International Leaders Discuss Bringing Agenda 2030 to Fruition

This meeting was held to discuss the creation of partnerships between various stakeholders and how they would benefit the 2030 Agenda.

Mr. Lykketoft called for work between the public and private sectors, academia, and foundations in action for the Agenda 2030

Next, Ms. Kingo transitioned by encouraging companies and UN bodies alike to share available resources and collaboration to find new opportunities.

A statement from Ban-Ki Moon was read and it noted the need to move from commitment to action. Wide expertise was called for, as were the inter-linkages supported by the Agenda goals.

Mr. Mitchell spoke on how although there is a conception that business love risk, they ultimately crave stability with the hope of maintaining stakeholder relationships. He noted that it is extremely crucial for governments to establish infrastructure, maintain un-corrupt economics, and protect intellectual property. He also stated that it is crucial to foster economic development in other countries.

Ms. Marini spoke on how the first change that needs to be implemented for partnership development is transparency on the motives of all involved in the partnership. She also noted the need to shift towards putting the food of people first, effectively a shift towards human-centered design. She also touted that it is important to stop “think globally and act locally” to transition to “think locally and act locally”.

Meeting: “From commitments to results: Leveraging partnerships for the 2030 Agenda”

Date/Location: Thursday, March 31, 2016; 10:00-13:00 ECOSOC Chamber

Speakers: H.E. Mr. Oh Joon, President of the Economic and Social Council; H.E. Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, President of the UN General Assembly; Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations; Her Royal Highness Haya Al Hussein, UN Messenger of Peace and Chairperson, International Humanitarian City; Mr. Richard Lui, Moderator, News Anchor, MSNBC; Ms. Alice Albright, CEO, Global Partnership for Education; Ms. Peggy Dulany, Chair, Synergos; Mr. Michael Landau, Chairman, CTI Global; Ms. Mary Chege, Director, Development Finance International; Ms. Lise Kingo, Moderator, Executive Director, UN Global Compact; Mr. Scott Mitchell, President and CEO, Sumitomo Chemical America; Ms. Joy Marini, Executive Director, Johnson and Johnso;  Mr. Igor Runov, Under Secretary-General, International Road Transport Union (IRU);

Written By: WIT Representative Olivia Gong

Edited By: Alex Margolick

More Aid, More Problems: How to Help the Helpers in the Middle East

Syria Agrees To Delivery Of Humanitarian Aid

Today, the Security Council ran two meetings, beginning with the adoption of the agenda and an introduction to the situation in the Middle East. A letter dated 22 January 2016 from the Panel of Experts on Yemen was read, discussing the significant challenges to the implementation of humanitarian aid and the destructive impact that the humanitarian situation in Yemen has had on civilians. The urgency to simplify the process of aiding others was stressed: to move a single truck, the UN team needs to go through repeated rounds of everything from the target location to the route and dates and times. This toiling process hinders the efficiency of the task at hand.

Recently, a WFP plane sent from the UN and its partners dropped some necessities in Syria that have reached 110 people in besieged places, with 230 more people that can be reached through airdrops, and an additional 170 people are in need. This month, aid was brought to 960 people, which is a 48% increase from January. It was stated that with the highest price of the Syrian conflict being paid by the men, women, and children who are witnessing their homes being torn apart, granting access should not be dependent on political situations.

Next, Dr. Ja’afari wanted to shed light on the brutality: some states impose unilateral measures on the Syrian people, which merely aggravate the suffering; some accuse the government of purposely seizing and starving the civilians. He disputed these claims by stating, “Only civilians are hungry, not terrorists. Terrorists do not go hungry. It is inevitable that only civilians go hungry. It has become clear that the improvement of the Syrian situation is necessary.” Finally, the President adjourned the meeting with an invitation to the council members for an informal discussion.

Meeting: Security Council: 7630th, 7631st Meetings

Date/Location: Wednesday, February 24th, 2016; 10:00-11:00; Security Council Chamber

Speakers: Rafael Ramirez, President of Security Council from Venezuela; the Panel of Experts on Yemen; H.E. Bashar Ja’afari, Ph.D., the Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic.

Written By: WIT Representative Jin Yoo

Edited By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick

Photo Credit: United Nation Relief and Works Agency via Getty Images

Assessing and Addressing: Accelerating the End of Hunger

https://blog.fh.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/MG_9175.jpg

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 New Frontier of Food Security

Africa_Food_Security_15_(10665294293)

    The meeting opened with Ms. Barthelemy presenting notable points regarding the recent reports on agriculture development, food security, and nutrition. Not only is “sustaining rapid progress in reducing hunger” feasible, but “investing in sustainable food systems will benefit numerous other goals such as eradicating poverty and combating climate change.” A global political commitment to this endeavor is needed.

