Informal Meetings of the Plenary on Stocktaking in the Process of Intergovernmental Negotiations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

mww_thumb_post-2015This meeting started with several countries relating their sentiments regarding the post-2015 development agenda. China, Chad, the Russian Federation, and Ecuador all gave similar statements about desiring more transparency, stronger follow-up, and resolutions to implementation issues. Following this, the floor was opened up to major groups and stakeholders. The representative of Freshwater Action Mexico said that though the MDG indicator for clean water had been achieved, “the water did not reach the people.” A representative of indigenous people called for segregated data, land resources, special measures, access to justice, participation, and representation to end marginalization.

The representative of “Regional CSO Engage Mechanism: Asia” called for better integration of SDGs in technology facilitation and capacity building. The representative of the Voice Beyond 2015 stated that no MDG has been achieved until it has been met for all socioeconomic groups, especially the marginalized. The UCLG called for rural and local inclusion and involvement, as outlined at the Rio+20 Conference and by the Secretary-General recently. Helpage International wanted to see data desegregation by age, gender, income, and disability status. Education International wanted to clarify the confusion between decent jobs versus decent work through job creation, workers rights, social protection, and dialogue. The VSO representative discussed that providing grassroots community leaders with access to info, meaningful participation in decision-making, education, training, grassroots infrastructure, healthcare, and other social services would greatly aid in their development. The Arab Network for Environment and Development called for an understanding of extremist ideologies that plague the Middle East as calls to end all forms of occupation. Finally, the Pacific Youth Council mentioned both the unique challenges facing SIDS as well as the idea that Caribbean youth want to become involved in the eradication of gender-based violence, want a spiritual approach when promoting a cultural identity, and desire social inclusion through sports.

Meeting: Informal meetings of the plenary on stocktaking in the process of intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda, pursuant to resolution 69/244 and decision 69/550
Date & Location: Wednesday, January 21, 2015. Conference Room 2, United Nations Headquarters, New York
Speakers: Representatives of Chad, the Russian Federation, China, Ecuador, the Philippines, Austria, and the following major groups and stakeholders: Global Campaign for Education (GCE), Human Rights Caucus, MexFam, World Farmers Organization, International Disability Alliance, Youth Beyond Disasters, International Council of Science, ATD Fourth World, Regional CSO Engagement, Freshwater Act Mexico, Regional CSO Engage Mechanism: Asia, Voice Beyond 2015 Campaign, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), Helpage International, Education International (Workers and Trade Unions Major Group), VSO, Arab Network for Environment and Development, and the Pacific Youth Council
Written By WIT Representatives: Alis Yoo and Brian Lee
Edited By WIT Representative: Philip Bracey

Panel Discussion: Independent Oversight Role of Supreme Audit Institutions in Implementing the Post-2015 Development Agenda

A.post-2015_12This meeting was held to discuss the importance of supreme auditing institutions (SAI) in the post-2015 development agenda. The representative of UNDESA stated that SAIs are necessary if we want to go towards an inclusive and peaceful society with a focus on sustainable development. SAIs promote accountability in different critical sectors including education, healthcare, and water sanitation. He said that, looking forward, SAIs will play an even more significant role regarding implementing and promoting SDGs. He also stated that international communities should help developing countries foster transparency and efficiency.

Dr. Josef Moser outlined specific benefits of SAI, and what international cooperation with INTOSAI, encouraged by the UN for all levels, entails. He first asserted that MDGs can only be attained with cost-effective accountability, as there will be more impact per dollar invested. For shortcomings in government capacity or a lack of transparency, accountability, and/or ownership that could prevent the attainment of MDGs, INTOSAI can provide technical know-how and assessment through financial, compliance, and performance audits. However, SAIs face domestic obstacles, such as a lacking mandate to audit government performance or a lack rules regarding accounting, reporting, and monitoring. To foster national independence after capacity building through SAIs, Moser encouraged governments to intensify communication with INTOSAI.

Responding to a question on the extent of SAI’s presence in cooperating countries, Dr. Moser stated that SAI’s functions are grading standards and capacity building, as conducted by experts of the International Development Initiative within INTOSAI. He and Ambassador Oh emphasized that, as an international standard of practice is lacking in both developed and developing countries, SAIs are a platform of implementing MDGs that nations and organizations must make good use of.

Meeting: Panel discussion on “Independent Oversight Role of Supreme Audit Institutions in Implementing the Post-2015 Development Agenda”
Date & Location: Wednesday, January 21, 2015. Conference Room 8, United Nations Headquarters, New York
Speakers: H.E. Ambassador Martin Sajdik, Permanent Representative of Austria to the UN and President of ECOSOC; H.E. Ambassador Oh Joon, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the UN; Dr. Josef Moser, Secretary-General of INTOSAI and President of the Austrian Court of Audit, Representative of UNDESA
Written By WIT Representatives: Alis Yoo, Brian Lee, and James Victory
Edited By WIT Representative: Philip Bracey

Second Committee: Operational Activities for Development

6365386329_f24a5e7976_zMs. Zina Mounla stated that in response to ECOSOC resolution 2013/5, the full analysis of funding of United Nations operational activities for development has, for the first time, been merged into the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of the Quadrennial comprehensive policy review. The funding analysis consolidates financial data on contributions and expenditures of the UN entities that reported funding for operational activities for development in 2012. Together, the UN operational activities for development account for approximately 60 per cent of the funding for all UN system-wide activities. Peacekeeping operations accounted for about 20 per cent, while the global norm and standard setting, policy and advocacy functions of the United Nations system accounted for the remaining 20 per cent. The funding environment remains challenging as almost all of this growth was in the form of non-core resources.

