Illustrating the Power of Citizen Generated Data

Co-organised by TAP Network, World Vision, and Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, the HLPF side event “Illustrating the Power of Citizen Generated Data for Improved Public Service Delivery and SDG Accountability” was held for discussions about putting people at the center of the data revolution to take place. The panel particularly spent time illustrating the complementary value of citizen generated data to traditional statistics.

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Intersectionality is Human Rights

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The Third Committee’s meeting focused on basic human rights for people with disabilities. The chairperson, María Soledad Cisternas Reyes, began by stating that she believes sign language must be preserved and should be recognized as an official global language at the UN. Ms. Reyes emphasized inclusive educational opportunities for people with disabilities as a necessity, and that voting rights should be a priority. She also spoke to the need for intersectional representation in gender and people with disabilities at the UN and in other decision-making positions.

The Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Catalina Devandas Aguilar, expressed that communtiy policies neeed to include people with disabilities in the drafting process and in enactment. People need to be able to live independently and have access to resources, such as wheelchairs, personal care supplies, and new beneficial technology. Ms. Aguilar stated a community-based approach would be the most effective in involving and empowering people with disabilities.

In closing, Ikponwosa Ero, the Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of Human Rights of Persons with Albinism, spoke to the necessity of including people with albinism in human rights discussions. Many people with albinism have been violently attacked due to prejudice, or myths that connect albinism to witchcraft in several cultures. Some believe albinism is connected to cancer, which further leads to isolation and acts of violence. Ms. Ero concluded with the message that albinism awareness and education needs to spread to rural communities if targeted violence against people with albinism is to stop.

Meeting: 27th Meeting of the Third Committee, “Promotion and Protection of Human Rights”

Date/Time/Location: Wednesday, 26 October 2016; 10:00 to 13:00; Conference Room 1

Speakers: María Soledad Cisternas Reyes, Chair of the Committee on Rights of Persons with Disabilities; Catalina Devandas Aguilar, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; Ikponwosa Ero, Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of Human Rights of Persons with Albinism

Written By: Sophia Kotik, WIT Representative

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

UNICEF discusses Developmental Challenges and Human Rights in Context of CRPD

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A panel of five speakers gathered at the Henry Labouisse Hall of the UNICEF House, to discuss and respond to the overlooked development challenges. Ms. Yannis stated that one in seven human beings has a disability out of 7.8 billion people in the world. People with disabilities are also the single largest population excluded from school. Mr. Marrit followed by highlighting the purpose of having the legally binding convention to promote, protect and ensure the equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities. It also aims at promoting respect for their inherent dignity.

Mr. Paul then summarized his thoughts towards eradicating the extreme poverty and hunger by three approaches. First, promote equality in opportunities, including access to education and health. Second, introduce good governance by encouraging the right of freedom and rule of law. Third, integrate respect for all human right as cross cutting throughout the whole SDG. Following, Mr. Nicholas, senior advisor of UNICEF, briefly outlined what UNICEF is doing to ensure that no one is left behind and also emphasised the human rights and rights of person with disabilities. He mentioned that the principle of leave no one behind, has emerged as one of the key foundations of the post-2015 Development Agenda.

Further, Mr. Vinicius emphasised the significance of investments in a child’s well-being and their rights, as the most effective way to secure a more equitable, peaceful and sustainable world. He concluded his speech in three words: empowerment, protection, discrimination. Ms. Diane then made very powerful points concerning language, visibility and cost. She expressed, how uncomfortable she feels when people named them as a part of a vulnerable group. She ended her speech by encouraging more young people to join the CRPD committee, in order to achieve the goals as part of the post-2015 Development Agenda.

Meeting Title: The intersection of human rights and development within the context of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
Speakers: Yannis Vardakastanis, President of European Disability Forum; Maarit Kohonen Sheriff, Deputy Head of Office OHCHR; Paul Gulleik Larsen, Senior Advisor for the Agenda of the Nor Wee General; Nicholas Alipui, Director of Program and UNICEF Senior Advisor; Vinicius Pinheiro; Diane Mulligan, Member of UN CRPD Committee, Representative of IDBC and CBM
Location: Henry Labouisse Hall, UNICEF House, New York.
Date: 10 June 2014
Written By WIT representative: Samantha Kong
Edited by WIT representative: Sophia Griffiths-Mark