DESA NGO News — 30 June 2015

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Preparatory Process for the General Assembly’s overall review of the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)
The President of the General Assembly will convene an informal interactive WSIS stakeholder consultation with all relevant stakeholders on 2 July 2015, in the ECOSOC Chamber, United Nations Headquarters. The General Assembly, in its resolution 68/302 on the modalities for the overall review of the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society, decided that the review will be concluded by a two-day high-level meeting of the Assembly, to be preceded by an intergovernmental preparatory process that also takes into account inputs from all relevant stakeholders of the World Summit on the Information Society. The General Assembly also decided that during the preparatory process for the high-level meeting, the President of the Assembly will organize informal interactive consultations with all relevant stakeholders of the World Summit on the Information Society, in order to collect their inputs for the intergovernmental negotiation process.

The Informal Stakeholder Consultation will be preceded by the first preparatory meeting of the WSIS review process, which will take place on Wednesday, 1 July, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., in Conference Room 2 at the United Nations Secretariat, New York. This meeting aims to provide a venue for Member States to share their expectations and preliminary inputs on the elements to be addressed by the review. Statements delivered at the 1 July meeting and written submissions will serve as the basis for the non-paper version of the WSIS review outcome document that will be further developed, leading up to the High-Level Meeting on 15-16 December 2015. During this meeting, Member States will also have the opportunity to interact with representatives of the various stakeholder communities, who have been invited to speak at the start of the morning and afternoon sessions.

High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, at its opening session, focuses on its role in reviewing the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda
The HLPF began its 2015 annual session on Friday, 26 June, with an opening by Martin Sajdik, President of ECOSOC, followed by remarks by Rudolf Hundstorfer, Federal Minister for Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection of Austria and Thomas Gass, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs. The opening remarks were followed by statements from representatives of Major Groups and other stakeholders.

In his opening remarks, Rudolf Hundstorfer emphasized that for the new development agenda to be successful, an effective follow-up and review mechanism was necessary. The Forum, established by a decision in the outcome document of the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, would play a decisive role to that end, he said, proposing that great importance be given to developing suitable indicators, as well as providing reliable data and statistics. The social dimension, namely the eradication of poverty and promotion of decent work for all, was as important as economic and environmental policies in connection with sustainable development and would play a key role in the upcoming follow-up and review process.

Thomas Gass, delivering a statement on behalf of Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, said that the post-2015 development agenda was the work of all Governments and also owned by important parts of civil society. Rio+20 had called for a reform that injected sustainable development into the General Assembly, strengthening the Economic and Social Council and creating a United Nations Environment Assembly. The establishment of the Forum was at the heart of that reform. Following those remarks, representatives from Major Groups and Other Stakeholders, including those on local authorities, older persons, and children and youth, stressed the importance of their needs incorporated into the mechanism of follow-up and review for sustainable development.

NGO Committee adopts the report of its 2015 Resumed session
On 12 June, at the concluding meeting of the 2015 Resumed session of the Committee on NGOs, the Committee adopted its report, recommending 160 organizations for consultative status and deferring 200 applications until the 2016 Regular session. In addition, the Committee also recommended that the Council reclassify the status of four organizations and reinstate the consultative status of 24. (See the ADVANCE UNEDITED version of the report for a full list of Committee decisions).

The Committee proposed that the Council set the dates for the 2016 Regular session from 25 January to 3 February, and 16 February, and the 2016 Resumed session from 23 May to 1 June, and 10 June, also adopting the provisional agenda for the 2016 session.


26 June - 8 July: High-level political forum on sustainable development, convened under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council
The 2015 high-level political forum on sustainable development, convened under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council, will be held from Friday, 26 June, to Wednesday, 8 July 2015. The three-day ministerial meeting of the forum will be held from Monday, 6 July, to Wednesday, 8 July 2015.

