DESA NGO News — 29 January 2016

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25 January - 3 February: Committee on NGOs, 2016 Regular Session
The 2016 Regular Session of the Committee on NGOs is expected to consider new applications for status by NGOs as well as applications deferred from earlier sessions. It will also review quadrennial reports of NGOs in general or special consultative status. The Committee is expected to meet again on 16 February 2016 to adopt its report of the session. This session's recommendations will be sent to the Economic and Social Council for its approval in April 2016.

1 - 2 February: Civil Society Forum on 'Inequalities and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development'
The Civil Society Forum is hosted jointly by UNDESA-DSPD, the NGO Committee for Social Development and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, New York Office. The Forum prepares civil society participants to engage at the 54th Session of the Commission for Social Development (3-12 February, 2016 at UNHQ in New York) as well as in ongoing discussions related to the application and evaluation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

3 - 12 February: 54th Session of the Commission for Social Development (CSocD54)
The 54th Session of the Commission for Social Development (CSocD54) will take place in New York from 3 to 12 February 2016 at United Nations Headquarters in New York under the priority theme "Rethinking and strengthening social development in the contemporary world". The CSocD54 is an opportunity for sharing perspectives and best practices to promote social development in the new context of the sustainable development goals contained in the 2030 Agenda.

10 February: Informal Interactive Stakeholder Consultation for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS 2016)
There will be an Informal Interactive Stakeholder Consultation for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS 2016) on 10 February 2016 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The Consultation is an opportunity for all relevant stakeholders to contribute further to the ongoing preparatory process for UNGASS 2016 by sharing practical expertise and experiences from their work on the ground as an input for consideration by Member States in the negotiations of the outcome document. It presents also an opportunity for stakeholders to prepare for their contributions to the interactive multi-stakeholder round tables at UNGASS.

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.
Registration is now open:

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.

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).

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

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.


Committee on NGOs opens its 2016 Regular Session on 25 January
At the start of the meeting, the Committee adopted its agenda (document E/C.2/2016/1) and programme of work. It re-elected by acclamation Jorge Dotta (Uruguay), on behalf of the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States as its Chair; and Elif Çaliskan (Turkey), on behalf of the Western European and other States Group, Farid Jabrayilov (Azerbaijan), on behalf of the Eastern European States Group, and Hacen Eleyatt (Mauritania), on behalf of the African States Group, as Vice-Chairs. It postponed the election of its remaining Vice-Chair from the Asian Group. The Committee also decided that Mr. Jabrayilov (Azerbaijan) would continue to serve as Rapporteur.

At the Opening session of the Committee, Navid Hanif, Director of the Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, UN DESA, said that with the adoption of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement, the focus of the sustainable development goals has turned to their implementation, which is also aligned with the 2016 theme of the Economic and Social Council, "Implementing the post-2015 development agenda: moving from commitments to results." Over the years, non-governmental organizations have increasingly become a part of the process through their participation in consultations, high-level meetings, thematic debates or briefings. An increase in the applications and reports thsi year was a direct reflection of the level of interest that the organizations were showing in the work of the United Nations.

In 2016, the Committee will consider 275 new applications, in addition to 200 applications deferred from previous sessions, 404 quadrennial reports of NGOs in general and special consultative status and 47 quadrennial reports deferred from earlier sessions. These numbers indicate a sharp growth in the workload over past years. Alberto Padova, Acting Chief of the NGO Branch of the Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, expressed his team's continuing support to the Committee toward the successful implementation of its mandate.

54th Commission for Social Development: Rethinking and Strengthening Social Development in the Contemporary World
The 54th session of the Commission for Social Development (CsocD54) will take place from 3 to 12 February 2016 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. This session will conclude the Commission's 2015-2016 review and policy cycle under the priority theme, "Rethinking and Strengthening Social Development in the Contemporary World." The Commission, at the juncture of transitioning into the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, will focus its discussion on the critical role of social policy and development in achieving people-centered, inclusive, just, and socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable development for all.

Deliberations during the Commission will be executed through high-level panel discussions as well as general discussions amongst the Members of the Commission and other stakeholders. Scheduled side-events will also take place to enhance and enrich discussions of the priority theme.

Civil Society Forum
As a protocol, the Civil Society Forum will take place prior to the Commission on 1 and 2 February 2016. The Forum will support participants in refining their understanding of the relationship between CsocD54 and Agenda 2030, and formulating concrete recommendations for the Commission. The Forum will also seek to strengthen collaboration between the Civil Society and Member States through effective open dialogue, focusing on such issues as inequalities and poverty, human rights, accountability and means for implementing sustainable policies for realizing Agenda 2030.

For more info on the CSocD54, please visit:

UN DESA Voice: Putting people at the heart of content
As the year of realizing global commitments for a better world kicked off on 1 January, UN DESA introduced its revamped newsletter UN DESA Voice, aimed at closely covering international efforts to achieve the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, along with the regular work of the UN within the field of economic, social and sustainable development.

"We look forward to keep our readers up to date on the new sustainable development goals as they are implemented all around the world," said Guenther Gross, Chief of the Communication Section in UN DESA’s Strategic Planning and Communications Service; the team that issues the online monthly newsletter.

As the online newsletter of UN DESA turned 20 last year, the editorial team decided it was time to gain insights into the needs and wishes of its 125,000 online subscribers. Thanks to the feedback shared by some 1,000 responders, many of whom represent members of civil society organizations, several updates have been made to modernize the newsletter and to fulfil the needs of the readers.

The February issue of UN DESA Voice will share stories on youth and the sustainable development goals, on the Commission for Social Development, on SDGs implementation, migration data, trade statistics, indigenous languages and more. Take a look and subscribe!

DESA Publications and Reports

World Economic Situation and Prospects 2016
The world economy stumbled in 2015 and only a modest improvement is projected for 2016/17 as a number of cyclical and structural headwinds persist, says the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2016 report, launched on 20 January.

Overview of the Report on the World Social Situation 2016 
This volume of the Report on the World Social Situation (RWSS) will focus on social inclusion. In particular, it will examine patterns of social exclusion and will assess whether growth and development processes have been inclusive, paying particular attention to the links between poverty and inequality trends, changes in the world of work and inclusion –or exclusion. The report will also highlight policy options to promote inclusive development through social and macroeconomic policies and institutional transformation for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.



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