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- Hunger Is A Taxing Problem For The G8
- Women and Peace-building in the Great Lakes Region of Africa – 4 June 2013
- Reflections on the Permanent Forum of Indigenous Issues 20-31 May 2013
- UN NEWS: OWG3 and High Level Panel report for post-2015 agenda
- Carbon Rise Leads to ‘Urgent’ Call for Climate Action at UN
- A Journey to a Side Event for Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues – May 2013
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Archive for January, 2012
MESSAGE TO SEMINAR marking the 70th Anniversary of the “Declaration by United Nations” organized by the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies
London, 18 January 2012
Delivered by Dame Margaret Anstee, former United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Angola
It is a pleasure to convey greetings to the distinguished scholars, policy-makers, former UN officials and others who have gathered at Lancaster House to mark the 70th anniversary of the “Declaration by United Nations”. I commend this important meeting and welcome your efforts to delve more deeply into the wartime origins of the United Nations. That pre-history was a period in which states and peoples responded to grave threats with remarkable vision and resolve. The contemporary echoes are clear.
Today the world is living through another pivotal moment. We have witnessed shifts in economic power as parts of Asia and Latin America have emerged as new engines of global growth. We have seen revolution and the birth of grass-roots-led democratic movements in North Africa and across the Middle East, with far-reaching implications in and beyond the region. Climate change and the loss of biodiversity have placed humankind on a collision course with the planet. We are experiencing a rising incidence of mega-disasters, and the widening impact of global food, fuel and economic shocks. And we have seen the increasing salience of a set of global phenomena — the spread of disease, terrorism, organized crime — that easily transcend borders. There is growing inequality, widespread uncertainty, distrust in institutions, and a general sense that the playing field is tilted in favour of entrenched interests and elites.
Future generations may well describe this period as an inflection point, when the contours of a new world began to take shape. Amid the unfolding trends and events, the United Nations has sought to uphold the values and ideals enshrined in its Charter. We have strived to highlight the needs of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, in particular by pressing for greater investment in the Millennium Development Goals. We have strengthened peacekeeping, peacebuilding and mediation, and helped Member States with sensitive elections and difficult political transitions. And we have fought impunity for genocide and other serious violations of human rights by supporting the International Criminal Court and taking practical steps to operationalize the responsibility to protect.
We have made important progress since the Second World War, but I am keenly aware of the distance still to travel and the catastrophes — economic, environmental, human — that lurk if we fall short. This past September, I identified five imperatives for collective action: sustainable development, prevention, building a more secure world, supporting countries in transition and empowering the world’s women and young people. Many of these issues will also be front-and-centre at the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development in June. I am determined to bring all relevant partners together, and strengthen the UN itself, to advance this agenda.
Seventy years ago, President Roosevelt coined a term that found resonance with 26 states. Today, 193 states are carrying forward the idea and the machinery. In a world of 7 billion – and with global population expected to increase by another 500 million in just the next five years – we must all do more as a global society. What began as a necessity to defend liberty and human rights is today a vital instrument of common progress across a broad agenda of aspiration and need. Let us learn what more there is to know as we commemorate the UN’s origins on the road to the 70th Anniversary of the Charter; and let us all work together today to realize the UN’s full potential in building the future we want.
Do you believe that every individual in this world has the right to clean water, education, and adequate housing?
In order to eradicate the extreme poverty of the world, The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have coordinated the Social Protection Floor Initiative (SPF-I) as a joint UN effort to build a global coalition committed to supporting countries in building national social protection floors for their citizens.
A Social Protection Floor (SPF) is the first level of a comprehensive national social protection system that helps to realize human rights for all through guaranteeing:
- Universal access to essential services (such as health, education, housing, water and sanitation and other services as nationally defined);
- Social Transfers in cash or kind to guarantee income security, food security, adequate nutrition and access to essential services.
This signature campaign can be used as a tool for lobbying at national and global levels. You can sign the petition here: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/signature-campaign-social-protection-floor.html.
For more information on the Social Protection Floor Initiative, visit this website.
