“Getting to Know the Economic and Social Council System in the Sustainable Development Goals Era”

IPRA_and_the_United_Nations-2

The meeting convened by the President of ECOSOC H.E. Ms. Inga Rhondo King as part of the Orientation Course on the Economic and Social Council for members of the Council. The session was the first part of a series of discussions with members of the council on ‘Getting to Know ECOSOC in the SDG Era’. In her remarks, H.E. Ms. Inga said that the MDGs Era was a period of experimentation where we faced global challenges. She added that to strengthen the work of ECOSOC, three events will be held this year: The Annual youth forum, the High-Level Political Forum (HLFP) on Sustainable Development and the SDGs Fair.

Delegates from different member states in attendance discussed and asked questions on how to strengthen the ECOSOC system and its governance. The secretary of ECOSOC, Ms. Emer Herity highlighted the role of ECOSOC, and explained the structures and related platforms, its mandates and outcomes, and the working methods and procedures of ECOSOC system in the context of work program and agenda for the 2019 ECOSOC cycle. In another statement, Ms. Emer added that the council offers an inclusive space to exchange experiences, knowledge and ideas for a better result on how ECOSOC contributes in advancing the integrated implementation of the 2030 Agenda and related agendas. She ended her remarks by stating that the specific global functions of ECOSOC will bring value to, and effectively support, national level implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

In another remark, Ms. Leslie Wade Chief of International Indigenous Speaker Bureau/ Office of Intergovernmental support (IISB/OISC) discussed the implementation of the work of ECOSOC’s segments and Forums such as Financing for Development Forum (FFDF), Youth forum, Partnership forum, Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) and the Multi-stakeholder Forum on science, Technology and Innovation (STI forum)

Meeting: Informal meeting on “Getting to Know the Economic and Social Council System in the Sustainable Development Goals Era”

Date/Location: Wednesday 23th January 2019; Trusteeship Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York, New York

Speakers:

-The president of ECOSOC H.E. Ms. Inga Rhonda King

-Ms. Marion Barthelemy, Director, Office of intergovernmental support and Coordination for Sustainable Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (OISC/DESA)

-H.E. Marco A. Suazo, Head-of-office, UNITAR New York

-Ms, Emer Herity, Secretary of ECOSOC and the Second Committee

-Ms, Leslie Wade, Chief, IISB/OISC

-Mr. Huanyu Liu Policy Integration Unit, Financing for Sustainable Development Office (FSDO)

-Representative from the Division for the Sustainable Development Goals (DSDG)(TBC)

Written By: WIT Representative Kim Juyeon

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

Peace And Women Are Building Blocks

Today’s event offered a forum in which panelists shared their views on how to best incorporate women’s leadership in contexts of fragility and conflict and ensure that they are not left behind.

Unlike the MDGs, which included no separate provision for peace and security, the 2030 Agenda (with the introduction of the SDGs) has dedicated an entire goal for peace and security (SDG 16). As Ms. Cabrera-Balleza remarked, “Goal 16 is very important and has been long fought for. How can we talk about sustainable development in a country that is at war?”  She highlighted the importance of including women and civil society in the implementation of the new agenda. We must take the SDGs out of New York and the UN and bring them to the countries affected and in need of sustainable development. We must ensure that they are also owned by local people and communities. To do this, we must translate the SDGs from UN language to one that is broken down and fathomed at local levels. Partnering with local community media is crucial to dissipating the information. We should also give space to women so that they can take the lead in decisions. The “Add Woman or Stir Approach” can no longer be viable.

Ms. Gbowee noted that the 2030 Agenda is one that incorporates almost every thematic area that affects our world. The SDGs are all interconnected and must be achieved together. Further, we must not let the SDGs become trending issues that will later lose relevance. It is time to push and speak the hard truth. She pointed out that women-centered movements have lost their strength and become overly diplomatic. As she stated, “You can never leave footprints that last if you are always walking on tiptoe.”

Meeting: “Women’s Leadership in SDG Implementation in Situations of Conflict and Fragility: Lessons from Somalia and Liberia.”

