Youth Integration for Sustainable Development

Youth Sustainabiliy.jpg

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

Advertisements

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

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

 

Diversity and Lessons to be Learned for Human Understanding

Holocaust Survivors.jpg

In observance of the International Day of Commemoration, a time of recognition for the victims of the Holocaust, the DPI/NGO presented a briefing about tolerance in the midst of diversity. Ms. Diallo said she hopes this conversation will acknowledge all victims and remind people of the lives lost, as well as constant need to resist racism and violence. Ms. Mann discussed how the past has proven that racism is a learned behavior and can be counteracted. Ms. Kaidanow highlighted the importance of passing on Holocaust stories to preserve history, enabling the future generations to avoid similar mistakes. Ms. Kaidanow also claimed that education is the number one weapon against bigotry and ignorance. Ms. Sommer underlined that there is a rise in anti-Semitism–a sign that the fight against denial, apathy, and indifference is not over. Her approach is to use media to reach out with the educational programs, specifically through the social media slogan, #weremember.

Mr. Michaels revealed his organization’s efforts to bridge the gaps between Jewish and non-Jewish neighbors with the European Day of Jewish Culture. Ms. Mann remarked how the Nazis failed in their attempt to destroy Jewish culture and heritage. Then Mr. Sirois described the intricate pyramid of hate:

  • 1st layer: Acts of Bias, Crude Jokes
  • 2nd layer: Acts of Prejudice, Bullying and Exclusion
  • 3rd layer: Acts of Discrimination
  • 4th: Bias-motivated Violence
  • 5th: Genocide

Mr. Siois also mentioned that the pyramid will progress if unchecked and stressed the importance of curtailing the 1st and 2nd layers before progression. Mr. Siois ended the meeting with the rhetorical question: Who are we here today, and how will we be remembered tomorrow?

Meeting: DPI/NGO briefing entitled “Diversity and Lessons to be Learned for Human Understanding”

Date/Location: Thursday, January 25, 2018; 11:00-12:30; Conference Room 4, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY

Speakers: Ms.Hawa Diallo, Public Information Officer, NGO Relations Section, United Nations Department of Public Information; Ms.Kimberly Mann, Chief of Education Outreach, United Nations Department of Public Information; Ms.Sarah Kaidanow, NGO youth representative, Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center (HHREC); Ms.Evelyn Sommer, Chair, World Jewish Congress North America; Mr.David.J Michaels, Director of United Nations and Intercommunal Affairs, B’nai B’irth International; Mr.Jason Sirois, Director of No Place for Hate, Anti-Defamation League

Written By: WIT Representative Nicole Matsanov

 

Non-proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction & Confidence-building Measures

Proliferation of Weapons

Secretary General António Guterres began by stating that the current threat of nuclear proliferation has international tensions at an all-time high, the likes of which have not been seen since the Cold War. He stated that the threat must be resolved through political solutions emphasizing disarmament, as well as confidence-building measures.

The President of Kazakhstan began by citing the efforts of Kazakhstan to denounce nuclear action. He went on to propose the crafting of a Security Council resolution including sanctions & coercive measures for nations violating regulations. This concept of accountability was echoed by the President of Poland, Kuwait, Great Britain & others.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Russian Federation stated that while Russia supports the goal of a nuclear weapon-free world, it does not intend to join any proposed treaty to ban nuclear weapons, because the such a proposal lacks strategic stability & provokes disagreement in the international community.

Before the United States Ambassador, Nikki Haley, spoke, nearly all other delegates stood and exited the chamber. Ms. Haley stated that the biggest threats to non-proliferation are North Korea and Iran, citing examples of their misconduct.

Meeting:​ ​​Security Council meeting on Non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction & Confidence-building measures

Date/Location:​ ​​Thursday, ​ ​January 18;​ ​10:00; ​Security ​Council Chamber,​ ​United​ ​Nations​
​Headquarters,​ ​New​ ​York,​ ​NY

Countries Represented:

Kazakhstan

Poland

D.P.R. of Kuwait

Minister of Foreign Affairs for Russian Federation

United States

Written​ ​By:​ ​​WIT​ ​Representative​ ​Andrea Estrella

Launch of the Knowledge-Sharing Platform (KSP)

 

Launch of KSP

November 29th of this year marked the official launch of the Knowledge-Sharing Platform (KSP). The KSP is a website which was developed by the Republic of Korea, CTED and the ICT4Peace Foundation in an effort against counter-terrorism online. The website includes a collection of tools and resources to support efforts of startups and small technology companies to strengthen their response to terrorist exploitation on the Internet. Through the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT), major technological companies including Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube develop technological counter-terrorism solutions, promote research and share knowledge. These solutions will then be implemented in the KSP’s Techn Against Terrorism (TaT) initiative.

Michèle Coninsx, the Executive Director of the CTED announced how through partnerships with GIFCT, startup tech companies, civil society organizations and academia will create efficiency and strengthen counter-terrorist efforts. Coninsx further stated that while the complete removal of terrorist content is not achievable, the KSA will protect the right to privacy online and offline as well as promoting a comprehensive approach to the problem.

