1 + 4 = 16: Targeting Poverty and Education for Peace

 

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The DPI/NGO Youth-Led Briefing, “1 + 4 = 16” was conducted to promote Sustainability Development Goals 1 (eradicate poverty) and 4 (provide quality education), and their relationship to Goal 16 (attain peace and justice for inclusive societies and institutions), outlined in Agenda 2030.

Panelists shared their stories of activism in relation to each goal to convey that activism can start at a young age. Ms. Frances Simpson Allen and Mr. Sering Falu Njie emphasized that in order to for the SDGs to be successful, young people must be active and central in the SDG progress.

Ms. Pilar Harris, a NYU student and Urban Practice Fellow and Ms. Umazi Mvurya, Development Fellow of the African Leadership Foundation, both stressed that Goal 4 has influenced and motivated them in their personal activism. Ms. Harris worked on the “Lyrics on Lockdown,” an educational program that works with incarcerated women in Rikers Island Women’s Prison, located at New York City’s largest jail complex. Ms. Mvurya emphasized the need to focus on the quality of education, as students are not provided with adequate resources for success in her home area of Kenya. Mr. Austin Schiano, Partnership Director of the Give Me 5 Campaign, expressed that his campaign is integral to Goal 1. The Give Me 5 Campaign focuses on the fact that only 5% of global military funds are needed to help alleviate, and eventually eradicate, global poverty.

Each panelist highlighted the importance of their work in relation to achieving Goal 16, which is to promote peaceful and inclusive communities centered on sustainable development. By granting every child access to quality education and in working to eradicate poverty, Sustainability Goal 16 can move societies away from exclusive practices and towards a reality where all can prosper.

Meeting: DPI/NGO Youth-Led Briefing, “1 + 4 = 16, Targeting Poverty and Education for Peace.”

Date/Time/ Location: Thursday, 3 November, 2016; 11:00 to 13:00; United Nations Headquarters, ECOSOC Chamber

Speakers: Maxine Davila, Youth Representative, WAFUNIF; Jadayah Spencer, Youth Representative, New York Metropolitan Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolence; Jeff Brez, Chief, NGO Relations, Advocacy and Special Events, Department of Public Information; Mitchell Toomey, Director, SDG Action Campaign, UNDP; Pilar Harris, NYU Student, Urban Practice Fellow; Sering Falu Njie, Deputy Director, Policy, UN Millennium Campaign; Austin Schiano, Partnerships Director, Give Me 5 Campaign and Member of Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs New Leaders Program; Umazi Mvurya, Development Fellow, African Leadership Foundation; Frances Simpson Allen Programme Management Officer, Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth at United Nations

Written By: Leticia Murillo and Donna Sunny, WIT Representatives

International Drug Control

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A call for greater cooperation and a more holistic approach to promoting sustainable development was in general consensus at today’s session. The discussion highlighted the ways in which vast implementation and distribution of narcotics worldwide has degraded the biodiversity, population, and safety of nations. Extremist ideologies that have indulged terrorism, crime, and the mass influx of refugees in Syria were considered as parts of today’s humanitarian crisis.

It was discussed that the drug trade has damaged the ecosystems of various nations, including Bolivia and Kenya. Mr. Koki Muli Grignon compared the supply and demand of the drug trade to the destruction of an ecosystem by poaching elephants. The youth, who fall prey into affiliating with larger terrorist organizations, are often recruited while still in school. In response, preventative, youth based anti-drug programs have been established. Healthcare and rehabilitation services for recovering addicts are being established with greater significance. The reintegration and socialization of those who are recuperating has not only been receiving more funding, but also has been promoted through various programs, including group family therapy, courses, and residential hostels.

Mr. Nimrod Barkan discussed a unique, gender-based perspective on drug addiction, which Israel has deemed crucial to recovery. Since the majority of addicts are men, women living with addictions are an antagonized minority. As a result, women are less likely to receive needed treatment. Additionally, Mr. Barkan disclosed how often women experienced other forms of violence. Different treatments were developed to best fit the needs of men and women.