Date/Location: Wednesday, March 16, 2016; 3:00-4:15 p.m.; Conference Room A

Speakers: Ms. Rosemary Kalapurakal, Moderator; Ms. Sarah Poole, Deputy Director, BPPS, UNDP; Hon. Sahra Mohamaed Ali Samatar, Minister of Women and Human Rights Development; Ms. Leymah Gbowee, Liberian Women’s Rights and Peace Activist, 2011 Nobel  Peace Prize Winner; Ms. Zahra Said Nur, Women’s Rights Activist, Founder of Talowadaag-Somali Women’s Movement; Ms. Mavic Cabrera-Balleza, International Coordinator, Global Network of Women Peacebuilders

Written By: WIT Representative Emilie Broek

Edited By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick

Giant Leaps for Women-Kind

The 60th Commission on the Status of Women held its first ever youth forum today. Importance was placed on training a new generation of youth to become leaders. This generation will include young women, but also men who will be allies in initiatives such as “HeforShe.”

Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka noted that an alliance has been struck between women and youth with the potential to change the world. Currently, women are found globally at the bottom of economic ladders and it is thus crucial for Goal 5 of the 2030 Agenda to be met. It is young women who must take charge of the agenda for change to be actualized. The agenda does not call for baby steps, it calls for giant leaps.

Next, Mr. Alhendawi stressed the importance of youth inclusion in UN discussions. It is time we make noise and make it be known that we can no longer just do business as usual. We must take big steps towards protecting gender equality. SDG #5 is at the heart of all we do.

Mr. Karkara noted that we are about to transform the world. Year 2015 was a giant leap for women, year 2016 will be a great leap for young women-kind. It is time for young women to take their destinies within their own hands. With the advent of the “LEAP’s” framework of Leadership, Economic Empowerment, Action, Participation, Partnerships, and Inter-generational participation, both young men and women can be empowered as allies to achieve gender equality.

Ms. Banerjee further evoked the promising future of the 2030 SDG’s. Unlike the MDG’s which sought improvement, the SDG’s will transform the world and leave no one behind. Equipped with 17 goals and 169 targets, young people must mobilize together to achieve Planet 5050 by the year 2030.

Meeting: “Youth Forum at the 60th Commission on Status of Women.”

Date/Location: 9:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.; Friday, March 11, 2016; Salvation Army

Speakers: Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director; Ms. Nyaradzayi Gumbodzvanda, Secretary General World YMCA; Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Youth; Ms. Anita Tiessen, CEO of WAGGGS; Mr. Ravi Karkara, Senior Advisor Strategic Partnership and Advocacy UN Women; Ms. Lopa Banerjee, Representative of the UN Women

Written By: WIT Representative Emilie Broek

Edited By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick

Photo Credit: 盘磬

“No Waste Water, Only Wasted Water”

   A new report, “The UNSGAB Journey”, on water and sanitation was launched by the United Nations Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB) at today’s press conference. The advisory board was founded in 2004 by then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan “to bring together eminent people to advise on how to solve the planet’s foremost water and sanitation troubles, suggest a handful of attainable recommendations and a concise plan of action, and then provide the high-level leadership needed to galvanize the international community into action on the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets for drinking water and sanitation.” The group’s 11-year mandate has come to an end and this is the final work to be put out by the group.

   The report shines light on 7 tipping points to transform the water world:

  1. Build attention to water and sanitation: create the will to act now
  2. Drinking Water: More. Managed. Monitored. Made safe.
  3. Bring sanitation into the mainstream
  4. Push for increased and improved financial flows
  5. Catalyze better water resources management. IWRM and Nexus: within and between countries, across sectors
  6. Demand UN attention to pollution prevention, wastewater treatment and safe reuse
  7. Promote protection and prevent death and damage from water-related disasters

   The report also includes words of wisdom for future advisory groups and discusses unfinished business and tasks for the future.

   The advisory group worked by identifying personalities and institutions that had high leverage and would be able to bring political attention to sanitation and UNSGAB was successful in putting wastewater management on the UN agenda. The speakers left the audience with the mantra “there is no waste water, but only wasted water.”

Meeting: Launch of a New Report by the United Nations Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB)

Speakers: Ms. Uschi Eid, United Nations Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB); and UNSGAB Members: Ms. Maggie Catley-Carlson; Ms. Maria Mutagamba; and Mr. Gerard Payen.

