Sometimes the simple approach ends up being the best thing! The 56th Session of the Commission for Social Development (CSocD) concluded this week and although there was some not-so-good language that ended up in the Commission’s outcome document, there were some really great things happening in the halls of the UN. For three days pro-family organizations manned a table and display that shared with diplomats and dignitaries a solid pro-family message. It was concluded that this simple table and display reached and positively influenced more people than many of our more elaborate and labor-intensive pursuits.
The Commission and Our Message
The Commission for Social Development (CSocD) is the advisory body responsible for the social development pillar of global development. The purpose of CSocD is to advise the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on social policies regarding such issues as ageing, employment, disability, indigenous peoples, family, and poverty. The priority theme for 2018 was “strategies for eradicating poverty to achieve sustainable development for all”.
Sustainable development is an overarching theme in all United Nations efforts. There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also called Global Goals, which together seek to eradicate poverty, protect our planet, and improve life now and for future generations.
It is not uncommon for children and families to be categorized as consumers in the world of economics – entities that draw upon and reduce valuable resources. With that view in mind, it is easy to forget the family as a valuable, contributing resource in addressing sustainable development, or, in the case of this year’s CSocD theme, a strategy for eradicating poverty.
To address this oversight, United Families advocates the concept of “family capital” – the resources that reside within families that can be used to improve societies and economies. Marcia Barlow, UFI’s Director of International Programs, defines it in the following way:
“Mothers, fathers, and their children engaging in the business of life supported by an extended and intergenerational family network – all working together to create a virtuous web that serves the economic, emotional, physical and spiritual well- being of all family members; and ultimately serving communities and nations.”
The above quote is found in the opening chapter of Family Capital and the SDGs, a collection of writings that address the role of the family in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, which was distributed at the displays during CSocD. Family Capital and the SDGs was compiled by Susan Roylance , the founder of United Families International. Promoting the concept of family capital and the good that families contribute to society is one of our primary purposes at the UN.
We want everyone to understand the power that families have to influence communities and societies for good and address social ills. One economist attending the pro-family exhibits, read Family Capital and declared, “I’m impressed!” Indeed, the capacity for the family to fundamentally impact the development and prosperity of nations is impressive. If you would like to learn more, download a free PDF of the Family Capital book here.
I encourage you to read it. You’ll be glad you did!
Tori Black, President
United Families International
Click here to view an address about family capital presented by Marcia Barlow at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women last year.