DESA NGO News — 29 February 2016

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15 February - 11 March: 63rd session - Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
The Committee will examine the reports of the following countries during its 63rd session in Geneva: Czech Republic, Haiti, Iceland, Japan, Mongolia, Sweden, Tanzania, Vanuatu.

8 - 11 March: 47th session of the Statistical Commission
The United Nations Statistical Commission, established in 1947, is the highest body of the global statistical system. It brings together the Chief Statisticians from member states from around the world. It is the highest decision making body for international statistical activities especially the setting of statistical standards, the development of concepts and methods and their implementation at the national and international level.

The Statistical Commission considers special issues of concern in international statistical development, methodological issues, coordination and integration of international statistical programmes, support of technical cooperation activities in statistics and organizational matters.

The sessions of the Statistical Commission are substantively serviced by the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) and attended by the regional commissions, other United Nations organizations, specialized agencies and related organizations, non-United Nations international organizations active in international statistical work, and non-governmental organizations.

7 - 18 March: 10th Session, Committee on Enforced Disappearances
At its forthcoming 10th session in March 2016, the Committee on Enforced Disappearances will examine the efforts of Burkina Faso, Kazakhstan and Tunisia to implement the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

The Committee will also adopt lists of issues on the reports submitted by Bosnia and Herzegovina and Colombia.

7 March: International Women's Day Forum "The Business of Inclusion: Global Prosperity through Women and Girls Empowerment"
The event, convened by the United Nations Office for Partnerships and the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, will focus on collaborative initiatives of the private sector and the United Nations that aim to address gender inequality and that bring women and girls into positions of opportunity and independence. The opening keynote will be delivered by David Miliband, President and CEO, Int. Rescue Committee. The Forum's agenda includes the UN Women's Executive Director - Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, GE Foundation President - Deb Elam, Founder and CEO of Starfish Media - Soledad O'Brien, and others. The forum participants will include corporate foundation presidents, emerging market investors, corporate citizenship leaders, and senior UN officials. To attend, please register as guests of UNOP at:

7 - 31 March: 116th Session, Human Rights Committee
At its forthcoming 116th session, the Human Rights Committee, in Geneva, will examine the efforts of the following seven countries to implement the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: 1.Sixth report of Costa Rica, 2. Fourth report of Rwanda, 3. Third report of Slovenia, 4. Second report of Namibia, 5. First report of South Africa, 6. Seventh report of Sweden under LOIPR, 7. Sixth report of New Zealand under LOIPR. The Committee will also adopt lists of issues on the following countries: 1. Fourth report of Azerbaijan, 2. Seventh report of Colombia, 3. Fourth report of Jamaica, 4. Fourth report of Slovakia, 5. Sixth report of Morocco, 6. Initial report of Bangladesh. The Committee will also adopt lists of issues prior to on the following countries: Estonia.

14 - 24 March: Sixtieth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW60)
The sixtieth session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 14 to 24 March 2016. Representatives of Member States, UN entities, and ECOSOC-accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from all regions of the world will attend the session. The priority theme of the session will be: Women’s empowerment and its link to sustainable development. The review theme will be: The elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls (agreed conclusions from the fifty-seventh session).

14 - 18 March: Committee for Development Policy
The Committee for Development Policy (CDP) is a subsidiary body of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. CDP provides inputs and independent advice to the Council on emerging cross-sectoral development issues and on international cooperation for development, focusing on medium- and long-term aspects. The Committee is also responsible for reviewing the status of least developed countries (LDCs) and for monitoring their progress after graduation from the category.

The 24 members of the Committee are nominated by the United Nations Secretary-General in their personal capacity, and are appointed by the Council for a period of three years. Membership is geared to reflect a wide range of development experience as well as geographical and gender balance.