Meeting: Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice; International Drug Control

Date/ Location: Thursday, October 6th, 2016; 10:00-13:00; Conference Room 1

Speakers: Ana Silvia Rodríguez Abascal, Deputy Permanent Representative of Cuba; Mahmoud Saikal, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan; Juana Sandoval, Deputy Representative of Nicaragua; Kathrin Nescher, Advisor of Liechtenstein; Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, Permanent Representative of Peru; Andrei Dapkiunas, Permanent Representative of Belarus; Mr. Al Muhairi, Delegate of United Arab Emirates; Bouchaib Eloumni, Permanent Mission of Morocco; Carlos Duarte, Deputy Permanent Representative of Brazil; Koki Muli Grignon, Deputy Permanent Representative of Kenya; Sacha Sergio Llorentty Soliz, Permanent Representative of Bolivia; Amjad Qassem Agha, Delegate of Syria; Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy Sea; Nimrod Barkan, Delegate of Israel; Mariyam Midhfa Naeem, Deputy Permanent Representative of Maldives; Zhiqiang Li, Delegate of China

Written By: WIT Representative Donna Sunny

 

Report of the Secretary-General on strengthening the global health architecture: implementation of the recommendations of the High-level Panel on the Global Response to Health Crises

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Today’s morning meeting revolved around strengthening the global health architecture to respond more effectively to health emergencies. This began with Mr. Lykketoft’s opening remark on global health crises and the importance of preparedness in the future. This is followed by the Secretary-General’s speech on the progress on some of the key recommendation made by the Panel on the Global Response on Health Crises. Three developments are highlighted – firstly, WHO’s capacity are consolidated and strengthened through the creation of the WHO Emergencies Programme, which changed the fundamental nature of the organization. Secondly, the recommendation of strengthening the UN system coordination during health crises has been taken seriously and the Deputy Secretary-General has been working to ensure there’s a senior level forum for coordination. Thirdly, the World Bank has launched the pandemic emergency financing facility, an innovative mechanism to protect the world against pandemics.

Mr. Kikwete discusses the findings of the panel, and stressed that donor countries should give serious consideration in supporting building capacities ahead of crises and effective communication and engagement should be given high priority. He urged for a reform of global health architecture to prevent worse situations in the future and outlined two recommendations: the establishment of High-level Council on Global Public Health Crises within the General Assembly, and the organization of the High-level Summit on Global Public Health Crises in 2018.

Mr. Aylward mentioned that disease can exert huge environmental, societal and economic costs and expressed the importance of preparedness and response capacity in preventing catastrophic consequences. He revealed more than 60 partners were identified to work with WHO to implement the Strategy Response Framework, with the focus on putting women in the centre and protecting them and children from Zika virus infection.

This meeting concludes with Mr. Nabarro’s remark on how global health and the sustainable development agenda are interlinked. He stated that global health is a universal attribute and is indivisible to all SDGs as ill health will undermine society’s ability to develop sustainably.

Meeting: Informal meeting of the plenary to hear a briefing on the report of the Secretary-General on strengthening the global health architecture: implementation of the recommendations of the High-level Panel on the Global Response to Health Crises (A/70/824).

Date/Time/Location: 20 June 2016, 11:00am, Conference Room 3

Speakers: Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations; Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, President of the United Nations General Assembly; Mr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, Chair of the High-level Panel on the Global Response to Health Crises/President of the United Republic of Tanzania; Bruce Aylward, Assistant Directors-General of the World Health Organization; David Nabarro, Special Adviser on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Written by: Susan Liu

Edited by: Modou Cham

HLPF Informals

www.un.orgThe session was organized by the co-facilitators to get comments from member states and permanent observers of the United Nations, on the Ministerial Declaration for the 2016 High-level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development. Ambassador Gustavo, in his opening remarks, stated that this is the first to follow-up and implement the 2030Sustainable Development Agenda.

