Visit of the General Mother

Salesian community in Veyrier and the IIMA Human Rights Office joyfully
welcomed Sister Yvonne Reungoat, the Superior Mother General of the Salesian
Sisters, from March 3rd through 6th, 2013.
During her
visit, Mother Yvonne took part in the second week of the 22nd
session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. She observed presentations
from several Special Rapporteurs: Olivier De Schulter, Special Rapporteur on
Right to Food, Raquel Rolnik, Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, Juan
Mendez, Special Rapporteur on Torture, and Margaret Sekaggya, Special
Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders.  

she had the opportunity to witness the interactive dialogue among States on the
treatment of human rights defenders and torture, and listened to presentations
from Special Procedures mandate-holders on key human rights violations such as
some counter-terrorism efforts and arbitrary detention.
Several one-on-one
meetings with UN Member States Representatives were organized. Mother Yvonne met
the Ambassador of France to the United Nations in Geneva,
Mr. Nicolas Niemtchinow and the Apostolic Nuncio of the Holy See, Mons. Silvano Tomasi. She
met also the Ambassador of Uruguay, Laura Dupuy Lasserre, who was the President
of the Human Rights Council in 2012.
Moreover, her
presence in the Salesian house of Veyrier was a wonderful addition to the life
of the community, including the sisters and volunteers. Mother Yvonne Reungoat
expressed her hope that the life in community might be “a special occasion for
reflection on how we can nourish a strong atmosphere of witness and a culture
of vocation which might help the young to find their own life plan and live it
to the fullest.”
On March 5,
she spent the afternoon engaging with the community of “La Salesienne”, including
students, teachers and staff, a moment of great joy for the whole community. That
evening, during the Good Night, she reflected on the importance of relationships
and simple acts, even a smile, to convey confidence and growth in a stimulating
environment such as the Salesian community.
Wednesday, 6th of March Mother Yvonne visited IIMA Human Rights Office and observe
some of its work supporting the human rights work of the Congregation. The 5
years of the IIMA Human Rights Office’s work, have been truly enriching for everyone:
staff and volunteers have had the chance to better understand the Salesian
Sisters’ commitment to children and youth worldwide.
Yvonne, a gift for the whole community, has been a true “Mother” during
her visit, sharing the every moment of her day. She described her experience in
Geneva as “a great opportunity” to better understand the functioning of several
United Nations mechanisms and their role in international lawmaking. The IIMA
and the community thank the Mother very much for the gift of her presence.
Mother Yvonne!