To download a pdf copy of this information for printing, click here.
Please spread the word and invite your friends to sign this petition as well!
The first draft of recommendations (zero draft of the Rio+20 Conference outcome document), titled “The Future We Want” was released this week. The draft will form the basis for negotiations by countries in the lead-up to the Rio+20 meeting in Brazil in June this year. It can be accessed at http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/.
Mr. Sha Zukang, Secretary General of Rio+20 Conference says, ‘The 19-page “zero draft” was based on more than 6,000 pages of submissions from Member States, international organizations and civil society groups in an open, transparent and inclusive process spanning months’. Thanks to our Presentation People who contributed to this inclusive process coordinated by Joan Power pbvm. The Press Release from the UN says the following:
The process of improving the zero draft will begin with an initial two-day negotiating round in New York on 25-27 January, followed by four more rounds in March, April/May and June. Countries will seek to share common ground on a range of cross-cutting priorities such as food security; water; energy; cities; green jobs and social inclusion; oceans, seas and small island developing states; natural disasters; climate change; forests and biodiversity; land degradation and desertification; mountains; chemicals and waste; sustainable consumption and production; education; and gender equality.
The zero draft, which takes its name from the UN campaign for Rio+20: The Future We Want, also proposes a timeframe to devise a set of Sustainable Development Goals that reflect a balanced treatment of the social, economic and environmental dimensions of development. One goal, on universal access to energy, has been proposed in the draft and is expected to set the example for other goals to follow.
The Rio+20 conference, coming twenty years after the landmark 1992 Earth Summit, will take place in Rio de Janeiro between 20 and 22 June 2012. World leaders, along with thousands of participants from the private sector and non-governmental groups, are expected to come together to shape ways to reduce poverty, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection on an ever more crowded planet.
Presentation People are invited to share their insights on the zero draft.
Please reflect on and send you response to the following question:
What three significant points need to be added in the zero draft that will reflect the IPA global issue: Addressing the root causes of poverty by confronting personal and corporate greed which exploit Earth, her people and the whole community of life?
Send your responses to this question and any other comments you wish to make to the IPA Networker at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Your ideas will be sent to Sisters Betty Rae Lee, Marcela Cruz and Rosemary Grundy, the three IPA Representatives who will be at the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development to assist them to engage effectively in the various processes of shaping the Rio +20 outcome document.
The United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) is the central source of information about the UN and its work. The Department aims to generate public understanding and support for the principles and work of the Organization, and maintains contacts with a broad range of media partners around the world.
As one of the 1500 NGOs associated with DPI, the International Presentation Association presents its annual review to UN DPI every year. The following are the IPA responses to some of the questions for 2011 review.
How does your organization disseminate information provided by DPI/NGO Relations?
We are a network of 2400 women in 22 countries represented by Justice Coordinators in each country; Marlette Black is the Networker for our organization based in Australia. Our Main Representative at the UN and the Networker collaborate in disseminating information provided by DPI/NGO relations through emails, Newsletter ‘IPA Connections’, Website http://internationalpresentationassociation.org/ and blog.
During the last year, has your organization engaged in any joint information projects with UN agencies or programmes?
As a member of the NGO Committee for Social Development, our organization had been actively engaged in a survey carried out in collaboration with NGLS on the ‘Implementation of the Resolution on Social Integration’ the first ever resolution by the Commission for Social Development during its 48th session. A number of our members from across the world had responded to the survey questionnaire. Our Main Representative played a greater role in compiling and publishing of the survey responses. During the 49th Session of the Commission for Social Development, our organization had organized a side event ‘Promoting Social Integration: Voices from the Grassroots’ and it was cosponsored and moderated by NGLS.
As a member of the NGO subcommittee for Poverty Eradication, our organization had participated actively in the NGO consultation on the draft Guiding Principles on Human Rights and Extreme Poverty’ carried out by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva. A number of our members from various parts of the world had participated in the consultation. Our Main Representative was part of a taskforce collating the many responses to the consultation. She also attended and contributed to the ‘Consultation on the ‘Report (HRC/15/41) of the Independent Expert on the question of human rights and extreme poverty on the draft guiding Principles on extreme poverty and human rights’ Geneva, Palais des Nations, Conference Room XVII, 22 and 23 June 2011.
