Michael Hamady hosted a family gathering at the Hotel Durant in Flint, Michigan. It was to honor returning WW II veterans from the Hamady family. The party also included several friends of the family who were also veterans. Groceryman by Robert Lee Hamady, Copyright, 2006.

WLCU delegation headed by WP Alejandro Kuri Pheres, participated at the 65th DPI/NGO Conference at the United Nations headquarters in New York City (29 August 2014)

A WLCU delegation headed by WP Alejandro Kuri Pheres, participated at the 65th

DPI/NGO Conference at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. The

Conference, titled “2015 And Beyond – Action Agenda” started on August 27th and

Lasted for three days. Over four thousand people and seven hundred NGO’s

registered to the conference. The Workshops and Roundtables evolved around the

Millennium Development Goals of the UN (MDG’s), mainly “Poverty Eradication”,

“Sustainable Development”, “Human Rights” and “Climate Change”.


In addition to WP Kuri, the WLCU delegation included the Chief Executive of the DPI-Ecosoc

Committee, former WP Anise Garabet, judge George Khouri from Canada, Bearta

Al-Chakar Powell from North Carolina, John Couri Hanna from California, DPI

representatives Sid Chidiak and Antoinette Atie and ECOSOC representatives Mara

Hanna and Dr Rabih Nemr.


Opening session started by a welcoming word from Maher Nasser, Head of the DPI,

Jeffrey Huffines, the conference Chair and Bradford Billet, acting Commissioner

for New York City’s Mayor office for International Affairs.


H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General, addressed the United Nations remarks: 

“I depend on NGOs to push world leaders along the right path. You understand that 

sovereignty carries responsibility. You know that political power is a sacred duty. And you 

have grassroots influence that can make history.”  He said that the UN is now poised to make 

“monumental decisions for our world,” noting that the MDGs have achieved unprecedented success, 

lifting more families out of poverty, putting more children in school and preventing more disease 

than any campaign ever. 

Ms. Suzana Malcora, the UN Chef de Cabinet to the Executive Office 

of the Secretary General, told the gathering that the conference is both crucial and timely as it 

comes while Member States are negotiating the post-2015 development agenda.  They were 

followed by Dr Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of the UN Population Fund, 

H.E. Mr. John Ashe, President of the General Assembly and the keynote Speaker 

H.E Ms. Samantha Power, the permanent representative of The United States of America to the UN.
65th annual photo 3 of WLCU delegation (Alejandro and Sid)


The WLCU message

Mr. Garabet addressed the conference reflecting the constituency’s concerns: “We

represent the World Lebanese Cultural Union, our constituencies are active in

over 300 entities throughout 34 countries. We believe that when dealing with the MDG’s 

we cannot turn our back to the ever growing Syrian refugees crisis which has profoundly 

impacted the receiving countries and specifically produced devastating consequences in the 

neighboring Lebanon. The declaration needs to address some innovative and urgent solutions, 

calling on Civil Society to continue promoting democracy while enriching the culture of peace.”  

The WLCU message was greatly applauded by the participants and met a very positive reaction 

from the conference Declaration panel.


The closing ceremony included reading and adoption of the conference Declaration. 

The Declaration asserted justice and peace as it touched upon the refugees issue, 

the same way the WLCU framed it :

 ” We declare that our vision for the post-2015 Development Agenda is that of 

an equitable, inclusive, and sustainable world where every person is safe, resilient, 

lives well, and enjoys their human rights, and where political and economic systems 

deliver well-being for all people within the limits of our planet’s resources. 

Consequently, it is a world where all human rights are realized, inequalities 

have been properly addressed and thus, poverty has been eradicated; 

natural resources and the environment are treasured and safeguarded; where 

there is social justice, and where peace, safety and human security are a reality 

for all including refugees and people displaced by human induced and natural disasters.

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