World Information’s 27th International Conference on Health and Environment: Global Partners for Global Solutions “Sustainable Energy: Legacy of Chornobyl”

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World Information Transfer and the Government of Ukraine held the 27th annual conference on Health and Environment with a focus on Sustainable Energy and the Legacy of Chernobyl. Dr. Durbak gave opening remarks reminding the audience that progress is in the eye of the beholder. H.E. Yelchenko focused on the future that Ukraine wants and discussed sustainable energy through projects that use the contamination zone for solar panels. Hon. Comitta used past legislation to highlight the balance between economic and social responsibility. Dr. Goldstein mentioned that healthy humans are vital to setting and achieving sustainability goals. He also emphasized that we sometimes think of sustainability as being an end goal, despite the impossibility of reaching perfection with the concept. It’s a process because the world will always be changing and innovative technology is the key. Ms. Rayets discussed how there is a lot of transformative legislation left to pass to get the exclusion zone to its positive potential future. Mr. Pavlova added to the discussion on the exclusion zone with examples of how the zone can benefit from solar energy development projects. Dr. Linet highlighted the chronic risks of prenatal and child radiation exposure, including skin burns, cancer, and cardiovascular disease, noting previous complications due to atomic bombs. Hon. Weber talked about his experiences with programs securing uranium and making sure it’s used correctly. He stated that the only way to get nuclear materials is through theft from state programs, or by having a legitimate use for them and then covertly diverting them to make nuclear weapons. He noted that progress has been made in countering weapons of mass destruction, but we still live in a dangerous world where the line is blurred between conventional and nuclear weapons. Arms treaties are expiring and need to be renegotiated because an arms race can be devastating. Dr. Salk overviewed the biological history of humans to provide context for the dimensions of our current issues, and suggested ways to solve them such as mediation, the supporting of long-term outcomes such as SDGs, and the capitalization of existing technologies.

Mr. Regev presented an innovative idea about rewarding companies and people for using renewable and clean energy with a new currency. He says this will only work if trust is built in the currency and everyone is included in the process. Mr. Gupta concluded by asking that we focus not just on today’s leaders but on future leaders. He said that in this crisis there is energy and passion in young people we must listen to them.

Meeting:  Health Environment: Global Partners for Global Solutions 27th International conference: Panel Discussion on —“Sustainable Energy: Legacy of Chernobyl”

Date/Location: Friday, April 27, 2018; 10:00-13:00; Conference Room 4, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY

Speakers:

H.E Mr.Volodymyr Yelchenko, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the UN

Dr. Christine K. Durbak, Chair and CEO, World Information Transfer, Inc.

Hon. Carolyn Comitta, State Representative, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Dr.Bernard D.Goldstein, Dean Emeritus, University of Pittsburgh, School of Public Health

Margaryta Rayets, Head of Information, External Relations and Public Relations of Ukraine

Kateryna Pavlova, Head of International Affairs of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management

Hon. Andy Weber, former United States Assist. Secretary of Defense, Council on Foreign Relations

Dr. Martha Linet, epidemiologist, National Institute of Health, USA

Dr. Peter Salk, President, Jonas Salk Legacy Foundation

Gilad Regev, Co Managing Partner of 910 Partners and CEO, Moneta Bank

Apurv Gupta, Youth Representative and Board of Directors, World Information Transfer, Inc.

Written By: WIT Representative Nicole Matsanov

Assisted By: Timothy Stephens, Andrea Estrella

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Committee on Information

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This meeting was a general discussion regarding the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI).  Ambassador Jan Kickert, Chair, discussed the constructive relationship that has been cultivated between the Committee and the Department of Public Information (DPI).  Ambassador Kickert noted that the department has promoted global understanding amongst nations. The Chair discussed how the media has rapidly transformed from delivering simple information to complex forms of online interaction.  The importance of adapting to new forms of communication with newer generations was highlighted.

Additionally, the Ambassador conducted a general debate based on reports submitted by the Secretary-General on Department activities, including its strategic communications, news, and outreach services.  The comments focused on one main question: How does and how should the Organization communicate the values it upholds on behalf of all Member States? Various Member States mentioned the increasing difficulty in maintaining trust in major institutions because the public is constantly flooded by “fake news.”

