The Benefits of Girls Education

The Population Division organized and led the expert panel to discuss the known scientific knowledge on the main substantive issues on how population is an important factor in sustainable development and the sustainable development goals. The main panelist opened up the discussion with a PowerPoint highlighting how changes in age structure and demographics lead to a favorable working population. Having a favorable working population then leads to large socioeconomic improvements associated with behavioral changes and even societal health benefits. The next speaker, Sajeda Amin, led and introduced the Population Council’s work on livelihoods for adolescent girls. She stressed the need to invest in adolescent girls from not only a human rights perspective, but more of a strategic standpoint as well. The price of not investing in this demographic is high, as maternal morbidity rates, gender-based violence and HIV patients increase. To invest in this demographic, she stressed that investing in a girl’s education and providing resources to control fertility influences population growth. Dr. Amin showed a graph showing an inverse relationship in South Korean women, where fertility rates and female labor participation were directed in opposite directions. Thus, achieving sustainability depends critically on “investments in girls in settings where they are at high risk of dropping out of school, early marriage and early childbearing.” The next speaker, Mr. Eloundou-Enyegue talked about the demographic dividends gained from a changing population, in terms of health. He elaborated to state that there are many possible points of integration between sustainable development and population. He further addressed these variables between sustainable development and population including the growing economic inequality across the world. In closing, the main panelist stated that there is a clear correlation between population growth and the ability to sustain development, and stated that addressing these two issues collectively will pay dividends in the future.

Meeting: Expert panel on “Integrating Population Issues into Sustainable Development, Including in the Post-2015 Development Agenda” (organized by the Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA))

Thursday, January 22, 2015; 10:00-13:00; Conference Room 5

Speakers: Dr. Sajeda Amin, Senior Associate of the Population Council; Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue, Professor of Development Sociology at Cornell University

Written By: Daniel Cho

Edited By: Modou Cham

International Day of Cooperatives


Sharon Brennen Haylock began today’s event to celebrate the International Day of Cooperatives with brief biographies of the speakers and the introductory remarks. She discussed background information concerning cooperatives. Cooperatives’ goals for the post-2015 agenda are designed to help boost the economy and lead to implementation reforms. The UN international cooperative goal is to resolve global issues, and join actions of the cooperative movement. She concluded by expressing two important steps for 2015 and beyond: achieving a new climate agreement and adopting a long range agenda.

Daniela Bas took over as moderator for the duration of the event. She relayed a message from Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon. The message talked about creating enabling environments for cooperatives. The message went on to elaborate how governments have the power to establish enabling environments, but for some time, mainly private agencies have raised awareness and strengthened cooperatives. She elucidated that the cooperatives’ goals have served 857 million people.

Och Od stated that the cooperatives are based on mutual interest between agencies trying to reach goals for sustainable development. One of his main goals was aiming to contribute to population growth by supplying nomadic civilizations with basic needs for development.

Wenyan Yang stated that the General Assembly recognizes that the vital role cooperatives play in sustainable development is essential for the post-2015 agenda. She expressed the importance of filling in the technological data gap. She stated filling in the data gap will help determine the amount of people who benefit from the cooperatives globally.

Sharon Brennen Haylock concluded the panel discussion by stating that poverty and job growth for youth, among other developmental factors, can all be attributed to the progression of cooperative goals. She spoke about the UN currently laying the groundwork and guidelines for the post-2015 agenda.


Meeting Title: Special event on the occasion of the International Day of Cooperatives (5 July) on the theme “Cooperative enterprises achieve sustainable development for all”
Speakers: Daniela Bas, Director, Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD), Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA); His Excellency, Ambassador OCH OD, Permanent Mission of Mongolia to the United Nations; Wenyan Yang, Chief, Social Perspective in Development Branch, Division for Social Policy and Development, DESA; Vinicius Pinheiro, Deputy Director, ILO New York Office; Sharon Brennen Haylock, Director, FAO Liaison Office in New York
Location: Conference Building Room 3, United Nations HQ, New York
Date: 10 July 2014
Written By WIT Representative: Leslie Anokye
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