The theme of the forum for 2015 is “Strengthening integration, implementation and review – the high-level political forum on sustainable development after 2015”. Please see the draft integrated programme of the HLPF and ECOSOC High-level segment.

29 June - 24 July: 114th Session of the Human Rights Committee, (Geneva)
At its forthcoming 114th session, the Human Rights Committee will examine the efforts of the following seven countries to implement the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: Fourth report of Uzbekistan, Sixth report of Canada, Third report of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Fourth report of Venezuela, Sixth report of Spain, Seventh report of UK, Fifth report of France.

The Committee will also adopt lists of issues on the following countries: Sixth report of Costa Rica, Fourth report of Rwanda, Third report of Slovenia, Second report of Namibia, Initial report of South Africa. The Committee will also adopt lists of issues prior to on the following countries: Belarus (report due Nov 2001), Bulgaria (report due July 2015), El Salvador (report due Oct 2014).

6-10 July: 2015 ECOSOC High-Level Segment
The HLS will be held from 6 July to 10 July 2015 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The theme for the 2015 session of the Economic and Social Council is “Managing the transition from the Millennium Development Goals to the sustainable development goals: what it will take”. It will provide a platform to specifically address the transition to an ambitious, integrated, coherent, universal post-2015 development agenda through analysis and elaboration in terms of goals, policy choices, institutional adjustments and the assignment of roles and responsibilities among all partners.

The HLS will include the three-day ministerial meeting of the high-level political forum on sustainable development (HLPF), convened under the auspices of the Council, and the annual ministerial review. The theme of the 2015 HLPF “Strengthening integration, implementation and review - the HLPF after 2015” will provide an opportunity to advance the reflection on the elaboration of the overall framework to review and monitor progress on the post-2015 development agenda with the HLPF at its core. Please see the draft integrated programme of the HLPF and ECOSOC High-level segment.

13-16 July: Third International Conference on Financing for Development
The Third International Conference on Financing for Development will gather high-level political representatives, including Heads of State and Government, and Ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation, as well as all relevant institutional stakeholders, non-governmental organizations and business sector entities. The Conference will result in an intergovernmentally negotiated and agreed outcome, which should constitute an important contribution to and support the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda.

The scope of the Conference is set out in General Assembly resolutions 68/204 and 68/279, and will focus on assessing the progress made in the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus and the Doha Declaration and identifying obstacles and constraints encountered in the achievement of the goals and objectives agreed therein, as well as actions and initiatives to overcome these constraints; addressing new and emerging issues, including in the context of the recent multilateral efforts to promote international development cooperation; the current evolving development cooperation landscape; the interrelationship of all sources of development finance; the synergies between financing objectives across the three dimensions of sustainable development; and the need to support the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015; reinvigorating and strengthening the financing for development follow-up process.

14-16 July: Sixth Session of the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing
The Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing was established by the General Assembly by resolution 65/182 on 21 December 2010. The working group will consider the existing international framework of the human rights of older persons and identify possible gaps and how best to address them, including by considering, as appropriate, the feasibility of further instruments and measures.

The sixth working session of the Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWG) will be held in New York from 14 to 16 July 2015 in Conference Room 4 (CB). Please note that this event is only open to NGOs with ECOSOC Status and NGOs accredited to the Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing. NGOs with ECOSOC Status can pre-register up to 10 Representatives. Accredited NGOs to the Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing can pre-register up to 5 Representatives. The registration deadline is 3 July 2015.

20-22 July: ECOSOC Coordination and Management Meeting
The Coordination and Management Meetings have three main functions:
   -The review of the reports of the Council’s subsidiary and expert bodies; these include the reports of all Functional Commissions, the Regional Commissions, the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, as well as expert and ad hoc bodies.
   -The system-wide coordination and review of specific development issues, with a view to promoting a more integrated response to specific areas (for example, gender mainstreaming or non-communicable diseases).
   -The consideration of special country situation or regional issues which are on the agenda of ECOSOC (including the work of its Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Haiti).



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