Partnerships for Sustainable Action




In the December 20th session Professor Jan W. Dash discussed climate action as a matter of justice, ethics, and human survival. He emphasized that all SDGs are tied to climate change and that humanity has the power to reduce dangerous effects that climate change had on our planet’s health and biodiversity. H.E. Mr. Ahmed Sareer spoke on behalf of Small Island Developing States. He discussed the 300 partnership listings and the Samoa pathway. He reinforced the Maldives’ commitment to these partnerships and the necessity of the participation of all stakeholders. H.E. Mr. Odo Tevi reiterated the need for more efficient work to ensure that the SDGs are implemented and stay relevant. He also expressed the need to ensure oceans’ health and that countries enforce nationally determined contributions (NDCs). Dr. Christine K. Durbak shared the relevant work that she and World Information Transfer have provided over the last few decades. The Conference of NGOs began the committee on SDGs in the late 1980s, when WIT was invited to join. WIT focused on connecting the global community’s resources on human health and the environment.

Dr. Judy Buster-Otto discussed mental health and quality of life resolutions in the 2030 Agenda. She explained the work of the WHO and shared how the NGO-SDG forum can work through shared input and ideas, linkages to stakeholders, and advocacy with missions. Ms. Hawa Diallo noted the 66th DPI/NGO conference held in 2016 in Gyeongju, Republic of Korea. She shared the goals of the conference and the action plan for a youth program/agenda. She briefly explained the next conference and the TOGETHER initiative. Ms. Emilie McGlone briefly introduced Peace Boat organization and a few related upcoming youth initiatives and summer programs. Mr. Marc Jourdan expressed his aim to promote SDGs in Dominican Republic. He shared projects in schools and towns based in recycling and sustainable agriculture. Mr. Daniel Perell explained the importance of engagement with the larger NGO body and creating platforms for NGOs to target relevant goals. The election of the of the NGOCSD-NY Executive Board for 2017 ended the session.

Meeting: “Partnerships for Sustainable Actions in 2017 & Beyond”

Date/Location: Tuesday, 20 December 2016; 13:00 to 15:00; Boss Room, Church Center for the United Nations, 777 UN Plaza

Speakers: Professor Jan W. Dash (NGOCSD-NY Lead Adviser on Climate Change; Managing Editor of the Climate Portal website); H.E. Dr. Caleb Otto Ambassador of the Republic of Palau to the United Nations; H.E. Mr. Ahmed Sareer Ambassador of the Republic of Maldives to the United Nations; H.E. Mr. Odo Tevi Ambassador and of the Republic of Vanuatu to the United Nations; Dr. Judy Buster-Otto (Adviser to the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Palau to the United Nations); Dr. Christine K. Durbak (Adviser to the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations; Founder and Chair of World Information Transfer; President of the K. Kovshevych Foundation); Ms. Hawa Diallo (Public Information Officer; NGO Relations, Advocacy and Special Events Section Department of Public Information); Ms. Emilie McGlone (Director of Peace Boat US, New York Office); Mr. Marc Jourdan (UN Programs & Outreach Manager; Global Foundation for Democracy and Development); Mr. Daniel Perell (Global Organizing Partner of the NGO Major Group; Representative for Bahá’í International Community to the UN, New York; Chair of the NGO Committee for Social Development)

Written By: Renée S. Landzberg, WIT Representative


The Disconnect Between Religion and Extremism

This meeting was held to discuss the issues surrounding extremism, particularly religious extremism.

Dr. Hamad started by noting political and economic improvements relate to the establishment of peace and increasing how long peace lasts.

Dr. Tangara mentioned how the enemy, in this case ISIS, is more sophisticated than many acknowledge. ISIS has taken to attacking societies by attacking their culture. Additionally, he stated that it is important to replace the ancient education that tends to have xenophobic ideals.

Mrs. Lodico commented on the importance of separation of state from religion, and of religion from state. She noted how the world lacks enlightenment, contributing to the number of jihadists. Finally, she discussed how social media has played a proliferating part in the spread of ISIS Propaganda. She said that they began with a single propaganda video, and since then their social media presence has only decreased. Additionally, she pointed out how Nazis never celebrated the genocides that they perpetrated, and yet ISIS has streamed their atrocities thanks to their access to social media. Finally, she stated that fights against ISIL needed to be holistic.

Dr. Durbak noted that Dr. Al-Suwaidi’s book exposed the exploitation of Islam by ISIS. She stated how individuals fell into ISIS as a result of issues in their environments, and pointed out how the uneven distribution of resources can lead to exploitation, powerlessness, and distress.

Reverend Dr. Thomas noted the similarities between some concept of mirages and the story of Jesus in the bible. He pointed out that in extremism, there is a disconnect between religion and reality, and noted that extremism is not confined to any particular region.