However, many of the speakers also mentioned how the threat of terrorism is evolving online. There is a possibility that ISIL will create their own social media platform, and to counter this, specialists need to further strengthen efforts.

Subsequently, there was a presentation from Weibo representative Gu Haiyan, where cybercrime and cyber security efforts in the US were compared with those from China. Haiyan commented on how the Internet was the new bedfield of terrorism, and how social media and technology were frequently used to recruit troops, organize and direct people. Haiyan suggested a stronger implementation of anti-terrorism law, and added prohibitions on internet accounts to combat online threats.

Meeting: Launch of the Knowledge-Sharing Platform (KSP)

Date/Location: Wednesday, November 29th, 2017; 10:00-13:00; Conference Room 1, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY

Speakers: Mr. Weixiong Chen, Deputy Executive Director of CTED, Mr. Cho Tae-yul, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations, Michéle Coninsx, Executive Director of CTED, Susan Molinari, Vice-President of Public Policy and Government Relations at Google, Mr. Roman Oyarzun Marchesi, Permanent Representative of Spain to the United Nations, Mr. Oliver Marc Zehnder, Deputy Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the United Nations, Mr. Daniel Stauffacher, President of ICT4Peace Foundation, Mr. Adam Hadley, Project Director of the ICT4Peace Foundation, Mr. Marc Porret, ICT Coordinator of CTED, Mr. Miguel Sánchez SV, Global Chief Security Officer of Telefonica, Ms. Gu Haiyan, General Legal Counsel of Weibo, Dr. Erin Marie Saltman, Policy Manager of Facebook, Dr. David Scharia, Director of CTED, Mr. Jeff Collins, Vice President of After School, Ms. Kate Hotten, EMEA Compliance Officer, Ms. Jessica Kallberg, Policy Manager at Etsy

Written By: WIT Representative June Hong

 

Promotion and Protection of Human Rights

 

The “Promotion and Protection of Human Rights” meeting focussed on a new mandate that addresses the importance of combating terrorism while at the same time protecting human rights and putting a special view on gender inclusivity.  F. Ni Aolain of Ireland, who was recently promoted to Special Rapporteur, was responsible for writing this mandate.

human rights

Council of Europe

The Special Rapporteur outlined four key points regarding the pressing issues of terrorism and human rights.  First, the normalization of atrocities will not help solve the issue of terrorism and will only exacerbate the problem.  Additionally, an excessive amount of laws is not always effective and can often create arbitrariness and inconsistencies.  Also, the advancement of a civil society is threatened by terrorism and the rights of people, especially marginal groups, are at risk.  Lastly, efficiency of counter terrorism involves taking gender into account, specifically how women are impacted by extremism and how first-hand accounts from victims of terrorism are essential for global discussions.

The Netherlands, Norway, Ireland, Belgium, and Mexico all similarly asked for elaboration on the role of civil society in preventing radicalization and terrorism.  Some countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Iraq, and Qatar all voiced their unique and localized perspective on terrorism and human rights.  Finally, various other countries viewed the pre-existing human rights measures of the United Nations as sufficient enough and saw the mandate as repetitive.

The Special Rapporteur responded by reiterating that the mandate will specifically address human rights protection and that civil societies have the power and responsibility to help lessen terrorism.  The Special Rapporteur also stated that including victims’ accounts, especially women’s perspectives, will provide a more effective forum to mitigate terrorism and promote human rights protections.

Meeting title: Promotion and Protection of Human Rights

Date/Location: Wednesday, October 18, 2017; 10:00-13:00; Conference Room 1, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY

Speakers: Madame F. Ni Aolain, Special Rapporteur

Written by: David Jansen

 

 

Addressing​ ​the​ ​Climate​ ​Change-Migration​ ​Nexus​ ​and​ ​its Implications​ ​for​ ​Peace​ ​and​ ​Security​ ​in​ ​Africa

In observance of Africa Week 2017, the African Union Permanent Observer Mission introduced the issue of climate change and its implications on migration, peace, and stability in Africa, seemingly in an effort to garner international support/funding.

africaweek2017_3

Credit: OSAA /Africa Week 2017 (  )

The Moderator Mba stated that despite Africa’s minimal contribution to the issue of climate change, the continent remains extremely vulnerable to the environmental effects it causes. He claimed that these effects, such as desertification, flooding, and other natural disasters, threaten food stability and lead to forced migration, violent conflicts, and an increased presence of extremism in African nations. For this reason, he urged that climate change and Africa’s instability be seen as linked issues.

Many speakers cited the desertification and subsequent rise in migration and extremism in the Lake Chad region as an example of this climate change-migration nexus. Mr. Jason Lamin, a representative of the private sector, suggested that Africa’s weak infrastructure exacerbates the issue, and that investment in Africa would greatly improve the situation. Ms. Vera Songwe’s remarks echoed those of Mr. Lamin, claiming that while Africa has the resources to be a sound investment for the world, political advocacy must be done to secure these investments.

