Commemorating the World Summit for Social Development

WSSD5v3The topic of today’s interactive discussion was introduced by Mr. Jan Eliasson who acknowledged the many lives that have been improved through the UN’s development policies. However, he notes that improvement is still immensely lacking among our youth, women and girls. With over 73 million young people struggling to find and secure jobs, public frustration can easily lead to resentment against government. With this, Eliasson stresses how social integration has become ever more relevant; new development goals must be “people centered” and no one must be left behind. His Excellency Eduardo Frei, former President of Chile, added by sending an open invitation to form a new policy that focused on the people and the ones who suffer the most inequality, especially economic inequality from the skewed distribution of incomes. He then turned the discussion over to the panelists as he strongly stated that “fight against poverty requires ethical nourishment” and that “we cannot have millions of people condemned to poverty for life.”

Following the opening remarks, David Donoghue led the discussion by touching upon the short comings of the Millennium Developmental Goals as well as the flawed method of measuring progress. Today, 1 in 5 people continue to live in extreme poverty while the youth are three times more likely to be unemployed. For Donoghue, a successful developmental policy is one that has capacity to provide universal access to basic service.

Regarding the post-2015 agenda, Juan Somavia brought up two main concerns; the demand of member states and the public for their individual policy support and the diminishing trust and confidence in governmental institutions including the United Nations. Maria Velez, representative of Colombia to the UN, added by addressing another key issue concerning the need for a “modified roadmap” in which efforts must go into better integrating agencies, measuring progress, and outlining a mechanism for collective accountability. The last speaker, Roberto Bissio, left the discussion off with the sentiment that more can certainly be done. In the post-2015 agenda, he encourages a more ambitious and proactive policy.

MeetingCommemoration of the twentieth anniversary of the World Summit for Social Development: Impact of the World Social Summit on the sustainable development goals and the post-2015 development agenda
Date & Location: 8 June 2015, 10:30-13:00, Economic and Social Council Chamber, UN Headquarters, New York
Speakers: Mr. Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations; His Excellency Eduardo Frei, former President of Chile; His Excellency David Donoghue, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations; His Excellency Juan Somavía, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Interregional Policy Cooperation and former Director-General of the International Labour Organization; Her Excellency María Emma Mejía Vélez, Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations and Vice -President of the Council; Mr. Roberto Bissio, Coordinator of the International Secretariat of Social Watch
Written By WIT Representative: Melissa Chan
Edited By WIT Representative: Parth Shingala

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