During the discussion, Bangladesh and Egypt expressed their appreciation for the DPI and its initiatives.  Also, Brazil voiced a concern about language barriers while Israel highlighted the need for safety in the digital age.  In summary, fluid and interactive communication is extremely important today. Therefore, the DPI must continue to develop dialogues and techniques to successfully exchange information.

Meeting: Committee on Information

Date/Location: Wednesday, April 25, 2018; 10:00-13:00; Security Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY

Speakers: Ambassador Jan Kickert, Chair, Ms. Alison Smale, Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications

Written By: WIT Representative David Jansen

Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

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This was a meeting of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.  Chair Ms. Mariam Wallet Aboubakrine met with Indigenous peoples representatives and Member States from North America.  The dialogue concentrated on relevant issues in the North American region, and sharpening the focus and impact of the Indigenous Forum’s analyses and recommendations.

Some objectives in this meeting included: implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples at national levels; advancement on the rights of Indigenous peoples at regional and international levels; promotion and protection of regional Indigenous languages; and, the identification of specific thematic areas or emerging issues for future Permanent Forum sessions.

During the discussion, the Indigenous Peoples Forum recommended that Member States, UN-Women and UNICEF provide financial support for an electoral initiative for Indigenous women and youth.  Afterwards, the Forum recommended that representatives establish legal frameworks that respect Indigenous community media. Finally, the Forum further requested that the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) provide guidance to organize mutual learning events with other regional commissions.  In summary, the meeting was a rich dialogue that effectively discussed issues surrounding the protection of Indigenous peoples in our world.

Meeting: Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

Date/Location: Wednesday, April 25, 2018; 10:00-13:00; Security Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY

Speakers: Ms. Mariam Wallet Aboubakrine, Chair of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; Alvaro Pop, Executive Secretary FILAC and co-chair of IASG; František Ružička, Chef de Cabinet, Office of the President of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly; Melanie Benjamin, Chief Executive of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe (Minnesota)

Written By: WIT Representatives David Jansen, Soobin Lee, June Hong

World Information’s 27th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT: GLOBAL PARTNERS FOR GLOBAL SOLUTIONS “Sustainable Energy: Legacy of Chornobyl”

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Supported by the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY and World Association of NGOs (WANGO)

REGISTER: via Eventbrite (Search for World Information Transfer) by Wednesday, April 15th

Conference Date: April 27, 2018, Location: Conference Room 4, United Nations Headquarters ,Time: 10a.m. – 1PM    

Welcome and Opening Remarks:

H.E. Mr. Volodymyr Yelchenko, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the UN

Dr. Christine K. Durbak, Chair and CEO, World Information Transfer, Inc.

Honorable Carolyn Comitta, State Representative, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Moderator:  Bernard D. Goldstein, Board of Directors, World Information Transfer, Inc

TOPICS AND SPEAKERS:

“Effect of Radiation on Children” Dr. Martha Linet, epidemiologist, National Institute of Health, USA
“Nuclear Energy, Nuclear Power and Human Health:  Focus on SDG on Sustainable Energy” Hon. Andy Weber, US State Department, Council on Foreign

Relations

“Issues for the Attainment of Sustainable Development Goals” Dr.  Peter Salk, President, Jonas Salk Legacy Foundation
“From ‘Black’ to ‘Green’ point:  Exclusion Zone Transformation” Margaryta Rayets, Head  of Information, External Relations and Public Relations of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Mngmt.
“Alternative Step of Chornobyl  to Green Energy” Kateryna Pavlova, Head of  International Affairs of  Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management
“A Future to Look Forward to: Sustainable Energy and Youth” Apurv Gupta, Youth Representative and Board of Directors, World Information Transfer, Inc.
“The Policy Interface of Sustainable Power and Human Health” Dr. Bernard D. Goldstein, Dean Emeritus, University of

Pittsburg, School of Public Health.

 Discussion and Questions

 Closing Remarks: 

Dr. Bernard D. Goldstein, former Dean, University of Pittsburg, School of Public Health

H.E. Mr. Volodymyr Yelchenko, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the UN

 Luncheon Delegates Dining Room, 1:00 – 2:45 PM (by invitation only)

NOTE:  Please write your questions on the provided forms and submit them to the monitors.    

Questions will not be answered from the floor.

The Sustained Eradication of Child Labour

Child Labour

This meeting was a Briefing on the IV Global Conference on the Sustained Eradication of Child Labour. It was co-organized by the Permanent Missions of Argentina and Belgium, and the International Labour Organization.

