- General Assembly elects John William Ashe of Antigua and Barbuda as President of sixty-eighth session The General Assembly today elected by acclamation John William Ashe, the Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations, as President of its sixty-eighth session. Following his election, the incoming President said that no undertaking, since the Organization’s founding 68 years ago, had been more fundamental than addressing the relationship “between us human beings and this planet we inhabit”. In eighteen months, the post-2015 development agenda, one of the United Nations’ most ambitious projects, would be launched. If “we are to rise to the task”, he said, the General Assembly must to be equally as bold, ambitious and collaborative. “Failure is not an option,” he stated. Highlighting the goals of overcoming poverty and ensuring sustainable development, he emphasized that renewed partnerships were paramount in integrating economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainability. The post-2015 development agenda must represent the “evolution in the thinking of the international community”. Announcing the sixty-eighth session’s theme, “Post-2015 Development Agenda: Setting the Stage!” Mr. Ashe called on Member States to “forge ahead with dogged determination”. Three high-level events on the agenda would be held to discuss contributions of women, youth, and civil society; human rights and the rule of law; and South-South and Triangular Cooperation. In addition, three thematic debates would take place on the role of partnerships; ensuring stable and peaceful societies; and water, sanitation and sustainable energy in the development agenda. “We cannot afford to be indifferent and immune to the changing world around us” and “stand idly while millions struggle or merely settle for surviving where there are opportunities for all to thrive”, he said.
- Committee on NGOs adopts draft report for consideration by ECOSOC The Committee on NGOs adopted its draft report for consideration by the Economic and Social Council on 7 June. See link below for the advance unedited version of the report.
- NGO Committee, for Third Time in History, Recommends Special Consultative Status to Gay Organization For the third time in its history, and the second time in its current session, the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations recommended special consultative status to a gay civil society group, as it continued to put under scrutiny the dozens of applications before it — approving special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council for four organizations and deferring action on 48 applications. The Committee approved the Austrian organization, Homosexuelle Initiative Wien for special consultation status following a vote of 9 in favour to 6 against, with 2 abstentions. However, during ensuing discussions, the representative of Venezuela stressed that her country’s position on procedural methods had not changed, particularly with “forcing people” to take positions. As well, Sudan’s representative stated that the Committee had again “totally diverted from standing practices”. A more “give and take” approach was needed in order to achieve consensus. Rushing to action when it came to certain non-governmental organizations (NGOs) was setting a precedent. Still, the representative of the United States said that it was a “monumental achievement” to approve consultative status for an organization that had been deferred since 2007. Bulgaria’s delegate also pointed out that the decision illustrated the Committee moving away from past “discriminatory practices”. Rather, such approval, which had been a rare event, was now demonstrating the establishment of a new pattern with regard to civil society groups in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
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- Committee on NGOs, by Historic Vote, Approves Openly Lesbian Medical Organization for Special Consultative Status In a historic vote today, the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations recommended special consultative status to a Lesbian medical organization, as it continued to put under scrutiny the dozens of applications before it — approving special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council for 16 organizations and deferring action on 38 applications. During impassioned exchanges about the national-based Australian Lesbian Medical Association, which advances both lesbian health professionals’ visibility and lesbian health in general, the representative of Bulgaria said that the organization had faced postponement for seven consecutive sessions and had answered 54 questions posed to it over the years. The Committee was “systematically deterring” its application. It was time, she stated, to “take a decision”.
The Committee then approved recommendation by vote — 9 in favour to 6 against, with 2 abstentions — of special consultative status to the Australian Lesbian Medical Association. Following the vote, several Members expressed enthusiastic support for the decision, with the United States’ delegate saying she was “thrilled” to be “witnessing history”. The representative of Belgium, who also voted in favour, underscored that the Association, as one of the oldest on the list of deferred organizations, was a “victim of unfair treatment and discrimination” by the Committee. As well, Israel’s representative said today’s vote sent a positive message to all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender organizations that had previously been prevented from receiving consultative status. However, the representative of Sudan, who had voted against, said that “what we just saw” went against Committee methods. It led to a division among Members and could negatively impact future deliberations. Echoing that sentiment, Venezuela’s representative, although she had voted in favour of granting status, said that her position on procedural methods had not change, specifically the right of Members to pose questions to any organizations being consider by the Committee. Decisions must not be “forced”, she said, emphasizing that time criteria could not justify a decision.