Meeting: Forum on “Extremism-A threat and a challenge that needs to be addressed”

Date/Location: Thursday, April 7, 2016; 10:00-12:00, Conference Room 8

Speakers: Dr. Tageldin Hamad, Secretary General, World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations; H.E. Dr. Mamadou Tangara, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of The Gambia to the UN; Mrs. Yvonne Lodico, Founder Grace Initiative, Former Director, UN Institute for Training and Research, NY; Dr. Christine Durbak, Chair and CEO World Information Transfer; Rev. Dr. Douglas Thomas, Adjunct Professor of Religion at Lincoln University, Oxford, Pennsylvania; H.E. Dr. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi, Director General of the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR)

Written By: WIT Representative Olivia Gong

Edited By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

The Development, Transfer, and Dissemination of Clean and Environmentally Sound Technologies


Today, a meeting was convened to discuss the development, transfer, and dissemination of clean and environmentally sound technologies in order to inform the General Assembly on options for technology facilitation mechanisms. The moderator, H.E. Mr. Patriota, began the panel discussion by giving a statement on the progress made in environmentally sound technology inclusion in the Open Working Group of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The outcome document recognizes the importance of technology in the SDGs, with 19 targets in 11 different goals dedicated to promoting the development and transfer of sustainable technologies.

Following, H.E. Mr. Seger of Switzerland gave a statement on how the president of the General Assembly suggested that a procedural resolution would be welcomed to provide the basis for the continuation ofthese discussions on sustainable technology implementation.

Next, ASG Mr. Gass from DESA spoke about how the UN can support existing technology mechanisms, build on existing legal frameworks, and facilitate additional access to information about technologies. He recommended three options: improve information and mapping of existing technology facilitation activities, increase synergies and coherenceamong existing facilities, and conduct an analysis of technology needs and gaps in order to address them.

Furthermore, Mr. Christensen, the Senior Partnerships Advisor for the Executive Office of the SG, stated how multi stakeholder coalitions, including private sector and non-state actors, are necessary for effective technology dissemination. “When we bring multiple stakeholders together, thesum is bigger than each of its parts; each of these partnerships have technology transfer components,” he said.

Concluding the panel discussion, Professor Naboth van den Broek from Georgetown spoke about the private sector view on technology development and transfer, and the elements which are important from a private sector perspective when thinking about international technology dissemination. The key factors he highlighted include how technology solutions tend to be local, the challenge of the lack of technology infrastructure in the developing world, the need for a stable and predictable legal and regulatory environment, the need for education and capacity building on the ground, and the barriers to markets and trade like existing tariffs on clean technology products in certain developing countries. These factors affect the extent to which a private company can engage in local partnerships for sustainable technology solutions.


Meeting Title: Fourth Structured Dialogue of the General Assembly to Consider Possible Arrangements for the Facilitation Mechanism to Promote the Development, Transfer, and Dissemination of Clean and Environmentally Sound Technologies
Speakers: H.E. Mr. Guilherme de Aguiar Patriota, Deputy Permanent Representative of Brazil; H.E. Mr. Paul Seger, Permanent Representative of Switzerland; Mr. Thomas Gass, Assistant Secretary General (ASG), Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA); Mr. Thomas Christensen, Senior Partnerships Advisor, Executive Office of the Secretary General; Professor Naboth van den Broek, Georgetown University
Date: 23 July 2014
Location: Trusteeship Council, United Nations HQ, New York
Written By WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan

Last Session of the OWG on SDGs Opened

As the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) stepped into the final straight of its mandate, delegates reflected on their progress in achieving their objectives. Speaking on behalf of the G77 and China, Bolivia reminded the delegates the importance of the concept of common but differentiated responsibilities and ensuring that each target must be matched by a means of implementation. Libya, on behalf of the African group, affirmed the importance of following the guidelines in “the Future We Want” document in the absence of consensus within the group.1_TN_IMG_3695

The European Union alerted the group the wide gaps of views on proposed goal 13 on climate change and on the proposed goal 16 on peaceful society and rule of law. Brazil similarly noted the diverging views on goal 16, and urged delegates not to bring up “unpleasant surprises” for the synthesis report by renegotiating issues already settled in the remaining days of the group or in the SDGs process forward. Brazil also highlighted the need of fine-tuning the language of the current draft, as she believed that the current imprecise language may not align with that of the preexisting international agreements. Argentina stated their determination to finish the task by saying “If need be, for the last week, we have to stay until the hour we need to stay to get a good report”.

The Co-Chairs concluded by stating that the group has come along long way and now has a substantially good set of goals in hand. The remaining task is to adopt an “M&M approach” to simplify the wording of the clauses, so that Ministers and Mothers alike can read the goals. Therefore, they asked members to “resist the urge to engage into any new ideas” and promote group cohesion in the upcoming process.

