The SDG realization: Mobilizing science, technology and innovation and strengthening the science-policy-society interface

Earlier this month, an informal meeting of the High-Level Political Forum 2021 explored the challenges and opportunities for mobilizing science, technology and innovation (STI) and strengthening the science-policy-society interface to support the implementation of SDGs.

STI: The benefits and the risks

The global progress of STI has been revolutionary, promising tremendous benefits to the societies, which have been even more evident in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The state-of-the-art technologies in vaccine development have provided powerful means to fight and eradicate the disease; meanwhile, the advancement of ICT allows people to work remotely, resume economic activities and build social connections across the world. On the other hand, the discoveries of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and 5G networks are expected to be the backbones of our societies for the next decade, advancing global economic, social and environmental development to an unprecedented extent. Despite the immense potential for STI in SDGs realization, challenges abound. Around half of the world’s population remains digitally unconnected, creating a digital divide that hinders numerous lives in the enjoyment of STI services. The weak alignment between current STI and SDGs has also exacerbated inequalities in vulnerable communities including women and indigenous people, undermining the global achievements of the 2030 Agenda.

Sustainable and transformative STI pathways towards SDG realization

To ensure effective mobilization of STI in SDG realization, a better science-policy-society interface is utterly needed. Policymakers should focus on enhancing the availability of open data for STI in tackling social issues, while ensuring the nature of these STI are in alignment with the sustainable development principles. Moreover, multi-stakeholder partnerships in scientific research, open innovation and youth nurturement should be further strengthened for global digital transformation. To address the global digital divide, inclusiveness should be put in the utmost priority of STI advancement. It includes strengthening the participation of women and indigenous communities in the sector, who are often underrepresented; as well as providing universal STI services through provision of digital infrastructures, affordable Internet, and digital literacy skills for the unconnected people. It is also important to build public trust in STI related to all areas of sustainable development, and it is policymakers’ and companies’ responsibility to prevent exacerbation of violence, hate and inequalities in such means.

Advances in STI should be harnessed to enhance equal opportunities and access to basic services so no one is left behind. Governments and the international community have a central role in providing directionality to innovation activities to ensure STI is driven by considerations of inclusiveness and sustainability. The pandemic is a wake-up call for effective bilateral and multilateral cooperation to collectively address the sustainability challenges and accelerate the global progress of SDGs through the means of STI.

Resource:

https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?page=view&type=20000&nr=7188&menu=2993

https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/TFM/STIForum2017

Meeting Title: 2021 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF 2021), 11th Informal Meeting

Date/Location: Friday, 9 July 2021; 11:15-13:15; The meeting was held virtually

Speaker:

Mr. Sergiy Kyslytsya (Ukraine), Vice President of ECOSOC;

Mr. Mohammad Koba, Co-Chair of the 2021 STI Forum, Ambassador and Charge d’Affaires of the Permanent Mission of Indonesia to the United Nations;

Mr. Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU);

Mr. Andrejs Pildegovičs, Co-Chair of the 2021 STI Forum, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Latvia to the United Nations;

Ms. Cherry Murray, Co-Chair of the UN Secretary-General’s 10 Member Group to Support the Technology Facilitation Mechanism, Professor of Physics and Deputy Director for Research, Biosphere 2, University of Arizona; etc.

Written by: WIT-UN Representative Iris Sit

2021 ECOSOC Integration Segment

The 2021 ECOSOC Integration Segment held on 2 July discussed policy recommendations from ECOSOC subsidiary bodies and the UN system on sustainable and resilient COVID-19 recovery and effective achievement of the 2030 Agenda to prepare the thematic review of HLPF 2021.

A pandemic that turned into a socio-economic crisis

The unprecedented outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and further exacerbated multidimensional inequalities across the world, threatening the global progress of achieving the SDGs. Its socio-economic impacts are estimated to be four times worse than the 2008 financial crisis, causing the most devastating global economic recession, putting workers at risk of destroyed livelihoods and pushing millions into extreme poverty. While these impacts are significant to a global extent, most are disproportionately affecting people in developing countries, and those in vulnerable groups such as women and girls, young workers, migrants and refugees, etc. To properly address the socio-economic crisis and attain a sustainable recovery, integrated and transformative policy responses with sustainability criteria at core are needed.