30 March: ECOSOC Special Meeting on Inequality
The ECOSOC Special Meeting on Inequality, a one-day meeting convened by the President of ECOSOC in the ECOSOC Chamber at UN headquarters, will bring together leading experts on inequality from academia, government, the private sector, the UN system and other stakeholders to conceptualize, analyze and recommend solutions for inequalities in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The meeting will address inequality in all its dimensions, including social and political exclusion as well as vertical and horizontal inequalities. Organizations in consultative status with ECOSOC with valid grounds passes are welcome to attend.

31 March: ECOSOC Forum on Partnership "From commitments to results: Leveraging partnerships for the 2030 Agenda"
The Partnership Forum will bring together a wide range of stakeholders: from government, the UN system, business, foundations, civil society, and academia.

Since 2008, the ECOSOC Partnership Forum provides a platform for discussion on multi-stakeholder partnerships. As we enter a new era of sustainable development, the 2016 Partnership Forum will support the ECOSOC’s overall 2016 theme of “Implementing the 2030 Agenda: Moving from commitments to results” and will once again invite to a one-day-event of dialogue and exchange.

The forum will feature two interactive panel discussions. The morning discussion will focus on “Breaking the silos: Cross-sectoral partnerships for advancing the SDGs”. It will examine how cross-sectoral partnerships can leverage the power of integration for the achievement of the SDGs. The afternoon session, in response to the GA resolution on “Towards Global Partnerships”, will focus on “Improving the governance of multi-stakeholder partnerships for the 2030 Agenda” and discuss ways to promote shared governance of multi-stakeholder initiatives, including through transparency, accountability and building trust.

18 - 22 April: 15th Session of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA)
The 15th session of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) will be held from 18 to 22 April 2016 at the United Nations Headquarters, in New York, United States of America.

As approved by ECOSOC, the main issue for discussion will be “Moving from commitments to results: transforming public institutions to facilitate inclusive policy formulation and integration in the implementation and monitoring of the sustainable development goals” The five sub-issues will be:

  1. Ensuring prioritization and decision-making that is fair, responsive, inclusive, participatory and accountable at all levels;
  2. Improving engagement and communication between Governments and stakeholders, including through access to information, open government and electronic and mobile solutions;
  3. Ensuring effective and innovative implementation, monitoring and impact evaluation of the policies identified in support of the sustainable development goals;
  4. Strengthening the confidence of citizens in the effectiveness, validity and integrity of public administration through enhanced, targeted efforts to use good governance to prevent, expose and deal with corruption;
  5. Developing transformative leadership and enhancing relevant competencies of public servants.

For those unable to attend in person, live and on-demand webcast coverage of this event will be available in six languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish) at

19 - 21 April: Special Session of the General Assembly on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS 2016)
The General Assembly, in its resolution 70/181 of 17 December 2015, decided that the special session of the General Assembly on the world drug problem shall be convened for three days, from 19 to 21 April 2016, at United Nations Headquarters in New York, following the fifty-ninth session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, scheduled to be held in March 2016.

Furthermore, the General Assembly decided that representatives of non-governmental organizations in consultative status with ECOSOC are invited to participate in the special session and representatives of civil society and the scientific community, academia, youth groups and other relevant stakeholders may participate in the special session, in accordance with the rules of procedure and established practice of the General Assembly.

To that end, registration is now open for representatives of organizations actively working on drug-related matters from ECOSOC and non-ECOSOC accredited NGOs, civil society, the scientific and academic communities, youth groups and other relevant stakeholders.

All organizations wishing to attend UNGASS 2016 will need to register by applying here: Applications for general registration are being accepted from 1 February – 28 March 2016. To apply to speak at UNGASS 2016, please complete the form available here by 7 March 2016.

21 April: High-level Thematic Debate on Achieving the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The President of the United Nations General Assembly will convene, on 21 April 2016, a High-level Thematic Debate on Achieving the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The event will bring together political, business and civil society leaders to focus on kick-starting SDGs implementation.

