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UN officials agree to adopt Peoples’ Charter for a New Eco-Social World

In a three-day visit to Geneva, UN commissioners and the International Federation of Social Workers reinforced the value of working in partnership with social work organisations and agreed to adopt the People’s Charter as a guiding document.

20/06/23

UN officials agree to adopt Peoples’ Charter for a New Eco-Social World

UN officials have reiterated their commitment to working in partnership with social work organisations, agreeing to adopt the People’s Charter for a New Eco-Social World as a guiding document.

During a three-day visit to Switzerland, UN Commissioners worked together to update the commission’s statement of intent, agreeing that the People’s Charter is a call for change.

The People’s Charter for an Eco-Social World was created after last year’s summit, co-facilitated by the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) involving multiple global organisations, faiths, professions, trade unions, social movements, UN agencies and community representatives, collectively representing 100s of millions of people.

The People’s Charter sets a new vision for the world where people, peoples’ assemblies and governments work together to co-create solutions at the local and international levels.

IFSW UN Commissioners travelled from all parts of the world to meet in Switzerland to strengthen the relationships between the Commission and various UN agencies – including the World Health Organization, the International Labor Organisation, the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner and the United National Research Institute for Social Development.

In each event, the UN officials recognised and praised the role of social workers in facilitating and co-building ground-up social development. During the discussions, there was an acknowledgement on both sides a more systematic relationship needs to be developed between the UN agencies and the IFSW UN Commission.

“Until now we have consulted individual social workers, but we can see the significant added value of working in a new way with IFSW,” one UN official said. The UN also communicated that, at the country-level, projects should be developed in partnership with the local national association of social workers. Commissioners also discussed the importance of developing shared methodologies and language.

The IFSW UN Commission also met with a representative from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to discuss how best to respond to crisis situations.

The Commission also met with Schools of Social Work of Geneva and Fribourg, where the importance of partnerships was further acknowledged. A subsequent commitment was made by all involved to continue to work together in supporting World Social Work Day events, with the universities recognising that the collaboration was beneficial in their curriculum development to equip all their students with knowledge and understanding of international best practice examples of social work.

Priska Fleischlin, the Global Commissioner of the IFSW UN Commission said the event was successful in cementing the relationships and development of plans between the UN agencies and other partners.

“ The profession’s work at local and international levels has been recognized as essential in steering forward from global crisis to a sustainable and just world.

“This is a result of the examples of social work practitioners on the ground, the structure of IFSW in being able to take this knowledge to the United Nations, the commitment of all the volunteers in the Commission, and the support of the Swiss Association.

“As the UN officials have repeated, we can all have hope for better futures by shaping new ways of working and co-creating real engagement between people, communities and the UN.”

Photo: members of the IFSW UN Commission from left to right, Hamed Olamaee, Tobis Roosen, Shenae Osborn, Evelyn Tomaszewski, Michael Cronin, Klaus Kühne, Charles Mbugua, Anne Deepak, Sebastian Cordoba, Suresh Pathare, Priska Fleischlin, Swetha Rao Dhananka and Herbert Paulischin. Also present but not in the photo were Sibylle Mani and Brigitte Leroy.

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