A sustainable and resilient recovery: Paving for the achievement of SDGs

To address SDG16: peace and justice for all and effective institutions in the COVID-19 responses, strengthening institutions, governance and the rule of law is crucial. Governments should ensure a transparent, inclusive and non-discriminatory process of decision-making, with full participation of stakeholders including vulnerable and marginalized groups at all stages. In addition, governments should also adopt progressive taxation to redirect fiscal resources to the most vulnerable, such as providing adequate liquidity assistance and debt relief programs. In response to the worsening crime rate and social instability under COVID-19, governments’ efforts in crime prevention, offender rehabilitation and integration, and corruption counteraction are utterly essential to a harmonized and inclusive society.

To promote sustainable and just economies, policy responses should focus on achieving SDG8: decent work and economic growth; SDG10: reduced inequalities; and SDG12: responsible consumption and production. These include market prioritization on clean and efficient energy, electric and hybrid transport, smart agriculture and green infrastructure. Comprehensive support on economic transformation and productive capacity enhancement for developing countries should also be provided through equitable access to finance and education on science, technology and innovation.

Recovery policies focusing on strengthening human well-being and capabilities should be centered around SDG1: no poverty; SDG2: zero hunger; and SDG3: good health and well-being. The development of human-centered policies and science-based solutions, in particular, is imperative to effectively relieve poverty, food insecurity and impacts of climate change in developing countries. Digital connectivity and reliable data are thus required to accelerate the innovation and decision-making process. On the other hand, the implementation of universal health coverage and free COVID-19 vaccination for all should also be executed urgently to ensure equitable access to human rights services.

Although the pandemic has exposed our existing vulnerabilities and reversed the progress of achieving the SDGs, it is certain that with multilateralism at heart of policy responses, there is hope for a sustainable recovery and the achievement of the SDGs.

References:

https://www.un.org/ecosoc/en/events/2021/2021-integration-segment

https://www.un.org/ecosoc/sites/www.un.org.ecosoc/files/files/en/integration/2021/210617_ECOSOC-Integration-Segment_CN_REV.pdf

Meeting Title: 2021 ECOSOC Integration Segment

Date/Location: Friday, 2 July 2021; 09:00-11:00 and 12:00-14:00; Conference Room 1, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY

Speakers:

Mr. Juan Sandoval Mendiolea, Deputy Permanent Representative of Mexico to the United

Nations, Vice-President of ECOSOC;

Mr. Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations;

Mr. Achim Steiner, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP);

Mr. Alessandro Cortese, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations in Vienna

and Chair of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) at its 30th session;

H.E. Mr. Mher Margaryan, Permanent Representative of Armenia to the United Nations in New York and Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at its 65th session;

Ms. Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; and many more

Written by: WIT Representative Iris Sit

MSME Day 2021: Promoting resilient, inclusive and sustainable recovery in the post-COVID-19 world

The celebration of Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day 2021 emphasized the importance for MSMEs to achieve a resilient, inclusive and sustainable recovery in the post-COVID-19 world. The virtual event was joined by ministers, senior officials of UN entities, representatives of business support organizations and entrepreneurs to address barriers, showcase best practices and identify big ideas with MSMEs at the center of achieving the SDGs.

MSMEs: the bedrock of our societies

Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs), though insignificant in business scale, have been the most crucial backbone of global economic and social development. They account for 90% of businesses, 60-70% of employment, and 50% of GDP worldwide. The abrupt outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic however, has caused unprecedented damages to the MSMEs, especially those led by women, youth, ethnic minorities and migrants, resulting in numerous bankruptcies, loss of livelihoods and widened inequalities. Albeit the improved global growth prospect in 2021, an uneven recovery trend has been seen. With LDCs struggling with COVID-19 rebounds and vaccine shortages, conditions remain rough for their MSMEs to recover and contribute to achieving SDGs in the long term.