Mr. Ted Chaiban, UNICEF Director of Programmes, spoke about approaches to ending child immigration detention. Specifically, he discussed: worldwide dialogues; agreeing and focusing on solutions and practices; a global compact on migration under the supervision of co-facilitators; and, encouraging member states and their partners to build road maps for taking systematic steps.

Mr. Donald M. Kerwin, Jr., Executive Director Center for Migration Studies, noted that most migration situations can be met by alternatives.  Detention should be a last resort only after all other solutions are fully exhausted. Moreover, states have a legal obligation to carefully examine the use of detention if other options are not sufficient. Also, the number of detentions and for-profit prisons should be reduced, and detentions should be used for non-criminals for the shortest period possible.

Ms. Ashley Feasley, Director of Policy for United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Msgr. Bob Vitillo, Secretary General of the International Catholic Migration Commission, discussed their organization’s support for: family reunification; refugee housing; fighting human trafficking; and, maintaining the family unit. They both stressed more protection for children’s rights as well.

Overall, it was felt that it is cruel and degrading to deprive children of their liberty of because of their parents’ immigration status. Children should not suffer due to circumstances out of their control. Many delegates agreed with this stance, and are working on the further development of effective alternative solutions to the detention of children.

Meeting: Briefing on the IV Global Conference on the Sustained Eradication of Child Labour (co-organized by the Permanent Missions of Argentina and Belgium, and the International Labour Organization)
Date/Location: Wednesday, February 21st, 2018; 13:15-14:30; Conference Room 12, United Nations
Headquarters, New York, NY
Speakers: Ted Chaiban, Director of Programmes for UNICEF; Mr. Donald M. Kerwin Jr., Executive Director Center for Migration Studies; Ashley Feasley, Director of Policy for United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; Msgr. Bob Vitillo, Secretary General of the International Catholic Migration
Commission
Written By: WIT Representatives David Jansen, June Hong, and Calvin Ferrara

Strengthening the Role of the UN Charter

UN Charter

This was a meeting of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization.  Rapporteur Mr. Luke Tang, The Permanent Mission of Singapore to the United Nations, outlined a draft report which concentrated on the role of the United Nations in world affairs.  The report highlighted several functions of the U.N. including the maintenance of international peace and security, the peaceful settlement of disputes, and the effectiveness of the U.N. Organs and the Security Council.

Various countries recommended revisions to the outline.  Specifically, Libya proposed that the document have an increased focus on the maintenance of peace.  Moreover, Ghana suggested a stronger relationship between the U.N. and regional agencies regarding the peaceful settlement of disputes.  Also, Cuba believed it was crucial for the U.N. to be more democratic and representative. In addition, Belarus and the Russian Federation commented on their right to self defense and security.

The Ukraine wanted “The settlement of Ukraine and the Russian Federation” in the document as well.  Russia believed that the comments of the Ukraine were not pertinent since the Ukraine did not participate in thematic discussions after the general debate.  Also, Ukraine mentioned “disputes;” however, this word has legal significance and the international court has not yet ruled whether there is a dispute between the two states.

Finally, various gaps and shortcomings in the U.N. organization were noted.  This included a lack of the following: a framework for a collaborative process, monitoring mechanisms in the U.N., and specific partnership agreements between the United Nations and all regional organizations.

Mostly all of the above recommended provisions were adopted.  Overall, the outline was commended by the Chair as eloquent, substantive, and effective.

Date/Location: Wednesday, February 28th, 2018; 10:00-13:00; Conference Room 3, United
Nations Headquarters, New York, NY
Speakers: Mr. Luke Tang, The Permanent Mission of Singapore to the United Nations,
Rapporteur, Omar Hilale, The Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United Nations, Chair, İpek Zeytinoğlu Özkan, Permanent Mission of Turkey to the United Nations, Vice Chair, Héctor Enrique Celarie Landaverde, Permanent Mission of the Republic of El Salvador to the United Nations, Vice Chair, Igor Bondiuk, Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations, Vice Chair
Written By: WIT Representative David Jansen

Accountability in Education: Meeting Our Commitments

Education

In commemoration of the 2018 Winter Youth Assembly, organizations in the United Nations held a forum regarding accountability in education.