She further noted that while an increase in core funding remains a priority, contributions from countries towards their own country programmes and private sector partnerships are key elements to these strategies. Mr. Gopinathan Achamkulangare introduced JIU’s report on the ‘Selection and appointment process for United Nations Resident Coordinators, including preparation, training and support provided for their work.’ The report provides an assessment of the operation of the existing selection and appointment process for the UN Resident Coordinators, and the effectiveness and efficiency of the related institutional support mechanism, including the preparation, training and support provided. The report identifies and analyses the existing challenges faced in the selection and appointment process of Resident Coordinators and makes recommendations aimed at improving it.

Mr. Yiping Zhou introduced the report of the Secretary-General on “The State of South-South cooperation”. This report reviews the main trends and progress made by the UN development system to bolster support to South-South and triangular cooperation for development over the past year. Mr Zhou highlighted that there are enormous opportunities for South-South cooperation in achieving the internationally-agreed development goals, including the MDGs, while anticipating the post-2015 development agenda. Furthermore, the report recommended the establishment of an interagency coordination mechanism under the UNDG to enhance and support the south-south cooperation. It also recommended focusing UN support on those areas where it has previously proved more effective.

Meeting: 26th and 27th Meetings of the Second Committee: Operational activities for development (A/69/215) [item 24]
Date: 29 October 2014
Speakers: Ms. Zina Mounla (DESA on behalf of Assistant Secretary General, Thomas Gass); Mr.Gopinathan Achamkulangare (Inspector, JIU); Mr. Yiping Zhou (Envoy of the Secretary General on South-South Cooperation).
Location: Conference Room 2, UN Headquarters, New York.
Written by WIT Representative: Aslesha Dhillon

Edited by WIT Representative: Philip Bracey

Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the Post-2015 Agenda

UNPAThe final meeting of the 7th session of the conference of state parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York . This meeting was a culmination of a series of meetings that took place from the 10th to the 12th of June, 2014.

The purpose of this conference was to discuss the incorporation of the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the post-2015 development agenda, matters related to the national implementation of the convention and its monitoring, and concern for youth with disabilities. Delegations from all the states party to the convention were present this afternoon to put forward their views and recommendations. The international community recognizes that there is a significant portion of persons with disabilities in the world (15% of the population), who are most likely to be deprived of social and economic opportunities and therefore, they require special attention towards developmental activities if we are to achieve the Millennium Developmental Goals.

The rights of persons with disabilities are deeply rooted in the foundational principles of the United Nations Charter, which aims to promote and encourage respect for fundamental human rights. Therefore, the international community has made a commitment to the advancement and development of persons with disabilities by ensuring their inclusion and equal treatment in society.

The delegation of Honduras suggested that persons with disabilities are almost invisible because there is a lack of reliable data. All states should strive to set up a reliable system that will centralize all the information and provide high quality quantified information about their people. Jamaica stressed upon the importance of transforming global perspectives of persons with disabilities. Highlighting the role of education, many states emphasized on improving access to education in order to inform persons with disabilities about their rights and freedoms.

Meeting Title – Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Speakers: Ambassador Macharia Kamau of Kenya, the President of the Conference; Thomas Gass, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs; Ivan Šimonović, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights; Maria Soledad, Chair of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; Shuaib Chalklen, Special Rapporteur on Disability of the Commission for Social Development; and Lenin Moreno, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility
Date – June 12th, 2014
Location: CR 4, North Lawn Building, United Nations HQ, New York
Written by WIT Representative– Nusrat Laskar

#Youth2015: Realising the future they want

Opening of the Forum on Youth 2014 

“The future is yours so you have your own prerogatives to raise your voices. There is no plan B because there is no planet B. ”

– H.E. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

As emphasised by H.E. Secretary General, today’s youth are leaders in all areas from technology to politics, the arts to science. Already young people are making their mark on history by altering traditional power structures. H.E. Ban Ki-moon asked that the youth continue to play their crucial role challenging and transforming the future.

H.E. Martin Sajdik, President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), praised our youth as catalysts for change, as their imagination and energy innovates societies to grow and achieve a greater quality of life. H.E. Martin Sajdik asked the world to include the youth population, totaling 1.8 billion, to revolutionize our global system as providers, problem solvers and mentors.

 H.E. John Ashe, President of the sixty-eighth session of the General Assembly, explained his desire for youth to get involved especially as nations are working together towards setting agendas post 2015. These ‘sustainable development goals’ aim to transform our world by 2030, a period that will be run by leaders who are the youth of today. Therefore youth participation is essential so that their vision is encapsulated in the UN’s mission.

Youth Advisor for CIVICUS Alliance, Ms. Brittany Trilford shared that 85% of the youth population lives in developing countries. These people are the next generation of workers, leaders and activists. Therefore they should be targeted in development schemes.

Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, the Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, explained the global connection amongst young people, through the same struggles to realise the same aspirations. Mr. Alhendawi believes an important element to the post 2015 agenda should be the role of young women as assets and drivers for development.

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Meeting Title: United Nations ECOSOC Forum on Youth 2014: Opening Session
Performance by: Lisa Russell Spoken Word Artists
Speakers: President of the Economic and Social Council H.E. Martin Sajdik,  Secretary-General of the United Nations H.E. Ban Ki-moon, President of the sixty-eighth session of the General Assembly H.E. John Ashe, Youth Advisor of CIVICUS Alliance Ms. Brittany Trilford, and United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi
Location: United Nations HQ, New York
Date: 2 June 2014
Written by WIT representative: Sophia Griffiths-Mark