How often does your organization use the information available on the DPI/NGO Relations website?
Quite often we visit the website to look for announcements, information on NGO Briefings and Events Calendar, International Days, messages from Secretary General and summary reports.
Describe the major UN related events organized by your NGO over the last year. Include three samples, including reports, press releases, flyers, websites, videos, etc.
As a member of the Working Group on Girls, our organization had facilitated group discussions among thousands of girls in various parts of the world enabling them to actively participate in the consultation on the implementation of the ‘Agreed Conclusions on the elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child’; this was the ‘Review theme of CSW 55’. Two girls from Zambia chaperoned by one of our members participated in the 55th session of CSW. Our organization had organized a parallel event at Church Centre and cosponsored the same side event on “Girls’ Voices – Promises made: A Review of CSW 51” in the UN buildings organized by the Permanent Missions of Ireland and Zambia. (Flyer and video on ‘One day in the life of a girl in Zambia’ presented during the event by one of the two girls, Lungowe Mufungulwa. attached)
Our members actively engaged in contributing to the CEDAW Shadow report in Zambia. One of them had taken part in the 49th Session of CEDAW July 2011. At present she is part of a national network monitoring the implementation of the Concluding Observations by the CEDAW Committee for Zambia. (Contribution to CEDAW Shadow report, Zambia in the attached file)
A number of our members had participated in the consultation carried out by our organization and contributed to the compilation document in preparation for the Rio+20 Conference. (Input to compilation document can be found in Rio+20 Conference website)
How do you think the relationship between DPI and the NGO Community can be improved?
Our suggestion is that UNICs in various countries could become more NGOs and civil society friendly.
Did a representative from your organization attend the 64th Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference that took place in Bonn, Germany, from 3 to 5 September 2011?
Six representatives including a youth from our organisation have attended the 64th Annual UN/DPI Conference. In collaboration with four other NGOs, our organization had organized a well attended side event ‘Towards Sustainable Living: Proposals from Civil Society’ during the DPI/NGO Conference in Bonn.
Thank you Presentation People for the support and collaboration to address the IPA global issue!
Fatima Rodrigo pbvm
11 January 2012
From the Civil Society Section of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
As we start the New Year, we would like to update you on our work. Our areas of work in 2012 will continue to focus on:
- Building civil society knowledge and skills;
- Protection of civil society space; and
- Promotion of civil society participation.
We invite you to visit our webpage, which contains some new items:
1. The short videos – simple introductions to human rights, the UN human rights programme, treaty bodies and the Human Rights Council. Use and share them:
2. Civil Society Section leaflet in several UN languages (in print and online), e.g.:
3. A practical guide for NGO participants at the Human Rights Council (in print and online):
Spanish version is forthcoming shortly.
Another forthcoming practical guide will focus on the Universal Periodic Review. It will be available in print and online.
We will keep updating you on news and activities as we go along. Stay tuned!
An encouraging few words for those who may be considering an interesting, stimulating and very educational experience.
I don´t know where I came across this quotation but I like it and must look it up sometime. “If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.” Well things are getting done here at the UN while it may not appear so if one looks at life in a superficial way.
With wings to the main 7 points of this short note this is what the NGO´S are about and NYC has more and more to offer at the weekends….
+The UN in NYC is not a bourgeois mediocrity of Americans all made in the image and likeness of George Washington but , a bustling reality from the subway to the East River building; in a sentence a microcosm of reality.
+The nations of the earth can live in harmony despite Cartels being exposed and corruption being named at all levels.
+The global Conversation goes on and we live and build and believe in the future we want at this International Zone.
+One can live in all 5 continents in one day and interact and interconnect with all cultures, creeds, no creeds, beliefs and opinions.
