Imagine Worcester: Trip to the United Nations

A May 18, 2010 One-day trip to the United Nations from Boston and Worcester was offered to area adults and youth by Virginia Swain in partnership with Ugo Solinas, Haiti Team Leader in the Europe and Latin America Division of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Jonathan Alexandre, originally from Haiti and an Anna Maria College student; Giorgia Passerelli, Human Rights Officer, Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights and Dr. Carol Zulauf Sharicz, Associate Professor of Adult and Organizational Learning at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts Haiti and United Nations each had a huge loss during the Haiti Earthquake. We looked at the aftermath: What is the impact of such a loss for Haiti and the UN? How can Haiti endure? How can the UN's global mission endure? How can systems thinking and new leadership models give us a new lens to apply to the current human rights challenges in Haiti? Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon said after the earthquake: “By approving my proposal, yesterday, to send an additional 2,000 soldiers and 1,500 police officers to Haiti, the Council sends a clear signal: The world is with Haiti” and Ms. Giorgia Passarelli, Human Rights Officer, United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, New York Office (NYO). Ms. Passarelli joined the United Nations in 1996. She has worked with several UN human rights experts dealing with thematic and geographic issues, including the effects of the illicit movement and dumping of toxic waste on human rights; arbitrary detention; enforced and involuntary disappearances; indigenous peoples; religious education, the human rights situation in Somalia; Sudan including Darfur; and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where she undertook a number of missions. She also worked on national human rights institutions with a focus on Latin America and the issue of disability and has served on the Secretariat of the Commission on Human Rights. Since she moved to the NYO in 2004, she has covered issues relating to economic and social rights, human rights-based approach to development, human rights and counter-terrorism and the responsibility to protect. While her current geographic focus is Latin America and the Caribbean, thematically she deals with peace and security, democracy and children and armed conflict. Ms Virginia Swain, ECOSAC representative of the Association of World Citizens and Director, Institute for Global Leadership, has 19 years experience in the UN community and 25 years of practical experience on five continents as an educator, consultant, ombuds, mediator, mentor, counselor and manager and trainer in commercial and non-profit enterprises including Peace Corps teaching in Africa. and For more, go to Virginia developed a Global Mediation and Reconciliation Service ( after a pilot project, Celebration of the Children of the World, at the United Nations that grew over the past two decades with dozens of implementations (guided by Reconciliation Leaders ( where armed force is not used to wage peace. Papers written on the subject are Leadership and Practice to Reconcile Challenges in a Post–September 11th World,” prepared for the Workshop on Humiliation and Violent Conflict, Columbia University, New York, 14–15 December 2006, with Dr. Sarah Sayeed “Reconciliation as Policy: A Capacity–Building Proposal for Renewing Leadership and Development,” prepared for Columbia University conference (as above) with Dr. Sayeed, 2005. Reconciliation Leadership at Hartford Seminary, w

Posted June 29th 2010 12:00pm.

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