Open Call for NGOs to apply for Consultative Status with the United Nations for 2018

UN ECOSOC

UN ECOSOC

As an NGO in Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), World Information Transfer Inc. would like to inform the public about the open call for NGOs to apply for Consultative Status for 2018 with the United Nations.

NGOs interested in applying for ECOSOC consultative status should submit their application and required documents on or before the deadline of 1 June 2017. The following link provides background information, the benefits of consultative status and instructions for how to apply:

http://csonet.org/index.php?page=view&nr=337&type=230&menu=14

HLPF Informals

www.un.orgThe session was organized by the co-facilitators to get comments from member states and permanent observers of the United Nations, on the Ministerial Declaration for the 2016 High-level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development. Ambassador Gustavo, in his opening remarks, stated that this is the first to follow-up and implement the 2030Sustainable Development Agenda.

Ambassador Gustavo explained that the Ministerial Declaration, which was sent in a letter from the Co-facilitators to all permanent representatives and permanent observers on 13 June 2016 contain potential elements of the draft Ministerial Declaration.

Ambassador Gustavo further highlighted the importance of the “Global Sustainability Development Report” which was included in the Ministerial Declaration, stating that the scope of the report is one important component of the follow-up and review process for the 20130 Agenda on Sustainable Development and will inform the HLPF to make policy decisions to reduce poverty.

After the brief introductory statement, Ambassador Gustavo opened the floor to all permanent representatives and member states to comment on the HLPF Ministerial Declaration.

After comments from member states, Ambassador Gustavo opened the floor for other organizations or permanent observers to the United Nations to comment on the HLPF Ministerial Declaration.

The major call from the different organizations was the need for global partnerships at all levels to achieve the global sustainable development agenda.

Ambassador Gustavo ended the session by thanking all for the interventions and participation despite the short notice to prepare for this session. He handed over the floor to his Co-facilitator, Ambassador Gillian to give her final comments.

In her final words, Ambassador Gillian thanked everyone for their constructive work and that she looks forward to working with all on the HLPF.

Meeting: Informal consultations on the draft ministerial declaration of the high-level political forum on sustainable development for 2016, convened under the auspices of the Council, and the high-level segment of the 2016 session of the Council, convened by the co-facilitators (Australia and Peru).

Date/Time/Location: 16 June 2016/15:40 to 18:00/ Economic and Social Council Chamber

Speakers: Co-facilitators from Peru (Ambassador Gustavo) and Australia (Ambassador Gillian Bird), delegates member states, stakeholders and NGO representatives.

Reported by:   Fred Yonghabi

Technology and the Sustainable Development Goals

Todays morning meeting revolved around realizing the potential science, technology and innovation has to help us achieve our SDGs. Mr. Kamen began by emphasizing the importance of creating scientists and engineers from our youth equally throughout the world. He showed two videos of his technology program, FIRST, a foundation that makes science just as enjoyable and entertaining to our youth as sports. He advised member countries to figure out a way to include their own FIRST programs in their respective states. Professor Co from Northwestern University continued the general assembly by promoting member states to work towards a future that can take advantage of our recourses and youth, such that one-day gasoline can be generated when needed and done so through renewable energy that will not contribute to climate change. He explained that partnerships of nations and a classification system of modern knowledge can make government funded research more accessible and help align target research with SDGs.

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Both Ambassador Joon and Secretary General Ki-Moon gave statements regarding the power of science and innovation. Mr. Ki-Moon stated that tech and innovation must not be limited to SDG17 or confined to the use of new technologies and software, rather innovation is a mindset and attitude we must utilize. He also noted that the Multi-Stakeholder forum will take place each year until 2030 to allow all sectors of society to work together and look outwards to include greater cooperation through parliaments. Mr. Nakicenovic represented the Group of 10 and spoke about their belief in the importance the forum holds in terms of STI and how central it is to human development and is the primary mechanism for achieving SDG. His plan is to increase the sustainable development plan of agenda 2030 and create a 2050 plan.

Meeting: Multi-stakeholder forum on science, technology and innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals

Date/Time/Location: Monday, June 6, 2016; 10:45-13:00; Conference Room 1

Speakers:  Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of United Nations; Ambassador Oh Joon, President of ECOSOC; Mr. Dean Kamen, American entrepreneur and founder of FIRST; Professor Dick T. Co, Research Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Northwestern University; Komal Ahmad, Founder and CEO of COPIA; Mr. Nebojsa Nakicenovic, Deputy Director General/ Deputy CEO of the International Institute for Applied System.

