HLPF 2019: Perspectives of Least Developed Countries and Landlocked Developing Countries

Under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council, the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF 2019) convened today to examine progress and the greatest challenges in empowering individuals and ensuring inclusiveness across the world, especially equality in the least developed countries (LDCs) and the landlocked developing countries (LLDCs).

SDGS

(Source: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/hlpf/2019)

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“Getting to Know the Economic and Social Council System in the Sustainable Development Goals Era”

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The meeting convened by the President of ECOSOC H.E. Ms. Inga Rhondo King as part of the Orientation Course on the Economic and Social Council for members of the Council. The session was the first part of a series of discussions with members of the council on ‘Getting to Know ECOSOC in the SDG Era’. In her remarks, H.E. Ms. Inga said that the MDGs Era was a period of experimentation where we faced global challenges. She added that to strengthen the work of ECOSOC, three events will be held this year: The Annual youth forum, the High-Level Political Forum (HLFP) on Sustainable Development and the SDGs Fair.

Delegates from different member states in attendance discussed and asked questions on how to strengthen the ECOSOC system and its governance. The secretary of ECOSOC, Ms. Emer Herity highlighted the role of ECOSOC, and explained the structures and related platforms, its mandates and outcomes, and the working methods and procedures of ECOSOC system in the context of work program and agenda for the 2019 ECOSOC cycle. In another statement, Ms. Emer added that the council offers an inclusive space to exchange experiences, knowledge and ideas for a better result on how ECOSOC contributes in advancing the integrated implementation of the 2030 Agenda and related agendas. She ended her remarks by stating that the specific global functions of ECOSOC will bring value to, and effectively support, national level implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

In another remark, Ms. Leslie Wade Chief of International Indigenous Speaker Bureau/ Office of Intergovernmental support (IISB/OISC) discussed the implementation of the work of ECOSOC’s segments and Forums such as Financing for Development Forum (FFDF), Youth forum, Partnership forum, Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) and the Multi-stakeholder Forum on science, Technology and Innovation (STI forum)

Meeting: Informal meeting on “Getting to Know the Economic and Social Council System in the Sustainable Development Goals Era”

Date/Location: Wednesday 23th January 2019; Trusteeship Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York, New York

Speakers:

-The president of ECOSOC H.E. Ms. Inga Rhonda King

-Ms. Marion Barthelemy, Director, Office of intergovernmental support and Coordination for Sustainable Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (OISC/DESA)

-H.E. Marco A. Suazo, Head-of-office, UNITAR New York

-Ms, Emer Herity, Secretary of ECOSOC and the Second Committee

-Ms, Leslie Wade, Chief, IISB/OISC

-Mr. Huanyu Liu Policy Integration Unit, Financing for Sustainable Development Office (FSDO)

-Representative from the Division for the Sustainable Development Goals (DSDG)(TBC)

Written By: WIT Representative Kim Juyeon

Overview of the 2017 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development

HLPF

Theme: “Eradication Poverty and Promoting Prosperity in a Changing World”

Since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development during the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit on 25th September 2015, the first HLPF on Sustainable development was held in 2016 with theme “Ensuring no one is left behind”. This theme was featured in almost all the meetings held at the United Nations throughout the year 2016 and helped some member state and organizations to push for the implementation of the SDGs.
This year, the HLPF on sustainable development convened under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) from July 10th to July 19th of 2017 brought together not only Ministers from member states, but also NGOs, Civil Society and Stakeholders, with the theme “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world”. The 2017 HLPF included a three-day ministerial meeting where member states presented their reviews. More countries were seen to be committed to the implementation of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and volunteered to present their national voluntary reviews during the 8 days HLPF session. In total, 44 countries volunteered to present their voluntary national reviews (VNRs) during the 2017 HLPF compared to only 22 countries that volunteered to present their VNRs in 2016.

The following set of goals were reviewed in detail during the session, including Goal 17

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The voluntary national reviews (VNRs) enable countries to share their experiences on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, including their successes, challenges, and lessons learned during the HLPF. The VNRs also facilitates partnerships including the participation of major groups and other stakeholders during the HLPF.
In brief, the HLPF is a central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. During the HLPF, Ministers adopts a ministerial declaration, which is expected to provide political leadership, guidance, and recommendations on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. It also addresses new and emerging issues with respect to the implementation of the SDGs and highlights country experiences.
Written by WIT Representative: Fred Yonghabi

 

Making Eradication of Poverty an integral objective of all policies

The meeting was organized in two sessions at the United Nations headquarters to discuss what it will take to make eradication of poverty an integral objective of all policies.

The key points highlighted during the discussions showed that destabilizing poverty in Africa is a result of climate change causing drought, conflict, and instability.  Conflicts in
Sub-Sahara particularly increases the poverty levels and instability of the population.  The representative from DESA stressed the importance of adherence to the Paris Agreement.
Ambassador Charwath, in addition, stressed the need for more integration of power sources which includes women.   This is particularly important in promoting reproductive rights and sexual education at the highest level of government.
Overall, the panel members stressed the importance of partnerships of ECOSOC and NGO’s with other government sectors within the continent of Africa.

