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“MEET & GREET III”: „Working Together for a more Resilient and Sustainable Future for Generations to Come”


THEME: „Working Together for a more Resilient and Sustainable Future for Generations to Come”

HEADLINE: What Civil Society can bring to the Table to Support the SDGs.

DATE: February 13, 2024. Online Platform

After attending the UN Vienna Constructive Dialogues, organized by UNODC (SE4U), the contributors of statement  intensified the exchange of Civil society stakeholders with representatives of member states on specified topics (Human Trafficking, Smuggling of Migrants, Technical support on fighting International organized crimes) 

We as WFWP UN Office Vienna decided to provide a continuation of dialogue. So far we made the “Meet & Greet I, II & III”. The ff. is a report I compiled from the summary of what the speakers presented and shared on our third virtual “Meet & Greet”. The civil society, young and old delegates, participated from different parts of the world who are in our contact circle. “Meet & Greet IV” is now in the making. The idea was to provide a platform for exchange, inspiration and possible cooperation.

 1st SPEAKER: Ms. Marivir R. MONTEBON: She is a New York –based journalist. She established the online magazine OSM! (Awesome) together with her daughter, Leani Alnica Auxilio, which started her community online journalism of Filipinos in the American diaspora. MM was president of the FilAm Press Club of New York in 2018 and 2019. She initiated Women’s Immigration and Communication s Café (WICCAFE in 2019). She was the recipient of ‘WFWP HerStory Awards’  by the WFWP– New Jersey in 2023. She has written five books and has co-authored a few others.

Reporting on sustainability: Earth regeneration and social justice.

By Marivir Montebon

New York

Thank you for the opportunity to share my experience with you today as a journalist reporting on sustainability efforts.

To me, sustainability means Earth regeneration and social justice. Writers and journalist amplify community and individual action towards sustainability.

One is the social enterprise called Human Heart Nature which manufactures personal care products from local and organic materials produced by farmers. It generates the Earth, ensures income for the producers, and sells healthy care products for consumers. I find stories like these heartwarming and inspiring.

Another one is about permaculture which is being promoted by WFWP UN Relations director Merly Barlaan. It is about Earth regeneration and food security. It is a way to counter monoculture which has rendered our land barren and eroded. Merly and I have gone a long way in partnership and collaboration.

As a journalist, I take passion in writing best practices of communities, also practices that need improvement, pick out lessons learned, and improving in the succeeding community or enterprise efforts. Personally, I also believe that we need to stand against any kind of war. Progress begins with a peaceful environment.

Finally, I’d like to ask all of you here to support local and ethnic media, be in touch with them to tell your stories, especially now in this age of disinformation and misinformation. We amplify stories on the ground. So please support local media. It is important to note that democracy can thrive only with the truth, and so we must keep telling what’s true and for the common good.

Thank you.


2nd SPEAKER: Ms. Myra COLIS: She is the founder and Chairperson of MABIKAs Foundation, a civic organization dedicated to eradicating prejudice against indigenous people through awareness and education. Originally from the Philippines and now living in the Netherlands, she passionately advocates for the rights of women and indigenous people. In addition to her advocacy work, Myra is also a mother of two and has recently completed her Master’s Degree in International Technology Law after finishing her bachelor studies in law at VU University Amsterdam. Moving forward, she aims to contribute in bridging the gaps between law, technology and well-being.

The ff. is her statement:

 In many of today’s discussions on empowering women and youth, most of the time the most important group is left out – the mothers.

In her talk, Myra highlighted the fact that mothers juggle multiple responsibilities, yet their voices are silenced, and their struggle are sidelined. Societal expectations and systemic barriers, such as a gender norms, workplace discrimination, financial constraints and social stigma, limit their opportunities and impact their mental health. This scenario impedes their empowerment and hinders their personal and professional growth. To create a resilient and inclusive future, the speaker emphasizes the importance of recognizing and appreciating the vital role of mothers in society. She called for advocacy to integrate mother’s concerns into decision making processes across all sectors, including education and training programs, supportive work environments, financial empowerment and community engagement. The speech urges collective action to amplify mother’s voices, break the silence and advocate for a future where every mother can flourish and be valued.


There is a lot of poverty in her homeland PAKISTAN. So she pleaded for help. The ff. is her statement.

“I want to say to all of you, that there is a lot of poverty here in Pakistan, poor children don’t even live. I can advance their future and walk with them in their future. I want you all to help me so that I can expand my work and provide food and shelter for children and I can provide clothes to all of them. Together we can expand this work and we can help these poor children have a good future and may God bless us abundantly. You all know that children when they are born cannot do anything for themselves, so, we have to step forward and do something for these children and make the future for all these children. They are poor, nothing to wear and to put on their feet. They have no shoes to protect their feet from the mud. So, I think we all have to do something for these children.”


His topic is about effective communication through meaningful conversations and public speaking, and how it can help us in our mission of working together for a more resilient and sustainable future. He feels that by equipping our future leaders with these skills, it would be easier for them to communicate with more people and get them involved in these noble endeavor. Meaningful conversations is about effective listening, asking and improvising our response to avoid misunderstanding, building trust and encourage constructive participation in a conversation. It builds synergy, the key to successful outcomes in every conversation. Public speaking is so important in achieving our goal. We can make it to make social connections, bring people together, and bring in supporters. We can also teach it to our future leaders who will spread the news and share our vision.

5th SPEAKER:  Mr. Hameed Abu RAGHEEF

He is a freelance Journalist, born in Iraq , but now living in Vienna.

He talked about Human Rights and some issues of water scarcity in the Middle East. He also talked about how he can contribute when he goes back to Iraq and make a report about it.

Compilation of reports,  Merle SOQUILA- BLASCHKE

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