Written by: WIT representative Amirali Agha-Khan

Edited by: WIT Administrator Modou Cham

Photo: www.ssr.titech.ac.j

International Year of the Family

arton3606The meeting began by Ms. Yang’s introduction of the Report of the Secretary-General on the Implementation of the objectives of the International Year of the Family and its follow-up processes. She explained the strong correlation between family policies and sustainable development, with an emphasis on the way in which poverty reduction can be facilitated as a result of formulating sustainable family policies.

In enlisting members’ support of the resolution concluded in the report outlining the outcome of the 54th Session of the Commission, Mr. Jinga introduced the deliberations result and thus the resolutions that contain states’ action on the recommendations presented. He also stressed that the political guidance provided by the Commission is crucial to eliminate poverty at 2030 by leaving no one behind. Further, he expressed his concern that in the midst of globalization, technological advancement and social development – drivers of inequalities that are continuingly growing, it is important for relevant stakeholders (civil society, academia, nation states and private sector) to clearly identify different inequalities and their drivers by including vulnerable and marginalized group in policy formulation, therefore translating commitment into result by 2030 under the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

To add-on the discussion on alleviating gender inequalities, the Representative of Mexico cited the amendment of it’s own constitution by avoiding discriminatory languages in classifying people with different gender and sexual orientation, therefore creating an equal society – a successful move that could be taken reference of.

The Commission concluded the meeting by approving three draft resolutions as outlined by the said report for the adoption by ECOSOC with one on the Commission’s future organization and working methodology, another on social dimensions of the new partnership for Africa’s development, followed by the last one on strengthening social development in the contemporary world. Whilst the first and the last resolutions were endorsed unanimously by consensus, a rare vote was required by member states on the second one, with a vote of 26 in favour, 16 against, with no abstentions. A point observed by the writer is that those in favour are predominantly developing countries whilst naysayers are mostly developed ones like Japan.

The meeting was then adjourned, and would be resumed on 3th June, 2016 at 10:00 with follow-ups that include but not limited to questions related to international cooperation on economic and environmental issues.

Meeting: The 28th Meeting of Commission for Social Development of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on Social and human rights questions: Social development, Session 2016

Date/Time/Location: Thursday, 2 June, 2016; 15:30 – 18:00; Economic and Social Council Chamber

Speakers: His Excellency Mr. Ion Jinga, Permanent Representative of Romania to the United Nations; Former Chair of the Commission for Social Development of the Economic and Social Council, Ms. Wenyan Yang, Chief of Social Perspective on Development Branch, United Nations Division for Social Policy and Development, President of the Meeting, Representative of Mexico

Written by:  WIT Representative, Raphael LEUNG

Edited by: WIT Administrator, Modou Cham

 

Partnering for Impact to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

#17: Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

The meeting consisted of a panel discussion on the importance of partnerships in relation to the goal of achieving the SDGs. The panel discussion opened with Mr. Ibrahim Mayaki, and his organization NEPAD is the lead organization in Africa to implement programs across sectors. He explained that the organization is looking at the lens through wealth creation rather than poverty alleviation.  He stated that the emerging trends on which we can reflect are significant improvements in public finance management, prioritizing domestic resource mobilization, and engagement with the private sector. He concluded with the remark that a high participation of the civil society and private sector has a director effect on partnerships, and that the UN development system has to play a leading role to ensure partnerships are genuine and balanced.

The second speaker in the panel was Mr. Sayed Aga, and he said that partnership is an unquestionable and important part of the 2030 Agenda, as the SDGs require massive resources. He stated that the Islamic Development Bank is blending grand resources with banks, and that loan power will be the way forward to address challenges that the SDGs have identified. He also stated that significant investment in the youth is necessary to achieve sustainability. The future workforce will not look for employment alone, but also entrepreneurial opportunities.

Another notable speaker was Ms. Lise Kingo, who announced that over 8,000 companies participate in UN Global Compact, and that working with businesses can provide input into achieving the partnership’s goals. For example, she stated that the CEOs at last month’s meeting suggested that to scale partnerships, the UN should assume greater risks and speak the language of business. After the panelists spoke, the floor was open for delegates to comment and ask questions.

Meeting: Operational activities of the United Nations for international development cooperation: Follow-up to policy recommendations of the General Assembly and the Council. Panel discussion on “Partnership approaches: How to ensure accountability, coherence and evaluation of impact?”

