DESA NGO News - 18 March 2013
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CSW57 adopts global plan to end gender-based violence
On 15 March, top United Nations officials welcomed an agreement by more than 130 Member States on the prevention and elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls, and urged governments to translate the outcome of the 'historic' gathering into concrete actions to protect and promote women's human rights and fundamental freedoms. “Violence against women is a heinous human rights violation, global menace, a public health threat and a moral outrage,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement. Thousands of representatives of governments, inter-governmental organizations, civil society, the private sector and UN partners collaborated on the outcome document of the two-week 57th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York. The 17-page 'Agreed Conclusions' of the Commission condemns pervasive violence against women and girls, and calls for increased attention and accelerated action for prevention and response.

Fourth meeting, HLP on Post-2015 Development Agenda, Bali, Indonesia
The fourth meeting of the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda will be held in Bali, Indonesia across 25-27 March 2013 and will include a full day of outreach events – Stakeholder Outreach Day - organized on 25 March. The purpose of the Stakeholder Outreach Day is to enable substantive interactions of the Panel with civil society, the private sector, academic institutions, youth, parliamentarians and other elected representatives as well as global and regional governance institutions relevant to the dialogue on the post 2015 global development agenda. The deadline for applications was 6 March 2013.

First meeting of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals Concludes its first Meeting
One of the main outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012, was the agreement by Member States to launch a process to develop a set of sustainable development goals (SDGs). Rio+20 did not elaborate specific goals but stated that the SDGs should be limited in number, aspirational and easy to communicate. The goals should address in a balanced way all three dimensions of sustainable development and be coherent with and integrated into the UN development agenda beyond 2015. A 30-member Open Working Group (OWG) of the General Assembly is tasked with preparing a proposal on the SDGs. The Open Working Group was established on 22 January 2013. The Member States have decided to use an innovative, constituency-based system of representation that is new to limited membership bodies of the General Assembly. This means that most of the seats in the OWG are shared by several countries. It started its work in a two-day meeting on 14 and 15 March.

International Women's Day 2013: All women and girls have a fundamental human right to live free of violence
Worldwide today, up to 50% of sexual assaults are committed against girls under the age of 16. Globally, 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not yet considered a crime. Up to 70% of women in the world report having experienced physical and/or sexual violence at some point in their lifetime. Over 60 million girls worldwide are child brides, married before the age of 18. In the face of such unacceptable figures, the international community is strongly committed to change the plight of women. This year’s theme for International Women’s Day, “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women” seeks to strengthen international community’s commitment to put an end to violence against women. Acclaimed singers and musicians, women and men, have come together to spread a message of unity and solidarity: We are "One Woman", a song that was launched on 8 March.

Contribute to the GA meeting on Disability and Development, 23 September 2013
DESA in collaboration with UNICEF is currently conducting online moderated consultations from 8 to 28 March to gather views from a broad range of stakeholders on how to include disability in the post-2015 development framework, in order to contribute to the ongoing work in preparation for the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on disability and development to be held on 23 September 2013. Responses are invited for Arabic, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, French and Chinese languages.

United Nations Innovation Award: call for stories on people's empowerment
The Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) seeks to find and bring to scale the most incredible stories on people’s empowerment around the globe. You can nominate yourself, or another person you admire who empowered you and therefore your unique and special story. We truly believe that the major social challenges of our time can be solved only with the full participation of people at all levels of society. This innovation award represents DSPD’s commitment to the promotion of people’s empowerment and social development globally. The deadline is 14 May 2013.

UN Member States begin negotiations on High-Level Political Forum
One critical outcome of the Rio+20 Conference was the decision to establish a universal intergovernmental high-level political forum, to follow up on the implementation of sustainable development. It is to build on the strengths, experiences, resources and inclusive participation modalities of the Commission on Sustainable Development, and subsequently replace the Commission.

Working group on the global partnership for development beyond 2015: Thematic Think Pieces
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have served as a shared framework for global action and cooperation on development since 2000. As the world approaches 2015, the overall target date for achieving the MDGs, thinking has begun on how to advance the global development agenda beyond 2015. To support this effort, the UN Secretary-General has taken several initiatives. He has established the UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda, launched a High-level Panel of Eminent Persons and appointed his own Special Advisor on Post-2015 Development Planning. These processes are complemented by a set of eleven global thematic consultations and national consultations in over 60 countries facilitated by the United Nations Development Group. In September 2012 the UN System Task Team established a new working group on the global partnership for development beyond 2015. A set of think pieces prepared by the group focuses on lessons learnt from MDG8, and a series of specific themes relevant to renewing global partnerships in the post-2015 development agenda. These pieces will be synthesized in a report to be published in March 2013. A number of thematic think pieces was recently published and is available from the link below.