A resilient, inclusive and sustainable recovery

To achieve a resilient, inclusive and sustainable recovery of MSMEs, measures are needed to not only adapt to the devastating impacts of the pandemic, but also account for the ongoing effects of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution to ensure utter resilience to future shocks.

From the government perspective, easy access to financial and digital business support systems for MSMEs are essential, these ensure high efficiency in immediate support for MSMEs. Government can also promote digital business solutions through MSMEs programs to facilitate their transition of business models and strengthen their productivity and resilience during such unprecedented time. To ensure inclusive access to digital technologies for all MSMEs, governments should also provide adequate digital infrastructures in both urban and rural areas, filling the gap of the digital divide among MSMEs.

From the entrepreneurs’ perspective, particularly young and female entrepreneurs in the LDCs, technical support, corporate partnerships and flexible business targets are essential elements to sustainable business operations during crises. However, to overcome barriers for women- and youth-led businesses in making more environmental investments, green financing opportunities, incentives and grants are desperately needed to enable their proactive engagements in achieving the SDGs.

From the perspective of business support organizations, emphasis on education, training and women-youth empowerment on digital innovations are key foundations to address the structural constraints of MSMEs in LDCs and reduce productivity gaps among businesses. Through multilateral efforts, it is anticipated that MSMEs can not only survive, but thrive in the post-COVID-19 world with resilient, inclusive and sustainable recovery strategies.

References:

https://www.unido.org/events/msmes-key-inclusive-and-sustainable-recovery

Meeting Title: MSMEs: Key to an inclusive and sustainable recovery – Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day 2021

Date/Location: Monday, 28 June 2021; 08:00-11:45; The meeting was held virtually

Speakers:

Mr. Winslow Sargeant, Incoming Chair, ICSB;

Ms. María del Carmen Squeff, Permanent Representative of Argentina to the United Nation;

Mr. Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs;

Ms. Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director, International Trade Centre;

Ms. Isabelle Durant, Acting Secretary General, UN Conference on Trade and Development; and many more

Written by: WIT Representative, Iris Sit

GFMD Perspective on Migration for Sustainable and Resilient Societies

DiAMwL0X0AE1YlF

https://www.facebook.com/gfmdsu/

The meeting was a side-event to the annual high-level political forum on sustainable development at the United Nations headquarters. It focused on the inter-linkages between migration and sustainable development goals (SDGs). In the opening remarks, Mr. El Habib Nadir from Morocco highlighted the relevance of resolving the problem of migration for achieving SDGs. Ms. Eva Åkerman Börje from UN Special Representative for International Migration emphasized the need to put more attention on the implementation of SDGs and its relation to migration.

During the panel discussion, speakers identified several SDGs where migration plays a key role. For example, Ms. Charu Bist from UNDP underlined that the varying development level of countries drives the flow of migration. Mr. Dilip Ratha from the World Bank demonstrated the increasing number of forcibly displaced people due to climate change. Ms. Colleen Thouez from Open Society Foundations underscored the importance for cities and inter-city networks to build capacity with urban planning in order to make themselves resilient in the face of an influx of migrants.

At the end of the meeting, speakers concurred that all relevant actors are significant in the dialogue of migration and sustainable development. Particularly, Ms. Karin Goebel, Minister of German Economic Department, called for involvement of stakeholders, including national governments, UN bodies and civil society.

Meeting: GFMD Perspective on Migration for Sustainable and Resilient Societies (organized by Germany and Morocco, GFMD 2017-2018 Co-Chairs)

Date/Location: Friday 13th July 2018; 13:15-14:30; German House, 871 United Nations Plaza, New York.