Date/Location: Wednesday February 24, 2016, 10:00 – 13:00; Trusteeship Council Chamber

Speakers: Moderator Mr. Amir Dossal, Founder and Chairman, Global Partnerships Forum Panellists; Mr. Ibrahim Mayaki, Chief Executive Officer, New Partnership for Africa’s Development, African Union; Mr. Sayed Aqa, Vice-President for Cooperation and Capacity Development, Islamic Development Bank; Ms. Lise Kingo, Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact; Mr. Thomas Gass, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and InterAgency Affairs, Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Written By: WIT Representative Kangho (Paul) Jung

Edited By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick

Photo Credit: United Nations

Gender Equality and Sustainable Development

The meeting opened with Ms. Puri giving an overarching statement on how crucial the empowerment of women is towards overall human and sustainable development, and how there is significant space for more forward movement.

The first panel focused on institutional arrangements for gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Mr. Patriota questioned how countries are editing policies to ensure effective equality. Mr. Jieyi noted the importance of women on the international community, and commented on crucial aspects of equality implementation. Ms. Bird spoke about the importance of civil society and businesses.

Mr. Mazeiks pointed out the Beijing platform for equality, and said it continues to be very relevant.  Mr. Donoghue continued by saying that in reference to Agenda implementation, it is crucial to keep gender perspective systematically mainstreamed into initiatives. Mr. Grant acknowledged the issues surrounding indigenous women and girls in Canada.

The second panel of this conference focused on efforts to finance gender equality and women’s empowerment in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Ms. Khan began the discussion by pointing out that insufficient prioritization of gender equality has lead to severe lack of financing. She then emphasized the need to place steps at the national level to monitor and track gender equality.

Mr. Lauber continued this sentiment by stating that empowering women is not only morally right, but also economically smart. This means implementing anti-discrimination laws and closing the gender wage gap. Ms. Thani agreed and pushed for a gender-inclusive approach to sustainable development.

Later, the panel addressed the negative impact of income inequality and its correlation to gender inequality. Ms. Carpentier called for gender-aware trade while Ms. Adams urged for better public financing, especially within the UN. Finally, Ms. Lizarde concluded this panel with her statement on translating recent gender equality commitments into concrete steps.

Meeting: Implementing the 2030 Agenda to Accelerate Realization of Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls

Date/Location: Thursday, January 21, 2016; UN Headquarters; Conference Room 2

Speakers:

Panel 1: Ms. Lakshmi Puri, Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director, UN-Women; Topic Introduction Ms. Christine Brautigam, Director, Intergovernmental Support Division, UN-Women; Moderator H.E. Mr. Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United Nations; H.E. Mr. Liu Jieyi, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations; H.E. Ms. Gillian Bird, Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations; H.E. Mr. Janis Mazeiks, Permanent Representative of Latvia to the United Nations; H.E. Mr. David Donoghue, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations; H.E. Mr. Michael Grant, Charge d’Affaires and Deputy Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations; H.E. Mr. Rodolfo Reyes Rodriguez, Permanent Representative of Cuba to the United Nations; Ms. Anita Nayar, Director of Regions Refocus

Panel 2: Ms. Zohra Khan, Policy Advisor, Governance and National Planning, UN-Women; H.E. Mr. Vladimir Drobnjak, Permanent Representative of Croatia to the United Nations; H.E. Mr. Jurg Lauber, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the United States; H.E. Ms. Alya Ahmed Saif Al-Thani, Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United States; H.E. Mr. Geir O. Pedersen, Permanent Representative of Norway to the United States; Ms. Chantal Line Carpentier, Chief, UNCTAD New York Office; Ms. Barbara Adams. Chair and Senior Policy Advisor to the Global Policy Forum; Ms. Rosa Lizarde, Global Director for Feminist Task Force

Written By: WIT Representatives Olivia Gong and Julianne Jeon

Edited By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick

Photo Credit: United Nations

UN Delegates Speak on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict

UN Flags

Ms. Khalaf presented the Secretary-General’s report on the repercussions of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in the Gaza Strip. Israel enacted a system in the Gaza strip where citizens are treated significantly more favorably than residents. Free movement restrictions have been imposed, including 65 kilometers of roads to be used only by Israelis. It is “almost impossible” for Palestinians to build without Israeli construction permits. During the summer of 2014 the Israeli offensives killed 551 children, bombed seven schools, and have continued “patterns of excessive use of force.” Since 2000, dependency on UN food aid has increased tenfold in Gaza. There is a heavy water shortage fueling the conflict, where “Israelis are allocated up to seven times the water allocated to Palestinians in the West Bank”. The report concluded by noting that peace is impossible as long as this occupation continues

           The state of Palestine called for peaceful and legal means to salvage Gaza. South Africa, representing Group of 77 and China, noted that Israel has nearly full control of the water resources of the West Bank. Further, a third of Palestinians under occupation are food insecure. Qatar noted that Palestine experienced the highest civilian death toll last year since 1967. Iran noted that it will be almost impossible for Palestine to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.

