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Today Pathways To Peace Features the United Nations  Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)

Reflections on the UN, Gender Equity, and Peace 
 
Pathways To Peace (PTP) is delighted to feature  Sheva Carr as she shares her reflections as head of PTP's United Nations Commission on the Status of Women Delegation. 

Sheva Carr is an innovative Peacebuilder who has developed and implemented effective initiatives and practices that promote heart-coherent Peace. Sheva is the Pathways To Peace (PTP) Co-Vice President and a core partner with PTP through programs she has founded and directs. Also, Sheva is the head of PTP's United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) Delegation.

Welcome to the United Nations. It's Your World. 

 
When accessing the various UN websites, you'll see the above heading. In our local/global Peacebuilding work, we embrace our role as global citizens, even though many of us may never experience the power of being on-site at the United Nations or participating in dialogue and deliberation with people around the world committed and acting to bring Peace to our world.  Pathways To Peace is dedicated to sharing the experiences and activities of Peacebuilders around the globe and, to that end, we are delighted to share Sheva Carr's reflections.   It is through the lens of Sheva's experience that we can capture a glimpse of the UN CSW experience and the power of civic engagement in building a Culture of Peace. 

Hudsyn Toppenberg was the youngest PTP CSW61 delegate.

Peacebuilding and the Status of Women

"Without peace, development is impossible, and without development, peace is not achievable, but without women, neither peace nor development is possible." 
- Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, former Under-Secretary-General and High Representative of the United Nations and initiator of the UNSCR 1325 as President of the UN Security Council in March 2000.

The most recent United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61) was held March 13-24, 2017. The theme for CSW61 was: Women's Economic Empowerment in the Changing World of Work.
 

On behalf of PTP, Sheva has attended and has presented at the CSW for the past five years. In our interview, Sheva shared the significant role CSW played in her understanding of women's inequity as it connects to Peacebuilding.  

 "Attending the UN was a life-long dream as I was totally committed to world peace. Before I attended the first Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) five years ago, I didn't know that gender equity is critical to Peacebuilding. It was at that first CSW that I learned that more women and girls have died in gender-based violence than all the world's soldiers in all the world's wars throughout history. When I heard this fact, I awakened from my slumber and became a passionate advocate for the UN's 5th Sustainable Development Goal - Gender Equity."   

Sheva Carr greeting  Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury

Best Practices, Boots on the Ground, and Real Change

The CSW, in its official capacity, acts to deliver an outcomes document that is agreed upon by its member states. However, the CSW does not limit participation to member states only. For example, NGOs are also allowed to participate in sessions of the CSW, attending caucuses and panels and organizing their own parallel events through the NGO Committee on the Status of Women. While Sheva believes that the official Commission is vital and valuable, the NGO panels and presentations she attended were the most personally and professionally meaningful for Sheva. 

"I learned very quickly that the real juice was happening in the NGO Committee. There are 500 presentations and panel discussions, NGO's sharing their best practices - it was in those NGO panels and presentations that I saw the incredible effectiveness of the 'grassroots on the ground.' That's where my passion for grassroots was born".  

Sheva's ignited passion led her into real and positive work for change. It was at that first CSW that Sheva met the Icelandic women and the NGO community that had stopped human trafficking in the face of government and law enforcement apathy. Sheva was inspired by this effective grassroots approach and the women leading it, which ultimately gave birth to Operation Big Sister (OBS).  You can learn more about OBS and join the effort to end human slavery by checking out the OBS website:
www.operationbigsister.com.  At CSW61 last March, Sheva and a PTP delegation of 20 presented a panel on ending sex trafficking by intercepting demand. OBS is an example of the power of civic engagement to bring about change around the most critical issues our planet is facing. The same delegation hosted a healing center for delegates from around the world. 

Engagement of Civil Society

Sheva believes that the NGO commission represents the vision and goal of the UN and its commitment to involving civil society in enacting change. 

"The spirit of the NGO Committee is so important to the original vision of the UN. After World War II it was clear we couldn't rely on the government alone to maintain Peace. Peace was a mandate of the people. We needed the involvement of civil society along with government, working arm to arm to create and sustain Peace on this planet. So, built into the UN system is the engagement of civil society."


Heart-Aligned Synchronicity

Sheva has many stories of synchronistic events at the CSW that influenced and advanced her heart-coherent work for Peace. She contributes this synchronicity to alignment.

"When you are lined up with the core values of gender equity and peace, you are lined up with the Heart. And when you are lined up with the Heart, synchronicities occur". 

When synchronicities occur, Sheva has discovered that stepping forward in bold action can be very effective. Following is a summarized story that is taken from one of Sheva's UNCSW reports. In a CSW61 session, Sheva found herself in a chair that was directly opposite of one of the session's preeminent speakers - the Ambassador to Jordan.

Ambassador  Dina Kawar (Jordan) 

"She spoke so eloquently about how she and the King of Jordan feel that educating and empowering girls and women is the key to the progress and future of their society. She also spoke about how Jordan has taken in more refugees in the current displaced persons global crisis than almost any other country, and how important it is to empower them- especially the women and the girls. 71% of trafficked refugees are women and girls! As she spoke from her heart, I was filled with a knowing of why I was there." 

