“We the Peoples… Together Finding Global Solutions for Global Problems”
The 67thUN DPI/NGO Conference
22-23 August 2018, UN Headquarters, New York
'We the Peoples’… with this simple introduction, the United Nations Charter lays out an ambitious and noble mandate. The impetus for creating such an Organization came from an understanding, after two world wars, that a global framework for working together was essential to avoid a repeat of the catastrophic suffering. Yet today, skepticism is rising worldwide about the value of multilateralism and the United Nations faces the challenge of remaining relevant and effective. Secretary-General António Guterres recognized this when he took office, declaring: “We need to re-assert the value of multilateralism; only global solutions can address global problems.”
This Conference is an opportunity to discuss concrete ways to take the UN’s people-centered mandate forward, in closer partnership with civil society. The re-positioned UN development system will offer a platform for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to work more effectively with the UN to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – and to communicate and advocate for it.
Feel free to watch it live on the 22ndand 23rd:
As reported by our Colleagues from the NGO Committee on Migration:
Call to Action: Support Refugee Resettlement
Our colleagues at the Scalabrini International Migration Network have issued an alert to U.S. citizens that the Domestic Policy Council in the White House, led by Stephen Miller, is currently discussing the number of refugees to be admitted to the United States during Fiscal Year 2019 (1 October 2018-30 September 2019). Despite the fact that the U.S. set a record low limit on the number of refugees it would settle in FY2018 (just 45,000), it is currently projected to resettle less than half that number by the end of the fiscal year.
The Scalabrini International Migration Network (SIMN) asks that you contact the White House (202-456-1411) and members of Congress (Senate: 202-224-3121; House: 202-225-3121) and ask for a presidential determination of 75,000 refugees for FY 2019.
According to recent Pew Research Center analysis, Canadian and Australian citizens may also want to consider contacting their government representatives about sharp declines in refugee resettlement in their respective nation.
HIGH LEVEL POLITICAL FORUM
Lastly, from the recent High Level Political Forumproceedings held in July, as summarized by
Doretta Cornell, RDC:
Toward a More Sustainable World: HLPF
The opening session of the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) included some interesting ideas about what we need to do to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs ) by 2030, which is only 18 years away. A few of the speakers’ thoughts on this are included here:
The first, Alex Steffen,of Worldchanging.com, pointed out a great obstacle to achieving them:
We right now have two incompatible economies at work, one working toward implementing the SDGs and creating a more just world, and the other predatory one in which corporations and other entities are creating a purposeful delay. This is slowing the development of sustainable solutions, acting against needed legislation and other tactics that put profit before the good of people and planet. Sustainable energy, for instance, would disrupt the dominance of fossil fuel companies. We cannot negotiate between the two economies, but must work to disrupt the predatory one if we want a sustainable future.
Ms. Asa Regner, of Sweden, Assistant-Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, reminded us that great progress is being made toward gender equality. She notes that more girls are attending school for longer time, for instance. She then focused on the still-great challenges facing women and girls. For example, 30% of people in the world do not have clean water, and 80% of the water they do have is collected by girls. She also mentioned Turning Promises into Action, a new (341- page!) report from UNWomen, outlining an agenda to achieve gender equality.
The first panel of the day, Reviewing Progress in Achieving the SDGs, focused on the importance of accurate data to implementing the SDGs. Especially in developing countries, there is not enough funding for data collection.
To be useful for the SDGs, data must be “disaggregated,” showing the statistics for each local place and for different groups. For instance, aggregated data on income for a nation might show that people in that country have a decent income. However, disaggregated data may show that young women in rural areas receive very low income for their labor. Disaggregated data, therefore, is essential to identify those who are suffering most.
Moderator Emily Pryor, of Data2X gave examples: Finland’s data showed women were working three times much more than men, and more if they had children, so the government made policies to make paternity leave more accessible. In another country, the new data showed that, in spite of laws against domestic violence, one in three women were reporting incidents. The data gives them grounds for making changes.
Sofia Monsalve Suárez, Secretary General of Food First Action Network (FIAN International), pointed out that useful data will not only count numbers (quantitative) but must include qualitative data B what various people’s experience is, especially referring to human rights and effects on women. She also warned us watch for manipulation of data, especially for political or financial ends. Grace Bediako, of Ghana’s the National Development Planning Commission, echoed this, pointing to Nigeria’s use of such data to assess the impact on the people of large government projects. In planning roads in remote areas, for instance, what effect will it have on the people who live there? Are roads what the people need most?
Another aspect of data we need to monitor is how they are interpreted: Pádraig Dalton, of Ireland’s Central Statistics Office, pointed out that data be couched in words that can easily translate to needed policies, using the language of legislators, not data experts.
ENJOY THE LAST TWO WEEKS OF AUGUST !! ---- Sister Janet