UN - Salesian voices resound once again at the United Nations

20 July 2021

(ANS - New York) - For the second time in less than a week, Salesian voices were heard once again at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF). Sister Alessandra Smerilli, FMA, undersecretary at the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, and Fr André Mytilien, SDB, of Haiti were both on the panel of one of the official side events, which took place last 12 July.

The event, titled "Faith Without Borders: Partnerships of Governments and Catholic Organizations to Reduce Inequalities for the Post-COVID Era in Spain and Beyond", was jointly organized by the New York-based “Justice Coalition of Religious” and REDES Spain (Red de entidades para el Desarrollo Solidario - Network of entities for solidarity development).

At the beginning of the year, REDES, through Angel Gudiña of "Misiones Salesianas" had contacted Fr Thomas Pallithanam, the representative of the Salesian Missions at the UN, to organize a side event during the HLPF 2021. Rigorous and efficient planning made this event possible. This initiative also opened the door to future collaborations for joint advocacy initiatives.

Sister Alessandra Smerilli, speaking on behalf of the Dicastery of the Holy See for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, reiterated the Pope's message not to limit ourselves to preparing for the future, but to prepare the future itself. In the Commission, divided into 5 workflows, Sister Smerilli oversaw the workflow and illustrated research and studies on the current Covid-19 pandemic and all related issues. There were discussions on the need to think about a post-Covid-19 society and world, especially in the areas of ecology, economics, work, health, politics, communications and security.

Later, Fr André Mytilien presented the Salesians' project entitled: "Creation & adaptation of academic & skills training content for distance training during the pandemic". This program was developed using a training platform designed with the support of the Spanish National Development Agency (AECID) and the Madrid Regional Government.

His presentation showed how the Sustainable Development Goals have all been addressed continuously and effectively through this project. In particular, he referred to objective number 4 (equitable, inclusive quality education), 8 (promote decent work, sustainable economic growth) and 17 (global partnership to achieve objectives).

The event saw large virtual participation, with over 130 spectators. Salesian involvement was strengthened by the presence of various members of the Salesian Family at the event, such as Fr Tim Zak, SUE Provincial, and Renato Cursi, Executive Secretary of “Don Bosco International”.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

This site also uses third-party cookies to improve user experience and for statistical purposes. By scrolling through this page or by clicking on any of its elements, you consent to the use of cookies. To learn more or to opt out, click "Further Information".