            Israel dismissed the report as being biased. For example it ignores the fact that Hamas initiated and escalated the 2014 conflict, which caused hardships on both sides. Thousands of Israeli families and children suffered from the missile attacks on their houses over a period of months. The delegation highlighted that the Arab countries attacking it had numerous human rights violations of their own. They then invited these same countries to return to the negotiations table to find a peaceful solution.

Meeting: Second Committee, 18th Session

Date/Location: Monday, October 26, 2015; 10:00-13:00, Conference Room 2

Speakers: Rima Khalaf, Executive Secretary of ESCWA; H.E. Mr. Riyad H. Mansour, State of Palestine; Representative from South Africa; Mr. Mohamed Ahmed Salim Al-Shanfari, Oman; H.E. Mr. Bashar Ja’afari, Syrian Arab Republic; H.E. Mrs. María Rubiales de Chamorro, Nicaragua; H.E. Mr. Ramlan Bin Ibrahim, Malaysia; H.E. Mr. Mohamed Ali Alhakim, Iraq; Mr. Abdulrahman Yaaqob Y.A. Al-Hamad, Qatar; H.E. Mr. Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta, Egypt; H.E. Mr. Ahmed Sareer, Maldives; Ms. Maritza Chan, Costa Rica; H.E. Mr. Gholamali Khoshroo, Iran; H.E. Mr. Mansour Ayyad SH A Alotaibi, Kuwait; H.E. Mr. Frederick Musiiwa Makamure Shava, Zimbabwe; H.E. Mr. Ibrahim O. A. Dabbashi; H.E. Mrs. Dina Kawar, Jordan; H.E. Mr. Desra Percaya, Indonesia; H.E. Mr. Francis Mading Deng, Sudan; H.E. Mrs. Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, United Arab Emirates; H.E. Mr. Wilfried I. Emvula, Namibia; H.E. Dr. Mwaba Patricia Kasese-Bota, Zambia; H.E. Mr. Abdallah Y. Al-Mouallimi, Saudi Arabia; H.E. Mr. Danny Danon, Israel

Written By: Alex Margolick

Edited by: Modou Cham

Power of Collaboration – Women, Technology, and Social Innovation

Women-working-international-resizeThe purpose of this meeting was to talk about women’s equality in the private and business sectors and in collaboration with civil society. Mr. Molinari focused on moving capital around businesses run by women, stating that “women are not looking for handouts; they are looking for access to capital.” Gate Global Impact has partnered with organizations like Microsoft and OPEC to invest in technologies and ways to disrupt the means by which capital is formed. Ms. Scott discussed the various “thermostats of inequality,” using data from 2013 in European countries like the Czech Republic and Hungary. The female-to-male ratio for tertiary education and professional jobs in these countries was favorable from a gender equality standpoint, but that same ratio for labor participation, similar pay for similar work, and roles and wages was not equal.  Ms. Scott also discussed the Russian Doll Effect, which is the idea that if girls are not nourished as children, poor states of health will remain in the family for generations. Professor Ritschelova continued by discussing reasons why women do not represent a larger percentage of the labor force. She cited a lack in education–499 million women worldwide have no education–and access to information as the two most significant reasons.  Ms. Macdougall talked about providing incentives so that banks will invest more capital into women. Ms. Chowdry also spoke about the importance of financial inclusion of women and integrating them into the economy more fully.

Meeting: Event on “Power of Collaboration: Women, Technology, and Social Innovation- Creating the Future of Inclusive, Sustainable Economies” (co-organized by the Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic and the Impact Leadership 21)
Date & Location: 25 March 2015, Conference Room 2, UN Headquarters, New York
Speakers: Ambassador Edita Hrda, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations; Ms. Janet C. Salazar, CEO and Founder of IMPACT Leadership 21; Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury, Former Under-Secretary General and High Representative of the United Nations; Mr. Constance J. Peak, CFO, Chief Strategist, and Co-Founder of Impact Leadership 21; Mr. Amir Dossal, Global Partnership Forum Chairman; Mr. Vincent Molinari, CEO of Gate Global Impact; Professor Linda Scott, DP World Chair for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Professor at the University of Oxford, Founder of Double X Economy;  Professor Iva Ritschelova, President of the Czech Statistical Office; Ms. Lisa Macdougal, Representative of Goldman Sachs; Ms. Nalia Chowdhury, TeleConsult Group Chairman, formerly Grameen lead on Village Phone Project; Ms. Elizabeth Isele, Founder and President of Senior Entrepreneurship Works
Written by WIT Representatives: Paige Stokols and Brian Lee
Edited by WIT Representative: Philip Bracey

