However, one particular anniversary that I want to point out is the 60th anniversary of the United Nations creating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

There are many NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) in the UN. The Daughters of Charity in the United States belong to 2 different NGOs. We are part to the Charity Federation NGO and part of a the International Daughter of Charity NGO. Many religious communities are involved in an NGO at the UN. It is a way to promote/advocate for systemic change in addition to charitable works. The work of NGOs at the UN "comprises a number of activities, including information dissemination, awareness raising, development education, policy advocacy, joint operational projects, and providing technical expertise and collaborating with UN agencies, programmes and funds." Find more information here."

One issue that has been promoted by the UN and by the Charity Federation has been access to clean water for all people. We have a hard time here in the US of "getting" that there are many people who must walk long distances to obtain water and even then it is not clean water. Many projects have begun to build wells in the areas where people are in need of water. Our use of bottled water as a convenience is transforming water into a commodity. Eventually, the commodity is available to those who have money and those without money don't get access. Examples have been sited in other countries where a soda (and water) bottling company uses a great deal of water while the surrounding people didn't have access to clean water. We have decided to avoid using bottled water so as not to promote it as a commodity, but also to be more earth friendly by avoiding more plastic. Let's hear it for your water bottle!

Amnesty International has put out a music video to celebrate the anniversary of the Univeral Declaration of Human Rights. It is a great video! I wonder if it was really recorded with the UN audience! Enjoy!


  1. This world has come so far but we have so far to go.

    Wonderful video...thanks for sharing Sr. Denise!