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

 

Families, Education and Well-Being

This briefing was co-organized by the United Nations Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) and the Department of Public Information Non-Governmental Organizations (DPI NGO) in observation of the International Day of Families on May 15th, 2017.

International day of families

World family organization

The speakers discussed the vital role of early childhood education in a child’s development and the role of parental education to ensure family well-being. In addition, the relation between corporate responsibility, work-family balance, and the global home index was depicted. Furthermore, the speakers conveyed the role of media within a child’s development and within the promotion of parental involvement.

 

 

Eduardo Garcia Rolland conveyed how the relationship between genes and the environment is closer than ever before. He expressed that within the first year of life, the brain grows at a pace of 700/1000 new neural connections per second. The plasticity of the brain is greatest within the first year of life. This stage is considered as the most important for a child’s development. Rolland discussed how 204 million children are not developmentally on track. He cited an increase in attendance to early childhood education as a way to augment a child’s development.

Patricia Debeljuh discussed how parents working long hours in a job that lacks flexibility can cause damage to the quality of their life. She expressed the necessity of families for the maintenance of sustainable societies.  Diego Barroso depicted how parenting education is highly effective. He cited the importance of legislative support for families. Following this, Michael Robb discussed how media can impact the development of a child. Background television was cited as an issue which can have a negative impact on the quality and quantity of the interaction between a parent and a child.

Meeting: Briefing entitled “Families, Education and Well-Being”

Date/ Location: Thursday, May 18, 2017; 11:00-12:45; Conference Room 4
Speakers: Esuna Dugarova, Policy Specialist, UNDP; Eduardo Garcia Rolland, Early Childhood Development ECD-Specialist, UNICEF; Patricia Debeljuh, IAE Business School, Austral University; Diego Barroso, Director of Family Enrichment Courses. Coordination and Expansion, International Federation for Family Development; Michael Robb, Director of Research, Common Sense Media
Written By: WIT Representative Donna Sunny

 

Assessing and Addressing: Accelerating the End of Hunger

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Mr. Hongbo’s opening statement highlighted the recent adoptions of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development, 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the climate change agreement in Paris. Progress has been made since Copenhagen, such as halving the proportion of undernourished people in the developing regions and lifting more than 1 billion people out of extreme poverty. This commission provides a platform for Member States to deliberate on social policies to advance social development.

Ms. Bas introduced three reports of the Secretary-General. The first, E/CN.5/2016/3, “examines key linkages between the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development and provides examples of policies that leverage the synergies among them.” The second, E/CN.5/2016/2, notes the “significant progress that African countries have made to eradicate poverty and hunger, improve education and health outcomes, as well as improving agricultural productivity and investing in critical infrastructure,” while also noting the critical challenges that persist with “over 40% of sub-Sahara Africa’s population still living on less than $1.25 a day.” The third, A/71/61-E/2016/7, “highlights recent family trends and emphasizes the need for access to justice through fair family laws.”

Ms. Mayce said that a central focus in all development efforts should be to  increase equitable access to the goods and services of the global community. “If poverty is to be alleviated in any lasting way, inequality in all its dimensions – from education to opportunity and from discrimination to dignity – must be addressed.” Mr. Sarki emphasized family, that “poverty, inequality, education, health, housing, water and sanitation have direct linkage with the family, hence the importance of emphasizing the centrality of the family unit in the implementation of the 2030 development Agenda.”

Opening Session of the 54th Session of the Commission for Social Development

Conference Room 4, February 3, 2016

Speakers: Mr. Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs; Daniela Bas, Director, Division for Social Policy and Development, DESA; Ms. Margaret Mayce, “Civil Society Declaration”, Chair of the NGO Committee on Social Development; H.E. Mr. Virachai Plasai, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Thailand; H.E. Mr. Paul Alex Menkveld, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations, on behalf of the EU; H.E. Dato Abdul Ghafar Ismail, Permanent Representative of Brunei Darussalam to the UN, on behalf of ASEAN; H.E. Dr. Carolina Stanley, Permanent Representative of Argentina; Vice-Minister Juan Eduardo Faúndez, Chile; H.E. Mrs. Mihaela Ungureanu, Deputy Minister, President of the National Authority for Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Protection and Elderly; Mr. Sylapov Muhammetseyit, Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Protection and Population, Turkmenistan; Permanent Representative from the Russian Federation; Sr. Marlon Aguilar-George, Jefe de Planificación y Relaciones Internacionales de México; Ambassador Usman Sarki, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Nigeria; Mr. Marlon Aguilar, Head of Planning and International Affairs, Ministry of Social Development of Mexico, SEDESOL; Ana Martinez de Luco, SURE WE CAN

Written by: WIT Representative Alex Margolick

Photo Credit: Unknown

The Right of the Child – The UN takes a stand

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This meeting focused on framing points of views of the right of children and adolescents. UN Representative Sajdik spoke about the atrocities being committed against children especially young girls in Nepal. In Nepal girls can be married as early as 72 months old to 12 years old. Such young marriage violates a young girl’s innocence and early pregnancy results in extreme physical pain, as their bodies have not had time to mature to a safe child bearing state.

The organization SOS Children’s Villages works with children who are orphaned, abandoned or neglected. They give these children the opportunity to build lasting relationships within a family. Their family approach is based on four principles: Each child needs a mother, and grows up most naturally with brothers and sisters, in his or her own house, within a supportive village environment.

Nadine Kalpar, the Youth delegate to Austria, spoke of her personal experiences and the abuse that she witnessed other Austrian children go through. According to the information and statistics she gave, all violence against children, including parents, is prohibited. However 30% of parents in Austria aren’t aware or are not threatened by this law, therefore the violence continues. Ms. Kalpar also discussed ageism in the job market. Adolescents and teenagers are viewed as “lazy” and “unreliable” when it comes time to land a job. This is an attitude that needs to be reversed for young people to receive their right to safe, secure work.

Ravi Bajrak, the Youth Delegate to Nepal, insisted that we cannot change the future if we don’t respond to the current violence and injustices against the youth population. Judith Diers, closing the meeting, stated that we can achieve anything with hard work, dedication, and most of all, trust within humanity to do the right

ImageMeeting Title: The Gov. of Austria, The Gov. of Nepal and the SOS Children’s Villages
Speakers: Judith Diers, UNICEF Representative; Mr. Sajdik, Representative of Nepal; Nadine Kalpar, Youth Delegate to Austria; Ravi Bajrak, Youth Delegate to Nepal
Location: United Nations HQ, Conference Room 7, North Lawn Building
Date: 3 June 2014
Written by WIT representative: Leslie Anokye
Edited by WIT representative: Sophia Griffiths-Mark