Speakers:

Mr. El Habib Nadir, Secretary General, Ministry Delegate to Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in charge of Moroccans Living Abroad and Migration Affairs;

Ms. Eva Åkerman Börje, Senior Policy Advisor Office of the UN Special Representative for International Migration;

Ms. Charu Bist, Senior Jobs and Livelihoods Advisor, United Nations Development Programme;

Mr. Dilip Ratha, Head – KNOMAD, Lead Economist – Migration and Remittances, Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice, The World Bank;

Ms. Colleen Thouez, Director, Welcoming and Integrated Societies Division, Open Society Foundations;

Mr. Julian Pfäfflin, Senior Policy Officer International Migration, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development;

Ms. Marta Foresti, Managing Director, Overseas Development institute;

Ms. Karin Goebel, Minister, Head of Economic Department, Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany to the UN.

Written by WIT representative Vivian Wang

Shaping smarter and more sustainable cities: striving for SDGs

hd_banner_391166-01

https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-T/ssc/Pages/default.aspx

The meeting is about building smart and sustainable cities in line with SDGs. In the opening remarks, Dr. Chaesub Lee pointed out that ICT infrastructure drives innovation in all economic sectors. Also, new technology contributes to make cities safe, resilient and sustainable. For example, big data helps government improve in public services. To reach the goal of building sustainable cities, he concluded by emphasizing that diverse partnership is essential.

The introduction was followed by a panel discussion. Speakers expressed their views on technology and shared experiences from their countries in building smart cities. Dr. Chaesub Lee underscored that the aim for smart cities is not to make all cities identical. Instead, smart cities should be tailor-made with local data and city priorities based on their history, culture and physical location. Agreeing with it, Mrs. Sophia Papathanasopoulou shared the Greek government’s involvement in shaping smart cities in this regard. However, she indicated the challenge to engage all stakeholders at the first stage.

Seeing this, Ms. Kari Eik from Organization for International Economic Relations (OiER) recommended to bring in financing in the beginning. To make SDG comprehensible and attractive to private sector, she stressed the need to establish a framework for the industry. Also, Mr. Eng Bruno Peters from IBI Group emphasized the need to share data in a more meaningful way to maximize investment. Lastly, Ms. Olga Algayerova, Executive Secretary of UNECE, reiterated the significance of private-public partnership.

Meeting: Shaping smarter and more sustainable cities: striving for SDGs (organized by Ministry of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media of Greece with ITU, UNECE and UNESCO)

Date/Location: Thursday 12th July 2018; 13:15-14:30; Conference Room E, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY.

Speakers:

H.E. Mrs Maria Theofili, Permanent Representative of Greece to the UN;

Dr. Chaesub Lee, Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU;

Mr. Guilherme Canela, Counsellor of Information and Communication for MERCOSUR, UNESCO;

Mrs. Sophia Papathanasopoulou, Head of National Broadband Planning Department, General Secretariat of Telecommunications and Post, Ministry of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media, Greece;

Ms. Kari Eik, Secretary General, Organization for International Economic Relations (OiER);

Mr. Alexandre Barbosa, Head of the Regional Center for Studies on the Development of the Information Society;

Mr. Eng Bruno Peters, Director, Smart Cities, Deputy Regional Director, IBI Group;

Ms. Meera Alshaikh, Project Manager, Smart Dubai;

Ms. Olga Algayerova, Executive Secretary, UNECE.

Written by WIT representative Vivian Wang

Projections and visions on the advancement of sustainable development

20170105_orb_charlesstrober_news_featured

http://www.eco-business.com/opinion/fighting-for-the-future-sustainable-development-and-the-battle-for-ideas-in-2017/

This meeting is about the future trend of sustainable development. Speakers shared their visions based on current statistics. Mr. Moussa Oumarou, Deputy Director General for Field Operations and Partnerships of International Labour Organization, names four changes, including technology, globalization, climate change, and population growth. He pointed out the inextricable link between environmental issues and employment. Seeing this, he suggested an in-depth analysis of the challenge in production models and the structural changes in economies in order to address both environmental and employment issues.

