Sunday, 4 October 2015

Global Integration Update--October 2015

Member Care Associates -- Gl Resource Update -- October 2015  
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Global Integration Update -- October 2015
Common Ground for the Common Good 

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Transforming Our World
People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace, and Partnerships

We can be the first generation to succeed in ending poverty;
just as we may be the last to have a chance at saving the planet.

Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
United Nations, 1 August 2015 (Paragraph 60)

 The 17 Sustainable Development Goals

This Update focuses on the United Nations new sustainable development agenda,Transforming Our World. We begin with materials from the recent events at the United Nations General Assembly in New York related to this Agenda (attended by over 150 world leaders), We believe the materials (videos and documents) will inspire and inform you, and point to relevant ways for greater involvement in our globalizing world.

We are aware that there are different perspectives about the United Nations. It has many strengths and weaknesses, accomplishments and failures. In spite of its shortcomings, we are convinced of its critical importance in our world along with the huge opportunities--and moral responsibilities--that are before us all via the sustainable development Agenda.

We encourage you to carefully review the Agenda, noting especially its core which consists of 17 goals and 169 targets. It is a plan of action that involves five overlapping areas: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace, and Partnerships.

We also include a variety of new materials in this Update primarily from the humanitarian sector and the global mental health domain. We round it off with some final thoughts on the importance of moral transformation and faith for sustainable development-wellbeing.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)This is an inspirational video that overviews the SDGs (2+ minutes).

This Week in Review. This is a video report about what has recently happened at the UN General Assembly (five minutes)
UN General Assembly, UN photo/Loey Felipe, 28 September 2015

Barak Obama's speeches to the United Nations General Assembly (27 September 2015). Obama was one of many heads of state that made speeches at the UN GA. Excerpts: "Cynicism is our enemy....800 million men, women, and children scrape by on less than {the equivalent of] $1.25 per day...that is a moral outrage..." The video  begins with the two+ minute info-promo piece on the SDGs followed by Obama's 25 minute speech. While there is plenty to challenge/clarify in his comments, this speech will hopefully give us all some more perspective on many of our world's problems and efforts to help. Obama's speech the next day at the UN General Assembly Debates is also worth watching. (28 September 2015)Excerpt: "This is not just the job of politicians; it is the job of all of us."  

Pope Francis' speech prior to the opening of the United Nations General Assembly (25 October 2015).  Although not without his critics, Francis expresses his concern about the poor, the vulnerable, and the impact of any ideology or practice that exploits and endangers people and the planet. Here is an excerpt: “I must renew my repeated appeals regarding the painful situation of the entire Middle East, North Africa and other African countries, where Christians, together with other cultural or ethnic groups, and even members of the majority religion who have no desire to be caught up in hatred and folly, have been forced to witness the destruction of their places of worship, their cultural and religious heritage, their houses and property, and have faced the alternative either of fleeing or of paying for their adhesion to good and to peace by their own lives, or by enslavement."
AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.(ratified 25 September 2015), The Agenda, developed over the last few years with extensive input/debate from governments and civil society, can be seen as a global Magna Carta for the development and wellbeing of all people and the planet. It endeavors to be both aspirational and achievable. Will the world community be able to implement most of it over the next 15 years? Will we hold our governments--and ourselves--accountable? We will see. But please just don't just sign on to it or write it off, without first carefully reading it! 
More Resources
Migrant Care: Hospitality for Humanity (October 2015), Member Care Associates
"This Update focuses on Migrant Care, with an emphasis on opening up our hearts of hospitality on behalf of the growing numbers of internationally and internally displaced people (forced displacement). We share a wealth of materials including video reports, technical documents, and perspectives in order to further orient and equip our colleagues in the member care and the church-mission/aid community."
Image retrieved from ODI homepage (3 October 2015)
"10 things to know about refugees and displacement"

World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) 
“The World Humanitarian Summit is an initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General. The first global summit on humanitarian action of this size and scope, it will be held in Istanbul on 23 - 24 May 2016. The goal of this summit is to bring the global community together to commit to new ways of working together to save lives and reduce hardship around the globe.” (website)
--Be part of the Online Global Consultation."This online consultation in advance of the Global Consultation meeting in Geneva, 14-16 October 2015, invites your feedback on some of the major proposals emerging from the consultation process." You can comment on the four themes and review the proposals under discussion from 21 September - 9 October 2015. (website)
--Also see the new WHS  Executive Summary of the Synthesis Report

World Disaster Report 2015—Local Actors—The Key to Humanitarian Effectiveness(2015), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
Local actors are often the most effective in conducting humanitarian operations. However, despite their critical role, they struggle to attract the funding and support they need. The 2015 World Disasters Report examines the complexities and challenges local actors face in scaling-up and sustaining their humanitarian response. Although widely recognized, the effectiveness of local or national humanitarian organizations is not reflected in humanitarian financing or coordination structures. The Report found, for example, that just 1.6 per cent of funding for humanitarian assistance is channeled directly to national and local NGOs. It presents the case for a shift towards the “localization” of aid and more equal partnerships between international and local actors.” (website)

Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition
The…Coalition promotes the security of health workers and services threatened by war or civil unrest. We are a group of NGOs, health professional associations, and an academic center. The coalition monitors attacks on and threats to civilian health; strengthens universal norms of respect for the right to health; demands accountability for perpetrators; and empowers providers and civil society groups to be champions for their right to health.”

