DESA NGO News – 24 October 2013


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On Day for Eradication of Poverty, UN urges more support for marginalized people

The United Nations marked the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on 17 October with senior officials urging greater support for people struggling to escape poverty and build better lives. This year's commemoration recognizes that people living in poverty are also critical partners for tackling the world's development challenges. The UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty, Ms. Magdalena Sepúlveda, called on States to tackle the deep-rooted causes of gender inequality and women's vulnerability to poverty. She urged governments to ensure that unpaid care is better supported and more equitably shared between women and men.


Second Committee begins as UN officials urge shift in focus to emerging issues

The Second Committee opened its first general debate on 9 October with Chair Abdou Salam Diallo (Senegal) stating that the Committee (Economic and Financial) must forge the connection between globalization and sustainable development. He called for focus on countries in special situations, notably those least developed, in conflict situations, and experiencing the effects of climate change. When the floor opened for discussion, several delegations proposed improvements to the Committee’s working methods, including a reduced number of resolutions which would allow a more effective distribution of the workload.


Social Development Efforts are at a Critical Juncture as Third Committee begins its sessions

Inequality plaguing social development was a recurring theme among UN officials as the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) began its substantive work on 7 October. While many individuals and social groups had benefited from poverty reduction and social integration, others remained far behind, noted Mr. Thomas Gass, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs in his opening remarks. In many countries and regions, he said, inequality was compromising the health, nutrition and education of large segments of society. It also limited job prospects and participation in social, political and economic life; and undermined economic growth and environmental sustainability. Other topics included the needs of vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, persons with disabilities, and the role of family in social development. The Third Committee is chaired by Mr. Stephan Tafrov of Bulgaria.


Make "Migration Work for all" stressed at High-Level Meeting

The High-level Dialogue on Migration and Development concluded on 4 October in New York with a commitment to implement measures that will protect the rights of millions of migrants as well as recognize their contributions to society. During the two-day Dialogue, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon presented his report on International Migration and Development, which makes recommendations such as protecting the human rights of migrants, lowering the cost of migration, and changing public perception of migrants. The report also stressed the need to integrate migration in the development agenda, improve data collection on migrants and enhance partnerships so governments, the private sector and civil society can share knowledge on the mobility of migrants.


Civil society to shape new global development agenda

In his first press conference since the General Debate concluded, GA President John Ashe said the General Assembly is embarking on a new partnership between Member States and civil society. Mr. Ashe highlighted the role of non-governmental organizations and other partners in shaping a new global development agenda while talking to journalists in New York on 3 October. He had chosen the theme for this year’s General Assembly, “The Post-2015 Development Agenda: Setting the Stage,” which would begin the period after the 2015 deadline of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).


UN chief urges renewed efforts to get rid of nuclear threat

Senior United Nations officials called on Member States to take renewed steps to rid the world of nuclear weapons during the first High-level Meeting on nuclear disarmament ever held by the General Assembly on 26 September. “[Nuclear disarmament] would strengthen international peace and security. It would free up vast and much-needed resources for social and economic development. It would advance the rule of law. It would spare the environment and help keep nuclear materials from terrorist or extremist groups. And it would remove a layer of fear that clouds all of human existence,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the meeting. He appealed to nuclear-weapon States to move towards disarmament and urged countries that have not yet done so to accede to the UN-backed Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).


At Special Event on MDGs, world leaders agree to scale up efforts against poverty

World leaders meeting at United Nations Headquarters on 25 September agreed to take bolder action against extreme poverty, hunger and disease. During the Special Event, countries adopted an outcome document which acknowledges the progress made since the eight global targets were set in 2000, while also committing to do more to tackle many remaining challenges. Countries agreed to hold a high-level summit in September 2015 to adopt a new set of goals for sustainable development: providing economic transformation and opportunity to lift people out of poverty, advancing social justice and protecting the environment.


World leaders inaugurate new forum to boost sustainable development

World leaders at the United Nations inaugurated a High-level Political Forum on 24 September that aims to boost global efforts and increase development in a manner that is sustainable for future generations.  The Forum will bring heads of State and Government together every four years under the General Assembly to address the challenges of sustainable development. It will meet annually at the ministerial level, under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Starting in 2016, the Forum also will review implementation of sustainable development by all countries.  The Forum replaces the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), which concluded its work on 20 September.


Call for renewed commitment to multilateralism at opening of General Assembly Debate

As world leaders gathered on 24 September for the opening of the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York,  GA President John Ashe appealed to them to renew their commitment to work together to eradicate poverty and foster economic and social prosperity for people across the world through a new development agenda. The theme for this year’s session is ‘The Post-2015 Development Agenda: Setting the Stage.'