Mr. Juha Siikamaki, Chief Economist of International Union for Conservation of Nature, focused on the threat to nature posed by rapid economic growth. He argued that the main drivers of extinction are linked to agricultural expansion, over-exploitation of species and pollution. To alleviate the problem, he contended that the solution lies in the nature. He explained that using nature to conserve itself is cost-effective because, for example, it is much cheaper to mitigate greenhouse gas emission by nature. Overall, he concluded that growth in GDP has to include the added value delivered by the conservation of biodiversity.

The last speaker, Ms. Catarina Tully, Co-Founder of School of International Futures, called for a look into alternative scenarios in order to create a complex and interdependent future-thinking framework in the SDGs. She argued that policymakers need to be a lot more critical in thinking about regulation of how technologies is distributed. Also, anticipatory governance, skills and institution are required. At the end, speakers agree that policymakers have to ensure inclusive growth to deliver sustainable development.

Meeting: 2018 ECOSOC High-level Policy Dialogue “Where are we heading? Visions and projections for the future of the SDGs” – Projections and visions on the advancement of sustainable development

Date/Location: Thursday 19th July 2018; 11:45-13:00; Economic and Social Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York.

Speakers:

Mr. Mahmadamin Mahmadaminov, Vice-President of ECOSOC;

Mr. Michael Shank, Communications Director, Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance and Urban Sustainability Directors Network;

Mr. Moussa Oumarou, Deputy Director General for Field Operations and Partnerships, International Labour Organization;

Mr. Juha Siikamaki, Chief Economist, International Union for Conservation of Nature;

Ms. Catarina Tully, Co-Founder, School of International Futures.

Written by WIT representative Vivian Wang

“Where are we heading? Visions and projections for the future of the SDGs” – Trends in the global economy and international trade and finance

42770aa1de64ddfe6105cdd213adfa9d_XL

http://www.cbc.bb/index.php/component/k2/item/1096-caribbean-urged-to-focus-on-international-trade-to-ensure-region-s-growth

This meeting is about the current trend of international trade and its influence on the future of the SDGs. In the opening remarks, Mr. Liu Zhengmin, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, alerted the world leaders of the future scenario. He named a few topics of concerned, including the rapid population growth in the least developed countries, the acceleration of urbanization, the limited use of renewable energy in comparison with fossil fuel and pollution in air, water and soil. He warned that acceleration of economic growth comes with environmental costs.

During the panel discussion, panelists gave their analysis of how SDG could be better implemented given current trend in global economy. Mr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD, argued that countries need to create a framework for business to incentivize them to invest in sustainable development. Mr. Liu Zhengmin contended that UN bodies and national governments should work with academia to develop a new concept of trade. Ms. Alicia Bárcena, current Coordinator of United Nations Regional Commissions, focused on the cases in Latin American. Seeing tax evasion, she demanded to convene the private sector at the national level as a basis for sustainable development. Mr. Masamichi Kono, Deputy Secretary-General of OECD, pointed out the widening income gap and called for inclusive growth. Lastly, speakers from the World Bank, IMF and WTO acknowledged the impact of technology on economy. They argued that job creation is key to the achievement of SDGs.

Meeting: 2018 ECOSOC High-level Policy Dialogue “Where are we heading? Visions and projections for the future of the SDGs” – Trends in the global economy and international trade and finance

Date/Location: Thursday 19th July 2018; 10:00-11:45; Economic and Social Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York.

Speakers:

Mr. Radek Vondráček, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic;

Mr. Liu Zhengmin, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs;

Mr. Michael Shank, Communications Director, Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance and Urban Sustainability Directors Network;

Mr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General, UNCTAD;

Ms. Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of ECLAC, and current Coordinator of United Nations Regional Commissions;

Mr. Masamichi Kono, Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD;

Mr. Bjorn Gillsater, Special Representative of the World Bank Group to the UN;

Mr. David Robinson, Deputy Director, African Department, International Monetary Fund;

Mr. Robert The, Chief of Section, Economic Research and Statistics, World Trade Organization.