Written By: WIT Representative Tania Makker

Edited By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick

Photo credit: https://sourceable.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/water-recycling.jpg

Financing for Gender Equality and Women’s Rights

In order to put emphasis on strengthening accountability, transparency and financing for gender equality and women’s rights, a discussion was held to address the role of development cooperation in supporting the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda. Ms. Khan began by highlighting the importance of strengthening political support for better financing in dealing with gender equality. Three specific areas were discussed, including mutual accountability and transparency, aid quantity and quality and the engagement of the diversity of development cooperation actors.

Next, Mr. Smith stressed how this is an important subject as an entry point to discuss the techniques needed to make progress.He specifically talked about the importance of easy access to information, which would empower and create solutions for solving grand societal challenges. Mr. Hendra then pointed out it is a must to build a more robust understanding of all countries on their specific situations. In addition, it is essential to strengthen government accountability and identify measures to address gender equality efficiently. This is necessary to maintain a transformative post-2015 development agenda.557630-genderrights-1370150215-998-640x480

Ms. Craviotto then briefly discussed the trends in funding for women’s rights, including the role of the private sector. She also quoted examples of various countries and their experiences in tracking allocations for gender equality. Ms. O’Neill explained the analysis on donor investments in gender equality, and women’s rights towards the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda. Based on the latest report published in March, the total amount of bilateral aid targeting gender equality and women’s empowerment tripled from 8 million USD in 2002 to 24 billion USD in 2012, resulting in an annual average growth rate of 12%. The increase in aid to gender equality and women’s empowerment is one of the most tangible outcomes of MDG 3 – promote gender equality and empower women.

 

Meeting Title: What women get: promoting transparency and accountability in financing for gender equality and women’s rights
Speakers: Ms. Zohra Khan, Policy Advisor of Governance and National Planning, UN Women; Mr. Anthony Smith, Director for International Cooperation, Department for International Development, United Kingdom; Mr. John Hendra, Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Executive Director, UN Women; Ms. Nerea Craviotto, Lead Advocacy Coordinator, Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID); Ms. Patti O’Neill, Head of Division, Global Policies and Partnerships, Development Cooperation Directorate, OECD
Location: Conference Room C, United Nations HQ, New York
Date: 10 July 2014
Written By WIT representative: Samantha Kong
Edited By WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan

MDG Progress Review – Qatar, UK, and Kuwait

Millennium-Development-Goals-for-2015Today, as part of the Annual Ministerial Review on development, Qatar, the UK, and Kuwait gave their respective countries’ development reports, and had these reports reviewed by their peers as part of the monitoring and evaluation process of the millennium development goals (MDGs). Beginning the meeting, the representative from Qatar presented Qatar’s National Development Strategy (NDS), which covers the period from 2011-2016. So far it’s found that Qatar has done exceedingly well in GNI per capita (ranking 1st globally), and in having high levels of citizen satisfaction with life. However, the NDS report pointed out population growth as a major challenge to development in Qatar. Qatar’s population has grown from 1.4 million in 2008 to 2.1 million in 2013, with almost a quarter of a million more people expected by 2014. Population growth places a burden on schools, hospitals, housing, and other aspects of social infrastructure. Traffic congestion and accidents were also highlighted as main challenges for Qatar. Concluding the presentation, proposed future actions for development include creating a high-level sustainable development committee, ensuring the integration of environmental and social concerns, and improving quantitative and qualitative measures of well-being.

Next, the UK’s development report was presented. The UK is the only G8 country to reach the UN set target of allocating .7% of its GNI for official development assistance (ODA). Furthermore, the UK identified its key priorities for development as gender equality, education and health, humanitarian work, multilateral aid effectiveness, reducing barriers to economic growth, supporting capital market development in Sub Saharan Africa, and international efforts to combat tax evasion and corruption. To promote development, the UK has given 40% of its bilateral aid to Sub Saharan Africa. Furthermore, in 2013, the UK gave 4.4 billion pounds to 40 different multilateral aid agencies. The presentation concluded with a quote from the UK’s International Development Secretary, Justine Greening, “Development is in all of our interests. Helping other countries to grow and develop means a better, more prosperous future for Britain too.”

