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This Press Release may be read online at: http://www.unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/PRSRLS-22-12-2007-00.html
Press Release: 22nd Dec 2007, 9th Poh (Samvat 539 Nanakshahi)
|UN Headquarters, New York City . UNITED SIKHS has become the first Sikh advocacy, humanitarian relief and human development Non Governmental Organization (NGO) to be associated with the United Nations, through its Department of Public Information (DPI).|
In a letter addressed to UNITED SIKHS, dated 12th December, the head of the NGO section of DPI, Juan Carlos Brandt, said, “The committee on NGOs met in December…and I am pleased to inform you that the committee approved UNITED SIKHS for association with the department, effective immediately.”
“This is a significant achievement on behalf of 25 million Sikhs who will now be able to fully participate in global initiatives according to the Sikh principle of Sarbat Da Bhela, selfless service,” said Mejindarpal Kaur, UNITED SIKHS director.
UNITED SIKHS filed an application to be associated with the UN through the DPI earlier this year and had to satisfy stringent requirements.
“Our application was supported by UN agencies such as the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), with whom we worked during our Tsunami relief operations in Sri Lanka. We also had the support of other UN associated advocacy and multifaith NGOs with whom we have done projects,” said Mejindarpal Kaur.
UNITED SIKHS joins about 1,500 NGOs who are associated with DPI, which gives the UN valuable links to people around the world. Through this association, the DPI will help UNITED SIKHS gain access to and disseminate information about the issues in which the United Nations is involved, so that the Sikh public can better understand the aims and objectives of the world organization and support its work.
NGOs have been partners of DPI since its establishment in 1947. The NGO Section of DPI is part of DPI’s Outreach Division, and acts as its liaison to the UN. It provides a range of information services to civil society and other partners, including the academic community, educational institutions, and the public at large.
The programme of the NGO Section includes, inter alia, weekly NGO Briefings, the Annual DPI/NGO Conference, Communications Workshops, and an Annual Orientation Programme. Mr. Brandt said that UNITED SIKHS’ accredited representatives will be entitled “access to United Nations facilities and to all open meetings of the United Nations bodies, which they can attend as observers. Representatives are also invited to attend the Thursday NGO briefings organized by the Department, featuring United Nations officials, Government delegates and other experts, including NGOs.”
The DPI/NGO Section oversees partnerships with associated NGOs to better support the work of the UN. NGOs that are associated with the DPI have to show that they have a commitment and the means to conduct effective information programmes with their constituents and to a broader audience about UN activities.
To become associated with the DPI, UNITED SIKHS had to:
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To transform underprivileged and minority communities and individuals into informed and vibrant members of society through civic, educational and personal development programs, by fostering active participation in social and economic activity.
UNITED SIKHS is also an avenue for networking between like-minded organisations to establish and nurture meaningful projects and dialogues - whether social, cultural or political- to promote harmony, understanding and reciprocity in our villages, towns and cities.
UNITED SIKHS is a coalition of organisations and individuals, who share a common vision based on the belief that there is no greater endeavour than to serve, empower and uplift fellow beings. The core of our philosophy is an unwavering commitment to civic service and social progress on behalf of the common good.
Accordingly, UNITED SIKHS has sought to fulfil its mission not only by informing, educating and uplifting fellow beings but also by participating in cross-cultural and political exchanges to ensure that the promises and benefits of democracy are realized by all.
We at UNITED SIKHS believe that the development of enlightened and progressive societies can be made possible by socially conscious groups of people who make a commitment to develop and direct human potential. Our work, efforts and achievements stand as a testament to our faith in this vision.