DESA NGO News – 25 March 2014


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Open Call for Written and Oral Statements for 2014 ECOSOC High-Level Segment

The NGO Branch of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs has announced an open call for oral and written statements for the 2014 ECOSOC High Level Segment (HLS) for NGOs in ECOSOC-consultative status from 17 to 28 March 2014. The HLS will be held on 7 - 11 July 2014 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. This is a unique opportunity for ECOSOC-accredited NGOs to be heard at deliberations and contribute to the global development agenda.


58th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women concludes

UN Women welcomed the outcome of the 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women on 22 March. The conclusions of the two-week meeting represent a milestone towards a transformative global development agenda that puts the empowerment of women and girls at its centre. Member States also stressed that while the Millennium Development Goals have advanced progress in many areas, they remain unfinished business as long as gender inequality persists.


Equality for women means progress for all, UN marks International Women's Day

To mark International Women's Day on 8 March, the United Nations highlighted how many areas in development where progress is needed, depends on women and girls achieving equality.  In his message for the Day, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said empowered women lift up society as a whole, countries with more gender equality have better economic growth, peace agreements that include women are more durable, and parliaments with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as health, education, anti-discrimination and child support. In this spirit, UN Women launched the campaign ‘HeForShe’. It invites men and boys to stand up and voice their support for women's rights all over the world.


9th Session of Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals concludes

The Ninth Session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals was held at UN Headquarters from 3-5 March 2014. The Executive Summary of Major Group Inputs is available here.


Rethinking Urbanization in the 21st Century

How countries plan, build and manage their cities today will determine the outcome of global efforts to achieve a sustainable future, a panel of United Nations and civil society experts said on 4 March. ‘The City We Need’, a document outlining how the impacts of rapid urbanization can be better managed, was launched at a press conference at United Nations Headquarters. Published by the World Urban Campaign and UN-Habitat, the document draws attention to the links between urbanization and major global development challenges such as climate change and poverty.


ECOSOC adjourns operational activities for development segment

A post-2015 agenda focused on sustainable development and poverty eradication requires the United Nations to refine the ways it supports countries’ priority development needs, Member States said on 26 February as ECOSOC concluded the main part of its operational segment for the 2014 session. The three-day segment at UN Headquarters started a “forward-looking” dialogue on adapting the United Nations system to important changes taking place in the broader development landscape.


Deepening Arab region integration could raise development, UN reports

Inclusive economic integration in the Arab region could create six million new jobs by 2020 and increase regional gross domestic product by three per cent, as stated in the  report, ‘Arab Integration: A 21st Century Development Imperative,’. Launched by the Economic and Social Commission of Western Asia (ESCWA) on 25 February, the report examines economic models to compare potential growth if regional countries integrated. It also identifies strategies for promoting free trade in services, free movement in capital and workers, and the development of regional production chains.


UN kicks off International Year to raise profile of small island developing countries

International Year of Small Island Developing States was launched 24 February at the United Nations Headquarters to draw attention to increasing environmental degradation, and social and economic marginalization in 51 highly vulnerable small island developing States (SIDS). This group of States share similar challenges, including small but growing populations, limited resources, remoteness, susceptibility to natural disasters, vulnerability to external shocks, excessive dependence on international trade and fragile environments. International Year also will draw attention to the Third International Conference on SIDS, to be held in Apia, Samoa in September.


Valuing natural resources critical to Africa's 'green economy' growth

The next wave of investment and innovation in Africa will be driven by the need for new energy resources, wealth generation and job creation, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Achim Steiner said to an African ministerial conference on green economy in Oran, Algeria on 22 February. In a green economy, growth in income and employment is driven by public and private investment that reduces carbon emissions and pollution, enhances energy and resource efficiency, and prevents the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. The UN-backed Green Climate Fund will act as a tool to finance climate change action in developing countries.





Request for Input: UNDP’s Draft Social and Environmental Standards

UNDP invites comments on its draft Social and Environmental Standards by 18 April 2014. The objectives of the standards are to strengthen the social and environmental outcomes of UNDP’s programmes and projects, avoid adverse impacts to people and the environment, minimize, mitigate, and manage adverse impacts where avoidance is not possible, and strengthen capacities for managing social and environmental risks. Inputs should respond to the needs of those UNDP aim to help; are relevant and practical within the context of UNDP works within; and are consistent with best practices.


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." The Commission will take place at United Nations Headquarters in New York in Conference Room 1.


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.


14-15 April: Global Dialogue on Financing for Development

The theme of the meeting at United Nations Headquarters in New York will be “Coherence, coordination and cooperation in the context of financing for sustainable development and the post-2015 development agenda”. The morning session on 14 April will feature a High-Level panel of Ministers on the world economic situation and its prospects. It also will include thematic debates on mobilization of financial resources and global partnership for development.


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 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Articles 3- 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.


27-29 May: ECOSOC Integration Segment - Sustainable Urbanization

By 2050, about 70 per cent of the world’s population is expected to live in urban areas, and over 60 per cent of the land projected to become urban by 2030 is yet to be built. 

Sustainable urbanization will be the focus of the Integration Segment of the Economic and Social Council at United Nations Headquarters. The objective will be to provide a multi-stakeholder platform on how urbanization can be an effective tool for the integration of economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.


2-3 June: ECOSOC Youth Forum

In accordance with General Assembly resolution 68/1, ECOSOC will promote the integration of youth into its deliberations, building on the past positive experiences of informal youth forums. The Forum will take place at United Nations Headquarters. More information to follow.


9-13 June: United Nations Summer Academy

The 2014 session will take place at United Nations Headquarters. The curriculum will focus on "New challenges, new actors, new UN approaches", with emphasis on innovation and leadership. Participation will provide opportunities to interact with peers and faculty, participate in solution-oriented practical clinics, and strengthen knowledge and skills on issues of relevance to the work of the Organization. The UN Summer Academy is open to UN staff, diplomats and civil society representatives alike.


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.


30 June – 9 July: High-Level Political Forum

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.


7-11 July: ECOSOC High-Level Segment

The High-level Segment at United Nations Headquarters will focus on a broad range of issues at the heart of the UN development agenda. More details to follow.


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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