Meeting: Making Eradication of Poverty an integral objective of all policies: What will it take?

Date/Location: Wednesday, May 10th, 2017; Economic and Social Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters NY

Speakers:

  • Morning session moderated by Mr. David Mehdi Human, Director of the Office of The Special Advisers on Africa.
  • Afternoon session moderated by Elliott Harris, Assistant Secretary General and Head of Office in NY, United Nations Environment Program with key speakers H.E. Mr. Philip Charwath, Deputy Permanent Representative to Austria to the United Nations, Chair of the Commission on Social Development at its 55th session.
H.E Mr. David Donoghue Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations. Chair of commission on the Status of Women at its 62nd Session.
Ms. Christina Popescu, Counsellor in the Permanent Mission of Romania to the United Nations, Vice -Chair of the Commission on population and development st its 50th session.
Prof. Jose Antonio Ocampo Professor from Columbia University.

Written By: Amadeus P. Shebinsky

Edited By: Fred Yonghabi

 

Poverty

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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

ECOSOC’s 2015 Review and Beyond

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The Economic and Social Council convened on this day for a briefing on the international economy of 2015 and what to expect and strive for in 2016. Mr. Montiel opened the briefing with the introduction of World Economic Situations and Prospects (WESP) report, which was further discussed in detail in a presentation by Mr. Rashid. The presentation addressed the global and regional financial outcomes of 2015, and projected expected change in 2016 and beyond. Globally, there was a slowdown in growth, with expectations for economic growth in 2016 of about 2.9%. This presentation showed further concerns about the global economy due to economic volatilities and uncertainties that impeded global growth. Global oil prices were shown to have dropped by more than 70% since July 2014, and global commodity prices fell by more than 20% since then as well. The presentation featured regional GDP growths from 2015 and expected growths in 2016, and identified possible dangers to economic growths in each region. Mr. Rashid concluded with recommendations that urged policymakers to reduce economic uncertainties and create macro-prudential policies. He also warned that weak employment growth and high unemployment rates will post a significant challenge to poverty reduction and the realization of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

His Excellency Oh Joon then presented the ECOSOC agenda for 2016, and each program was presented by Vice Presidents of ECOSOC. The most immediate programs to come are Youth Forum (February) and Partnership Forum (March).

Further comments were made by delegations from the European Union, United States, Mexico, Japan, Palau, Colombia.

Meeting: Economic and Social Council – 2016 Session Briefing

Date/Location: 20 Jan 2016; 10:00 – 13:00; Economic and Social Council Chamber

Speakers: His Excellency Oh Joon, President of ECOSOC; Lenni Montiel, Assistant Secretary General for Economic Development, DESA; Hamid Rashid, DESA, Development Policy and Analysis Division; Sven Jürgenson, Vice President, ECOSOC; Alejandro Palma, Vice President, ECOSOC; Frederick Shava, Vice President, ECOSOC; Jürg Lauber, Vice President, ECOSOC

Written by: WIT Representative Dongeun Kim

Edited by: WIT Representative Alex Margolick

Photo Credit: OCHA/Vincent Fung

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

Achieving Sustainable Development Through Employment Creation and Decent Work for All

SustainableDevelopment112614This meeting focused on the idea that education systems, both in developing countries as well as developed ones, are not equipping their youth with the skills needed for all of the jobs in today’s work. As such, many speakers addressed the need to provide professional opportunities through entrepreneurship, apprenticeship, and skills development.

Mr. Prado stressed the need to invest in women as a form of economic growth, and Ms. Vazquez discussed her company, WEConnect International, which works to help educate women and businesses about market demands. When women have equal capacity to compete, they are able grow businesses and create jobs.

The U.S. Representative asked the panel how to address people with low entrepreneurial spirit, and whether technology does not benefit some people. To this, Vasquez answered that beyond some social safety nets, an individual must educate themselves in order to be valued in today’s labor force. Furthermore, she stated that poor, uneducated people do contribute to innovation through technology, as seen with self-taught solar technology engineers in rural India. An EU representative then asked how governments could promote apprenticeships and dual learning systems. Sims answered that the problem with apprenticeship programs lies in incentivizing employers.

On the topic of integration, a Representative of Trinidad and Tobago called for the creation of industries that would allow women to work at home with flexible hours and green enterprise policies. The Russian Federation’s Representative discussed how government assistance to graduates, in the form of apprenticeships and employment search aid, helped integrate them into the workforce.