Ambassador Gustavo explained that the Ministerial Declaration, which was sent in a letter from the Co-facilitators to all permanent representatives and permanent observers on 13 June 2016 contain potential elements of the draft Ministerial Declaration.

Ambassador Gustavo further highlighted the importance of the “Global Sustainability Development Report” which was included in the Ministerial Declaration, stating that the scope of the report is one important component of the follow-up and review process for the 20130 Agenda on Sustainable Development and will inform the HLPF to make policy decisions to reduce poverty.

After the brief introductory statement, Ambassador Gustavo opened the floor to all permanent representatives and member states to comment on the HLPF Ministerial Declaration.

After comments from member states, Ambassador Gustavo opened the floor for other organizations or permanent observers to the United Nations to comment on the HLPF Ministerial Declaration.

The major call from the different organizations was the need for global partnerships at all levels to achieve the global sustainable development agenda.

Ambassador Gustavo ended the session by thanking all for the interventions and participation despite the short notice to prepare for this session. He handed over the floor to his Co-facilitator, Ambassador Gillian to give her final comments.

In her final words, Ambassador Gillian thanked everyone for their constructive work and that she looks forward to working with all on the HLPF.

Meeting: Informal consultations on the draft ministerial declaration of the high-level political forum on sustainable development for 2016, convened under the auspices of the Council, and the high-level segment of the 2016 session of the Council, convened by the co-facilitators (Australia and Peru).

Date/Time/Location: 16 June 2016/15:40 to 18:00/ Economic and Social Council Chamber

Speakers: Co-facilitators from Peru (Ambassador Gustavo) and Australia (Ambassador Gillian Bird), delegates member states, stakeholders and NGO representatives.

Reported by:   Fred Yonghabi

Dimensions of Marine Debris

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Dede’s trash barrel. Java 2012. Mandatory photo credit: Noyle/A-Frame

At this afternoon’s meeting panellists provided several comprehensive overviews regarding marine debris, plastics and microplastics, allowing for an overall description of the problem and the knowledge gaps present, sources of land and sea based debris, as well as insights on potentially scalable solutions that have previously been implemented.

It is clear that scientific research and data collection is an important element in tackling the problem of marine debris, with many knowledge and data gaps remaining: understanding the distribution, sources and types of plastics that make their way to oceans can help develop recovery mechanisms and the prevention of further plastic accumulation; learning the impacts of previously under-researched microplastics can help evaluate the effects on food chains and marine biodiversity; and innovative development of plastic alternatives can shift business production to ‘cleaner’ goods. Awareness and education also has the power of changing consumptive habits and waste disposal patterns to more eco-conscious practices. Along with shoreline clean-ups, the need for more efficient port waste disposal sites and incentive schemes for all target groups, including commercial and recreational fishing, has been shown to be a successful method for reducing material dumping at sea. Lessons-learnt should continue to be shared in order to learn the best-practices and help develop more efficient mechanisms to deal with plastic waste.

Meeting: Discussion panel: The environmental, social and economic dimensions of marine debris, plastics and microplastics and progress made in preventing, reducing and controlling pollution from marine debris, plastics and microplastics

Date/Time/Location: 13th of June, 2016; 15:00 – 18:00; Conference Room 1

Speakers: Mr. Peter Kershaw, Chairman of GESAMP and Chairman of the GESAMP Working Group on Microplastics; Ms. Lorna Inniss, Coordinator, Former Joint Coordinator of the Group of Experts of the Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment, including Socioeconomic Aspects; Ms. Jenna Jambeck, Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering, University of Georgia; Ms. Kelsey Richardson, Former Marine Debris Consultant, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP); Peter Van den Dries, Policy Advisor, Flemish Waste Agency; Stefan Micallef, Director Marine Environment Division, International Maritime Organization

