2013-2014 Activities

Flyer for IHAN Conference
Flyer for IHAN Conference


Conference on the Culture of Peace and Women’s Contribution in Building Global Peace and Reducing Violence

Tuesday, October 28, 2014
777 UN Plaza, New York, NY

Speakers presented international perspectives on the critical role of women in building peace and reducing violence.


Dr. Sorosh Roshan, M.D., M.P.H Founder President IHAN Conf. Co-Chair &  Moderator
Dr. Vijaya Melnick, Ph.D., FIMSA President IHAN Conf. Co-Chair and Speaker. Read her speech Violence Against Women and the Flickering Flame of Peace.

Speaker Topic
Dr. Sorosh RoshanFounder President, IHANDr. Vijaya Melnick President, IHAN Greetings Opening remarks
H.E. Ambassador Anwarul K Chowdhury,  Chair, Global Movement for the Culture of Peace Key Note: The Culture of Peace
Madam Zara NuruSpecial Assistant to the President of Tanzania Peace and Development
Dr. Jacobus HoffmanJames Martin Senior Research Fellow, Inst. of Population  Ageing, Univ. of Oxford, UK The art of Reconciliation
Dr. Vijaya Melnick President, IHAN Violence Against Women andthe Flickering Flame of Peace.
Discussion from the 3.30 Flo
Dr. William LatimerDean, School of Health Sciences,Human Services & Nursing, Lehman College, CUNY, NY Lehman/IHAN/ TanzaniaProject
Dr. Suzanne StutmanFirst vice President, IHAN Student Award
Dr. Beatrice GoodwinAdj. Professor, NY Univ. College of Nursing Concluding remarks

College Essay Competition:

What does the Culture of Peace mean to me?
How does it promote global peace?

500 word essays were submitted by October 1, 2014
Winner received an award of $500


  • Global Movement for the Culture of Peace.
  • Abington College, Pennsylvania State University
  • DSFederal
  • Lehman College Foundation
  • OICI
  • NGO Committee on Health
  • Nuru Peace Foundation, Tanzania
  • Mensen Academy Foundation, Dominican Republic
  • Fordham University
  • The Light Millennium

“[Nelson Mandela] taught us to transcend our petty ‘manufactured’ personal and collective politics and that there is no situation too impossible to address through honest respectful discussion/negotiation. He leaves a country with huge challenges but a firm legacy upon which it could be addressed.   “Hamba kahle, Madiba” (Farewell, Madiba) and “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika” (God bless Africa)”

– Dr. Dr. Jaco Hoffman, IHAN Board member

2013 Activities

CSW 58 Side Event: By virtue of their common womanhood: Creating Daughters for Development in the Post-2015 Agenda

 By virtue of their common womanhood: Creating Daughters for Development in the Post-2015
CSW 58 Side Event Panel. From right to left: Dr. Dawn Digrius (Moderator); H.E. Carlos Enrique Garcia Gonzalez, Permanent Representative for El Salvador to the United Nations; Marie Johns, OIC International

On March 17, 2014, IHAN held a side-event for the United Nations CSW 58 at the El Salvadoran Permanent Mission to the United Nations.  The event was titled, “By virtue of their common womanhood: Creating Daughters for Development in the Post-2015 Agenda.”  Several captivating speakers spoke about the challenges of global development and the need for strong woman in the health and business industries.


CSW 58 Side Event

The keynote speaker, H.E. Carlos Enrique Garcia Gonzalez, the Permanent Representative for El Salvador to the United Nations, spoke passionately. He discussed the need for a “collective spirit” to promote the development and improvement of underprivileged socio-economic areas worldwide.  Marie Johns, of OIC International spoke about the importance of female entrepreneurship, and the positive effects it can have on local, regional and even national economies.

IHAN had the honor to host several students from the University of Notre Dame Australia, School of Medicine.  These talented students presented their most recent studies to the audience at the side event.  Their areas of research included inquiries into sexual abuse in third-world countries and effective methods for the improvement of woman’s health in areas in need.  The event was moderated by IHAN Co-Vice President Dr. Dawn Digrius.

 IHAN would like to give a special thanks to the El Salvadoran Permanent Mission for their continual contributions and effort in working with the International Health Awareness Network.