Registration is now open for all relevant stakeholders, including civil society, private sector and academia from the following categories:
• Non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council
• Organizations accredited to the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015
• Organizations accredited to the Financing for Development (FfD) process

All organizations wishing to attend the High-level Thematic Debate will need to register by applying here: Applications for general registration are being accepted from 1 February – 28 March 2016.

14 - 16 June: Ninth session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was adopted by the General Assembly by its resolution 61/106 of 13 December 2006. It came into force on 3 May 2008 upon the 20th ratification. Article 40 of the Convention stipulates that "The States Parties shall meet regularly in a Conference of States Parties in order to consider any matter with regard to the implementation of the present Convention." Since 2008, eight sessions of the Conference of States Parties have been held at United Nations Headquarters, New York.

The 9th session will take place at the United Nations Headquarters from 14 to 16 June 2016. This year’s session will include Elections for nine members of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.


Call for NGO input toward Secretary-General's report on inclusion and accessibility for persons with disabilities at the United Nations
The General Assembly in its resolution 70/170 dated 10 February 2016: “Towards the full realization of an inclusive and accessible United Nations for persons with disabilities” requested the Secretary-General to submit to the Assembly at its 71st session, a comprehensive report on the status of accessibility at the United Nations, with a view to realizing an inclusive and accessible environment for persons with disabilities. In this connection, civil society organizations are kindly requested to provide to the Secretariat the following information: (a) the status and application of existing regulations relating to accessibility of facilities and services for persons with disabilities, including reasonable accommodation and universal design within your organization; (b) areas that need improvement to ensure full accessibility for persons with disabilities; (c) best practices and views on the provision of accessibility, following universal design and reasonable accommodation; and (d) recommendations on how to better coordinate, facilitate and monitor practical accessibility measures in order to provide reasonable accommodation, in a cost-effective manner, to meet the needs of persons with disabilities for their participation at the United Nations, including in meetings, conferences and services, as well as the United Nations workplace. The information should include, but not be limited to, accessibility domains of physical facilities and services, information and documentation, meetings and services, information and communications technologies, and human resources. Please send your input of no more than 800 words, in the form of an editable electronic document (Microsoft Word) by 15 March 2016, via e-mail to:

Launch of PGA-led process of consultations on the participation of indigenous people at the United Nations
The General Assembly in its Resolution 70/232, entitled "Rights of Indigenous Peoples" requested the President of the General Assembly (PGA), at its seventieth session, to conduct, within existing resources, timely, inclusive, representative and transparent consultations with Member States, indigenous peoples representatives and institutions from all regions of the world, and existing relevant mechanisms of the United Nations, on the possible measures necessary, including procedural and institutional steps and selection criteria, to enable the participation of indigenous peoples representatives and institutions in meetings of relevant United Nations bodies on issues affecting them. The Assembly, also requested the President to prepare a compilation of the views presented during the consultations, including good practices within the United Nations regarding indigenous peoples participation, which would form the basis for a draft text to be finalized and adopted by the Assembly during its seventy-first session.

In this regard, the PGA has appointed two Advisers from Member States - H.E. Mr. Kai Sauer, Permanent Representative of Finland and H.E. Mrs. Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee, Permanent Representative of Ghana, as well as two Advisers from indigenous peoples - Dr. Claire Winfield Ngamihi Charters from the Pacific region and Dr. James Anaya from the North America region - who will assist in conducting these consultations. The first informal briefing will take place on 7 March 2016 at UN Headquarters in New York. For more information and registration instructions, please see:

DESA Publications and Reports

World Economic and Social Survey 2014/2015
The World Economic and Social Survey 2014/2015 reviews economic, social and environmental policies implemented at the national level and the institutional aspects that enabled them, bringing about significant progress towards achieving the MDGs. The Survey subsequently draws a set of useful policy lessons that Member States will find helpful in formulating strategies and policies for implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the SDGs.



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