FAWCO UN NGO Bulletin - Fall 2012

FAWCO  UN NGO Bulletin - Fall 2012
Pam Perraud

UN DAY 2012 - October 24 

Today - October 24, the UN will mark the 57th anniversary of the day when the UN Charter officially came into force. It was established to highlight and celebrate the achievements of the UN.  UN Associations around the world use the day to remind people of the history of the UN and what the UN has been doing to combat some of the world's toughtest problems, such as hunger, poverty, HIV/AIDS, malaria as well as continuing to play a vital role of peace-keeping. 
For information on what the UN association is doing in your country to celebrate UN Day, go to the World Federation of UN Associations at UN Federations. For information on what the US UN Associations is doing in various cities across the US go to UNA USA.

Highlights of FAWCO's 2012 UN Activities

As 2012 is starting to draw to a close, I thought it would be important to highlight a couple of major UN NGO activities as well as describing upcoming UN NGO activities.

1) FAWCO's Target Program in Cambodia to support the UN's MDG goal of providing clean water has been a resounding success. To date, 276 field wells and 267 family wells have been constructed in rural areas that previously had little or no access to clean water. FAWCO clubs have raised over $110,000. There are still three months to go in the program, so there is still time to donate. Go to

2) FAWCO has been supporting the Eleanor Roosevelt Girls Leadership Worldwide since 2006 and each year, "FAWCO daughters" have attended this highly prestigious program offered every summer in New York. This year, four very talented FAWCO daughters were selected:

Madison Stewart, daughter of Stephanie Stewart (Childterns, UK)

Karin Hin, daughter of Marie Louise Cusack (AAWE Paris)

Julia Goldsby, daughter of Robin Goldsby (AIWC Cologne)

Vasiliki Mitsakis, daughter of Alexandra Mitsaki (AWG, Athens)

Watch for their report backs in the next FAWCO FORUM where the girls will describe their experiences at the ERGLW last summer.

It should be noted, that before FAWCO started actively promoting the program for girls living overseas, the ERGLW had virtually no foreign-based participants. Last year, the organization changed is formal name from the "ER Girls' Leadership Workshop" to the "ER Girls' Leadership Worldwide." I like to think this must be attributed to the "FAWCO effect" and the quality of the young FAWCO women who attended.  

3) As part of the continuing efforts to work closer with the UN on issues that affect women, FAWCO has become a member of the UN Women US National Committee (USNC). This committee supports the mission of UN Women to attain social, political and economic equality for women and girls worldwide. The USNC advocates for legislation and federal funding in the US Congress for women's programs; educates people on women's issues and raises private funds to support programs for women and girls. 

Upcoming FAWCO UN NGO Events   

16 Days Campaign and Call for Global FAWCO Member Club Action!

November 25 - December 10 

This year, FAWCO is joining the  16 Day Campaign Against Gender Based Violence. The 16 Day Campaign was started in 1991 to highlight the problems of gender based violence around the world. It begins on Nov 25, the International Day to Eliminate Gender Based Violence and ends Dec 10, Human Rights Day. This year the program highlights the conjunction of gender based violence with militarism. In the past some 4100 organizations in 172 countries have participated in the program.

The FAWCO Violence Against Women Task Force is encouraging FAWCO members to participate by holding book discussions on "Half the Sky" by NY Times Columnist Nicholas Kristof and his wife, journalist Sheryl WuDunn. The book's subject is "turning oppression into opportunity worldwide." It has been hailed as call to arms for concerned citizens to stand up to the abuse women suffer around the world. Please let if you are organizing any kind of event to raise awareness about this issue. 

half the sky book In September FAWCO EVAWAC Task Force member Therese Hartwell, and FAWCO UN NGO Director, Pam Perraud attended a special screening in Houston of the PBS (Public Broadcasting System) series based on the book. Author Sheryl Wu Dunn was there to answer questions about the book and the PBS series. She said that both she and Nicholas were amazed at the impact the book received worldwide. It is already having a major impact.