Gulf of Fonseca: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Development

Gulf of Fonseca: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Development
Left to Right: Dr. Anny Morrobel-Sosa, Provost and Senior Vice-President of Academic Affairs from Lehman College; Ambassador Garcia of the El Salvadoran Permanent Embassy to the United Nations; Dr. Sorosh Roshan, President of IHAN; Dr. Dawn Digrius, Co-Vice President of IHAN

On December 11, 2013, IHAN’s Dr. Dawn Digrius had the opportunity to speak at a United Nations side event hosted by the El Salvadoran Permanent Mission to the United Nations.  Ambassador Garcia stated it was an “honor” to host a panel discussion that has the potential to great things for the region.  Continuing Garcia’s encouraging opening, Dr. Digrius’s presentation  focused on the challenges and opportunities for sustainable development pertaining to Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua; all of whom share the gulf of Fonseca.  “Cooperative development projects can lead to economic, environmental and societal prosperity in the region,” said Dawn.




8th UNESCO Youth Forum 

IHAN’s president, Dr. Sorosh Roshan attends the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum held in Paris, France.

IHAN attended the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum between the dates of October 29 and 31 of 2013.  Around 500 young participants from all over the world gathered at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris, France, to exchange views, share experiences, reflect together and, above all, identify common preoccupations and problems.  The theme for this years forum was “Youth and Social Inclusion: Civic Engagement, Dialogue and Skills Development.”  Several topics were discussed in length including youth civic engagement issues and the ways in which youth can engage in building democratic and sustainable communities. The skills and competencies for young people to successfully enter the active life and to put their innovation, creativity and entrepreneurialism into practice were also included in the dialogue.

Lehman Foundation Reception

Provost of Lehman College Dr. Sosa , Dr. Roshan, Mrs. Fernandez, President Fernandez, president of St. George University and Myrna Rivers the chair person of the Lehman Foundation


On September 17th, 2013 ,  a reception was hosted at the home of Mr. Mrs. Bartner.  Mr. and Mrs. Bartner are Members of IHAN’s board of directors for the Lehman Foundation. Dr. Sorosh Roshan attended and hosted the event.




IHAN Attends the High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace

A photo of Dr. Sorosh Roshan and Dr. Dawn Digrius with Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury

September 6, 2013 – Representatives from IHAN attended the United Nations High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace.  Top United Nations officials opened a day-long General Assembly forum on the promotion of a ‘culture of peace’ with the notion that ‘People in positions of power and authority have a moral and political responsibility to improve understanding across borders and cultures.’

At UN Headquarters in New York,

Dr. Sorosh Roshan with Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury Former Under-Secretary-General and High Representative of the UN

Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson told a high-level forum to discuss the implementation of the UN Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace that in a world of profound challenges, religious leaders, public office-holders and others must set an example by rejecting violence and promoting dialogue.

“This is a moment in history when we need a culture of peace – not just the absence of war, but a fully formed culture of peace – so that we can pull together as a single human family to meet our shared challenges,” he said, adding that a culture of peace permeates the work of the UN from the principles of the Charter to the universal rights that the Organization upholds.

Mr. Eliasson also stressed the importance of focusing on human beings – the men, women and children – and not just larger constructs, such as cultures, faiths and nations.

Each year since the adoption of the Programme of Action on the Culture of Peace in 1999, as well as a related Declaration, the Assembly has adopted a resolution on the topic, proclaiming the year 2000 as the ‘International Year for the Culture of Peace,’ and the period of 2001-2010 as the ‘International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World.’

Madame Elisabeth de Langre, a prominent IHAN board member with Dr. Roshan Sorosh.  This photo was taken at UNESCO Peace Park in Paris, France.









IHAN Visits Tanga, Tanzania

Dr. Sorosh Roshan visiting Tanga Health Center with Madame Nuru, some medical officers  and community leader Mr. Nuru and his staff.
Dr. Roshan Sorosh visits the office of the commissioner of the Pangani district with Madame Nuru, the former health Secretary.

Dr. Roshan Sorosh has visited health centers in rural and urban areas and has given informal educational seminars for women. During her time in Tanga, Dr. Sorosh has identified several midwives with good command of the English language to become an essential part of a new radio talk show that aims at educating and empowering the health and socioeconomic status of woman in Tanzania.


IHAN Attends International Youth Day: Youth Migration

Photo taken in the General Assembly of International Youth Day 2013


On Monday, 12 August, 2013 The United Nations held International Youth Day focusing on Youth Migration.  IHAN was proud to have attended the enlightening conference. Speakers traveled from afar to discuss their experiences, information and vision for the future regarding the migration of youths across the globe.  Jean-Pierre Gonnot, of the Social Integration Branch, Division for Social Policy and Development and member of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, moderated the openings of the conference.  He had much to say about the migration of youths of today’s generation.  Gonnot illuminated the audience with information regarding youth migration.  He stated that youth’s supplement the economies of the places they immigrate to, however often youths are subjected to poor working conditions, low pay and very long hours.  These conditions drive youth migration.  Charles Dan, Special Adviser on the Youth and Social Inclusion of the International Labour Organization feels as though youth migration should not be a possibility but a necessity.  With the correct policies by supporting governments and the active support of youths around the world via Twitter, Facebook and other social media, Dan argues, together we can remedy the wrongs of youth discrimination and provide new found opportunities to improve the lives of millions worldwide.  Dan magically stated that this goal is “…something only you [the youths of society] can do.”

