DESA NGO News – 19 August 2013


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On International Youth Day, UN officials highlight potential of young migrants

On International Youth Day, 12 August, United Nations officials highlighted the contributions, as well as plight of young migrants, who often face hard conditions away from their homes. Of the annual total of some 214 million international migrants, young people constitute more than 10 per cent. While the remittances they send to support families in their home countries are a major contributor to economies worldwide, little is known about their struggles. Young migrants are often accused by communities and politicians of taking jobs from local people, exposing them to further risk of racism or discrimination. Young women migrants also face the risk of sexual exploitation and abuse. In other cases, young people left behind by migrating parents face psychological and social challenges and greater vulnerability.

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UN stresses honouring treaties between States and indigenous groups

Marking the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on 9 August, United Nations officials urged governments to honour the treaties and agreements established with their indigenous groups. The theme of this year’s World Indigenous Day aims to highlight the importance of honouring arrangements between States, their citizens and indigenous peoples that were designed to recognize indigenous peoples’ rights to their lands and establish a framework for living in proximity and entering into economic relationships. With more than 5,000 distinct indigenous groups in some 90 countries, indigenous people make up more than 5 per cent of the world’s population, representing 370 million people.

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UN partners with African nations to increase women and girls’ access to reproductive health services

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) announced on 2 August it will support programmes in eight African countries over the next three years to boost access to reproductive health services for millions of adolescent girls. UNFPA will partner with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, and Tanzania over the next three years to deliver sexual and reproductive health services for young people to reach disadvantaged and marginalized girls and young women – the ones at highest risk of poor sexual and reproductive health, violence and exploitation. For more information:


UNICEF launches initiative to shine spotlight on ‘invisible’ violence against children

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched on 31 July a new initiative urging the international community to speak out more forcefully on violence against children, which leaves millions of girls and boys physically and emotionally scarred every year. The ‘End Violence against Children’ initiative has a special website and social media campaign outlining ways for children, parents and communities to take action – such as organizing events and public discussion forums, supporting child victims of violence and working with global and local UNICEF partners. For more information:


On World Hepatitis Day, a call for prevention, fair access to treatment

Marking World Hepatitis Day on 28 July, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and its UN partners promoted an integrated response for preventing hepatitis and providing treatment and care. This includes comprehensive packages of interventions for injecting drug users and prisoners to stop the spread of HIV and other infectious diseases such as hepatitis B and C. The Word Health Organization (WHO) also released its hepatitis survey covering 126 countries. WHO has urged Governments to scale up measures to prevent the spread of this disease. For more information:


‘Free & Equal’ campaign launched to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender rights

OHCHR launched its first global public education campaign to raise awareness and respect for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality. ‘Free & Equal,’ is a year-long effort by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and partners launched 26 July in Cape Town, South Africa, focusing on the need for legal reforms and public education to counter homophobia. More than 76 countries criminalize consensual same-sex relationships, according to a 2011 OHCHR report on violence and discrimination against LGBT people. Penalties range from jail sentences to execution.

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Reaching out to civil society: United Nations Development Business

United Nations Development Business (DB) is a subscription-based online database that provides access to timely announcements on project opportunities and contract awards in 180 countries. It is the official vehicle for the dissemination of procurement information from the United Nations system, the World Bank, the African Development Bank and other regional development banks as well as national governments and non-governmental organizations. The publication is a one-stop portal for transnational corporations, consultants and other development experts interested in doing business in developing countries and economies in transition.  Recognizing that Civil Society is a critical player in the campaign to combating global ills, Development Business is seeking to expand its outreach to NGOs with expertise in international development.  NGOs will receive a 20% discount when subscribing as well as a 50% reduced fee for advertising tenders on  

For more information:


General Assembly designates 19 November as World Toilet Day

In an effort to make sanitation a global development priority, the General Assembly announced on 24 July that it would designate 19 November as World Toilet Day. The GA urged Member States and relevant stakeholders to encourage behavioral change and implement policies to increase access to sanitation among the poor, promote hygiene, and provide basic sanitation services and sewerage, as well as waste-water treatment. The resolution also recognized the role civil society play in raising awareness of this issue.

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6 September: High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace

This day-long forum is an opportunity for civil society organizations to discuss the ways and means to promote the culture of peace with a special focus on the implementation of the UN Programme of Action on Culture of Peace adopted by the General Assembly in 1999 (A/RES/53/243). The President of the General Assembly and Deputy-Secretary-General will open the forum, with three panel sessions to follow. The High-Level Forum will take place from 9am-6pm at United Nations Headquarters. Conference Room, TBD.

More information to follow:


20 September: 20th session, Commission on Sustainable Development

The CSD will have its last session (CSD-20) prior to the convening of the first meeting of the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. CSD 20 will be held the morning of Friday 20 September from 10 AM to 1PM in Conference room 2 (CB). Following the opening remarks, a panel of former Chairs of CSD will reflect on the achievements and lessons learned from the Commission as well as to set the stage for the establishment of the High Level Political Forum. Registration is open for organizations in consultative status with ECOSOC, as well as those on the CSD Roster, through the following link:

For more information:


20 and 22 September: Major Groups and Other Stakeholders Briefing Days

This event will take stock of the Rio+20 progress and will provide stakeholders a comprehensive picture of where the agenda is at the moment, windows of opportunity to influence the international agenda, and provide space for joint advocacy, with a focus on the current Sustainable Development Goals, High Level Political Forum, and Financing for Sustainable Development.  This event will take place on Friday, 20 September 2013 from 2 to 6 pm in Conference Room 2, and on Sunday 22 September from 930 am to 1 pm in Conference Room 1. Registration is open and available through the following link: 

For more information:


22 September: Regional Recommendations on Post-2015: A Dialogue

A dialogue between civil society, governments, and UN representatives on regional recommendations for the post-2015 development agenda will be convened by UN-NGLS in partnership with the Post-2015 Development Planning Team of the Executive Office of the Secretary-General. Registration is open for civil society through

The deadline for registration is 10 September 2013. For more information:


23 September: High-Level Meeting on Disability

On 23 September, a High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on the realization of the Millennium Development Goals and other internationally agreed development goals for persons with disabilities, organized in accordance with resolution 66/124 will be held. For more information:


24 September: Inaugural session, High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

The first meeting of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (to replace the Commission on Sustainable Development following a Rio+20 decision) held at the Heads of State level under the auspices of the General Assembly will take place on 24 September 2013. The forum will include four Dialogues opened to Heads of State and Governments, Heads of UN entities and other international organizations. For more information:


25 September: Special event to follow up on efforts on MDGs

A special event to follow up on efforts made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 65/1, will be held on 23 September 2013. More information will be posted as it becomes available. Registration is open for civil society through The deadline for registration is 19 August.


26 September: High-level meeting of the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament

In accordance with General Assembly resolution 67/39, a High-Level meeting for Member States on nuclear disarmament will take place during the High-Level segment of the 68th session of the General Assembly. Registration for NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC is now closed.

For more information:


3-4 October: High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development

The General Assembly will have a High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development on 3 and 4 October 2013. For more information:





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