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United Nations Relations

UPF Attends UN Conferences on Family, Spirituality

United States-2016-04-28-UPF Attends UN Conferences on Family, Spirituality

New York, United States—UPF participated in two conferences hosted by the UN NGO Committee on the Family and the Committee on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns.

Both conferences were held on April 28, 2016, at the Church Center for the United Nations in midtown Manhattan.

The first conference discussed the “Different Causes of Family Trauma: Finding Resiliency on a Global Scale.” Presenters gave extensive reports on issues of sexual violence, especially sexual crimes on women and children who are seeking refuge and asylum. Another topic was the migration crisis in Syria, Iran, Pakistan and even the United States. The final discussion was about the International Decade for People of African Descent and its effects on the African diaspora.

After the presentations, the audience had the opportunity to offer comments and recommendations as well as ask questions. To solve these crises, the presenters agreed that education and awareness are of the highest importance. Other suggestions for programs were for medical support, especially to refugee camps; before-school and after-school programs, especially for families with single parents; and even education in financial literacy.

The second conference was on the topic of “Spiritual Impetus for Environmental Sustainability: Facing the Global Challenges of Climate Change.” The conference highlighted the need to consider spirituality as a factor in greater environmental sustainability.

The conference invitation stated: “Environmental sustainability has long been looked upon as an impediment to economic and social growth. As the reality of climate change makes its impact on nations around the world, nations have come to consider environmental sustainability at the forefront. There is a growing shift from economics at all costs towards economic growth that puts people and the planet first, in which human dignity of the person as well as the dignity of Mother Earth are equally taken into consideration.”

Two speakers were invited to share their insights on the topic. They provided current progress on the COP21 Agreement, also known as the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference. They also spoke on the great contributions of a strong spirituality to shift toward environmental sustainability to mitigate if not to avert the effects of climate change.

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