Written by WIT representative Vivian Wang

NGO Committee on Sustainable Development: Leveraging Innovative Technologies for the SDGs & Inclusive Economic Growth

The panel discussion, organized by the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development, explored the role of innovative technologies for achieving SDGs and inclusive economic growth from various perspectives. Mr. Sanchez, First Secretary of the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the UN began by stating that technology is placed as the core priority of the Mexican government in order to advocate economic growth with leading standards. He emphasized that how advancement of technology could positively accelerate the progress of achieving SDGs in the 2030 agenda. Partnerships between different stakeholders, such as the government, private sector, particularly, micro, small and medium enterprises, as well as civil societies, are pivotal to address the opportunities posed by technological development.

Ms Moliner, representing the UN women, highlighted the current gender gap in terms of technology production and consumption. She exemplified the current situation by illustrating the under-representation of women as innovators and entrepreneurs, limited market awareness and gender-blind approach to innovation, and inadequate investment in innovations that meet needs of women. Being the founder of an NGO that enhances global technology business ecosystems, Ms Schlegel mentioned a number of examples which utilized technology to improve inclusiveness in start-up industry.

Afterwards, Mr Chuter underscored the importance of expressing gratitude to foster communication and conversation, as well as collaboration and cooperation by bringing charities together to initiate campaigns. The Chairman of Quantum Media Group, Mr. Zoldan, explained how technology, especially block chain, could realize SDGs. With the use of block chain, transactions could be verified and recorded without a local bank, thus eradicating possible fraud potentially. Ms. Zfat, a social media entrepreneur, shared her experience in forming partnerships, for instance, with Samsung and the Council for Economic Education, to amplify impact by minimal resources via social media platforms.

Meeting:  NGO Committee on Sustainable Development: Leveraging Innovative Technologies for the SDGs & Inclusive Economic Growth

Date/Location: 2nd Floor Conference Room, Church Center for the UN; 15:00-18:00; June 20th 2018

Speakers: Ms Margo LaZaro (NGOCSD-NY Executive Board)

Mr Bruno Rios Sanchez (First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Mexico to the UN)

Ms Helene Moliner (Senior Policy Advisor on Innovation, Leading the Innovation and Technology Facility of UN Women)

Ms. Mahrinah von Schlegel (Founder of VIAE Global Executive Director of Embassy 2.0

Mr. Mike Chuter (Co-founder of Thankful & Thankful Organization)

Mr. Ari Zoldan (Chairman of Quantum Media Group, CMO of Optherium Labs)

Ms Natalie Zfat (Social Media Entrepreneur)

Written By: WIT representative, Rosalind Cheung

Youth Integration for Sustainable Development

Youth Sustainabiliy.jpg

In partnership with the Permanent Mission of Hungary to the UN and the International Federation for Family Development, the Permanent Mission of the State of Qatar to the UN held a conference to discuss the importance of youth integration of sustainable development. The youth today are far more dependent on parents and grandparents than past generations, leading to idleness that serves as a precedent to corruption among the young population.

Ms. Bogyay discussed the importance of how children are educated at home, highlighting the importance of the parents’ role. Education and employment are two notions that go hand in hand, and education on sustainability must begin at an early age. Emotional intelligence is also critical in how the youth build trust and communicate, especially in the digital age of the modern world.

Mr. Riederer reported a tremendous increase of youth unemployment in European countries. However, jobs are not enough as they must be both decent and sufficient to sustain the well-being of the population. He discussed the four different dimensions of vulnerability: economic, social, psychological, and physical; one dimension can lead to another. Vulnerability reproduction is also prevalent today, which constitutes its intergenerational transmission. Parental education is a critical component of this reproduction, as the level of education obtained by the parents mirrors the risk of youth poverty. Education is important for children, parents, employers, and society. Mr. Riederer concluded with three main points:

  1. Vulnerability is multidimensional.
  2. Vulnerability reproduction within families must be stopped.
  3. Education is key.
    1. Quality, school-to-work transition, decent jobs

Mr. Pomperada highlighted investment in youth and authentic development of future leaders. Young people must be taught that they have inherent value, as the youth are not just future leaders, but the leaders of today.