Engaging with Faith Organisations and Communities in Development and Humanitarian Work (Turin, Italy, 17-19 November 2015)
"The Strategic Learning Exchange is a three-day programme designed to explore the linkages between faith and humanitarian/development work by bringing together UN staff members who have experience engaging with faith-based organisations (FBOs) and communities in the course of their respective work in operational contexts. In addition to those working within the UN system FBO representatives, especially those with experience in working with the UN, are encouraged to apply."

Global Mental Health
World Mental Health Day 2015: Dignity in Mental Health  World Federation for Mental Health (10 October)
“Our theme for World Mental Health Day this year is “Dignity in Mental Health,” a topic that is fundamental to the provision of good mental health care…The Day, celebrated internationally on October 10…provides an occasion for many regional and local efforts to put the spotlight on a selected aspect of mental health care--with the added bonus of participating in a broadly celebrated international event…We have collected a group of papers from our expert authors who show that dignity in the mental health context can have many meanings and can be applied to every aspect of care. Further, a concern for dignity counters the discrimination and bias that are all too often encountered by people with mental illness.” (Message from the WMHD Chair, p. 4)

Psychology International (September 2015), Office of International Affairs, American Psychological Association. 
Brief articles: Contributions of  APA interns at the UN; The world is about global issues; Capacity building in psychology (psychology's global development); The world of psychology (review of  Psychology Serving Humanity).

Culture, Context, and the Mental Health and Psychosocial Wellbeing of Syrians (2015), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
"This report aims to provide information on the sociocultural background of the Syrian population as well as cultural aspects of mental health and psychosocial wellbeing relevant to care and support. It is based on an extensive review of the available literature on mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), within the context of the current armed conflict in Syria. The document is primarily meant to inform mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) staff, such as: psychologists, psychosocial counsellors, social workers, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, and others who are involved providing individual or group counselling, psychotherapy and/or psychiatric treatment for Syrians. Other humanitarian professionals, such as general health providers working with Syrians or staff involved in public health, community-based protection, community mobilisation, child protection, sexual and gender based violence (SGBV), may find this document useful, although it is not primarily written for them. The specific information in this review complements more generic guidance, such as the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Guidelines for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings[1] and UNHCR’s Operational Guidance for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Programming in Refugee Operations."(p.8)

mhGAP Humanitarain Intervention Guide: CriticalManagement of Mental, Neurological, and Substance Use Conditions in Emergencies (2015,) World Health Organization and UNHCR
“[This]...Guide contains first-line management recommendations for mental, neurological and substance use conditions for non-specialist health-care providers in humanitarian emergencies where access to specialists and treatment options is limited. It is a simple, practical tool that aims to support general health facilities in areas affected by humanitarian emergencies in assessing and managing acute stress, grief, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychosis, epilepsy, intellectual disability, harmful substance use and risk of suicide This new tool is an adaptation of WHO’s mhGAP Intervention Guide, a widely-used evidence-based manual for the management of these conditions in non-specialized health settings.” (website)

Living Peace (2015), Promundo
 "A new short film...'Living Peace: The Story of Abby and Kyalu' documents the story of a couple living in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and their recovery from atrocities experienced during recurrent conflict." It also includes a community-based form o group therapy for me, help from group therapy for men. "[There is also a sort written report] on Promundo's Living Peace program, and its work to support local people like Abby and Kyalu who have been affected by violence, trauma and displacement in post-conflict settings."
(PCDN website)

Final Thoughts
Personal Transformation and Faith

We believe that the new Agenda is crucial for promoting world transformation. We have definitely been getting behind it, although with a few important provisos regarding its implementation. We also affirm for example, that personal transformation is necessary for social transformation. Principles, resolutions, human rights documents, and policies are essential of course, yet we wonder, howmuch sustainable development can there be without moral development? As Paul Kennedy has asserted in his book on the United Nations (The Parliament of Man, 2006), “…the real change [in improving human rights and the world] will come in the hearts and consciences of mankind...” (p. 272). 

We also affirm the importance of humbly acknowledging the need for God's help in implementing the Agenda's goals (as probably would most of the other 6.5 billion people who have a religious affiliation). Reference to God for example, was included in several of the statements on the new Agenda by representatives of several member states at the UN General Assembly. Paragraph 53 in the Agenda states that "The future of humanity and of our planet lies in our hands." We understand this sobering comment in terms of the world community's moral responsibility to courageously and wisely act and the dire consequences of inaction, and with the understanding that humanity and the planet ultimately lie in God's hands
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Member Care Associates
Member Care Associates Inc. (MCA) is a non-profit organisation working internationally from the USA and Geneva. MCA's work in Global Integration focuses on wellbeing and effectiveness for mission/aid/development personnel and global mental health, all  with a view towards supporting sustainable development for all people and the planet. Our services include consultation, training, research, developing resources, and publications. MCA is a member of the Movement for Global Mental Health and the NGO Forum for Health.
Actively integrating our lives (connecting and contributing) with global realities
(skillfully addressing the major issues facing humanity and promoting wellbeing)
in light of our core values (e.g., ethical imperatives, commitment to humanity, faith-based).
Previous Global Integration Updates
Faith-Based Partners in Transformation--August 2015
Current and Crucial Resources--June 2015
Understanding the Current Global Context--April 2015
Sustainable Development--February 2015

The GI Updates are designed to help us integrate our skills and values on behalf of the issues facing humanity--global integration (GI). They help to shape and support the emerging diversity of global integrators who as learners-practitioners are committed to pursuing "common ground for the common good."  
Copyright ©2015 Member Care Associates, Inc.

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