GFMD Perspective on Migration for Sustainable and Resilient Societies

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The meeting was a side-event to the annual high-level political forum on sustainable development at the United Nations headquarters. It focused on the inter-linkages between migration and sustainable development goals (SDGs). In the opening remarks, Mr. El Habib Nadir from Morocco highlighted the relevance of resolving the problem of migration for achieving SDGs. Ms. Eva Åkerman Börje from UN Special Representative for International Migration emphasized the need to put more attention on the implementation of SDGs and its relation to migration.

During the panel discussion, speakers identified several SDGs where migration plays a key role. For example, Ms. Charu Bist from UNDP underlined that the varying development level of countries drives the flow of migration. Mr. Dilip Ratha from the World Bank demonstrated the increasing number of forcibly displaced people due to climate change. Ms. Colleen Thouez from Open Society Foundations underscored the importance for cities and inter-city networks to build capacity with urban planning in order to make themselves resilient in the face of an influx of migrants.

At the end of the meeting, speakers concurred that all relevant actors are significant in the dialogue of migration and sustainable development. Particularly, Ms. Karin Goebel, Minister of German Economic Department, called for involvement of stakeholders, including national governments, UN bodies and civil society.

Meeting: GFMD Perspective on Migration for Sustainable and Resilient Societies (organized by Germany and Morocco, GFMD 2017-2018 Co-Chairs)

Date/Location: Friday 13th July 2018; 13:15-14:30; German House, 871 United Nations Plaza, New York.

Speakers:

Mr. El Habib Nadir, Secretary General, Ministry Delegate to Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in charge of Moroccans Living Abroad and Migration Affairs;

Ms. Eva Åkerman Börje, Senior Policy Advisor Office of the UN Special Representative for International Migration;

Ms. Charu Bist, Senior Jobs and Livelihoods Advisor, United Nations Development Programme;

Mr. Dilip Ratha, Head – KNOMAD, Lead Economist – Migration and Remittances, Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice, The World Bank;

Ms. Colleen Thouez, Director, Welcoming and Integrated Societies Division, Open Society Foundations;

Mr. Julian Pfäfflin, Senior Policy Officer International Migration, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development;

Ms. Marta Foresti, Managing Director, Overseas Development institute;

Ms. Karin Goebel, Minister, Head of Economic Department, Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany to the UN.

Written by WIT representative Vivian Wang

Shaping smarter and more sustainable cities: striving for SDGs

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The meeting is about building smart and sustainable cities in line with SDGs. In the opening remarks, Dr. Chaesub Lee pointed out that ICT infrastructure drives innovation in all economic sectors. Also, new technology contributes to make cities safe, resilient and sustainable. For example, big data helps government improve in public services. To reach the goal of building sustainable cities, he concluded by emphasizing that diverse partnership is essential.

The introduction was followed by a panel discussion. Speakers expressed their views on technology and shared experiences from their countries in building smart cities. Dr. Chaesub Lee underscored that the aim for smart cities is not to make all cities identical. Instead, smart cities should be tailor-made with local data and city priorities based on their history, culture and physical location. Agreeing with it, Mrs. Sophia Papathanasopoulou shared the Greek government’s involvement in shaping smart cities in this regard. However, she indicated the challenge to engage all stakeholders at the first stage.

Seeing this, Ms. Kari Eik from Organization for International Economic Relations (OiER) recommended to bring in financing in the beginning. To make SDG comprehensible and attractive to private sector, she stressed the need to establish a framework for the industry. Also, Mr. Eng Bruno Peters from IBI Group emphasized the need to share data in a more meaningful way to maximize investment. Lastly, Ms. Olga Algayerova, Executive Secretary of UNECE, reiterated the significance of private-public partnership.

Meeting: Shaping smarter and more sustainable cities: striving for SDGs (organized by Ministry of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media of Greece with ITU, UNECE and UNESCO)

Date/Location: Thursday 12th July 2018; 13:15-14:30; Conference Room E, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY.

Speakers:

H.E. Mrs Maria Theofili, Permanent Representative of Greece to the UN;

Dr. Chaesub Lee, Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU;

Mr. Guilherme Canela, Counsellor of Information and Communication for MERCOSUR, UNESCO;

Mrs. Sophia Papathanasopoulou, Head of National Broadband Planning Department, General Secretariat of Telecommunications and Post, Ministry of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media, Greece;

Ms. Kari Eik, Secretary General, Organization for International Economic Relations (OiER);

Mr. Alexandre Barbosa, Head of the Regional Center for Studies on the Development of the Information Society;

Mr. Eng Bruno Peters, Director, Smart Cities, Deputy Regional Director, IBI Group;

Ms. Meera Alshaikh, Project Manager, Smart Dubai;

Ms. Olga Algayerova, Executive Secretary, UNECE.

Written by WIT representative Vivian Wang

Devastating Floods Ravage Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Croatia

This afternoon the Permanent Mission of Bosnia and Herzegovina hosted a meeting to bring attention to the need for support and assessment in the flooded regions of Serbia, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The meeting also highlighted the increased levels of solidarity exemplified by the people and governments of the region in the aftermath of the floods. With over 56,000 objects damaged, the resulting losses were close to €1.3 billion – 10% of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s total slide_349676_3743600_freeGDP.

Mr. Eliasson opened the meeting by discussing both the devastating impact these floods have had on the region, and the importance of the next 60 days in assessing the damages and placing the region on a path back to normalcy. Heartened by the solidarity served, Mr. Eliasson enthusiastically commented on the high level of assistance shown by the region’s people, irrespective of the century old political and ethnic strife. To close, Mr. Eliasson commented on the ever-growing threat of natural disasters, which requires us to enhance our ability to work together, as well as strengthen our resilience in building safer conditions for living.

Dr. Lagumdžija continued the panel by focusing on landslides that destroyed almost 750 buildings, and buried landmines, the location of which are now unknown. He also discussed the need to refurbish agriculture, water, sanitation, and other basic necessities, Dr. Lagumdžija said the main priority is on restoring both housing and jobs.

Ms. Sultanoğlu reiterated points on solidarity, but focused mainly on the joint action required between private, regional, and international actors. With the assistance from the UN, these actors need a coordinated response for integrated flood and drought risk management. H.E. Mr. Drobnjak repeated points about housing and land mines, but brought attention to the need of 33 tons of chemicals to fight reemerging mosquito problems. H.E. Mr. Karadžić closed the meeting by reminding the group that while the emergency response was admirable, the upcoming months will test the region’s resilience.

 

Meeting title: Consequences of the Disastrous Floods and Presentation of Needs Assessment for the Affected Regions in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Speakers:  H.E. Ms. Mirsada Čolaković, Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the UN; Mr. Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary General; Dr. Zlatko Lagumdžija, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Chairman in the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina; Ms. Ayşe Cihan Sultanoğlu, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States at the UNDP; H.E Mr. Vladimir Drobnjak, Ambassador of Croatia to the UN; H.E. Mr. Radovan Karadžić, Ambassador of Serbia to the UN
Location: United Nations HQ, Conference Room 5, New York
Date: 9 June 2014
Written By WIT Representative: Zachary Halliday
Edited by WIT representative: Sophia Griffiths-Mark