Child Labor & Slavery – DPI/NGO Special Briefing with 2014 Nobel Laureate

96300941Susan Bissell began this briefing by reminding the audience of the 168 million children toiling in child labor or slavery. These crimes deprive children of their right to a protected and healthy childhood and to an education. A great majority of countries have ratified legal frameworks for responsibilities and commitments to children and there is no lack of political commitment to tackle child labor and slavery. There is, however, still a need to challenge cultural norms at national and subnational levels that allow for its continued presence. There is demand by many actors to have stakeholders do more. Bissell recommends that greater data on child slavery be used in order to encourage more effective action.

Mr. Satyarthi added that for every statistic on child labor, there is a cry, and for every figure, a face. This cry is one for freedom; to simply be a child. He believes that we cannot achieve development goals without a strong commitment against child labor. We must dream that every child will achieve primary education instead of being forced into marriage or given guns instead of toys.

There is also a vicious cycle between poverty and child labor–children are preferred as workers because of their low cost. As a result, there must be clear language in the Sustainable Development Goals to combat child labor and slavery. In Mr. Satyarthi’s words, “The number of child laborers has been decreased and it is good news, but we have to work harder. The number of child slaves did not decrease at all. We did not make progress in the most heinous crime against humanity.” To combat child slavery, Satyarthi says we must (1) strengthen the UN system and build belief in multilateralism; (2) address the need for deeper and broader interagency cooperation; and (3) ensure that the UN be proactive rather than reactive.

 

Meeting: DPI/NGO Special Briefing with 2014 Nobel Laureate
Date & Location: 17 March 2015, ECOSOC Chamber, UN Headquarters, New York
Speakers: Maher Nasser, Moderator, Director, Outreach Division, Department of Public Information; Susan Bissell, Chief of Child Protection, Programme Division, UNICEF; Kailash Satyarthi, 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Chairperson, Global March Against Child Labor.
Written By WIT Representative: James Victory
Edited by WIT Representative: Philip Bracey

Commission on the Status of Women – OECD Development Centre Side Event

csw-logoMs. Northover stressed the importance of addressing the social norms of males and females, focusing on eradicating female genital mutilation and discussed the difference between male and female violence. She further stated that gender equality is essential to SDGs focused on eradicating poverty. Ms. Nordstrom presented evidence of gender discrimination through statistics in order to show where it exists. This information is necessary in the effort to improve the lives of women.

It is difficult to change social norms–no country is free from discrimination. Indeed, while some nations have excellent constitutions that promote equality, customary laws and norms may actually prevent the implementation of those laws. Gender equality is a prerequisite for a transformative agenda that empowers women and men and allows people to contribute to their societies. Today’s speakers affirmed that there should be a world in which all people are free from violence, benefit from public services (education and health), have sexual and reproductive rights, economic and ownership rights, access to assets, and paid employment.

Ms. Nowacka discussed gender gaps in employment, education, and mortality rates. More specifically, she examined laws that discriminate against women, the prevalence of early marriage, and the effectiveness of legal implementation. Customary laws negate progressive gender equality codes in many countries. Gender equality, she said, requires constant vigilance and investment. Ms. Nowacka focused on the effect of early marriage on female education, employment, and income and addressed the need to invest in human capital. Mr. Crownover introduced a program that educates adolescent males on gender equality. Ms. Chandra highlighted the weak practice of gender equality laws, saying that women are viewed as a burden (especially through the dowry practice), which has led to increasing cases of missing girls. People do not want to invest in their daughters. Stronger measures need to be taken within the government to ensure laws are followed.

Meeting: OECD Development Centre side event to 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women. Jointly held with the Austrian Development Cooperation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finalnd: Achieving Beijing: The Role of Social Norms for Gender Equality
Date & Location: 11 March 2015, Conference Room 7, UN Headquarters, New York
Speakers: Moderator Baroness Lyndsay Northover, Department for International Development (DFID), UK, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development; Nina Nordstrom, Director, Unit for Human Rights Policy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Helsinki; Keiko Nowacka, OECD Development Centre, Gender Programme Coordinator; John Crownover, Care International, Programme Advisor and Gender and Youth Development Expert; Shailaja Chandra, Former Chief Secretary of Delhi
Written by WIT Representative: Ellie Guner
Edited by WIT Representative: Philip Bracey