    From here the floor opened for statements. South Africa, on behalf of Group 77 spoke first. While there has been considerable progress made, there is still much to do as progress has been extremely uneven.

    Sierra Leone, on behalf of the African Group, noted that investment in sustainable agriculture has proven to be twice as effective as any other type in reducing poverty. They asked for specific assistance in eradicating child malnutrition which still is prevalent in many regions of the world, especially Africa.

    Bangladesh, on behalf of the Least Developed Countries, noted that the last 30 years have reduced malnutrition by 10%. Guyana, on behalf of Caricom, observed that the annual investment of $267 billion is needed to end hunger. Myanmar, on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, noted that over one billion people live in extreme poverty, and 75% of them live in rural parts of developing countries. Australia focused on its commitment to delivering an outcome on export competition.

    Having graduated out of the FAO World Hunger map, Brazil can demonstrate that “social protection measures help break the cycle of rural poverty and vulnerability, when combined with broader agricultural and rural development measures. Their “Zero Hunger Program”, Mexico’s “Cruzada Nacional Contra El Hambre” and Niger’s “3 N Initiative” must be increasingly shared as successful poverty-combating initiatives.

Meeting: 2nd Committee, 25th Session

Date/Location: 11/2/15, Conference Room 2

Speakers: Marion Barthelemy, Officer in Charge, Division of Sustainable Development, DESA; South African Representative; Mr. Sheku Mesali, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the United Nations; Mr. Andalib Elias, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Bangladesh; H.E. Ambassador George Talbot, Permanent Representative of Guyana; H.E. U Kyaw Tin, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar; Senator Barry O’Sullivan, Cairns Group; Mr. Eyal Sela, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel; Nicaraguan Representative; Belarusian Representative; Ms. Cindy Eu, Delegate, Permanent Mission of Singapore; Russian Representative; Brazilian Representative; Qataran Representative; Sri Lankan Representative; Sudanese Representative; Mrs. Nicola Barker-Murphy, Counsellor, Jamaica; Gabonese Representative; H.E. Mr. Antonio Gumende, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Mozambique; Chinese Representative; Thai Representative;  Japanese Representative; Mr. Mishaal K. Albannai, Third Secretary, Kuwait; H.E. Mr. Wilfried I. Emvula, Ambassador & Permanent Representative, Namibia; Mr. Jean-Francis Zinsou, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Benin

Written By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick

Photo Credit: Stephen Morrison/AusAID

Second International Conference on Nutrition

health_captionThe joint FAO/WHO Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) will be held at the FAO headquarteron 19th-21st November, 2014. A briefing was convened today to inform distinguished guests on the key objectives and expected outcomes.

Ms. Nishida mentioned the 1992 ICN as the first intergovernmental conferencedevoted solely to addressing the burden of malnutrition among countries. She acknowledged the first conference had brought hope in combating the global nutrition challenge, yet it is high time for ICN2 to review the past progress since reductions in hunger and malnutrition have been unacceptably slow in many countries. She summarized three key messages that will be echoed repetitively in ICN2: i) the necessity to increase nutrition levels, ii) good nutrition requires equitable and resilient food systems and iii) global action to end all forms of malnutrition is a good investment.

The expected outcomes of the ICN2 will guide the UN political declaration and technical framework of action. It will also reinvigorate international and intergovernmental cooperation on nutrition, incorporate nutrition-enhancing food systems into national policies and create a higher degree of policy coherence and global partnership, including the call to take up the “Zero Hunger Challenge”.

She mentionedthat the joint working group is currently developing a draft political outcome document as well as a draft framework for action, which guides the implementation of the commitment made to create better food systems.

Ms. Lartey stated that the conference will be convened at the ministerial level with high-level representatives, UN agencies, intergovernmental organizations, and policy-makers, as well as with private sector and civil society members participating in this conference. She noted ICN2 will not be an end in itself, but rather a continued process in the pursuit of having sustainable and wholesome nutrition in the global economy and global food system. At the end, she stressed the importance of addressing nutrition throughout the entire life cycle.