Dr. Joshi presented key findings on the Global Education Monitoring report, stressing the importance of education and holding governments accountable, as well as highlighting the important role of youth and students. Targeting the international gap in education, Dr. Joshi revealed that over 100 million children cannot read, and millions are taught in languages they do not understand. Dr. Joshi claimed that accountability is a means to improve education and achieve SGD 4, listing governments, schools, teachers, parents, students, international organizations, and private sectors as responsible in different ways. Dr. Joshi explained that governments can develop a robust accountability system by facilitating meaningful engagement, creating credible education plans and budgets, avoiding narrow performance measures, being transparent, and monitoring education systems. In regards to youth, Dr, Joshi explained that protests can be effective tools in progressing education development, alluding to recent demonstrations that have produced evident results.

Ms. Khalif shared her brief history of advocating for young people and women, alluding to her respective organizations and achievements. Ms. Khalif encouraged youth to use their voices, underlining the importance of amplifying issues and finding robust ways to address them.

Mr. Gannon claimed that youth do not have to wait to tap into their potential, stressing the importance of student organizations and social media being a powerful vehicle for change. Mr. Gannon shared a brief history on his organization and its present efforts to empower youth. Mr. Gannon claimed that momentum for universal education are in the hands of youth, and encouraged young people not be discouraged nor complacent. Mr. Gannon also noted the lack of exposure students have to education system processes, stressing the importance of being knowledgeable.

Meeting: Forum on —“Accountability in Education: Meeting Our Commitments”

Date/Location: Thursday, February 15, 2018; 10:00; United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY

Speakers:

Dr. Priya Joshi, Research Officer for Global Education Monitoring Report, Moderator

Ms. Munira Khalif, US Youth Observer for the UN, Co-FOunder of Lighting the Way, Global Activist for Women’s Rights

Mr. Chris Gannon, Vice-President of US Student Association

Written By: WIT Representative Timothy Stephens

 

Youth Integration for Sustainable Development

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In partnership with the Permanent Mission of Hungary to the UN and the International Federation for Family Development, the Permanent Mission of the State of Qatar to the UN held a conference to discuss the importance of youth integration of sustainable development. The youth today are far more dependent on parents and grandparents than past generations, leading to idleness that serves as a precedent to corruption among the young population.

Ms. Bogyay discussed the importance of how children are educated at home, highlighting the importance of the parents’ role. Education and employment are two notions that go hand in hand, and education on sustainability must begin at an early age. Emotional intelligence is also critical in how the youth build trust and communicate, especially in the digital age of the modern world.

Mr. Riederer reported a tremendous increase of youth unemployment in European countries. However, jobs are not enough as they must be both decent and sufficient to sustain the well-being of the population. He discussed the four different dimensions of vulnerability: economic, social, psychological, and physical; one dimension can lead to another. Vulnerability reproduction is also prevalent today, which constitutes its intergenerational transmission. Parental education is a critical component of this reproduction, as the level of education obtained by the parents mirrors the risk of youth poverty. Education is important for children, parents, employers, and society. Mr. Riederer concluded with three main points:

  1. Vulnerability is multidimensional.
  2. Vulnerability reproduction within families must be stopped.
  3. Education is key.
    1. Quality, school-to-work transition, decent jobs

Mr. Pomperada highlighted investment in youth and authentic development of future leaders. Young people must be taught that they have inherent value, as the youth are not just future leaders, but the leaders of today.

Meeting: International Federation for Family Development (IFFD) Briefing 2018: Youth Integration for Sustainable Development

Date/Location: Thursday, 2 February 2018, 1:15 pm – 2:30 pm; Conference Room 7, United Nations Headquarters, New York

Speakers:

Ms. Renata Kaczmarska, Social Affairs Officer, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Moderator

Mr. Mario Armella, World President of the International Federation for Family Development

H.E. Ambassador Alya bint Ahmed Al Thani, Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations

H.E. Ambassador Katalin Annamaria Bogyay, Permanent Representative of Hungary to the United Nations

Mr. Bernhard Riederer, Wiggenstein Centre, Vienna Institute of Demography

Mr. Obadias Ndaba, Founder and CEO of Jimbere Fund (United States)

Mr. Fabio Lup, Vice President of Associação do Abrigo Nossa Senhora Rainha da Paz (Brazil)

Ms. Katalyn Kardosné Gyurkó, President of Nagycsaládosok Országos Egyesülete (Hungary)

Ms. Noor Al Malki Al Jehani, Executive Director of Doha International Family Institute (Qatar)

Mr. Lord Leomer Pomperada, President of the World Youth Alliance

Written By: WIT Representative Kristin Kweon

United Nations Development Programme–Executive Board Meeting

UNPF

The United Nations Population Fund held a conference to reaffirm the mission of the organization and officially recognize Dr. Natalia Kanem as the new Executive Director of UNFPA. UNFPA is the leading reproductive health and rights agency of the UN for delivering a world where every pregnancy is unwanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. This meeting underlined the critical importance of instating universal access to sexual and reproductive healthcare.