Committee on the Status of Women (CSW) 2013  

March 4-15, 2013 

Each year the UN Committee on the Status of Women (CSW) organized under the auspices of UN Women meets in New York and hundreds of representatives of NGO's from all over the world gather to strategize on how to meet the challenges of women's issues. Next year's CSW will be March 4-15 and the theme is "Violence Against Women." FAWCO's UN NGO Representative in New York and co-chair of FAWCO's Ending Violence against Women and Children Task Force, Erica Higbie is now an active member of planning committee the NY CSW. She will be on hand throughout the next CSW and will be giving us full reports on what is happening. For more information about the CSW go to


Join Me on the Bridge Event  

March 8, 2013 

On March 8, 2013 - International Women's Day - FAWCO members across the world are urged to join each other on the "Join Me on the Bridge" event, known as the biggest women's solidarity campaign to build a more peaceful and equal world. FAWCO Bern Conference attendees will be on a nearby bridge and we urge all FAWCO member clubs to organize a local event. Email Therese Hartwell at and she will help you organize an event with your club. The idea came from Therese's work with Women for Women International. For more information about Women for Women International and the Join me on the Bridge movement, go to Join Me on The Bridge.

Interested in Joining the FAWCO UN NGO Team?   

The FAWCO NGO Team is always looking for highly motivated volunteers to serve as UN NGO Representatives to attend meetings at the three main UN offices in NY, Geneva and Vienna. If you live in or near one of these cities and you are interested in becoming a Representative, please check out the information on the FAWCO website at

There is a formal application process involved and applications must be received by Nov 4 in order to be considered for 2013. If you are interested in UN activities but do not live in one of the three cities where there are UN offices, consider becoming a UN NGO Advocate. Information on that position is also available at the same website address.

Upcoming UN Events 

Human Rights Day - December 10

This year's theme for Human Rights Day, as set by the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR), is "Inclusion and the right to participate in public life." It aims to highlight the rights of all people to be included in decision-making processes and participate in public life.  The date was chosen to honor the United Nations General Assembly's adoption and proclamation, on 10 December 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the first global enunciation of human rights and one of the first major achievements of the new United Nations.
Other Important UN Events in October

Oct 10 - First International Day of the Girl Child

Day of the Girl This year was the first year that the International Day of the Girl Child was celebrated.  The purpose of the day was to highlight the problems that young girls face today and to encourage young girls to fulfill their rights.  This year's focus was on the issue of child marriage.

It is estimated that 1 in 3 girls that are currently in the 20-24 year old age group were married before the age of 18.  Most of those 70 million women were in the rural areas of the developing world. 

Early marriage results in serious consequences for these young girls. Early pregnancy often results in complications and is the leading cause of death for girls between the ages of 15-19.  Early marriage often means the young girl is exposed to violence and discrimination.  It also means that the young child's education is  not only interrupted, it may end indefinitely resulting in a life of reduced economic opportunities for her as well as her family. For more information about the International Day of the Girl Child go to Girl Child.

World Food Day - October 16  

In honor of World Food day, FAO ( Food and Agriculture Organization) announced that progress on combating hunger has been better than most people assume. The FAO many suggests that the UN MDG goals may be reached globally by 2015. This being said, it is estimated that some 870 million people are still either starving or severely malnourished with 852 million of those people living in the developing world. Trying to eradicate hunger remains a huge challenge. The FAO also points out that explaining the importance of proper nutrition to people is a key factor as is promoting sustainable growth in agriculture. Both are needed if the problem of hunger is to be eliminated. To learn more, go to World Food Day.

International Day of the Eradication of Poverty - October 17

The official theme for this year's International Day was "Ending the Violence of Extreme Poverty: Promoting empowerment and building peace." An event on this theme was held at UN Headquarters on 17 October with UN DESA, ATD Fourth World, the Missions of Burkina Faso and France and other partners.  




FDR Honored  for UN Role in New York  - October 18 

Oct 18 Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the UN dedicated a new park to President Franklin Roosevelt named FDR photo the "Four Freedom Park" on Roosevelt Island directly  across from the UN in New York City. In his remarks, the Secretary General pointed out that FDR not only provided the vision and worked on the plans for the UN, he even provided the name of the United Nations.   The "Four Freedoms" name came from his famous speech in 1941 when he declared that all people had the right to religion and free speech as well as the right to live without fear and want.  These four freedoms were later embodied in the UN  Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UN UDHR) which his wife, Eleanor Roosevelt helped create.    

"More than ever before in human history, we share a common destiny. We can master it only if we face it together. And that, my friends, is why we have the United Nations."   -- Kofi Annan

With best regards,

Pam Perraud, FAWCO UN NGO Director                
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