Written By: Lena Courcol, WIT Representative

Edited By: Modou Cham, WIT Administrator 

100th plenary meeting on Implementation of the Declaration of Commitment and the political declarations on HIV/AIDS held by the General Assembly

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The meeting was operated for countries to declare their commitment against AIDS as well as implement political declarations. The President began with the opening remarks on addressing the above importance. Soon after, Mr. Sey revealed the key to preventing AIDS was to monitor the HIV transmission together with maintaining economic growth, where prosperity could alleviate poverty, with fewer women getting HIV. In addition, Prof. Randrianarimanana stated AIDS could be eradicated by focusing on high impact intervention, effective decentralization, and strengthening the health-care system. He admitted the epidemic was still existed, even if the current prevalence was low.

On the other hand, Dr. Numbi recalled the dedication on the previous declaration cheered the international commitment, technical and financial partners with a multisector approach to combat AIDS. Meanwhile, Dr. Al-Jasser added with a compliment on the comprehensive national program, safeguarding the access on treatment, had enhanced the community responsibility, cooperation and civil societies’ engagement. Moreover, Mr. Hamach reminded the stigma and discrimination would implicitly harm the Universal Health Coverage program where social restructuring was demanding. He ended his speech by reiterating political leadership and devotion to international community were vital to the Fast-Track to ending AIDS. Then, Ms. Skogen appealed to all members, to provide funding to high-burden and developing countries on quality education, sexual education, reproductive services along with well-trained health-care workers.

Last but not least, the above speakers declared their unceasing allegiance to combating AIDS financially or putting efforts on regulation compliance, demanding stronger prevention of AIDS.

Meeting: 100th plenary meeting on Implementation of the Declaration of Commitment and the political declarations on HIV/AIDS held by the General Assembly

Date/Time/Location: Thursday, June 08, 2016; 15:00-18:00; General Assembly Hall

Speakers: His Excellency, Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, the President of the General Assembly; His Excellency, Mr. Omar Sey, the Minister of Health & Social Welfare of Gambia; His Excellency, Prof. Dieudonné Randrianarimanana, the Minister of Health, Family Planning and Social Protection of Madagascar; His Excellency, Dr. Félix Kabange Numbi, The DRC Minister of Public Health; His Excellency, Dr. Sulaiman bin Mohammed Al-Jasser, the Minister of Economy and Planning of Saudi Arabia; His Excellency, Mr. Masakazu Hamach, the Parliamentary Vice-Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Japan; Her Excellency, Ms. Tone Skogen, the State Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway

Written By: WIT Representative, Kelvin HO

Edited By: WIT Administrator, Modou Cham

Photo: https://twitter.com/unaids

WORLD OCEAN’S DAY

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In his opening remarks, H.E. Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr., President of the Republic of Palau, addressed the issue of environmental justice with regard to rising sea levels, ocean temperature rise, and fishery decline – all of which pose increasing threats to the wellbeing and livelihoods of Pacific island nations whose actions towards global climate change have remained minimal. Palau calls upon stronger global partnerships that allow for a united mobilization towards SDG 14: Life Below Water, as well as funding to help island nations face the challenges they will come across in the upcoming years.

During the keynote address, Mr. Nainoa Thompson shared his first-hand experiences whilst aboard the Mãlama Hanua Worldwide Voyage, Polynesian Voyaging Society, and their visitation to 27 countries. Bringing awareness on the environmental issues faced by island nations, as well as expressing their values and indigenous knowledge, the organization seeks to connect with diverse communities and scientific practices in order to strengthen innovation and capacity building. Inspiring the world to navigate toward sustainability, the Voyage reminds us of our ‘Island Earth’ and the responsibilities we have to protect it. By understanding and caring for our natural environment we can set it as a priority, and only then, develop an economy around it. The Voyage articulates an identity based on the ocean, and calls upon leaders to not simply read and sign declarations but to commit to solutions, foster innovation, and use entrepreneurship to support and achieve SDG14.