New development agenda must be disability-inclusive

Reaffirming the international community’s resolve in advancing the rights of persons with disabilities, the High-level Meeting on Disability and Development on 23 September adopted an outcome stressing the need to ensure accessibility, and include persons with disabilities in all aspects of development. The outcome document underlined urgent action by all relevant stakeholders towards adoption and implementation of disability-inclusive national development strategies with disability-targeted actions, backed by international cooperation and support. There are more than 1 billion people living with some form of disability. 80% are of working age and the majority live in developing countries.


Advancing Regional Recommendations on Post-2015 event brings together one thousand representatives of civil society

Over 1,000 representatives from civil society, governments and the United Nations gathered on 22 September at UN Headquarters in New York for a dialogue on regional issues and policy recommendations for the next global development agenda. The meeting “Advancing Regional Recommendations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda,” was organized by the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service. It launched the report of regional civil society consultations carried out from May through August 2013. The event was the largest single gathering of civil society in the post-2015 process to date.


Commission on Sustainable Development holds final session

The United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) concluded on 20 September two decades worth of work and charted the course for the incoming High-level Political Forum to increase efforts to tackle global economic, social and environmental challenges. The CSD was formed after the 1992 Rio Summit and helped to generate action on a range of issues that led to international agreements or treaties on energy, oceans, sustainable consumption and production, and others. Last June, the General Assembly established the High-level Political Forum, which was launched on 23 September at the General Assembly debate in New York.





7 October and onwards: General Assembly Second Committee

The Second (Economic and Financial) Committee deals with issues relating to economic growth and development, including macroeconomic policy questions, financing for development, sustainable development, and poverty eradication.


7 October and onwards: General Assembly Third Committee

The Third (Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural) Committee is looking at agenda items on a range of social, humanitarian affairs and human rights issues that affect people all over the world.


24-27 November: Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, 5th session

The fifth session of the Open Working Group will address the following topics: sustained and inclusive economic growth, macroeconomic policy questions (including international trade, international financial system and external debt sustainability), infrastructure development and industrialization (1.5 days) and energy (1.5 days).


9-13 December: Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, 6th session

The sixth session of the Open Working Group will contemplate: means of implementation (science and technology, knowledge-sharing and capacity building); global partnership for achieving sustainable development (2 days); and the needs of countries in special situations, African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developed countries, and small island developing states, as well as specific challenges facing middle-income countries (2 days).


6-10 January 2014: Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, 7th session

This session will review: sustainable cities and human settlements, sustainable transport (2 days); sustainable consumption and production (including chemicals and waste) (1.5 days); and climate change and disaster risk reduction (1.5 days).


21-30 January 2014: Committee on NGOs, regular session

The Committee will review new and deferred applications. It is scheduled to adopt its report on 7 February 2014.


3-7 February 2014: Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, 8th session

Topics to review will include: oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity (2 days); promoting equality, including social equity, gender equality and women’s empowerment (1.5 days); and conflict prevention, post-conflict peace building and the promotion of durable peace, rule of law and governance (1.5 days).


11-21 February 2014: Commission for Social Development, 52nd Session,

The Commission will meet at UN Headquarters in New York under the priority theme "Promoting empowerment of people in achieving poverty eradication, social integration and full employment and decent work for all". This year will be devoted to the policy segment of the cycle. NGOs in General and Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC interested in issuing written statements should email them to by 15 November 2013. For more information on the procedure for submitting a statement click here.


10-21 March 2014: Commission on the Status of Women, 58th session

The fifty-eighth session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place at UN Headquarters in New York from 10 - 21 March 2014 (tentative date). Representatives of Member States, UN entities, and ECOSOC-accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can attend the session. The priority theme will be: "Challenges and Achievements in the Implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for Women and Girls." The review theme will be: "Access and Participation of Women and Girls to Education, Training, Science and Technology, including for the promotion of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work (as per the agreed conclusions from the Fifty-fifth session).  The deadline for submitting written statements for CSW58 is 25 October 2013. Written statements can be submitted through CSO Net. Statements sent by e-mail cannot be accepted.


7-11 April 2014: Commission on Population and Development, 47th session

The theme of the 47th session of the Commission will be "Assessment of the status of implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development."


12-23 May 2014: Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 13th session

The theme of the session will be: “Principles of Good Governance Consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Articles 3 to 6 and 46 (3)”.


19-28 May 2014: Committee on NGOs, resumed session

The Committee will review new and deferred applications. It is scheduled to adopt its report on 6 June 2014.


July 2014: High-Level Political Forum and High-Level Segment, ECOSOC

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.


28 August - 4 September 2014: 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 2014: 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 2014: 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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