United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Launch of World Drug Report

Today’s morning gathering, organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), was convened to celebrate the launch of the annual World Drug Report. Following a comprehensive review of the document, delegates were given the opportunity to voice their contributions regarding its content.

At the outset, Ms. Miwa Kato, the UNODC Director of Operations, introduced key findings of the World Drug Report. Expounding how drugs are the biggest source of funding for organized crime, Ms. Kato affirmed that their use and proliferation undermines sustainability of societal development. Ms. Ms. Chloé Carpentier of the Statistics and Surveys Section of the Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs at UNODC was subsequently invited to appraise various aspects of the drug industry, including issues such as addiction treatment, incarceration, trafficking, and interception. Information regarding specific drugs, including cannabis, opioids, and psychoactive substances were further touched on.

With the floor open to comments from participants, delegates offered valuable input into policy-based solution development. Concerned with the conditions of the status quo, representatives from Mexico and Rwanda proposed a transition away from current security-heavy focus. Input from Colombia and Afghanistan suggested that, in addition to curbing drug supply, the roots of demand must be directly targeted. Furthermore, the expansion of communication networks through technology, practices of money laundering, and arrival of recent experimental substance were identified as pressing challenges to be addressed in the coming years.

Meeting: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Launch of World Drug Report

Date/Location:Wednesday, 26 June, 2019; 10:00-13:00; Conference Room 1, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY

Speakers:

Ms. Simone Monasebian, Director, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) New York Office;

Ms. Miwa Kato, Director for Operations, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC);

Ms. Chloé Carpentier, Chief, Statistics and Surveys Section of Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC);

Interventions from Representatives

Written by: WIT Representative, Izabela Zawartka

 

Globalization and Interdependence

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Globalization offers both opportunities and challenges to the world. The world has been progressing, however, some nations are extremely more developed than others proving that there is an inequality between countries. No concrete action in combating inequality between countries.  In order to properly move forward, developed nations must help developing nations advance in areas they lack in.

One trend that is always innovating is technology. New technologies have lead us to the fourth industrial revolution. The rapid pace of science and technology has fundamentally changed economies and societies. There has been economic growth as we are recovering from global economic crises. Developing nations have growing GDPs, however, they are far from reaching the goal of eliminating inequality by 2030. Therefore, while keeping progress within ethical boundaries, we must create and share opportunities with them.  Technology transfer is vital to the development of countries. In terms of the economy, international trade is also important for development. There needs to be both economic growth and an eradication of poverty. With respect to national policies, the trade should also be non-discriminatory.

We must also tackle climate change on a global scale. Emissions reduction are not meeting what is needed and environmental protection must be a priority. Without doing so, industries are promoting future natural disasters. Speakers also brought up the topic of global migration and refugee crisis. Migration is a population change, and governments need to be able to provide better transit and destination for these large flows of international migrants. Contrary to what some people believe, migrants provide economic and social development in host countries. They add fresh skills to the economy, making migration an enabler of development. However, they need full respect for human rights, regardless of their migration state. Effective social communications in host countries are needed to combat issues like xenophobia. Migrant children are also a vulnerable population, and measures must be taken to provide for their health and education.

Globalization will help the world, but as mentioned, it is far from being equal, and therefore, need more multilateral cooperation to prepare for the future.  There needs to be more of an equitable spread of globalization as we attempt to make progress toward the goal of sustainable development.

Meeting:  Economic and Financial Committee: Globalization and interdependence – Item 22

Location/time/date:Conference Room 2, UN HQ-NYC; 10:00 PM – 12:45 PM, October 19, 2018

SpeakersDirector of the International Organization for Migration (IOM),   Economic Analysis and Policy Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Written by: WIT Representative Yasmeen Razack

Gender-responsive Disarmament

 

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All over the world, people have access to weapons. However, in some areas, it is much easier to gain access to a weapon than others. The increase of these weapons leads to an unnecessary increase in violence. This puts those who are in these communities at a disadvantage because they are much more vulnerable to victimization. Disarmament refers to reducing military efforts as well as weapons. There is actually a UN Office for Disarmament Affairs.

