Monica Willard, URI's UN Representative, is a woman with a mission! She has embraced the 2009 International Year of Reconciliation in so many ways, and it has only just begun. First, she made friends with the ambassadors of the Mission of Nicaragua to the UN, who sponsored the Resolution calling for the year. Nicaragua is also the home of the current President of UN General Assembly, a priest who was instrumental in the reconciliation between the Contras and the Sandinistas.
Then, she convinced both the URI-UN and the Committee of Religious NGOs at the UN to take on the Year of Reconciliation as our theme. URI-UN held a beautiful launch event on January 29th, welcoming the Trail of Dreams CC and praying for peace. The next week, the UN Dept. of Public Information held an excellent briefing on the Year of Reconciliation, with Monica filling out the entire guest list, including musicians!
Tomorrow, Monica and Sr. Carol Zinn, URI's Alternate UN Representative, will lead a workshop on “Journey to Peace: Social Integration as a Step on the Journey” as a side event for the annual meeting of the UN Commission on Social Development. They will base the workshop on Appreciative Inquiry questions on the topic.
Monica and I are also meeting with one of the Ambassadors from Nicaragua tomorrow to discuss the possibility of a major event on reconciliation in May, possibly with the President of the General Assembly giving the keynote address. Keep your fingers crossed!
If your Cooperation Circle has been doing work in the area of reconciliation (and we know that many of you are), we would love to hear from you during this very special year.
May Peace Prevail on Earth!
Deborah Moldow, URI-UN