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Communications Students Become Voice of NGOs and Delegates at the U.N. Commission on the Status of W

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March 08, 2005 - 12:00 PST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA ADVISORY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Catholic PRWire

Communications students from Franciscan University of Steubenville have become the amplification and microphone for non-governmental organizations and delegates at the 49th U.N. Commission on the Status of Women.

The students are updating a blog and a website and are producing a daily radio program online to inform the public about the aspects of the conference that are not covered by the mainstream media.

Over 25 Franciscan University students are currently lobbying the United Nations delegates about the dignity and vocation of women.

On Tuesday a particularly important subject will be voted on in the General Assembly. A total ban on human cloning will be put to a vote during the day. Later in the week conversations are expected to turn to the definition of gender.

Last May, at the request of the Vatican, a small group of Franciscan faculty and students traveled to New York to speak on behalf of the disabled at the United Nations.

This year's group is headed by Professor Brian Scarnecchia, chairman of the Department of Humanities and Catholic Culture, and Adjunct Professor Terrence McKeegan. The two have been teaching a class and practicum to help students prepare for the women's conference. This includes learning how the UN works and examining documents from both the 1995 Beijing Conference and the follow-up Beijing +5 conference in 2000. The students are also studying Catholic writings that emphasize the special dignity and vocation of women.

The students have been divided into groups to focus on a dozen areas of concern for women, as established by the Beijing documents. Each group will become experts on their specific topic, and will participate in events and workshops dealing with those topics.

According to Professor Scarnecchia, "Because of their course work, the students will arrive at the UN prepared to engage delegates and NGOs (non-governmental organizations) on women's issues, and to make recommendations on specific proposals concerning the Platform for Action."

This trip to the United Nations was the outgrowth of a newly formed organization, the International Solidarity and Human Rights Institute (ISHRI), which was begun by several members of the Franciscan faculty, including Scarnecchia and McKeegan.

"ISHRI was formed," says Scarnecchia, "In part, to better sustain an ongoing involvement of Franciscan University students at UN conferences and other national and international events touching on human rights."

The group will be able to actively participate in the conference, due to their accreditation through two separate NGOs: the Society of Catholic Social Scientists (whose president, Dr. Stephen Krason, is also a founding member of ISHRI), and the World Youth Alliance.

The two-week conference began on Monday, February 28, and will conclude on Friday, March 11.

To access the daily media reports, check out www.ngovoice.com.

Contact

International Solidarity and Human Rights Institute
http://www.ngovoice.com
OH, US
Emily Bissonnette - Journalism Coordinator for ISHRI, 513 315-7032

Keywords

women, cloning, media

Category

Morality

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