Lastly, Kuwait gave its presentation on its development progress. So far, Kuwait has done relatively well in meeting the MDGs. By 2011, only .33% of its population lived on less than $1.25 per day, by 2012 97% of children were enrolled in primary schools, and Kuwait has seen a significant improvement in maternal health – 1.7 deaths for every 100,000 births as of 2012. However, increasing CO2 levels in Kuwait remain a challenge, and water desalination and power stations are main sources of pollution. Thus far, Kuwait has been successful in building a global partnership for development – allocating 1.23% of its GNI for ODA, hosting the first Arab summit on economic and social development, and creating the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development. The meeting concluded with reviews by peer countries of the development reports.

 

Meeting Title: Annual Ministerial Review National Voluntary Presentations: Qatar, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Kuwait
Speakers: H.E. Mr. Saleh bin Mohammad Al Nabit, Minister of Development Planning and Statistics, Qatar; Mr. Anthony Smith, Head, International Relations, Department for International Development, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; H.E. Mr. Mansour Ayyad SH A Alotaibi, Permanent Representative of Kuwait
Date: 9 July 2014
Location: Conference Room 2, United Nations HQ, New York
Written By WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan

UN Annual Ministerial Review on MDGs

The United Nations held its annual ministerial review, and Mr.Wu presented the 2014 ARM report of the Secretary General. Mr. Wu elucidated that the MDGs have been important in prioritizing development and creating momentum for their implementation. He then acknowledged that although there has been significant progress in meeting many of the goals and targets, achievements have not been equal among goals, countries and regions.

Further, Ms. Fukuda-Parr gave a report on the sixteenth session of the Committee for Development Policy (CDP), (E/2014/33, and Supplement No. 13). The CDP gave policy analysis and substantial recommendations on global governance and global rule. She explained that there are five principles crucial to guiding the reforms on global rules, namely, (i) Common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capacities, (ii) Subsidiarity, (iii) Inclusiveness, transparency and accountability, (iv) Coherence and (v) Responsible sovereignty. Ms. Fukuda-Parr concluded her statements by recommending that the council’s role to coordinate and guide initiatives of global socio-economic development should include an effective mechanism to monitor all development partners, including developed and developing countries, the private sector, non-governmental organizations and multilateral organizations.images-8

Further, the representatives of Norway and Costa Rica concurred with Ms. Fukuda-Parr’s conclusion. Next, the representative of Costa Rica added that her delegation is interested in establishing a truly global development partnership that builds upon the Monterrey Consensus, the Doha Declaration on Financing for Development and the Rio+20 outcome. The three dimensions of Sustainable Development: Economic, Social and Environment, were at the top of the agenda for many delegates, such as the delegates of South Africa, European Union, Serbia, G77 and China, San Marino and Zambia. With conviction, these ministers and diplomats agreed that a balanced integration and implementation of the injunctions given at Rio+20 asserts the function of the council in achieving a balanced integration of the three dimensions.

 

Meeting: The afternoon session of the high-level segment of the 2014 session of the Economic and Social Council and the three-day ministerial meeting of the high-level political forum on Sustainable Development. The Annual Ministerial Review (AMR) “Addressing on-going and emerging challenges for meeting the Millennium Development Goals in 2015 and for sustaining development gains in the future”
Speakers: Introduction of the report of the Secretary-General: Mr. Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs; Introduction of the report of the Committee for Development Policy: Ms. Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, Vice-Chair, And Committee for Development Policy. General debate (rolling list), His Excellency Sacha Sergio Llorentty Solíz, Permanent Representative of the Plurinational State of Bolivia to the United Nations (on behalf of the Group of 77 and China); Her Excellency Olga Marta Sánchez Oviedo, Minister of Planning and Economic Policy  of Costa Rica (on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States); His Excellency Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Environment (on behalf of the European Union); His Excellency Ivica Dacic, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia; His Excellency Pasquale Valentini, Minister of Foreign Affairs of San Marino; Representative of Zambia, Representative of South Africa, and Representative of European Union.
Date: 8 July 2014
Location: United Nations Headquarters, NY, ECOSOC Chamber
Written by WIT Representative: Modou Cham

 

 

ECOSOC Discusses Social Development and Human Settlements

downloadThe 23rd coordination and management meeting was held at ECOSOC on 12 June. This high panel discussion gathered representatives of CSOD, UN Habitat and CEB to discuss the drafted resolution on social development and human settlements. “Promoting empowerment of people in achieving poverty eradication, social integration and decent work for all is the priority theme”, representative of CSOD said in her introductory statement. She highlighted the critical importance of empowerment in accelerating the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals. In light of that, she stressed that synergies must be created between empowerment policies and the current work to strengthen the three pillars of sustainable development. She repeatedly emphasized the need for increased and effective participation by youth in decision-making processes at all levels, including the post-2015 processes.