Meeting Title : 13th Session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals
Speakers: H.E. Mr. Macharia Kamau, Permanent Representative of Kenya and Co-Chair of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development; H.E. Csaba Kőrösi, Permanent Representative of Hungary and Co-Chair of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development; Representatives from Bolivia, Libya, European Union, Brazil, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, China and Benin
Date: July 14th, 2014
Location: Conference Room 3, United Nations HQ, New York
Summary Written By WIT Representative: Harrison Chung

UN General Assembly Thematic Debate Sustainable Development and Climate Change Practical Solutions in the Energy-Water Nexus

 UN General Assembly Thematic Debate Sustainable Development and

Climate Change Practical Solutions in the Energy-Water Nexus

Date/Location: Thursday, May 16, 2013; 10:00-11:45; Trusteeship Council Chamber

Speaker: H.E. Mr. Vuk Jeremic (President of General Assembly); Mr. Wu Hongbo (Under-Secretary for Economic and Social Affairs); H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber (Minister of State and Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change of UAE); Prof. Jeffery Sachs (SDSN and The Earth Institute, Columbia University); Mr. Janez Potocnik (European Commissioner for Environment); H.E. Ms. Izabella Teixeira (Minister of Environment of Brazil); Ms. Beata Jaczewska (Deputy Minister of Environment of Poland)

Attended by: Marli Kasdan, Manuel Barrientos and Wayne Dean Doyle

Edited By: Wayne Dean Doyle

The outlook was bleak ​today the 67th Session met at the Trusteeship Council Chamber to discuss the linkages between energy and water sustainability.  President Jeremic expressed his concern and views on sustainable development and how energy and water security are essential for future economic and social development. First speaker, Mr. Wu Hongbo, gave an address from the UN Secretary General expressing his concerns on the pressing need to develop policies to use water and energy resources more efficiently and to increase access to all. He also addressed  the growing impacts that climate change has on water and energy resources and how rising sea levels and coastal erosion will continue to effect our water supplies and, in turn, energy infrastructure. Following the Secretary General’s statement, his excellency, Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber of the UAE, addressed how energy, water, and food are three key elements, inextricably linked to furthering growth and sustainable development. Today, there are still 783 million people without access to clean water and 1.3 billion lack electricity. The UAE itself relies heavily on food imports and lacks water availability and faces a similar situation to other countries in the Middle East, who’s economies rely on access to water, energy, and food. Desalination technology with renewable energy, and a more diverse energy mix combined with nuclear power is being developed in the UAE in order to broaden energy resources. Abroad, the UAE is funding renewable energy projects in developing countries. Next, Professor Sachs, addressed the rising CO2 levels which are a main cause of global climate change which directly effect access to food and water. Furthermore, energy usage is contributing to these increasing CO2 levels. Due to global climate change, there has been a recent increase in the intensity and number of draughts and floods, as well as other natural disasters. In order to combat this, Dr. Sachs, stated how the world needs to de-carbonize its energy system and look to other renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind power. Finally, the keynote speakers, Mr. Potocnik, Ms. Teixeira, and Ms. Jacaewska addressed the effects of a growing world population in combination with increasingly scarce resources on sustainable development. This lack of access to resources is one of the main reasons for poverty. However, poverty eradication and sustainable development can be realized through an integrated approach to managing resources in combination with policies that address water and energy security together. They also focused on the benefits that renewable forms of energy can bring to the global population.

Partnering For Innovative Solutions for Sustainable Development 24th April 2013, United Nations Headquarters, New York


President of ECOSOC: H.E. Ambassador Néstor Osorio opens proceeding’s by paying thanks to the contribution made by individuals with innovative ideas, work and recommendations. Highlights the complex issues which lie ahead, but this leaves so much room for innovative ideas and suggestions. There are many ways in which we need to actively advance the Millennium Development goals.

Ban Ki-moon spoke about the event and paid tribute to the dedication and hard work of all those involved with alleviating the pressure of poverty and social disadvantage.”This is a special ECOSOC event”, stated an optimistic Secretary General. Dr. Mo Ibrahim given special thanks for his innovation and leadership in Africa and indeed globally.”We need to continue working together, important targets have already been met, poverty has already been cut in half, but there are still very real and troubling issues which need to be addressed”. Capturing the full potential of partnership will be paramount to the success of the World Development Goals with more than 70 countries are  already on board with over $50 billion pledged. “We have a tremendous start, stated the Secretary General.

Further Points made;

  • Bringing together talent, research and partnership to strengthen our past work and upcoming work –need to capture the full potential for partnership at country level and internationally, we need to harness the individuals innovation.

Dr. Mo Ibrahim

  • Government on their own can no longer deliver all of the essentials
  • “The achievements of the millennium development goals are the responsibility of the governments of each country. Governments must buy in”.
  • Achievement must be measured, forget speech writers, what we need to focus on is the numbers. What are the bare statistics of each area i.e., water, roads, jobs and infrastructure.
  • Forget about the bureaucrats who don’t fully understand what the situation is, speak to the people on the ground, forget about the talking behind big desks.

H.E. Mr. Christian Friis Bach, Minister for Dev. Cooperation, Denmark

  • Better partnerships globally, better and more efficient infrastructure
  • Utilizing and increasing the green social environment scene, we need more Eco friendly energy sources.
  • The need to leverage public funding and investment

Ms. Doreen Lorenzo reiterates the same points as above –

 Dr. Klaus M. Leisinger

  • People need our support; there is not the same reality on the ground. We should be talking here, that’s good, but we must remember why we are here and that reason should directly affect the individuals involved after this conference.
  • Technology has a serious role to play in the advancement of mankind and the successful overthrow of poverty
  • What really made the difference- “Corporations, these gave the trust and the willingness to participate”.

– By Wayne Dean Doyle