A High Level Dialogue regarding Youth Migration and Development is scheduled on October, 3 through October 4, 2013 to be held at the United Nations.  For more information visit, www.unmigration.com


IHAN Visits Ghana and Works with OIC International.

Ladan and Navid Azari’s two award winning children Salar and Kathayoon. The children speak Chinese, German, French, English and persian. They are also cometetive swimmers and won many distinction awards.
Dr. Roshan Sorosh’s visit to the home of Ladan and Navid Azari in Ghana.

Earlier this year members of the IHAN Team visited Ghana and worked closely with OIC International.  Established in 1971, OIC International in Ghana provides training in vocational skills and offers counseling, job-placement, and follow-up services to disadvantaged, unskilled, and unemployed Ghanaian youth. OIC Ghana is a nationally recognized organization operating in the Greater Accra Region, the Western Region, the Asanti Region, Eastern Region and Brong Ahalfo Region, as well as Kumasi and Gyedu.  On the trip to Ghana, IHAN Team members were introduced to several wonderful people including the Azari family.  Read more about IHAN’s trip to Ghana in an article listed under the “Projects Tab.”




Dr. Roshan Sorosh’s visit to the OCI International Youth Summit on May 16th, 2013









“Behind the Headlines” with RICHARD N. HAASS

Richard N. Haass speaks at “Behind the Headlines”

Dr. Dawn Digrius, Co-Vice President of IHAN, attends an event on behalf of IHAN sponsored by IPI (International Peace Institute) “Behind the Headlines” with RICHARD N. HAASS, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, and author of the book Foreign Policy Begins at Home: The Case for Putting America’s House in Order on June 10, 2013.




“May I Ask A Question?”

On Thursday June 20, 2013, IHAN actively participated in the United Nations Briefing, “May I Ask A Question, Mr. Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Africa, Maged Abdelaziz?” – DPI/NGO.  Click here to view video from the briefings.

United for a Culture of Peace Through Interfaith Harmony

On February 14, 2013, the United for a Culture of Peace Through Interfaith Harmony was held at the United Nations Headquarters.  The event was a combination of discussions, prayers, and flag presentations. Speaker after speaker reiterated the benefits of religious tolerance and its influence on conflict resolution. The symphonies of peace prayers illuminated the nonviolent qualities of faiths spanning from Bahá’í and Buddhist to Sikh and Zoroastrian. The presentation of the flags of each of the 193 UN Member states concluded the event equally harmoniously as it began and accentuated the progress the world has made through peace. “A moment of Peace can and shall Save the World.” -Sri Chinmoy

Other Events Included:

Held on March 9, 2013: CSW Side EventFordham U, Institute for Women & Girls, IHAN Fordham University NYC in the Pope Auditorium.

Held on March 11, 2013: CSW Side EventIHAN & GMCoP in the Church Center of the UN.

Held on March 13, 2013: CSW Side Event NGO Health Committee & IHAN


Events from 2012:

Events Included:

IHAN hosted 3 parallel events for CSW 56 in February 28 – March 9, 2012.

On Friday, December 9, 2012, at 11:00am, we participated in our third radio talk show commemorating International Human Right’s Day.  You can participate by calling 760-283-0850 or through skype “AfricanViews.”

On Saturday, December 3rd, Dr. Roshan was broadcasted on African Views radio talk show titled, “AHD: Pros and Cons of C-section versus Natural Birth.” Click here to listen.

On Friday, December 2nd at 11:00am – 12:00pm, Dr. Sorosh Roshan (president of IHAN) was broadcasted on African Views radio talk show speaking on “Youth As Agents of Change: Girls and Boys Combatting Violence Against Women” along with a vibrant panel of youth speakers.Click here to listen.

Events from 2011

Events Included: 

On Monday, November 14th, 2011, Dr. Sorosh Roshan spoke on a panel to a full auditorium held by the Light Millennium on Millennium Developmental Goal 3 at Stevens Institute of Technology alongside Ambassador Kohona and other esteemed colleagues.  The evening was entitled:  “Gender Equality and Empowering Women:  Minority Rights and Discrimination.”

The 64th Annual Department of Public Information/ Non-Governmental Organization Conference took place in Bonn, Germany from 3-5 September 2011. This year’s theme was “Sustainable Societies: Responsive Citizens.”