Director of UN-Habitat reported the role of UN-Habitat at the global level, which aims at working with a wide range of partners to prepare and consult the post-2015 development agenda and sustainable development goals. It also closely cooperates with international financial institutions and the International Aid Transparency Initiative. She suggested several recommendations on implementing the Habitat Agenda. She pointed out the need of appropriate consideration on the role of urbanization for better implementation of sectorial policies within cities and urban settlements. This would enhance economic productivity and equity, to implement economic empowerment programs that create opportunities for the youth and women.

Ms. Simona outlined the five transformational shifts that are required to drive the universal post-2015 development agenda, including leaving no one behind, putting sustainable development at the core, transforming economics for jobs and inclusive growth, building peace and effective, open and accountable institutions for all and forging a new global partnership. She concluded by highlighting the five critical interlinked elements for the post-2015 development agenda: universality, integration, equality, human rights and data revolution.

Meeting Title: 23rd coordination and management meeting: Social development and human settlements
Speakers: Ms. Sewa Lamsal Adhikari, Chair of CSOD 52; Ms. Simona Mirela Miculescu, Chair of CSOD 53; Director of UN-Habitat, Ms. Simona Petrova, Director of the Chief Executive Board (CEB) Secretariat
Location: United Nations HQ, ECOSOC
Date: 12 June 2014
Written By WIT representative: Samantha Kong

Charting the Course For the Education We Want

To inform the community on the progress of achieving “Education for All” through the Sustainable Development Goals, UNESCO and UNICEF hosted an information meeting to provide updates on their work. Ms. Jensen highlighted the enormity of the task of incorporating education for all as a distinct developmental goal, which has its roots in the 1990s. She cautioned the audience that the visionary goal of ensuring “equitable and inclusive quality education and lifelong learning” in the zero draft must not be watered down in subsequent deliberations, a mistake learnt from the lessons of the Millennium Development Goals.Image

Mr. Vedeler mentioned the importance ensuring quality education, and how it is reflected in the zero draft targets by aiming at educating children that are not only literate, but are also equipped to work and become global citizens. His remarks on the importance of qualified teachers are also echoed by Ms. Wulff, who stated that some countries have more than 50% of teachers who are not qualified to teach. Ms. Wulff also stated the importance of motivating teachers by means of improving their compensation and restoring respect to the profession.

Miss Crosco intervened on the point of monitoring and evaluation, and stressed the positive role that the civil society has played in shaping education development should be maintained in the SDGs monitoring process. On the technical aspect of monitoring, Mr. Antonisis stated the need to develop new measurable indicators for intangible goals such as students’ acquisition of problem-solving skills and equity in education achievement. However, he also made an encouraging statement on the positive progress in developing these new indicators so far. The Deputy Permanent Representatives of two sponsoring states, Argentina and Brazil, showed their support to UNESCO and UNICEF, and shared their countries best practices in achieving education for all.

Meeting Title: Beyond 2015: The Education We Want Information Meeting
Speakers: H.E. Mr. Guilherme de Guiar Patriota, Deputy Permanent Representative of Brazil; Ms. Josephine Bourne, UNICEF Global Chief of Education; Ms. Vibeke Jensen, Director of UNESCO Liaison Office in New York; Mr. Dankert Vedeler, Chair of Education for All Steering Committee, Ms. Antonia Wulff, Education International Coordinator for Education and Employment; Ms. Camilla Crosco, Co-Chair of EFA Steering Committee; Mr. Manos Antoninis, Senior Policy Analyst for Education For All Global Monitoring Report.
Location: Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium, United Nations Headquarters, New York
Date: 16 June 2014
Written By WIT Representative: Harrison Chung
Edited by WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan