Between 30 August and 1 September over 1700 representatives of 350 NGO from 70 differnt countries gathered in Melbourne, Australia, for the 63rd Annual UNO Department of Public Information/NGO Conference. The meeting considered measures to prevent and to treat disease and illnesses and the development and safeguarding of society and healthy life-styles.
Internationally recognized experts, activists, government officials, and grass root service providers engaged in an interactive dialogue to explore the present state of efforts to make the world a healthier and safer place for all.
Clean water, proper sanitation, peace, and the eradication of poverty were among the factors identified as necessary fundamental conditions for creating an enabling environment to allow individuals to live healthier lives and for societies to advance in human development.
Healthy societies and individuals are possible when people are freed from want and from fear. Therefore, working for social justice for all, overcoming a sense of powerlessness, and creating a culture of peace were highlighted as some of the most effective means of forming healthy environments.
Taking part in the UNO conference was a Salesian priest, Fr Thomas Brennan, who was also a member of the planning committee for the conference, and he served as a moderator of two of the workshops.
The first was in collaboration with Sr. Mary Owens IBVM from Protus Lumiti of Nyumbani, a multi-faceted programme in Kenya to assist children who are HIV+, which provides community outreach for HIV testing, and provides home and shelter to infected children and their grandparents.
The second was Migration: a Response to Violence. Sr Louise Cleary, a Brigidine Sister, and Joseph Donnelly of Caritas Internationalis served as speakers for this workshop. They addressed the issues of the trafficking of persons and the forced migration of persons due to economic uncertainties, racial and/or ethnic tensions, or armed conflict.
Source: Info ANS