Update from the UN
25th anniversary of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty was celebrated on October 17, 2017, at the UN headquarters with the Theme ‘Answering the Call of October 17: a path towards peaceful and inclusive societies’ which highlighted participation and human rights as key to Sustainable development. The message on the commemorative stone reads “Whenever men and women are condemned to live in extreme poverty, human rights are violated. To come together to ensure that these rights be respected is our solemn duty”. The resource persons who spoke and managed the event were men and women who had become human rights defenders from their experience of poverty and marginalization, sponsored by ATD fourth world along with the Permanent Missions of France, Burkina Faso and UN DESA.
The NGO Committee on Migration has been actively engaged in the negotiations for the upcoming Global Compact on safe and orderly migration and has responded effectively to all the six the policy briefs for thematic Consultation by Louise Arbour of Canada Special Representative of the Secretary General for International Migration. Updated information is available on this website https://ngo-migration.org.Part of the advocacy strategy is to get the Governments to agree on the ‘Now and How, Ten Acts’ for Global compact, A civil society vision for a transformative agenda for human mobility, migration and development. Key is Civil Society engagements with their own member states in countries. At the monthly meeting on the 12 October, we heard the voices of victims and activists on DACA in the United States.
72nd session of the General Assembly is in session. In the Third Committee, Special rapporteurs from the Human Rights Council on thematic issues have called upon the United Nations and the member States to exert their International Authority to prevent genocide and extremism as they reported on their country mandates. Highlights that I listened to include the reports on gross human rights violation of the Rohingya in the Rakhine State of Myanmar and rising religious intolerance and denial of human rights in many countries of the world.
What can we do?
- Lobby your Governments to support and implement the ‘Now and How Ten Acts for the Global compact on migration’ https://www.icmc.net/sites/default/files/documents/ten-acts-full-document-oct-2017.pdf
- Include the people with and for whom we work in all discussions and decisions as equal stakeholders ensuring their dignity and rights are respected at all times.
- Use every resource/means at our disposal to work with others in building inclusive communities wherever we are, facilitating dialogue, understanding and appreciation of differences irrespective of nationality, migratory status, race/caste, culture, religion, sexual orientation and whatever else. Education institutions have a key role.
- Don’t do what we want for others, but listen to people to understand their needs and stay and work with them till they find their own answers and strategies. We may not have the cure, but we certainly can be proactive in preventing harm.
Elsa Muttathu, PBVM
IPA NGO Representative at the UN