Dr. Kanem aims to ensure that human and finance resources of the organization are optimally employed. A strong humanitarian presence must be maintained not only to colocate rapid response but to optimize common back office options.

The representative of Antigua and Barbuda highlighted the importance of UNFPA in responding to real time crisis in relation to the passage of recent hurricanes Irma and Maria. He also stated that the resources behind UNFPA should not be redirected from the program budget, but rather through cross-cutting and cross-saving exercises.

The representative of Cuba stressed the importance of maintaining attention and support for middle income countries, as they continue to face poverty eradication and commitment to not leave anyone behind. The representative of Norway asserted the protection and promotion of sexual and reproductive health as crucial for sustainable development. UNFPA must be a stronger humanitarian actor to support the women and men who do not know how to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies, and disease, as lead them towards a better life. Enhancing better sexuality education is the equivalent of delivering the SDG’s.

The representative of the United States honored the concept of families as building blocks of societies and will continue to work with agencies that share this commitment. However, the U.S. stands against any program of abortion and coercion, as domestic laws of coercive abortion do not protect the sanctity of life, the most important human right of all.

Universal access to sexual and reproductive healthcare will also promote the advancement of gender equality, empowerment of women, and focus on eradicating poverty.

Meeting: Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme / United Nations Population Fund / United Nations Office for Project Services

Date/Location: Thursday, 25 January 2018, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm; Economic and Social Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York

Speakers:

H.E. Mr. Jagdish D. Koonjul, President of the United Nations Population Fund

Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of the UNFPA

H.E. Mr. Chull-joo Park, Vice-President of the UNFPA, Deputy Permanent Representative of Republic of Korea to the United Nations

Mr. Tumasie Blair, Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations

H.E. Mrs. Anayansi Rodriguez Camejo, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Cuba to the United Nations

H.E. Mr. Ib Peterson, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Denmark to the United Nations

Mr. Tore Hattrem, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations

H.E. Mr. Yasuhisa Kawamura, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations

Representative of the United States

Written by: WIT Representative Kristin Kweon

Women and Girls in Science: Equality and Parity in Science for Peace and Development

Girls in Science

In commemoration of the third international day of Women and Girls in Science, organizations in the United Nations held a forum regarding equality and parity in science for peace and development.

The forum began with testimonies from girls who had faced gender-specific hardships. Many speakers alluded to historical female figures that encouraged them to persevere against suppression. Two men also spoke, sharing stories of interactions with females in school and work, complimenting them for their intellect and uniqueness.

Mr. Seth introduced the second half of the forum, claiming that more important than the awareness was the identification of specific solutions to the gender-based issues that women are facing. Mr. Seth also stated that science offers great potential for the completion of the SDGs, but will offer even more potential with the inclusion of women.

Ms. Luo alluded to her homeland, Zambia, and the factors that inhibit women from securing an education, including: child marriages, socialization, stereotyping and colonial curriculum. Ms. Luo called for less talk and more action, as well as bringing this movement on an international scale.

Mr. Le Feuvre presented a brief overview of research that WIPO conducted to highlight the gender status of women in STEM. The data demonstrated an increase of international women patent applications, while only 30% of international patents are shared with women. The data also compared shared patents with women between specific fields of technology, pinpointing pharmaceutics to be the highest and construction engineering to be the lowest.

Several other women spoke regarding gender disparity, including a female researcher at Mount Sinai who was robbed of her research by a male supervisor and struggled to retrieve it—an example of what female scientists endure. 

Meeting: Forum on —”Women and Girls in Science: Equality and Parity in Science for Peace and Development

Date/Location: Thursday, February 8, 2018; 10:00-13:00; ECOSOC Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY

Speakers: Mr. Nikhil Seth, Director of UNITAR; Nkandu Luo, Minister of Higher Education of Zambia; Bruno Le Freuvre, WIPO Statistical Analyst

Written By: WIT Representative Timothy Stephens