 

Meeting Title: Joint briefing on “The Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2)”
Speakers: Ms. Sharon Brennen-Haylock, Director, FAO Liaison Office in New York; Ms. Chizuru Nishida, Coordinator, WHO Department of Nutrition for Health; Ms. Anna Lartey, Director, FAO Nutrition Division
Date: 11 July 2014
Location: Conference Room 8, North Lawn Building, United Nations HQ, New York
Written By WIT Representative: Tracy Lau
Edited By WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan

Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems in the Post-2015 Agenda

unnamedAs part of the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), a side event was convened to discuss how small food producers and family farms can support the achievement of sustainable development through sustainable agriculture and food systems. H.E. Mr. Grigsby opened the dialogue by highlighting how crucial a world free from poverty, hunger, and malnutrition is in the ambitious post 2015 development agenda. But this goal cannot be achieved without a shift to more productive and resilient food systems that are economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable. If we can economically empower small farmers through access to knowledge, social production, and viable markets, they can serve as these sustainable food systems.

H.E. Mr. Aguiar Patriota continued the discussion by focusing on the impact of large scale farming in Brazil. While these commercialized farms provide Brazil with the wherewithal to become a powerful actor in the international community, they have a less desirable social and environmental impact. These farms lead to a decrease in jobs, resulting in sizable migration flows internally that compound the pre-existing problems of big cities in Brazil.

Ms. Brennen-Haylock commented on how investing in these small food producers can empower them to become critical agents of change for a future of food and nutrition security for all. Investments directed towards family farmers enhance their capacity to invest in their own productivity, as well as helping them address new market demands and environmental pressures. To close, Ms. Brennen-Haylock stressed the concerns of women in agriculture. If women had the same access to productive resources as men, they could increase yields on their farms by 20-30%. This would raise the total agricultural output in development countries by 2.5-4%, and thus reduce the number of hungry people in the world by a staggering 12-17% – a number that would go a long way in decreasing world hunger.

Meeting Title: Small food producers and family farmers as agents for change for sustainable agriculture and food systems in the post-2015 agenda
Speakers: Dr. Jes Weigelt, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies; Dr. Molly Anderson, College of the Atlantic’s Sustainable Food Systems Program; H.E. Mr. Sylvester M. Grigsby, Deputy Foreign Minister of Liberia; Ms. Sharon Brennen-Haylock, FAO; H.E. Ambassador Irene Susan Natividad, Ambassador from Philippines; H.E. Mr. Guilherme de Aguiar Patriota, Ambassador from Brazil; Mr. Jesse Laflamme, Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs; Ms. Adrienne Gardez, UN Global Compact
Location: United Nations HQ, Conference Room 6
Date: 1 July 2014
Written By WIT Representative: Zachary Halliday
Edited By WIT Representative: Aslesha Dhillon 

Rising Inequality and the Threat of Climate Change

images-3“Overcoming inequality and slowing global warming are imperative for achieving a world free from poverty and suffering”, said Mr. Offenheiser at his opening speech this morning. The 85 richest people own the same amount of wealth as half of the world’s poorest population. Furthermore, climate change could increase the number of people who are at risk of hunger by up to twenty percent by 2050. Therefore, economic inequality and climate change are clearly addressed in the proposed goals for the post-2015 development agenda to develop a new global framework, which aims at ending poverty and protecting the planet.

Professor Sachs highlighted the urgency of tackling both the climate change and inequality problems, as they are both vital to the survival and health of our society. “If climate change is not in the headline, this is worthless. It is the toughest and most important environmental issue that requires two generations to get this problem controlled”, he said firmly. Ambassador Patriota gave a comprehensive statement about inequality across the whole agenda by emphasizing how “universality” is needed to ensure no one is left behind. He also talked about inequality in the environmental, and economic and social aspects in terms of legal empowerment.

Ms. Mohammad agreed with Ambassador Patriota on the broader context of inequality and universality. It is critical to the poverty agenda, which is the overarching ambition in eradicating poverty. Both climate change and poverty go together Ms. Mohammad said. She emphasized the urgency to address these twin challenges in an integrated approach. All panellists agreed that addressing inequality is very important to the health of our society and needs to be understood in a multi-dimensional way. On climate change, there is no overriding consensus as it is a substantial issue threatening both people and the environment.

 

Meeting Title: Panel discussion on “Post-2015: How can the new framework best address rising inequality and the threat of climate change?”
Speakers: Mr.Paul Ladd, Head of the Post-2015 Development Agenda, UNDP; Mr. Ray Offenheiser, President and CEO, Oxfam America; Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and Director of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network; H.E. Ambassador Dr. A. K. Abdul Momen, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN; H.E. Ambassador Guilherme de Aguiar Patriota, Deputy Permanent Representative of Brazil to the UN; Mr. François Gave, Counsellor for Development and Sustainable Development, Permanent Mission of France to the UN; Ms. Amina Mohammed, Special Adviser of the Secretary General on Post-2015 Development Planning
Location: United Nations HQ, Conference Room 7
Date: 17 June 2014
Written By WIT representative: Samantha Kong
Edited by WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan