DESA NGO News – 24 February 2014


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Tackling water, sanitation and energy key to sustainable future

Addressing the water, sanitation and sustainable energy crises are essential for the achievement of development goals. As General Assembly President John Ashe opened the Thematic Debate on this issue on 18 February, he urged Member States to adopt integrated policies and innovative strategies to tackle these challenges. He cited that 783 million people live without clean water; 2.5 billion have no adequate sanitation; and 1.4 billion people are without access to electricity. The two-day gathering was the first in the series of debates and high-level events this year that will provide a platform for Member States and other stakeholders to set the stage for the post-2015 development agenda.


New UN report highlights experiences, challenges faced by young migrants worldwide

The latest World Youth Report launched 14 February spotlights the significant impact of young migrants on origin, transit and destination countries, as well as the challenges they face, as told in their own voices. Published by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the report explains how the impacts of youth migration are mixed. When young people migrate, they tend to improve both their own financial situation and the economic circumstances of their families through the income they earn and the remittances they send home, while destination countries benefit from greater economic efficiency. However, countries of origin also can suffer from human capital flight, or brain drain, notably of health and education professionals.


Ignoring equality, rights and women’s health risks derailing development, says UN officials

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Mr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) launched the International Conference on Population and Development Global Review Report at a news conference on 12 February at United Nations Headquarters. The International Conference on Population and Development (IPCD), held in Cairo in 1994, was a milestone in population and development, and women’s rights. The ICPD-20 year review report highlights inequalities in access to vital services, as well as challenges related to population growth, changing age structures, rapid urbanization and migration.


UN Commission on Social Development opens with focus on growing inequality

The 2014 session of the Commission for Social Development opened on 11 February against a backdrop of a weak global economic recovery, harsh fiscal austerity measures, and continued unemployment. “Our attention should be given first and foremost to the issue of inequality, which in many case, is a major cause for social turbulence worldwide,” said Mr. Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, at the opening session. It was also mentioned that the 2014 ECOSOC Annual Ministerial Review will focus on addressing on-going and emerging challenges in meeting the Millennium Development Goals and in defining the sustainable development goals for the future.


The Committee on NGOs wraps up its 2014 regular session

The 2014 regular session of the Committee on NGOs was held from 21 to 30 January 2014 and adopted its report on 7 February 2014. The Committee considered 439 applications for consultative status. It recommended 225 for consultative status, deferred 192 for further consideration at its resumed session in May and closed consideration of 22 applications. An advanced unedited report of the 2014 regular session, information note and meetings coverage of the Session are available online.


General Assembly President launches initiative for post-2015 development agenda

General Assembly President John Ashe launched a major effort on 6 February to harness the support of civil society organizations to help formulate a new development agenda with the potential to eradicate poverty in the decades to come.   "The task of addressing the unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals and transitioning toward a universal post-2015 development agenda is so fundamentally important and far-reaching that it requires the efforts of all stakeholders in government, business and society," Mr. Ashe said during an interactive briefing of global civil society representatives at United Nations Headquarters in New York. Civil society representatives gave input on the three high-level events and three thematic debates the General Assembly President will host this year as a contribution to the post-2015 development agenda.


Report on the World Social Situation: Inequality Matters

The Report on the World Social Situation 2013 released in late January builds on its earlier reports and emphasizes that addressing inequalities is necessary in order to unleash the human and productive potential of each country’s population and to bring development towards a socially-sustainable path.  The Report examines recent inequality trends and analyses their social, economic and political impacts, highlighting new developments and paying particular attention to the situation of disadvantaged social groups.





Request for Input: Draft Report of Sustainable Development Solutions Network
Civil society representative are invited to submit comments on the new Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) draft report "Indicators for Sustainable Development Goals," - a framework of 100 indicators for post-2015, based on the ten goals and 30 targets presented in the SDSN
Action Agenda for Sustainable Development that was released in June 2013. Deadline for submissions is 14 March.


3 February-16 March: E-discussion: Addressing challenges for meeting the MDGs in 2015 and for sustaining development gains in the future

The E-discussion is organized by OESC/DESA and UNDP, in close cooperation with other UN system partners, will engage experts, practitioners and policy-makers from various regions and stakeholder groups in a global dialogue on the theme of the 2014 ECOSOC Annual Ministerial Review (AMR) through the mechanism of an electronic discussion. Contributions made by e-discussion participants will be channeled into various parts of the AMR, particularly the Report of the Secretary-General on the AMR theme, but also through the regional preparatory meetings and the National Voluntary Presentations.


6-7 March: General Assembly High-Level Event - Contributions of Women, the Young and Civil Society to the Post-2015 Development Agenda

The High-Level Event will address a number of cross-cutting rights-based issues relevant to women and the young, across differing national circumstances and developmental stages, such as violence against women and girls; access to quality education, skills and training; health; decent work; social protection; and financial and economic inclusion, including women’s access to and control over productive resources. This event will take place at United Nations Headquarters (conference room TBA).  It will consist of an opening plenary, interactive, multi-stakeholder panel discussions and a closing plenary. A president’s summary will be issued and civil society representatives are invited to attend. Inputs will be considered by the Office of the President of the General Assembly. Contributors are asked to review the concept note. Deadline for submissions is 28 February.


10-21 March: Commission on the Status of Women, 58th session

The fifty-eighth session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place at UN Headquarters in New York from 10 - 21 March 2014 (tentative date). Representatives of Member States, UN entities, and ECOSOC-accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can attend the session. The priority theme will be: "Challenges and Achievements in the Implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for Women and Girls." The review theme will be: "Access and Participation of Women and Girls to Education, Training, Science and Technology, including for the promotion of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work (as per the agreed conclusions from the Fifty-fifth session).


7-11 April: Commission on Population and Development, 47th session

The theme of the 47th session will be "Assessment of the status of implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development."


9-10 April: General Assembly and ECOSOC Joint Event - The role of partnerships in the implementation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda

The joint thematic debate is to provide a platform for Member States to address how strengthened global partnerships for sustainable development including multi-stakeholders partnerships can contribute to the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda. The joint event will take place at United Nations Headquarters in New York; conference room TBA. The thematic debate will feature three consecutive, interactive, multi-stakeholder panel discussions as well as two partnership sessions.


24-25 April: General Assembly Thematic Debate - Ensuring Stable and Peaceful Societies

The thematic debate will provide a platform for Member States to reflect, deliberate on this theme with a view to make concrete proposals and contributions to the ongoing process of developing sustainable development goals in the context of the post-2015 development agenda.  The debate will take place at United Nations Headquarters in New York; conference room TBA. It will consist of an opening segment in the morning and three consecutive, interactive, multi-stakeholder panel discussions and a brief closing segment.


12-23 May: Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 13th session

The theme of the session will be: “Principles of Good Governance Consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Articles 3 to 6 and 46 (3)”.


19-28 May: Committee on NGOs, resumed session

The Committee will review new and deferred applications. It is scheduled to adopt its report on 6 June 2014.


20-21 May: General Assembly High-Level Event - Contributions of North-South, South-South, Triangular Cooperation, and ICT

The event will promote the scaling up of the impact of all forms of cooperation in the post-2015 Development Agenda and promote the urgent implementation of commitments under the global partnership for development. As a complement to traditional forms of cooperation, South-South and triangular cooperation can also contribute towards the post-2015 development agenda. The event will take place at United Nations Headquarters in New York; conference room TBA. It will take consist of one plenary and two interactive multi- stakeholder panel discussions.


17-18 June: General Assembly High Level Event - Contributions of Human Rights and the Rule of Law in the Post-2015 Development Agenda

The high-level event will examine how human rights, including the right to development, and the rule of law at the national and international levels, can support an inclusive, people centered development agenda. The event will take place at United Nations Headquarters in New York; conference room TBA. It will consist of an opening plenary, interactive, multi-stakeholder panel discussions and a closing plenary.


July 2014: High-Level Political Forum and High-Level Segment, ECOSOC

One critical outcome of the Rio+20 Conference was the decision to establish a universal intergovernmental high-level political forum on sustainable development. More details will be announced in the near future.


28 August - 4 September: UN Conference on Small Island Developing States, Apia, Samoa

The Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States will be held from 1 to 4 September 2014 in Apia, Samoa, to be preceded by activities related to the conference from 28 to 30 August 2014, also in Apia, Samoa. The conference will focus the world’s attention on a group of countries that remain a special case for sustainable development in view of their unique and particular vulnerabilities.


22 September: Special Session of the General Assembly on ICPD Beyond 2014

The Review will identify progress and achievements towards the goals set out in the landmark International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), when 179 governments committed to a 20-year Programme of Action of delivering human rights-based development. The ‘Beyond 2014’ Review process will engage world leaders from governments and civil society and create a renewed consensus and global commitment to create a more equal and more sustainable world.


22-23 September: World Conference on Indigenous Peoples

The high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly will meet on Monday, September 22 and Tuesday, September 23, 2014, in New York.






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