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

OWG for Sustainable Development Goals: Focus Areas 15 & 16

Focus Area 15: Means of implementation/Global partnership for sustainable development 

Focus area 16: Peaceful and inclusive societies, rule of law and capable institutions

H.E. the Ambassador of Bolivia on behalf of G77 and China acknowledged that the implementation process of the SDGs would determine the success of the program. The G77 delegates reiterated their support of Bolivia’s statement that the MDGs were weakened by the ill-defined implementation programs, particularly for the 8th MDG, and therefore action-orientated targets are key to maximising outcomes.

Delegates commonly asked that focus area 15 address; the removal of tariff boundaries, debt relief, market and trade access, prevention of elicit arms trade and human trafficking. H.E. the Ambassador of Denmark, Ambassador of Switzerland and representatives on behalf of Norway, Germany, France, and Australia, affirmed the need to engage with civil society, media and private sectors alongside multiple levels of governance for successful implementation worldwide.

State ambassadors and those representing the G77, Caricom, and the Non-aligned Movement have emphasised the role of peace as indispensable to the achievement of sustainable development for all states. In particular, H.E. the Ambassador of Croatia, focused on Croatia’s recent experience of war and corrupt governance, which has cemented their firm believe that factors of Sustainable Development are lead by safety, freedom of speech, inclusiveness, and institutions that are both accountable and capable.

Representative of Zimbabwe who spoke on behalf of the Southern African Counties expressed that the primary focus should instead be on the eradication of poverty, which would, in turn, provide peace to states. Representatives of Denmark, Egypt, Cuba and Brazil shared their concerns for inclusive societies and rule of law as a whole focus area and consider instead mainstreaming these targets throughout the paper amongst other focus areas.

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Meeting Title: Eleventh session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (9th meeting: Focus Areas 15 and 16)

Key Speakers:Co-Chair H.E. Ambassador of Hungary Csaba Kőrösi, Co-Chair H.E. Ambassador of Kenya Macharia Kamau and delegates on behalf of: Bolivia, China, Barbados, Iran, Papua New Guinea, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Benin, Lesotho, Colombia, Guatemala, Nauru, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Netherlands, UK, Australia, United States, Canada, Romania, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Spain, Argentina, Sweden, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria, Croatia, Switzerland, Germany, France, Singapore, Palau, Liechtenstein, Nigeria, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Latvia, Austria, Portugal, Cuba, Morocco, Egypt, Paraguay, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, India and Vanuatu

Location: United Nations Headquarters, New York

Date: May 9th 2014

Written by WIT representative: Sophia Griffiths-Mark