DESA NGO News — 30 March 2015

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Commission on the Status of Women concludes Fifty-ninth Session
The Commission on the Status of Women adopted a political declaration that strongly reaffirmed the landmark 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, including by strengthening the involvement of civil society in the Commission’s work and by setting the tangible expiry date for gender inequality, with ministers’ pledges to take a number of concrete steps. Those included strengthening the implementation of laws, policies and strategies, increasing support for institutional mechanisms, addressing discriminatory norms and stereotypes and significantly raising investments for gender equality to close resource gaps.

The Commission took action on four draft resolutions, sending two texts — on working methods and on Palestinian women — to the Economic and Social Council. Among those texts, it approved, without a vote, a draft resolution on the future organization and methods of work of the Commission on the Status of Women (document E/CN.6/2015/L.5), by which, among other things, ECOSOCl would decide that the Commission’s annual session would include a ministerial segment to reaffirm and strengthen political commitment for the realization of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, as well as their human rights. The Commission also approved a resolution on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian women (document E/CN.6/2015/L.2), by a recorded vote of 27 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 13 abstentions.

Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction is a resounding success
On 18 March 2015, representatives from 187 UN member States adopted the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction: 2015 - 2030, a far reaching new framework for disaster risk reduction with seven targets and four priorities for action and the first major agreement of the Post-2015 development agenda.

Margareta Wahlström, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, said: “The adoption of this new framework for disaster risk reduction opens a major new chapter in sustainable development as it outlines clear targets and priorities for action which will lead to a substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health.

“Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction over the next 15 years will require strong commitment and political leadership and will be vital to the achievement of future agreements on sustainable development goals and climate later this year. As the UN Secretary-General said here on the opening day, sustainability starts in Sendai.”

Over 6,500 delegates, including over 25 Heads of State, Vice Presidents, and Heads of Government, attended the intergovernmental and multi-stakeholder events and over 40,000 attended the public forum. In addition, 42 intergovernmental organizations, 236 non-government organizations, 38 UN entities; and over 300 private sector representatives were in attendance.

Redesigned multilingual UN portal launched -
The new-look website has been completely redesigned and restructured resulting in a more intuitive, visually arresting and dynamic user experience that reflects a forward-looking United Nations in its 70th year. The website contains a wealth of information about the Organization, almost all of which is fully accessible for persons with disabilities.

The audience-driven taxonomy helps specific audiences such as delegates, journalists, the business community, civil society, academia, students, job seekers and visitors to easily find links to relevant information with their own dedicated pages of resources. New sections such as ‘In Focus’, ‘In the Spotlight’ and ‘The UN System at Work’ promote the multifaceted work of the UN around the world and also enable the highlighting of prominent themes, events and personalities.


30 March-1 April: ECOSOC Integration Segment
The 2015 Integration Segment, chaired by His Excellency Vladimir Drobnjak, P. R. of the Republic of Croatia to the United Nations and Vice-President of ECOSOC, will bring together Heads of States and Governments, ministers, governors, mayors, the United Nations system, the tripartite constituents of the International Labour Organization, civil society, academia and the private sector. The segment will focus on “achieving sustainable development through employment creation and decent work for all.”

7-13 April: 48th Session of the Commission on Population and Development
The 48th session of the Commission on Population and Development will take place from 13 to 17 April 2015 at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The Priority Theme of the session is "Realizing the future we want: integrating population issues into sustainable development, including the post-2015 development agenda."

14-16 April: Second Preparatory Committee of the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III)
The second session of the preparatory committee meeting of the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) will be held from Tuesday, 14 April to Thursday, 16 April 2015, at the United Nations Office at Nairobi.

The General Assembly, in resolution 67/216, encouraged effective contributions from and the active participation of all relevant stakeholders, including major groups as identified in Agenda 21, at all stages of the preparatory process for the Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) and at the Conference itself. In its resolution 69/226, the General Assembly emphasized the importance on wide participation of all relevant stakeholders, including local authorities, in the promotion of sustainable urbanization and settlements.

20 April-1 May: 14th Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
The fourteenth session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues will be held in UN Headquarters, New York from 20 April to 1 May 2015.

This event is ONLY open to NGOs with ECOSOC Status, Accredited Indigenous Peoples Organizations (IPOs) and Academics to the Forum.

20 April-24 April: 14th Session of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA)
The 14th Session of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) will be held from 20 to 24 April 2015 at the United Nations Headquarters, in New York, United States of America. As approved by ECOSOC, the main issue for discussion will be “Building trust in government in pursuit of the sustainable development goals, what will it take?” The three sub-issues will be:

1. Redefining relationships and responsibilities to support participatory governance and responsive public service delivery, including through e-solutions;
2. Strengthening innovation, prioritization, informed decision-making and integration of policy development processes for enhanced impact; and
3. Promoting accountable institutions, ethical leadership and integrity to enhance confidence in efforts to deliver sustainable development.

Live and on-demand webcast coverage of this event will be available in six languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish) at

27 April-22 May: 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)
The NPT is a landmark international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament. The NPT represents the only binding commitment in a multilateral treaty to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear-weapon States.

Conferences to review the operation of the Treaty have been held at five-year intervals since the Treaty went into effect in 1970. Each conference has sought to find agreement on a final declaration that would assess the implementation of the Treaty’s provisions and make recommendations on measures to further strengthen it.



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