It is important to note that this armed violence can be in both con conflict and non-conflict areas. One speaker mentioned how young boys in South Sudan were reported to have guns. In fact, thousands of children have been recruited and armed for fighting a conflict in areas like South Sudan and Somalia. In the meeting, it was noted that the non-conflict areas also need great attention because of the severe and large quantity of injuries that are occurring. Guns can be easily accessed in both legal and illegal contexts by citizens and there has been an increased spread of small arms.   

The main point of this meeting was discussing how gender, just like in other issues, plays a vital role in this violence. While men are reported to be the majority of small arms users, women are noted to be at a disadvantage- economically, socially and psychologically.  A systematic approach, which would require the help of many members states, would be needed to combat this widespread issue. Gender plays a role in the issue, so therefore, it is crucial in implementing the solution. Although women are the primary victims, they should be empowered leaders in fixing the problem. It was brought up that women are underrepresented at government talks and negotiations. It was noted that usually, only 1 in 4 delegates are women and that this number must increase if we hope to make progress.

Meeting: International Gender Champions Disarmament Impact Group Securing our common future: Promoting gender-responsive disarmament and security

Location/time/date:Conference Room 4, UN HQ-NYC; 1:15 PM – 2:30 PM, October 15, 2018

Speakers:

  • H.E. Michael Gaffey, Ambassador of Ireland to the United Nations in Geneva
  • Izumi Nakamitsu, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs
  • Päivi Kannisto, Chief of Peace and Security at UN Women
  • H.E. Neville Gertze, Permanent Representative of Namibia to the United Nations in New York
  • H.E. Pennelope Beckles, Permanent Representative of Trinidad & Tobago to the United Nations in New York
  • Victoria “Mavic” Cabrera Balleza, founder/CEO Global Network of Women Peacebuilders.
  • Renata Dwan, Director of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, UNIDIR
  • H.E. Michael Gaffey, Ambassador of Ireland to the United Nations in Geneva

Written by: WIT Representative Yasmeen Razack

SDG Two: “Zero Hunger” is Currently Unattainable by 2030

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Goal Two of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals is to achieve “Zero Hunger,” or further explained as  “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.” According to the World Food Programme, 821 million people (1 in 9 persons) go to sleep without food each night. An even greater statistic is that 1 in 3 people suffer from some form of malnutrition. In a global perspective, these issues are not necessarily from a shortage of food, but rather, a lack of access to it. Some may not be able to afford it, while others may be in areas with a supply that doesn’t support their whole population. There are even “hunger seasons” which occur in agricultural areas and communities in some countries. This is when food runs out between planting and harvesting. This is especially detrimental to people living in rural areas and farmers, who only rely on what is grown.

Most speakers were on the same page when speaking on this issue, in which, the world is not on track to achieve Goal 2 by 2030 unless changes and improvements begin now. The main topics and issues that were continuously brought up were agriculture, poverty, and climate change.  

Agriculture was brought up by most speakers who mentioned how it plays a crucial role, and therefore, must be prioritized and expanded. The representative of Mali talked about how the agriculture sector is the backbone of their country but is facing challenges like ensuring food to their growing population, especially in the context of climate change. Climate change is a huge issue which affects many other matters aside from food insecurity. Climate change deals with natural disasters, droughts, and floods which affect food production and distribution. Many also brought up the link between poverty and hunger/malnutrition. Poverty and hunger are in a cyclical pattern. Poverty is a driver of hunger, especially how most impoverished people in the world live in rural areas and therefore rely on agriculture to support them.

Meeting: Committee on Agriculture development, food security and nutrition; 73rd Session
Location/time/date: Conference Room 2, UN HQ-NYC; 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM,
October 12, 2018
Speakers:
● The Chair (Guatemala) Representatives of Egypt (on behalf of the Group of 77 and
China), Myanmar (on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations), Malawi (on
behalf of the Least Developed Countries), Guyana (on behalf of the Caribbean
Community), Maldives (on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States), Morocco (on
behalf of the African States), El Salvador (on behalf of the Community of Latin
American and Caribbean States), India, the Russian Federation, Costa Rica, the Sudan,
Algeria, Afghanistan, Nicaragua Jamaica, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Ukraine, Cambodia,
China, the United Arab Emirates, Tonga, Mozambique, Morocco, Brazil, Ethiopia,
Zambia, the Philippines, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Mali,
Finland, Indonesia, Nepal, Burkina Faso, and Saudi Arabia, as well as by the observer for
the Holy See.
● The representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Written by: WIT Representative Yasmeen Razack

