NGO Committee on Sustainable Development

International_Peace_Day_logoDr. Vendley introduced the role of religious communities in creating a shared vision of peace for the sustainable development agenda. He also stated, “Peace is more than the absence of war”, but also a cultivation of virtues. Essentially, Dr. Vendley believed social institutions could not survive without virtuous people and community. Reverend Ali stressed the importance of engaging children in developing peace, an important factor in sustainable development. To build equality, she emphasized a cultivation of open-mindedness in children, especially those surrounded by conflict and violence. This encourages collaboration among children, a societal benefit.

Ms. Kader shared her opinion about sustainable development and peace by saying, “It is the right of every human being to live in peace and dignity”, no matter their lifestyle or beliefs, as long as “their decisions aren’t inflicted on others and don’t harm others.” Similarly, Mr. Knotts spoke on the importance of having human rights when discussing peace in sustainable development, noting climate change as a current and future source of conflict in countries, especially when dealing with resources. Ms. McGlone revealed the work of the Peace Boat US, an NGO focused on educating others about global conflict resolution and peacebuilding by inviting speakers aboard their cruise ship to discuss relevant world issues.

Ambassador Garcia discussed three pillars of sustainable development: environmental protection, economic development, and social inclusion. He also explained humane sustainable cities through a cultural peace, which, combined with national institutions, leadership, and global partnership development, can lead to civil society and private sector participation. Ms. Jacob represented youth involvement in the creation of a culture of peace. She wanted to improve the present and change conditions for the future by boosting the level of youth impact in sustainable development and spreading relevant information.

Meeting: Co NGO Committee on Sustainable Development: November General Membership Meeting
Date/Location: November 13, 2014; 12:10-2:30; The United Nations Church Center
Speakers: Co-Chairs: Margo LaZaro & Yvonne O’Neal, Dr. William F. Vendley, Secretary General of Religions for Peace; H.E. Ambassador Carlos Garcia, former Permanent Representative of El Salvador to the Un Founder & CEO of CG Global Consultant; Ms. Sally Kader, Founder & President of the World Federation for Middle East Peace; Mr. Bruce Knotts, Director of the Unitarian Universalist Association, UN Office; Mrs. Emilie McGlone, Director of Peace Board US; Reverend Farida Ali, Principal Representative of the All Pakistan Women’s Association to the UN; Ms. Kamila Jacob, Envoy Coordinator & Youth Representative for UUA-UN Office
Written By WIT Representative: Daniel Cho, Eman Osagie, and Elise Freeman

Edited by WIT Representative: Aslesha Dhillon

Conclusion of Second Committee’s General Debate

image18_866The Second Committee continued and concluded the general debate. The representative of Bulgaria focused on the lack of participation of young people in the decision-making process. Bulgaria called for an inclusive post-2015 development agenda based on human rights. Next the representative of Fiji stated that a robust implementation of the post 2015 development agenda would only be as meaningful for SIDS, if a cohesive financing development structure focusing on the special needs of SIDS is implemented.

The representative of Jordan stated that eradication of poverty should be the core of the post-2015 development agenda. The representative of Liberia stated that the Ebola pandemic in the Mano River Union Basin have tested the fragility of their post conflict economies and disrupted their agriculture and other revenue generation activities.

Next the representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) highlighted that the ‘State of Food Insecurity’ (SOFI) report showed that approximately 805 million people were estimated to be chronically undernourished in 2012–14, down by 100 million over the decade: demonstrating that the hunger target of the Millennium Development Goal is within reach. FAO also stressed on the need to invest in adequate social protection mechanisms, including nutrition-sensitive safety net programmes, to promote sustainable and inclusive development.

Finally the representative of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies stressed the critical connection between reducing disaster risk and ensuring poverty eradication and humanitarian and development interventions.

Meeting Title: Second Committee: Sixth Meeting
Date: 9 October 2014
Location:  Conference room 2, United Nations HQ, New York.
Written by WIT Representative– Aslesha Kaur Dhillon

States Take Initiative to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons

Today marked the beginning of a five day event organized to generate conversation about a potential programme of action aimed at controlling and ultimately preventing the illicit trade of small arms and light weapons. H.E. Mr. Tanin, chair of this meeting, opened the dialogue by discussing our need for more innovative methods in improving our collective control over the proliferation of these weapons. He then outlined the three topics that need to be tackled over the upcoming days, including discussions on stock pile management, international cooperation and assistance, and an agreed upon outcome document. H.E. Mr. Tanin truly highlighted the importance of this event by claiming that the success of the post-2015 sustainable development agenda is contingent on the prevention and reduction of armed violence. Only effective action against illicit trade of weapons at national, regional, and global levels can provide an environment conducive to success for the sustainable development goals.Image

Mr. Prins continued the opening remarks with an overview of the 2014 national reports, with a focus on those countries that requested international assistance. Following these remarks, the debate on stock pile management ensued. The Permanent Representative of the EU sparked the dialogue by stating the need to devote attention to countries where ill managed stock piles could potentially have devastating effects, particularly those emerging from recent conflict.

Furthermore, Representatives from both Jamaica and Japan brought attention to the role women need to play in this fight. Through educating children and working to prevent the recruitment of child soldiers, women can play a vital role in containing this crisis. Finally, while the Representative from the Arab Group stressed their complete commitment to combat the illicit trade of weapons, they also stated their belief that the final document should not propose a cumbersome task for developing countries, and instead should be in accordance with the abilities and capacities of all countries.


Meeting Title: Fifth Biennial Meeting of States to Consider the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects
Speakers: H.E. Mr. Zahir Tanin, Ambassador of Afghanistan to the UN; Mr. Daniel Prins, Conventional Arms Branch Chief of the UNODA; Permanent Representative of the European Union; Permanent Representative of Jamaica on behalf of CARICOM; Permanent Representative of Japan; Permanent Representative of the Arab Group; Permanent Representative of Pakistan; Permanent Representative of China; Permanent Representative of Iraq
Location: Conference Room 3, United Nations HQ, New York
Date: 16 June 2014
Written By WIT Representative: Zachary Halliday
Edited by WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan