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Via Cassia 645, 00189 Roma, ITALY / E-mail: vivatsvd@verbodivino.it; vivatssps-roma@pcn.net

Tel: (+39) 06-332-69-238; (+39) 06-332-5661 / Fax: (+39) 06-332-52-148

27 December 2004

To all Provincial / Regional Leadership Teams

Re: NGO-1a/0046/04
Approval of VIVAT International for Association with the Department of Public Information (DPI) of the United Nations

Dear Provincial / Regional Superior / Leader,
Dear Councillors,

Greetings of joy in the Blessed Season of Christmas!

It is with special joy that I share with you another good news about VIVAT International. On 21 December 2004, Fr. Lawrence Correa, SVD, and Sr. Gretta Fernandes, SSpS, Chairperson and Co-Chairperson, respectively, of the VINY Executive Team, sent to us by FAX the official letter, dated 15 December 2004, of Paul Hoeffel, Chief, NGO Section, Department of Public Information (DPI), giving the information that VI has been approved as a non-governmental organization (NGO) for association with the DPI of the United Nations (UN). This means that VIVAT International has now attained the two main means of collaboration with the UN that are available for non-governmental organizations: 1) Accreditation with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of UN, attained in July 2004 , and 2) Association with the Department of Public Information (DPI) of UN, attained in December 2004.

A. What are the main benefits of this for VI?

  1. Members of VIVAT can have more access to useful information from the UN. The DPI is in charge of circulating information and raising awareness of the purposes and activities of UN and issues of global concern. It will be sending the VI Central Office the monthly mailings of relevant UN materials and information on UN conferences, seminars, briefings and other events that you could participate in. The VI Central Office will take care of passing on to VIVAT members such material / information. From the materials or by attending UN activities, members could pick up ideas / information or be in touch with representatives of other groups or NGOs and could learn better ways of addressing our priorities. This could also be a way to gain support for our efforts towards establishing God’s Kingdom of Justice and Peace, especially through the JPIC ministry.

    It is also possible for VIVAT members to avail themselves of information from the UN through the Web site at: http://www.irn.org/dpi/ngosection.htm

    DPI welcomes representatives of VI to consult UN print, audio and video materials at the NGO Resource Centre. The NGO Section of DPI also offers an annual orientation programme for newly accredited NGO representatives.
     

  2. VIVAT members can be better equipped to seek assistance on a greater scale from UN Information Centers (UNICs) and UN Information Services (UNISs) and other UN agencies wherever these centers and services are, in order to organize conferences, seminars, and publicity through media, either alone or together with them.
     

  3. There would be greater possibility for VI to raise the awareness of others of the work that VIVAT members are doing regarding our priorities or the issues that we are trying to address. This can be done by keeping the DPI / NGO Section informed of the VIVAT activities that are being undertaken, through copies of relevant publications and other materials that are sent to DPI through the VIVAT Central Office in New York. Through the DPI, the information on VIVAT activities could then have a wider circulation and might get others with the possibility to help to be interested in VIVAT project(s) or stir up public support or action that could lead to a better resolution of the issue (issues).
     

  4. The wide dispersal of information through the DPI could also promote more the networking of VI with other NGOs that are associated with DPI and that have priorities which are the same or in line with ours. This networking of VI with other NGOs is important for the realization of the purpose for which VIVAT was jointly established by our two Congregations - to address our mission priorities through collaboration with UN and the other NGOs accredited by UN.
     

  5. VI as an associated NGO is entitled to designate one main and one alternate representative who will be granted UN photo grounds passes which are renewable annually. The pass will give the VI representatives access to UN facilities and to all open meetings of the UN bodies, which they can attend as observers. The representatives are also invited to attend the Thursday NGO briefings organized by the Department, featuring UN officials, government delegates and other experts, including NGOs.
     

  6. VI will also be listed in the DPI Directory of NGOs associated with DPI, which is disseminated in print form and via the DPI Web site.

B. What are the expectations of DPI from VI?

  1. VI would have to collaborate with DPI in the circulation of information and raise public awareness about the purposes and activities of the United Nations and its global concerns. This means that a part of VI publications and information activities be focused on the work of the UN.
     

  2. VI is expected to encourage its members to cooperate with the United Nations Information Centers or Services in the country where they are and with representatives of other parts of the United Nations in the area of expertise. This cooperation would be of mutual benefit in the aspect of information for awareness-raising.
     

  3. VI would have to keep DPI /NGO Section informed of VI activities and to send relevant publications and materials. It is required to submit a copy of the amended documents of VI, in case such amendments are made on the organizational structure or by-laws of VI, and give DPI information about all changes in name, address, or representatives of VI to the DPI.
     

  4. VI has to submit its report for evaluation and review with DPI, every two years, beginning December 2006. Note: The report will be taken care of by the VINY Executive team, but materials for the report would be from the VIVAT members.

Dear brothers and sisters in VIVAT International, I am sure that in the near future the Executive Team in New York will discuss with you the modalities and the process of associating with DPI at the local, national and regional levels. Hopefully, in this way, the Executive Team will be able help you to see how you can take full advantage of the benefits of this means of collaboration with UN in addressing our priorities and realizing our Mission through VIVAT International.

We thank Fr. Lawrence most sincerely for his very dedicated efforts in preparing, submitting and then following up the application of VI for association with DPI, soon after the granting of the special consultative status VI with the ECOSOC.

May our Emmanuel, God-with-us, grant you His special blessings at Christmas and throughout the New Year!

Very truly yours in Him,

Sr. Agada Valeria Brand, SSpS
President, VIVAT International Board of Directors

N.B. May we request you to please give a copy of this letter to the JPIC Coordinator in your Province and Region? Thank you very much!

Encl.: Copy of the Letter of DPI of UN on 15 December 2004 to Sr. Agada Valeria Brand, President, VIVAT International Board of Directors re. Approval of VI for Association with DPI, UN