 

 

 

International Narcotics Control Board Side Event: Drug Control Treaty Compliance, Human Rights and the SDGs

In preparation for this week’s ECOSOC Coordination and Management Meeting, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) launched the event to outline the progress of the drug control treaty compliance. Mr. Viroj Sumvai quoted the Special Session of the General Assembly (UNGASS) 2016 on world drug problem, reaffirming the control conventions as the cornerstone of the international drug control problem. He further indicated that INCB’s drug conventions now enjoy nearly universal adherence. However, he emphasised the need for achieving consensus by all member states to bring complete realisation of SDG#3.

Apart from drug control treaty compliance, the event also discussed the relationship between drug control and protection of human rights. In view of escalating humanitarian crises around the world, Mr. Viroj Sumvai urged the need for the international community to provide essential medicines, which include all psychotropic medication. He justified that successful and sustainable drug control action depended on consistencies with international human right standards.

Last but not least, the event glimpsed how drug control policies and programmes could achieve SDGs. Ms. Marie Chatardová echoed the findings of High Level Political Forum 2018 (HLPF 2018) that the progress of SDG#3 has been closely measured across countries. Measurement indicators under SDG#3 include drug access, drug treatment and drug rehabilitation. In addition to SDG#3, H.E. Alicia Buenrostro Massieu stated that more than half of the SDGs are achieved in line with drug control. For example, drug control could promote resilient cities from drug trafficking and thus achieve SDG#11. Monitoring illicit drug trafficking across borders could foster global partnership for sustainable development and thus achieve SDG#17.

Meeting:
International Narcotics Control Board Side Event: Drug Control Treaty Compliance, Human Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Date/Location:

Monday 2nd July 2018; 13:15-14:30; Conference Room 7, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY

Speaker(s):
Ms. Marie Chatardová, President, Economic and Social Council
Mr. Viroj Sumyai, President, International Narcotics Control Board
Ms. Marie Chatardová, Permanent Representative of Czech Republic to the United Nations
Mr. Stefano Berterame, Chief of the INCB Secretariat’s Narcotic Control and Estimates Section
H.E. Alicia Buenrostro Massieu, Chairperson, Bureau of The Commission on Narcotic

Drugs, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Written by: WIT Representative LAU Chun Ki

 

Review of SDGs implementation: SDG 7 – Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

Organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the meeting took place in the form of an interactive workshop on capacity building of realizing SDG 7, “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”. Representatives from the IAEA shared their experiences and product when it comes to energy planning and capacity building across sectors.

Mrs Escobar first illustrated the key elements of formulating capacity building frameworks, which mainly depend on country development priorities since the focus of national policies between developing and developed countries could vary to a large extent. Universal access to energy services and renewable energy technologies are considered critical when it comes to building capacity of energy planning. At the same time, development of human resources along value chains and institutional capacities are imperative to an effective framework.

The meeting then turned to discuss details of energy planning process to achieve SDG 7. Mr Shrosphire explained how to establish a clear yet adaptable energy policy by using systemic energy planning process with clear stakeholder roles. It is vital to acknowledge technological advancements, such as electric cars and smart appliances, to facilitate long-term energy planning. For countries who consider nuclear power as an alternative energy source, a hundred-year plan is advised to be mapped in light of its complexity and plausible impact. Mrs Escobar added that principal objectives of energy planning should include information, decision-making as well as implementation. Effective communication is also needed among relevant parties. Data analysis, in addition, is crucial in energy planning to show possible consequences of decisions making and assisting policymakers to make well-informed decisions.

Meeting: High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development  – Review of SDGs implementation: SDG 7 – Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

Date/Location: Conference Room 5, UNHQ NYC; 15:00-18:00; July 10th 2018

Speakers: Mr. David Shrosphire (Section Head of Planning and Economic Studies Section, Division of Planning, Information and Knowledge Management, Department of Nuclear Energy, International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA]), Mrs Ilse Berdellans Escobar (Energy Systems Analyst, Planning and Economic Studies Section, Division of Planning, Information and Knowledge Management, Department of Nuclear Energy, IAEA)

Written By: WIT representative, Rosalind Cheung

Effective tools employed by Major Groups and other Stakeholders in the 2030 Agenda implementation, follow-up and review

The meeting focused on discussing and reviewing various tools employed by organisations to implement the 2030 agenda. An array of strategies was exemplified by panellists when it comes to awareness-raising and capacity building across sectors in society.