+This is no cloud cuckoo-land of fat cats and highly paid upper echelon individuals but has many committed religious groups of all denominations working for justice, peace and equity for all humanity and together innovating in the face of ever growing finite earth resources and climate change. The most vulnerable and excluded get pride of place in our thoughts as we discuss and act on the prevention, protection and provision of services for all.
+There is a belief in designing and believing in the present and the future while celebrating and learning from the past.
+Above and over all I see the IPA statement being used widely and feel proud to be a Presentation Sister here as we wonder and analyze why a booming first world economy of the late 90´s and early millennium years has become such a dysfunctional bankrupt one in 2011.
Young bright and not so young people here in UN NYC continue to believe in life in all its facets as we cross boundaries with people who are like us in some ways and very unlike us in others; we are not problem solvers and addicts to a set way of thinking but believers in a future not really our own in the long run, but we continue to see faith, light and beauty in the most unexpected places and people
Short term ECOSOC representative
The Second Intercessional Meeting of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) was held from 15-16 December 2011 at UN Headquarters in New York. The meeting discussed the compilation of submissions from states, UN bodies, intergovernmental organizations and Major Groups (compilation document) and provided comments and guidance for the development, structure and format of a “zero draft” of the outcome document to be adopted at the June 2012 conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Delegations presented the key elements of their contributions to the compilation document and identified areas where progress can be made. Most delegates emphasized that Rio+20 needs to deliver concrete results. The zero draft is expected to be circulated in mid-January 2012
UNCSD Secretary-General Sha Zukang called for the meeting to provide guidance on how the objectives and themes of the conference should inform the format and structure of the outcome document, highlighting the broad interest in measuring progress through sustainable development goals (SDGs), and that proposals on the international framework on sustainable development (IFSD) focus on enhancing integration among the three pillars of sustainable development and strengthening individual pillars, with a focus on the environmental pillar.
On structure and format, he noted support for: A single, focused and action-oriented political document stressing the objectives and the two themes set by UNGA Resolution 64/236; green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication (GESDPE) and (b) the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development (IFSD) a vision for the future and a declaration of renewed political commitment, accompanied, as an annex, by a set of agreed actions specifying actors, timeframes and means of implementation; and accountability for delivering on commitments, whether negotiated or voluntary, highlighting some proposals for a compendium or registry of voluntary commitments to accompany the negotiated outcome
Rio Principles and prior sustainable development commitments on which the outcome document will be based:
- To eradicate poverty, by restoring stability and inclusive growth and entrusting future generations with the conditions for full, productive and healthy lives in harmony with nature; providing actors with the necessary means of implementation.
- Green economy: The concept to be inclusive, advance poverty eradication and be a means to sustainable development; national action should be guided by agreed principles and a menu of policy options to ensure flexibility and could be supported by capacity building for developing countries to extend national green economy strategies. There is a need to share experiences and establish a platform to this end.
- Broad support for Sustainable Development Goals, noting that the outcome document will need to reflect this proposal
Priority areas for action:
- Oceans, food security and sustainable agriculture, sustainable energy for all, water access and efficiency, sustainable cities, green jobs and decent work, and disaster risk reduction and resilience, as well as desertification, mountains, forests, biodiversity and climate change.
- As cross-cutting issues, the 10-Year Frame work of Progress as a critical component of agreement on the green economy; as well as gender equality, social equity, education, and access to technology, finance and capacity building.
- An International Framework for Sustainable Development (IFSD), creating a Sustainable Development Council to replace the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) building upon and strengthening existing institutions, including ECOSOC and the UN General Assembly and the need to include economic and financial governance institutions for improving sustainable development governance.
Proposed Structure and Frame:
A strong political declaration accompanied by a set of agreed actions, negotiated or voluntary.
A framework or road map, attached as annexes or included in the document.
On the content of the zero draft, various proposals for the green economy and IFSD emerged. There was broad agreement that an inclusive green economy will require action at multiple levels—international, regional, national, and sub-national on a common but differentiated level —avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach.
Integration of the three pillars (social, economic &environmental) of sustainable development in a coherent way.
Submitted by Elsa Muttathu & Mary Ivers.