Addressing Homelessness

During the long week of meetings at the Commission for Social Development (CSocD58) at the United Nations headquarters, several meetings were held on the theme of the affordable housing and the social protection systems for all to address homelessness. In one of the meetings held on February 12, 2020, Mr. Srinivas Tata, Director of the Social Development Division of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific asserted that universality is what we have to pursue now by social protection and that should include affordable health system, timely manner, accessibility and profound resolution for homelessness. 

Ms. Christina Behrendt, Head of Social Policy Unit, Social Protection Department, International Labour Organization (ILO) emphasized the importance of universal social protection system for relevant systems and inadequate housing in all different categories of population. For example, social pension, child benefit and maternal care should be implemented to all people that is excluded by 55% of people currently. She asserted that not so high percentage of GDP is needed for the achievement of adequate of housing for all and SDGs, so that we need strong consensus for the effective policy making and adaption. In addition, not only ensuring coverage is a problem but also stable policy and making people to believe in this system too, since those plans need tax and contribution of the society. To conclued, she mentioned 6 keys for the achievement, which are coverage, risk addressing, quality, monitoring, coordinating and adapting. 

Mr. Marco Toscano-Rivalta, Chief of the New York Liaison Office of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction made sure that housing is a different type of disastrous risk since there are unintended consequences. He mentioned that as there are also some differences even in the same family, diversity should be cared in the process of policy making and implementations. Also he pointed out that the strong collaboration in UN and other regional offices is necessary. And he emphasized that data would help the country to understand their risk and situation thoroughly so the UN Habitat and the other organizations should work on that.

Ms. Francesca De Ferrari the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat) of the New York Office asserted that the affordable housing and accessible housing is a start of every other rights like employment and SDGs consequently. She claimed that housing is not a roof, it is a fundamental human right and people should be considered as the center of actions. Also she emphasized that the coverage of the policy should include women, children, people with disability, refugees and migrants in all socio-economic factors.

http://olympiawa.gov/community/homelessness.aspx

Date/Location: Tuesday, 12th, February, 2020 ;15 :00 to 18:00 ; Conference Room 4, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY

Speakers:

Mr. Srinivas Tata, Director of the Social Development Division of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)

Ms. Christina Behrendt, Head, Social Policy Unit, Social Protection Department, International Labour Organization (ILO)

Mr. Marco Toscano-Rivalta, Chief of the New York Liaison Office of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction

Ms. Francesca De Ferrari, the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat) of the New York Office

Written By: WIT Representative Jinhong Eom

Official Launch of the 2015 Global Assessment Report (GAR) on Disaster Risk Reduction

savethedateMr. Meza-Cuadra opened the meeting by saying that sustainable development will not be sustainable without risk reduction. The Secretary-General proclaimed that sustainability starts on March 14th in Sendai, Japan, during the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. The increased number of natural disasters has cost the world roughly $3 billion each year. The poorest countries are hit hardest when disasters strike, and 90% of fatalities come from low- and middle-income countries. Mr. Maskrey described how the world is reaching a breaking point as 1.5 planets are needed to sustain the current consumptions of water resources and carbon output. Mr. Sareer spoke about how Maldives was ready to transition into a middle-income country; however, it took 10 years to rebuild what the 2004 tsunami destroyed. Food security, water sources, ecosystems, and economies are all at stake with climate change.

Mr. Nkwain mainly spoke about the vulnerability of developing countries. He also mentioned that the information that we have about risk prevention needs to be effectively utilized for it to be useful. Mr. Binger spoke about the Caribbean countries and stated that SIDS have very limited areas of development due to restrictions on land. Developmental assistance needs to focus more on SIDS, as they are the most vulnerable due to their small area and isolated nature. The final speaker was Mr. Mayer, whose main point centered around the need for the world to move towards a culture of disaster prevention. Disaster warning systems need to be relied upon more in order to prevent casualties and infrastructure damage. He finished the speech by stating that it is up to everyone in the room to help implement disaster risk reduction in the future.

Meeting: Official launch of the 2015 Global Assessment Report (GAR) on Disaster Risk Reduction (by the Secretary-General of the United Nations) (organized by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR))
Date & Location: Wednesday, 4 Februrary 2015, Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, United Nations Headquarters, New York
Speakers: Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, Permanent Representative of Peru to the UN; Ban Ki-Moon, United Nations Secretary-General; Andrew Maskrey, Coordinator of the United Nations Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk. Reduction (GAR); Ahmed Sareer, Permanent Representative of Maldives to the UN; Margaret Wahlstrom, Special Representative of the Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction; Stan Nkwain, United Nations Development Programme; Albert Binger,  Energy Science Advisor at Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre; Thomas Mayr-Harting, EU Head of Delegation to the United Nations
Written by WIT Representatives: Paige Stokols and Brian Lee
Edited by WIT Representative: Philip Bracey