Meeting: Permanent Mission of the Republic of Palau to the United Nations: World Oceans Day – Voyaging to a Sustainable Planet

Date/Time/Location: Wednesday, June 8, 2016; 15:30 – 18:00; Conference Room 1

Speakers: H.E Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr., President of the Republic of Palau; Pomai Bertelmannn; Nainoa Thompson, Master Navigator and President, Polynesian Voyaging Society; U’ilani Hayes Halau Ku Mana; Dr. Caleb Otto, Permanent Representative of Palau to the UN

Written By: WIT Representative, Lena Courcol

Edited By: WIT Administrator, Modou Cham

The New Urban Agenda

 

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Photo: UN-Habitat

The Breakfast Series began by Ms. Ramdas’ opening address in stating the vision of Ford Foundation of creating a society that embraces diversity, equity and creativity by combating spatial inequalities under the new Urban Agenda. She emphasized the importance of including youth and women at not only consultation stages in anti-inequalities policy formulation, but also in the decision-making process. To support such vision as well as the formation of Habitat III’s Zero Draft, she concluded her speech by assuring Ford Foundation’s full commitment in this regard. The Panel Discussion commenced with the Moderator’s speech, stating that notwithstanding spatial inequalities have been an issue, gender or income-based inequalities persist. Note that inequalities are narrower at upper strata of the society, she then urged civil society and member states to work collaboratively to put their attention on young women that face both poverty and gender-based discriminations. From NGOs’ perspective, Ms. Katcha stated that rather than dwelling in the Zero Draft’s details, it is more important currently to shift our focus to high-level political negotiation since the effectiveness of any commitment on the Zero Draft could not be translated into reality without member states’ recognition, adoption and proactive participation. In addition, note that the New Urban Agenda is a strategic transformation that engages the Sustainable Development Goals, the Agenda must shed light on improving urban-rural linkage since gender-based inequalities differ at urban and rural settings and it is only by doing so can we align to SDGs’ principle of “leaving no one behind”.

At the grassroots level, Ms. Thross expressed her concerns over the persistence of routines and bureaucracy that exist not only in national governments, but also the United Nations, whereby hindering grassroots and civil society to channel their voices to the power-holders. In response to this, Ms. Katherine suggested to formalize the relationship between governments and civil society under the new Agenda. Also, she pointed out that besides young women, the current Agenda has completely left behind elder women; note that its population is projected to thrive, it is of urgent need for the new Agenda to incorporate discussion over them in its formulation. Concluding the meeting was the Moderator’s remark in suggesting the importance of globalizing the new urban agenda, that is, to contextualize its content prior to its adoption at local level.

Meeting: Habitat III Civil Society Breakfast series on critical issues in the New Urban Agenda – Gender and the New Urban Agenda

Date/Time/Location: Wednesday, 8 June, 2016; 08:00 – 10:00; 11/F, Ford Foundation

Speakers: Ms. Kavita N. Ramdas, Former Representative of Ford Foundation at New Delhi, Ms. Violet Shivutse, Moderator; Shibuye Community Health Workers, Ms. Denini, Representative from Maasai Women Development Organisation (MWEDO), Ms. Katcha, NGO representative, Ms. Thross, invited participants from an African grassroots community, Ms. Katherine, Former Diplomat

Written by: Raphael LEUNG

Edited by: WIT Administrator, Modou Cham

 

Delivering an AIDS-free Generation

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Today’s afternoon meeting held by the UNAIDS council presented a panel of well renowned HIV/AIDS activists, expressing their plea for the continued support of the UNAIDS program in order to one day have an AIDS-free society. The President of the UN General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, began by praising UNAIDS’ commitment in acting swiftly and their intensified efforts to end HIV transmission. Five years since the UN has joined forces in the global fight to end child transmission of AIDS, significant progress has been made. Noted, was the fact that since inception, 33% of pregnant women now have access to treatment that allows them to stop AIDS from transferring to their newborns. Speakers addressed that an AIDS-free generation requires much more action that is aligned with Agenda 2030. Transmission rates must decrease significantly between mothers and their children by scaling up treatment for the mothers. Work on the ground, directly with the affected population and promotion of access to treatment and funding to countries that are overwhelmed by the epidemic need to be considered.