The UN Post-2015 Development Agenda - an overview
What is the “post-2015 UN development agenda”? What will become of the MDGs? What is the link to ‘SDGs’ and to the followup to the Rio+20 Conference? Who is involved in the consultations on the post2015 development agenda? What is the High-Level Panel? How will the voices of the poorest and most vulnerable people be included? What happens next? Click on the page below to get started, including on a FAQ sheet, and all of the websites you need to know about, such My World, the World We Want, the Panel's website, the Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, and many more.

Make sure to submit your quadrennial report in time
Many organizations in consultative status with ECOSOC have received a notification by email to remind them of their obligation to submit a brief report of activities to the Committee every four years. If you have not received such a notification, it is advisable to review the lists of organizations that have a report due or overdue. Not submitting the report in time has lead to suspensions and withdrawals of status.


18-28 March: Final United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty
Member States gathered in New York in July 2012 for an historical initiative in the area of conventional arms: to negotiate an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The Treaty would establish high common standards for international trade in conventional arms. The Conference could not reach agreement on a treaty text. The General Assembly of the United Nations has decided to convene a Final Conference on the ATT, in March 2013, to conclude the work begun in July 2012.

20-23 March: Advancing the Post-2015 Sustainabe Development Agenda
This event, to be held in Bonn, Germany, will bring together about 250 civil society activists and representatives from key stakeholders in order to draw together civil society inputs into the Sustainable Development and Post-2015 discussions. The deadline for applications was 13 January 2013.

22 March: High-Level Dialogue, International Year of Water Cooperation, 2013
Building on previous events, The President of the General Assembly will convene an event to discuss the fundamental role of water cooperation in achieving water security. This event is open to NGO representatives with valid grounds passes only.

27 March: Shaping tomorrow’s innovators: Leveraging science, technology, innovation and culture for today’s youth
This full-day event is organized as part of the preparatory process for the 2013 ECOSOC Annual Ministerial Review (AMR) on “Science, technology and innovation, and the potential of culture, for promoting sustainable development and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)”. The key objective of the Youth Forum is to provide a platform for youth to engage in dialogue with various stakeholders to explore possible ways and means for promoting global and sustainable development building upon the potential of Science, Technology, Innovation (STI), and culture. Key recommendations coming out from the ECOSOC youth forum will be shared with Member States at the High-level Segment of ECOSOC in July 2013. For registration, a programme and a background note please see the link below.

8-19 April 2013: United Nations Forum on Forests, 10th session, Istanbul
The tenth anniversary session of the UN Forum on Forests will be held at Istanbul, Turkey, from 8 to 19 April 2013. The Forum on Forests welcomes the participation of the nine major groups as identified in Chapter 23 of Agenda 21, including: women, children and youth, indigenous people, non-governmental organizations, local authorities, workers and trade unions, business and industry, scientific and technological communities, and farmers and small forest landowners. Major groups organizations with ECOSOC consultative status and those accredited to the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) are encouraged to participate. Deadline for applications is 25 March 2013.

8-19 April: 4th Session, Committee on Enforced Disappearances, Geneva
At its forthcoming 4th session in April 2013, the Committee on Enforced Disappearances will examine the efforts to implement the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

10 April: The Role of International Criminal Justice in Reconciliation
A one-day interactive debate is being organized by the Office of the President of the General Assembly to share experiences on relations between national and international criminal procedues, and to share views on the impact of the international criminal justice on reconciliation. This event is open to NGO representatives with valid grounds passes only.

15 April: The United Nations and Global Economic Governance
Ongoing discussions on how to improve global economic governance are growing in significance. Over the past few years, the G20 has risen in prominence, serving as a forum in which its members make economic decisiions that have worldwide impolications. The thematic debate will examine various forms of interaction between the G20 and the rest of the world. It is timed to take place just ahead of the spring meetings of finance ministers and central bank governors that will take place in Washington. This event is open to NGO representatives with valid grounds passes only.

15-26 April: 18th session, Committee on Migrant Workers, Geneva
The 18th session of the Committee will take place at the Palais Wilson, First Floor Conference Room. Representatives of non-governmental organizations wishing to attend the session should register online.

22 April: Third Interactive Dialogue of the General Assembly on Harmony With Nature
To commemorate International Mother Earth Day, the UN General Assembly will host an interactive dialogue on harmony with nature.

22-26 April 2013: 46th session, Commission on Population and Development
The 46th session of the Commission will be held from 22 to 26 April 2013. Its theme will be "New trends in migration: demographic aspects."

20-31 May 2013: 12th session, Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
The twelfth Session of the Permanent Forum will be held at UN Headquarters, New York in May 2013. It will be a review year of the Forum. A provisional agenda of the session is posted on the page below.

21-30 May 2013: 2013 resumed session, Committee on NGOs
The 2013 resumed session of the Committee on NGOs will meet from 21 to 30 May 2013. It is expected to adopt its report in early June 2013.



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