Others, such as Ms. Carla Mucavi, favored a home-grown solution, suggesting an inclusive rural transformation that would create jobs, strengthen food security, and reduce rural poverty. In light of the focus on migration, Mr. Ashraf El Nour noted that migration has been historically positive for Africa, but that the forced nature of the migration caused by climate change is what leads to regional conflicts. All speakers seemed to agree on the urgency of this issue, and the responsibility of organizations such as the UN to come up with a sustainable solution.

Meeting:​ ​​High-level​ ​event​ ​on​ ​—​ ​​“Addressing​ ​the​ ​Climate​ ​Change-Migration​ ​Nexus​ ​and​ ​its Implications​ ​for​ ​Peace​ ​and​ ​Security​ ​in​ ​Africa”

Date/Location:​ ​​Thursday,​ ​October​ ​19,​ ​2017;​ ​10:00-13:00;​ ​Economic​ ​and​ ​Social​ ​Council Chamber,​ ​United​ ​Nations​ ​Headquarters,​ ​New​ ​York,​ ​NY

Speakers:

  • H.E.​ ​Mr.​ ​Anatolio​ ​Ndong​ ​Mba,​ ​Moderator,​ ​Permanent​ ​Representative​ ​of​ ​Equatorial​ ​Guinea​ ​to the​ ​United​ ​States;
  • H.E.​ ​Ms.​ ​Liberata​ ​Mulamula,​ ​Visiting​ ​Scholar​ ​and​ ​Acting​ ​Director​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Institute​ ​for​ ​African Studies​ ​at​ ​the​ ​George​ ​Washington​ ​University
  • H.E.​ ​Prof.​ ​Victor​ ​Harison,​ ​Commissioner​ ​for​ ​Economic​ ​Affairs,​ ​African​ ​Union​ ​Commission H.E.​ ​Prof.​ ​Fatma​ ​Zohra​ ​Karadja,​ ​Member,​ ​African​ ​Peer​ ​Review​ ​Panel​ ​of​ ​Eminent​ ​Persons
  • Mr.​ ​Achim​ ​Steiner,​ ​Administrator,​ ​United​ ​Nations​ ​Development​ ​Programme
  • Mr.​ ​Ashraf​ ​El​ ​Nour,​ ​New​ ​York​ ​Liaison​ ​Office​ ​Director,​ ​Food​ ​and​ ​Agriculture​ ​Organization​ ​for Migration
  • Ms.​ ​Carla​ ​Mucavi,​ ​New​ ​York​ ​Liaison​ ​Office​ ​Director,​ ​Food​ ​and​ ​Agriculture​ ​Organization​ ​of​ ​the United​ ​Nations
  • Mr.​ ​Jason​ ​Lamin,​ ​Founder​ ​and​ ​Chief​ ​Executive​ ​Officer,​ ​Lenox​ ​Park​ ​Solutions
  • Mr.​ ​Jamil​ ​Ahmad,​ ​New​ ​York​ ​Liaison​ ​Office​ ​Deputy​ ​Director,​ ​United​ ​Nations​ ​Environment Programme
  • Ms.​ ​Vera​ ​Songwe,​ ​Executive​ ​Secretary,​ ​United​ ​Nations​ ​Economic​ ​Commission​ ​for​ ​Africa

Written​ ​By:​ ​​WIT​ ​Representative​ ​Andrea Estrella

Towards a Pollution Free Planet

Towards Pollution free planet

UN Environment Assembly

In response to the growing environmental pollution dilemma, the UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) presented the diverse effects of pollution on our ecosystem, as well as upcoming environmental literacy events to build momentum for tackling this global challenge.

Mr. Harris began the open-ended meeting by introducing a variety of global pollutant factors that harm human health. These include: poor air quality, exposure to lead, exposure to asbestos, polluted water and inadequate sanitation, and exposure to pesticides. Mr. Harris also revealed how pollution harms ecosystems, listing contaminated crops, the disruption of pollinating insects, marine pollution and the 500 “dead zone” regions as examples.

In addition, Mr. Harris referenced to multiple upcoming open-ended sessions hosted by the UNEP regarding its pollution-free goal, including “Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum”, “Science, Policy and Business Forum”, and “Sustainable Innovation Expo”.

Mr. Harris explained that throughout these various sessions, the UNEP will identify and promote opportunities for green investments, explain connection between science and environmental solutions and facilitate partnerships with investors.

A question was asked regarding the number of current prime ministers registered to participate in the listed upcoming sessions.  Mr. Harris revealed that 69 ministers have currently registered, and that he anticipates many more by November.  A suggestion was made to include an African storyteller in the upcoming sessions.  I questioned the initiatives taken to include youth in these open-ended sessions and educate them regarding the current environmental issues.  Mr. Harris alluded to the recent social media initiatives taken by his organization.

Meeting: Open-Ended Meeting on — “Towards a Pollution Free Planet”

Date/Location: Thursday, November 16, 2017; 10:00-11:30; Conference Room #12, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY

Speakers: Mr. Elliott C. Harris, Moderator, UN Assistant Secretary-General Director

Written By: WIT Representative Timothy Stephens