The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur at The United Nations


The United Nations Organization (UNO), established after the devastation of the Second World War, aims to prevent such global conflicts in the future and promote social progress and better standards of life for all peoples. With 193 member states, the UN serves as a unique platform for dialogue, planning, and action, particularly in the fields of human rights, security, and development. Since its inception, the UN has recognized the importance of engaging with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) through its Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Established in 1947, ECOSOC began with 40 affiliated NGOs; today, it collaborates with over 400. These organizations, including the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur (SNDdeN), play a crucial role in interacting with and consulting UN member states to foster global progress.

The Sisters of Notre-Dame de Namur's Affiliation with ECOSOC

In 2001, the Sisters of Notre-Dame de Namur were accredited as an NGO with consultative status with ECOSOC. This status aligns with SNDdeN's vision and mission, echoing the UN's commitment to peace, social progress, and improved living conditions for all. The phrase "We the peoples of the United Nations" from the UN Charter resonates deeply with the Sisters, who are dedicated to embracing and serving all citizens of the world.

Efforts and Contributions at the UN

The Sisters of Notre-Dame de Namur utilize their consultative status to influence systemic change at global, regional, and national levels. They engage in policy advocacy, information dissemination, awareness-raising, and development education. Their activities at the UN include:

  • Collaboration with Other NGOs: Working with various NGOs in policy advocacy and project implementation.
  • Contribution of Field Experience: Sharing lessons learned and expertise from their grassroots work.
  • Committee Participation: Forming and participating in committees on social development, women's and girls' rights, migration, extractive industries, and education.

Benefits of UN Affiliation

  • The consultative status with the UN provides significant benefits for the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. These include:
  • Networking Opportunities: Collaborating with other NGOs to strengthen advocacy efforts for human rights.
  • Participation in Key Forums: Engaging in UN forums such as the Commission on the Status of Women, the Commission on Social Development, and the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples. They also contribute to the Youth Forum and other sessions, often submitting statements to influence discussions and decisions.
  • Enhanced Credibility: NGO statements at UN sessions are valued for their expertise and grassroots connections, contributing to informed and impactful decision-making.
  • Access to UN Premises: The Congregation's representatives have access to UN premises and can participate in key events and forums, inviting others to join and learn about the UN's work.


The affiliation of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur with the United Nations enables them to bring their grassroots experiences to the global stage, advocating for systemic changes that align with their mission of promoting peace, social progress, and better living conditions. Through their dedicated efforts, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur continue to be influential voices in shaping a more just and equitable world.

With you, we change lives

With the support of generous friends like you, we are able to continue our mission of educating and taking a stand with those in poverty— especially women and children.

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