The Executive director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé, then took the stand and thanked all the countries that are joining the UNAIDS mission to eliminate children born with AIDS. He mentioned that stigma is still one of the biggest challenges behind the fight against HIV/AIDS and that member states must all partner up to stop it. A video was shown of the First Lady of the Republic of Kenya thanking the 21 Sub-Saharan African countries for their unwavering support and partnership. It was mentioned that the only 100% effective way to stop the transmission of AIDS from mother to child is to target adolescent girls and ensure their prevention from getting infected. The meeting ended with the General Assembly President thanking all who participated and showed.

Meeting: Delivering an AIDS-free Generation

Date/Time/Location: Wednesday, June 8, 2016; 13:15-14:45; Conference Room 3

Speakers: Ms. Whoopie Goldberg, Host of the View; Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, President of UN General Assembly and Ambassador of Denmark; Mr. Michel Sidibé, Executive director of UNAIDS; Mr. Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Health in South Africa, Monica Geingos, First Lady of the Republic of Namibia; Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF; Annie Lenox, acclaimed singer and songwriter and founder of SING; Deborah Birx, Coordinator of the United States Government Activities to combat HIV/AIDS; Piyasakol Sakolsataydorn, Minister of Public Health of the Kingdom of Thailand

Written by: WIT representative, Amirali Agha-Khan

Edited by: WIT Administrator, Modou Cham

Technology and the Sustainable Development Goals

Todays morning meeting revolved around realizing the potential science, technology and innovation has to help us achieve our SDGs. Mr. Kamen began by emphasizing the importance of creating scientists and engineers from our youth equally throughout the world. He showed two videos of his technology program, FIRST, a foundation that makes science just as enjoyable and entertaining to our youth as sports. He advised member countries to figure out a way to include their own FIRST programs in their respective states. Professor Co from Northwestern University continued the general assembly by promoting member states to work towards a future that can take advantage of our recourses and youth, such that one-day gasoline can be generated when needed and done so through renewable energy that will not contribute to climate change. He explained that partnerships of nations and a classification system of modern knowledge can make government funded research more accessible and help align target research with SDGs.

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Both Ambassador Joon and Secretary General Ki-Moon gave statements regarding the power of science and innovation. Mr. Ki-Moon stated that tech and innovation must not be limited to SDG17 or confined to the use of new technologies and software, rather innovation is a mindset and attitude we must utilize. He also noted that the Multi-Stakeholder forum will take place each year until 2030 to allow all sectors of society to work together and look outwards to include greater cooperation through parliaments. Mr. Nakicenovic represented the Group of 10 and spoke about their belief in the importance the forum holds in terms of STI and how central it is to human development and is the primary mechanism for achieving SDG. His plan is to increase the sustainable development plan of agenda 2030 and create a 2050 plan.

Meeting: Multi-stakeholder forum on science, technology and innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals

Date/Time/Location: Monday, June 6, 2016; 10:45-13:00; Conference Room 1

Speakers:  Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of United Nations; Ambassador Oh Joon, President of ECOSOC; Mr. Dean Kamen, American entrepreneur and founder of FIRST; Professor Dick T. Co, Research Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Northwestern University; Komal Ahmad, Founder and CEO of COPIA; Mr. Nebojsa Nakicenovic, Deputy Director General/ Deputy CEO of the International Institute for Applied System.

Written by: WIT representative Amirali Agha-Khan

Edited by: WIT Administrator Modou Cham

Photo: www.ssr.titech.ac.j