Meeting: Economic and Social Council, 2015 Integration Segment, 19th meeting “Achieving sustainable development through employment creation and decent work for all”
Date & Location: April 1st, 2015, Economic and Social Council Chamber, UN Headquarters, New York
Speakers: Mr. Antonio Prado, Deputy Executive Secretary, ECLAC (moderator); H.E. Ms. Omobola Johnson, Minister, Federal Ministry of Communication Technology, Nigeria and Chairperson of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD); Zachary Sims, Co-Founder and CEO of Codecademy; Elizabeth Vazquez, President, CEO and Co-Founder of WEConnect International; Ron Bruder, Founder of Education for Employment;
Written by WIT Representatives: Paige Stokols and Alis Yoo

Roadmap for ECOSOC Dialogue on Longer-term Positioning of UN Development System

            711-1This meeting discussed ECOSOC’s roadmap for the long-term vision of the UN Development System, which is oriented towards entering into inclusive and purposeful discussions that will help direct the future of the UNDS from a system-wide perspective. The dialogue occurs in a segmented fashion, with each segment focusing on a particular function of ECOSOC.

            Several sessions of the dialogue have already occurred, focusing on several key challenges facing UNDS, including the task of implementing the post-2015 development agenda in a way that ensures its universal application and the integration of economic, social, and environmental development. The Integration Segment as well as the Humanitarian Affairs segment, both of which will occur later this year, were discussed at today’s briefing.

            The overall focus of this year’s Integration Segment will be achieving sustainable development “through employment creation and decent work for all,” both of which are incorporated in the proposed SDG #8. Full and productive employment and decent work for all are understood to be among the most effective roads leading out of poverty, thus linking their achievement to the ultimate success of the sustainable development agenda as a whole. Mr. Drobnjak noted that, unfortunately, economic growth in many countries has not led to a corresponding rise in decent work opportunities. This, combined with youth unemployment, has contributed to growing inequalities and increased social strife. Further, the continued onset of climate change threatens to erode development gains made thus far.

            The Humanitarian Affairs Segment is expected to produce a strong resolution that strengthens the coordination of the emergency humanitarian assistance supplied by UN emergency services as well as ensuring that these mechanisms remain relevant to current global challenges and the future landscape of humanitarian assistance needs. In addition to the presence of several high-level government and civil society leaders, the Humanitarian Affairs segment will also feature the formal inclusion of affected people.

Meeting: Roadmap for ECOSOC Dialogue on longer-term positioning of UN Development System (informal briefings for non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council)
Date & Location: 16 March 2015, Economic and Social Council Chamber, UN Headquarters, New York
Speakers: H.E. María Emma Mejía Vélez (Colombia), Vice-President of the Council; H.E. Vladimir Drobnjak (Croatia), Vice-President of the Council; H.E. Mohamed Khaled Khiari (Tunisia), Vice-President of the Council
Written by WIT Representative: Philip Bracey

Panel Discussion: Independent Oversight Role of Supreme Audit Institutions in Implementing the Post-2015 Development Agenda

A.post-2015_12This meeting was held to discuss the importance of supreme auditing institutions (SAI) in the post-2015 development agenda. The representative of UNDESA stated that SAIs are necessary if we want to go towards an inclusive and peaceful society with a focus on sustainable development. SAIs promote accountability in different critical sectors including education, healthcare, and water sanitation. He said that, looking forward, SAIs will play an even more significant role regarding implementing and promoting SDGs. He also stated that international communities should help developing countries foster transparency and efficiency.

Dr. Josef Moser outlined specific benefits of SAI, and what international cooperation with INTOSAI, encouraged by the UN for all levels, entails. He first asserted that MDGs can only be attained with cost-effective accountability, as there will be more impact per dollar invested. For shortcomings in government capacity or a lack of transparency, accountability, and/or ownership that could prevent the attainment of MDGs, INTOSAI can provide technical know-how and assessment through financial, compliance, and performance audits. However, SAIs face domestic obstacles, such as a lacking mandate to audit government performance or a lack rules regarding accounting, reporting, and monitoring. To foster national independence after capacity building through SAIs, Moser encouraged governments to intensify communication with INTOSAI.

Responding to a question on the extent of SAI’s presence in cooperating countries, Dr. Moser stated that SAI’s functions are grading standards and capacity building, as conducted by experts of the International Development Initiative within INTOSAI. He and Ambassador Oh emphasized that, as an international standard of practice is lacking in both developed and developing countries, SAIs are a platform of implementing MDGs that nations and organizations must make good use of.

Meeting: Panel discussion on “Independent Oversight Role of Supreme Audit Institutions in Implementing the Post-2015 Development Agenda”
Date & Location: Wednesday, January 21, 2015. Conference Room 8, United Nations Headquarters, New York
Speakers: H.E. Ambassador Martin Sajdik, Permanent Representative of Austria to the UN and President of ECOSOC; H.E. Ambassador Oh Joon, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the UN; Dr. Josef Moser, Secretary-General of INTOSAI and President of the Austrian Court of Audit, Representative of UNDESA
Written By WIT Representatives: Alis Yoo, Brian Lee, and James Victory
Edited By WIT Representative: Philip Bracey