Meeting: International Federation for Family Development (IFFD) Briefing 2018: Youth Integration for Sustainable Development

Date/Location: Thursday, 2 February 2018, 1:15 pm – 2:30 pm; Conference Room 7, United Nations Headquarters, New York

Speakers:

Ms. Renata Kaczmarska, Social Affairs Officer, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Moderator

Mr. Mario Armella, World President of the International Federation for Family Development

H.E. Ambassador Alya bint Ahmed Al Thani, Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations

H.E. Ambassador Katalin Annamaria Bogyay, Permanent Representative of Hungary to the United Nations

Mr. Bernhard Riederer, Wiggenstein Centre, Vienna Institute of Demography

Mr. Obadias Ndaba, Founder and CEO of Jimbere Fund (United States)

Mr. Fabio Lup, Vice President of Associação do Abrigo Nossa Senhora Rainha da Paz (Brazil)

Ms. Katalyn Kardosné Gyurkó, President of Nagycsaládosok Országos Egyesülete (Hungary)

Ms. Noor Al Malki Al Jehani, Executive Director of Doha International Family Institute (Qatar)

Mr. Lord Leomer Pomperada, President of the World Youth Alliance

Written By: WIT Representative Kristin Kweon

United Nations Development Programme–Executive Board Meeting

UNPF

The United Nations Population Fund held a conference to reaffirm the mission of the organization and officially recognize Dr. Natalia Kanem as the new Executive Director of UNFPA. UNFPA is the leading reproductive health and rights agency of the UN for delivering a world where every pregnancy is unwanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. This meeting underlined the critical importance of instating universal access to sexual and reproductive healthcare.

Dr. Kanem aims to ensure that human and finance resources of the organization are optimally employed. A strong humanitarian presence must be maintained not only to colocate rapid response but to optimize common back office options.

The representative of Antigua and Barbuda highlighted the importance of UNFPA in responding to real time crisis in relation to the passage of recent hurricanes Irma and Maria. He also stated that the resources behind UNFPA should not be redirected from the program budget, but rather through cross-cutting and cross-saving exercises.

The representative of Cuba stressed the importance of maintaining attention and support for middle income countries, as they continue to face poverty eradication and commitment to not leave anyone behind. The representative of Norway asserted the protection and promotion of sexual and reproductive health as crucial for sustainable development. UNFPA must be a stronger humanitarian actor to support the women and men who do not know how to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies, and disease, as lead them towards a better life. Enhancing better sexuality education is the equivalent of delivering the SDG’s.

The representative of the United States honored the concept of families as building blocks of societies and will continue to work with agencies that share this commitment. However, the U.S. stands against any program of abortion and coercion, as domestic laws of coercive abortion do not protect the sanctity of life, the most important human right of all.

Universal access to sexual and reproductive healthcare will also promote the advancement of gender equality, empowerment of women, and focus on eradicating poverty.

Meeting: Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme / United Nations Population Fund / United Nations Office for Project Services

Date/Location: Thursday, 25 January 2018, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm; Economic and Social Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York

Speakers:

H.E. Mr. Jagdish D. Koonjul, President of the United Nations Population Fund

Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of the UNFPA

H.E. Mr. Chull-joo Park, Vice-President of the UNFPA, Deputy Permanent Representative of Republic of Korea to the United Nations

Mr. Tumasie Blair, Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations

H.E. Mrs. Anayansi Rodriguez Camejo, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Cuba to the United Nations

H.E. Mr. Ib Peterson, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Denmark to the United Nations

Mr. Tore Hattrem, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations

H.E. Mr. Yasuhisa Kawamura, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations

Representative of the United States

Written by: WIT Representative Kristin Kweon