About Mercy Global Action
Mercy Global Action (MGA) is the international justice arm of Mercy International Association. Through Mercy Global Action, we are able to expand our advocacy capacity and re-imagine ways in which the experiences of those at the grassroots can influence global policy. With contacts on the ground and dedicated Task Forces comprised of representatives from across the Mercy World, Mercy Global Action is able to exchange knowledge, identify best practices, and bring the two chief areas of concern - Degradation of Earth and Displacement of Peoples - to our justice work, including at the United Nations.
In recent years, Mercy Global Action has expanded its work to include a third priority area: women's leadership. In 2018, Mercy Global Action launched the MGA Emerging Leaders Fellowship (otherwise known as MELF), a transformational leadership formation program for women passionate about advancing Mercy and justice throughout the world. This year-long program is a special opportunity for both vowed and lay women of Mercy to build on their existing leadership skills in building networks, connecting with grassroots voices and initiating research and action for global justice. To learn more about MELF, see here.
Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council
Since 1998 the Sisters of Mercy have enjoyed Special Consultative Status through the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. With ECOSOC accreditation we have certain privileges to place items on the agenda of ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies; we may attend meetings, where we may submit written statements and make oral presentations to governments.
Learn about MGA's History
The Purpose and Mission statement of the Mercy UN Mission indicated its “desire to use our collective power as an international network to exercise global responsibility through formal engagement with the United Nations”; its “commitment to contributing our insights and values […] towards building a global community based on justice, compassion, and mutual respect, and living in harmonious relationship with earth”; and its “passion to bring into focus in the international arena the circumstances and rights of those must vulnerable and disadvantaged […] and to work for change through the United Nations system.” In 1999, the office became known as Mercy Global Concern (MGC); since then, it has served as a channel through which all those associated with the Mercy spirit, vision, and mission in the tradition of Catherine McAuley can be effectively connected with the United Nations.
From the beginning of its work at the UN, MIA has focused on social justice and poverty eradication, seeking to shift both local and global political, socioeconomic, ecological, and cultural systems that cause and perpetuate poverty, climate and environmental degradation, inequality, injustice, and conflict. In its early years, MGC established its focus on social development, drafting interventions, engaging with specific Members States on advocacy issues, and participating in organizing around annual meetings at the UN: the Commission on Social Development, the Commission on the Status of Women, the Commission for Sustainable Development (which concluded in 2012), the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and High-Level Dialogues of ECOSOC.
Since the Mercy International Reflection Process, Mercy Global Action has focused its advocacy on the Degradation of Earth and Displacement of Persons, and engaged in processes at the United Nations related to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the Global Compact for Migration, in addition to the ECOSOC Commissions mentioned above.
Beyond being the home of the Mercy UN Office, Mercy Global Action is the central hub for justice issues and advocacy for Mercy International Association. MGA convenes a network of representatives from all Mercy congregations around the world to facilitate sharing and coordinate collective action. MGA also establishes short-term thematic task forces to engage members of the Mercy World in preparing for UN events and creating new publications grounded in the experiences and good practices of Mercy Sisters, Associates and Partners around the world.
In 2023, Mercy Global Action celebrated 25 years of Mercy’s ECOSOC status. Current and former staff have reflected on the continued importance of the mission of the UN office, MGA’s accomplishments over the years, and their hopes for the future: