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Sister Durstyne Farnan, OP, is the United Nations representative for the Dominican Sisters Conference. At the UN, she focuses on world issues important to Dominicans, such as homelessness, the rights of women and girls, protection of the Amazon region, and the digital divide. Her work involves connecting with the wider Dominican Family, whose members serve on every continent and work with local people so as to understand issues from the viewpoint of those most affected by the issues.
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I'm Sister Maxine, and my guest is Sister Durstyne Farnan. representative to the United Nations for the Dominican Sisters Conference, an organization of Dominicans across the country. At the UN, where the world's nations work together on global problems and solutions, Sister Durstyne, or Sister Dusty, as she is known, gives voice to the Dominican perspective on issues such as homelessness, the rights of women and girls, and the impact of mining and deforestation in the Amazon region. Sister Dusty, your work for the Dominican Sisters Conference, your work at the UN, began in October 2019. And I understand there's part of a Dominican tradition at the UN as well.
We've been here at the UN through the status of initially to the Department of Public Information, which now has changed its name. And we became accredited as ECOSOC, which means that we are able to give voice and print writing statements and sending them to the General Assembly through different working groups that we belong to here at the UN. So I am the third director of this organization. Sister Eileen Gannon from Sparkhill was the first fabulous woman, very inspiring woman, followed by Sister Margaret Mace, who is now leading the Dominicans worldwide, in Rome, through the Dominican Sisters International Confederation.
At the UN, as the representative for the Dominican Sisters conference, what is the goal of your work as related to the goal of the conference?
My goal is to assist Dominican women in bringing their voice to the UN on behalf of civil society. On behalf of the regular folks, like all of us here listening to this podcast, we are trying to represent some of the issues that Dominicans worldwide are really concerned about, such as climate, such as nuclear weapons, such as homelessness, the extraction from indigenous areas, particularly in the Amazon, mining extractions. These are just some of the issues that Dominicans worldwide are concerned about. And so we try to participate in those kinds of working groups here at the UN, so that we will have a voice here and a voice on behalf of our brothers and sisters, wherever our sisters are in the world, here at the UN and have an opportunity to actually document the concerns and what they are seeing and experiencing so that there might be a more positive response to the needs of the world.
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This transcript has been lightly edited for readability.