May 17, 2011

MGC - Director's Final Report

Deirdre Mullan, Rsm Mercy Global Concern

As I put pen to paper to write this final report/reflection as the Executive Director of Mercy Global Concern (MGC), one word keeps rising to the surface: Gratitude. My final paper is not a list of meetings attended, statements submitted, books published or workshops organized, but rather a short story about a journey, and the people on the journey who continue to make Mercy Global Concern the one place in the world where the Mercy Family can meet to make a difference.

Little did I know, when I accepted the invitation to come to New York City and the United Nations, what lay in store for me. I come from a city with two names – Derry and Londonderry – a place of great hearts, generous and creative spirits, but also a place which has known deep sadness, a city that has borne its fair share of the Irish Troubles. And so, on October 1, 2001, I left behind my family, community, friends and wonderful Ministry of Education to embrace the great unknown. I crossed the Atlantic Ocean with some trepidation and arrived to a city in turmoil. It was just a few weeks after the horrific events of 9/11. I felt strangely at home in the chaos!

The United Nations has always represented the embodiment of the “world’s conscience” and is the place where governments assemble to enshrine their legal and moral commitments. It is the home of international rules that, if followed, would breed great peace and security and, if it was up to the task, could challenge the barbarism and lawlessness of our times. When I arrived to take up my position, I realized very quickly that if I was to be effective as a player in this system, I had to reach out and bring the outside in. And so began my journey as the representative of Mercy International Association at the United Nations.

So many people, so much to learn in a steep learning curve. I focused immediately on the Mercy Public and so began our series of booklets to educate, engage and inform our Sisters, associates and friends about the great issues of the day, and the potential we have at our fingertips right here at the UN to engage with governments all over the world. There is no time for silence here!

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