Ms Luthra, representative of the Women’s Health and Education Center, introduced an online platform, named WHEC Global Health Line. It is an E-Platform aiming to serve health providers across the globe by providing health resources, especially for women. Mr Luthra emphasized the importance of securing inclusive societies and ensuring health well-being of individuals. She highlighted a number of features of the platform, including subject-specific gateway, internet-search-strategy and impact factor analysis.

Ms Weber, leading a few organizations from the State of Parana in Brazil, shared experiences from different aspects to implement SDG at a local level. The Institute of Social and Economic Development, for example, evaluates public policies of the state and offers feedbacks in terms of SDG alignment. However, it is challenging to obtain comprehensive datasets due to unavailability of disaggregated data by location. The Bureau of Information technology of the State of Parana showed a mobile application on SDG as a tool to make the concept of 2030 agenda available to all localities. The Parana State Urban Development mentioned the need of strengthening partnerships while the department has been financing cities through providing loans on investments of social infrastructures.

Dr. Harrington, representing CISDL, presented innovations particularly on SDG 6 and SDG 15. On achieving clean water and sanitation for all people, trans-boundary environmental impact assessments were introduced by the “Espoo Convention”. Regarding SDG 15, “Life on Land”, it is observed that there is an increase of state effort to restrict or ban poaching and related products, especially in United Kingdom and China where new laws were enacted.

Meeting: High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2018 – Effective tools employed by Major Groups and other Stakeholders in the 2030 Agenda implementation, follow-up and review

Date/Location: Conference Room 5, UNHQ NYC; 10:00-13:00; July 10th 2018

Speakers: Ms. Rosemary Olive Mbone (Abibimman Foundation), Ms. Rita Luthra (Women’s Health and Education Center), Ms. Deisi Noeli Weber (World Family Organization and UNAPMIF), Mr. William E. Kelly (World Federation of Engineering Organizations), Dr. Alexandra Harrington (Centre for International Sustainable Development Law [CISDL))

Written By: WIT representative, Rosalind Cheung

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

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

Vulnerability and the Future of Families with Children in Europe

Family.jpgIn recognition of the 56th Commission for Social Development, the International Federation for Family Development and UNDESA/Division for Social Policy & Development (DSPD) organized a side event on the vulnerability of large families in Europe. Mr. Armella mentioned that there was a need for research on this topic so the European Union financed this research. The research had a multidisciplinary approach with the goal of enhancing the civil societies connection to policy making through data. Mr. Socias mentioned how the focus of the study was Europe but the information is relevant all over the world. He said that experiments are necessary for progress and the only way to take advantage of them is finding outcomes, analyzing them, and then acting accordingly. He said that a less supportive and weaker family leads to a cycle of less freedom.

Mr.Márki said his research was focused on understanding the motivations, living conditions, and general features of larger European families to see what policies meet their needs. He said that France and Italy had older parents therefore larger families. He compared countries with long and paid maternity leave like Hungary to Portugal where 70% of mothers have a full time job. Mr.Riederer talked about his research and the types of vulnerability including economic, psychological, and social. He stressed how important it is to provide help not only temporarily but to improve the situation in a sustainable manner. He concluded by talking about how family vulnerability is multidimensional and that policy could drastically improve the situation.  

Meeting: Side Event entitled “Vulnerability and the Future of Families with Children in Europe”

Date/Location: Thursday, February 1, 2017; 10:00- 11:30; Conference Room D, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY

Speakers: Mr.Mario Armella, World President, International Federation for Family Development (IFFD); Mr. Ignacio Socias, Director of International Relations, International Federation for Family Development (IFFD), Partner, Families And Societies Consortium; Mr.László Márki, President,  European Large Families Confederation (ELFAC), Partner, Families And Societies Consortium; Mr. Bernhard Riederer, Wittgenstein Centre, Vienna Institute of Demography, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Co-leader, Families And Societies Work Package 10

Written By: WIT Representative Nicole Matsanov