Originally from India, Celine Paramundayil is the international representative for the Medical Mission Sisters' nongovernmental organization at the United Nations. With degrees in chemistry, nursing, and women's studies, for 10 years she served as coordinator of Gandhipet Women's Collective in South India to empower the Dalit women. She later taught in the school of nursing and served as the assistant program coordinator of Ayushya Center for Healing and Integration. In the U.S. she completed a Women's Leadership Institute under Medical Mission Sr. Dr. Miriam Therese Winter and is now pursuing training in nonviolent communication along with her U.N. responsibilities.
The U.N. High-level Political Forum held in July enabled member states to give reviews on their progress in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. Speakers from the grassroots level gave moving testimonies.
During the 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women, the Medical Mission Sisters and others discussed the radical reorientation of behavior and beliefs we need to shift to a more inclusive way of being in the world.
We recently attended the Parliament of the World's Religions with more than 7,500 other delegates from 80 countries, representing approximately 200 indigenous, spiritual and religious traditions. One could feel the spiritual power and love vibrating as we greeted and talked to fellow participants. The theme of this Parliament was "Promise of inclusion — the power of love —pursuing global understanding, reconciliation and change."
I am a member of the NGO Mining Working Group at the U.N., and can attest to the fact that we worked hard in advocating to be sure that the human right to water and sanitation was put into the 2030 agenda, and now we are working to be sure it is implemented!