After borrowing a pen and paper, Sheva was inspired to write a letter to the Ambassador. In the handwritten letter on legal pad paper, she introduced herself and described her HeartMath work with refugees. She requested an opportunity to partner with the Ambassador to bring the needed resources to all the people served by the Ambassador, and then concluded her letter "With much gratitude and respect."  She wrapped the refugee welcome letters and her business card in the letter, wrote the Ambassador's name across the top, turned around and placed it on the desk right in front of her, and shimmied back to her seat. 

Sheva says, "Normally I would feel adrenalin with a bold maneuver like that. But I felt completely still, at peace, aligned, clear. To my amazement, as soon as the next panelist began to speak, she opened the entire package and read it right there on the spot, including the full Welcome Letter, nodding in approval as she did. Because of that, at the end of the panel, I approached her to introduce myself. She took her hand in mine and said, 'Thank you so much for reaching out. I've given your papers to my secretary (who was standing next to her and handed me her card) so that we can follow up with you and do something with this.'"

A Unique and Powerful Experience

Sheva and the PTP delegates who have been assembled through the years have expressed the unique and powerful experience of simply being on the grounds of the United Nations and in the company of a truly global community. In Sheva's words:

"I can never step onto the grounds of the United Nations without tears forming in my eyes. It's one of my favorite places to be on earth. And it's so profound because the moment you step onto the grounds you're no longer in New York City, no longer in the United States even, you are in one of the few places on earth that belong to the whole world. That means so much to me - I feel free!"

Welcome to the United Nations. It's Your World.

If you would like to hear the full interview with Sheva Carr, you can click here:  https://fccdl.in/op2M41Fy6Excerpts from that interview, along with Sheva's Council on the Status of Women Report to PTP provided the background for this feature. 

About Sheva Carr

Sheva Carr

Sheva Carr is the visionary behind the Operation Big Sister Project and its Executive Producer. She is also the founding CEO of HeartAmbassadors and The Fyera Foundation, and Co-Vice President of UN Peace Messenger Organization Pathways To Peace, the three umbrella organizations sponsoring Operation Big Sister. She is an author, speaker, doctor of Oriental Medicine and expert HeartMath trainer and coach, and loves to help people find fulfillment and peace within the power of their hearts. Featured as a "love luminary" in Marci Schimoff's New York Times bestselling book "Love for No Reason," she founded the Sunflower SunPower Kids program in Nicaragua, she collaborates closely with www.mediaimpact.org to create media for social change, and brings teens from Israel and Palestine together with www.creativityforpeace.org under the motto "An enemy is a friend whose story you have yet to hear." Students in Sheva's HeartAmbassador Program master multiple personal development and healing techniques for self-empowerment, which liberate their capacities for the service projects they create and participate in worldwide. In her role as the architect and director of HeartMath's HeartMastery Program, and a collaborator on the HeartMath Institute's Health Care and other initiatives, she speaks to people all over the world on how to access heart intelligence and peace of mind, in order to receive the benefits of the heart's impact on their relationships, health, performance, creativity, contribution, legacy, social change, and the building of a global culture of peace.

For more information about Sheva and her work, check out the following websites:
You will also find some great videos of CSW and OBS on the site: http://www.operationbigsister.com/videos/    
A CSW61 welcome message from H.E. Mr. Antonio de Aguiar Patriota (Brazil): https://youtu.be/4sJgraJrEq4 




                      

 
What is Your Pathway To Peace?

We'd love to hear about it! Pathways To Peace honors, celebrates, and supports Peacebuilders around the world. You can contact us by emailing:  Tez@Pathwaystopeace.org 

About Pathways To Peace and the Culture of Peace Initiative

Incorporated in 1983 , Pathways to Peace (PTP) is an international organization dedicated to making Peace a practical reality in our world today. PTP is an official Peace Messenger of the United Nations and has Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. PTP works locally and globally, inter-generationally and multi-culturally, to promote Peacebuilding, Peace education, and to collaborate with other organizations in initiatives that help further the Culture of Peace Initiative (CPI). 

With participants from around the world, the Culture of Peace Initiative (CPI) is a cooperative local-global Peacebuilding Initiative uniting the strengths of organizations, networks, projects and people to realize a Culture of Peace for the Common Good. The CPI also serves as a vehicle for bringing to light many previously unseen and unheard Peacebuilders working along diverse paths, who are embodying the emerging Culture of Peace within Humanity.  The annual highlight of the Culture of Peace Initiative is the International Day of Peace, which provides an opportunity for individuals, organizations, and nations to work together, on a shared date, to create practical acts of Peace with a year- round impact.

  For more information about Pathways to Peace, please visit our website: www.pathwaystopeace.org 

About the International Day of Peace

An annual focus for PTP is the International Day of Peace (Peace Day), held annually on September 21st. Pathways To Peace has worked with the UN to observe and promote the International Day of Peace since its inception in 1981 and has grown International Day of Peace from a single event of a few hundred people into an annual global observance that now reaches hundreds of millions of people. The International Day of Peace ("Peace Day") is observed around the world each year on 21 September. Established in 1981 by unanimous United Nations resolution, Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace.   http://internationaldayofpeace.org 

"Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All"
Is the theme for the International Day of Peace -
September 21, 2017

This theme relates to the UN's "Together" campaign which relates to the fair and compassionate treatment of refugees and seeks to promote awareness of our global community and a common desire for Peace. We all are One. 

Download the IDP poster at



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