The 19-member Committee recommends that the Council grant general, special or roster status, in accordance with such criteria as the applicant’s mandate, governance and financial regime. Organizations enjoying general and special status can attend the Council’s meetings and circulate statements, while those with general status can, in addition, address meetings and propose agenda items. Roster-status non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can only attend meetings.
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- General Assembly reviews efforts to combat human trafficking Policy-makers put human trafficking on center stage today at a High Level Meeting of the General Assembly chaired by the President of the GA Vuk Jeremiæ and in the presence of the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The event was attended by 85 states, UNODC Goodwill Ambassador to Combat Trafficking in Persons, Mira Sorvino, as well as representatives from civil society. Ten years after the entry into force of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Trafficking in Persons Protocol, and three years after the adoption of the Global Plan of Action to combat human trafficking, Member States gathered in New York to review progress and to map out a strategy for the future. Human trafficking is a crime that stretches across the globe with millions of victims, although much of it remains hidden. "We are dealing with a crime of the 21st Century: adaptive, cynical, sophisticated; existing in developed and developing countries alike" said UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov at the opening of the high level meeting.
- Final Report of High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda to be released on 31 May The final report of the High Level Panel will be submitted to the UN Secretary General on 30 May and will be publicly available through the Panel’s website on 31 May 2013. An outreach event with stakeholders is proposed for 31 May in New York, and will be followed by regional and national launch events held across the globe. Further details will be made available by the Panel Secretariat and posted to the HLP website.
- UN convenes meeting on role of technology and innovation for sustainable development Senior United Nations officials, policymakers, civil society representatives and other stakeholders gathered today at UN Headquarters in New York for a special Economic and Social Council forum on mobilizing science, technology and innovation for sustainable development. “Science, technology and innovation hold great potential as tools and enable to integrate the three dimensions of sustainable development,” said the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Wu Hongbo. “They can be used to promote health, increase productivity, improve the efficiency of resource use, and reduce negative human impacts on the environment. They will be critical to tackling some of the major sustainable development challenges of this century. These include providing food security to a growing population, eradicating poverty and tackling climate change.” Attended by policymakers, key stakeholders and UN system representatives, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Integration Meeting seeks to follow-up on the commitments made by world leaders at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June last year.
- Call for nominations - 2013 United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights invites all civil society organizations to nominate an individual or organization for the 2013 United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights. The prize will be awarded at an event at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 10 December 2013, as part of the annual commemoration of the Human Rights Day. The United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights has been awarded in 1973, 1978, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003 and in 2008. The prize is honorary in nature and is awarded approximately every five years to individuals and organizations in recognition of outstanding achievement in the field of human rights. A special committee has been entrusted by the General Assembly with the selection of laureates from nominations sought from Member States, specialized agencies and nongovernmental organizations in consultative status, and from other appropriate sources. The Prize is an opportunity not only to give public recognition to the achievements of the awardees themselves, but also to send a clear message to human rights defenders the world over that the international community is grateful for, and supports, their tireless efforts to promote all human rights for all.
- Stronger joint action of UN, international financial institutions urged at development forum 22 April 2013 – Poverty reduction, trade growth and job creation require greater coordination between the United Nations and the Bretton Woods institutions, the head of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) today urged at the opening of a special high-level meeting on sustainable development and the post-2015 development agenda.
Given the current high unemployment, geopolitical tensions and the possibility of a climate shock, there was a need for “more forceful and concerted policy actions at both national and international levels to mitigate major risks and ensure a stronger and sustained economic recovery,” ECOSOC President, Néstor Osorio said.
The meeting in New York, under the theme of ‘Coherence, coordination and cooperation in the context of financing for sustainable development and the post-2015 development agenda’, brought ECOSOC together with the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
- UN forum endorses measures to improve sustainable forest management 20 April 2013 – The United Nations Forum on Forests concluded its tenth session in Istanbul in the early hours of Saturday after agreeing on a series of measures to improve the sustainable management of forests, and deciding to consider setting up a voluntary global fund to support this endeavour. The Forum, which met for the first time away from UN Headquarters in New York, adopted two resolutions as it wrapped up its two-week session, one on forests and economic development – the main theme of the session – and the other on financing.
Recognizing the vital role of forests to lives and livelihoods, the 197 member countries of the Forum called on national governments to take a range of actions to improve sustainable forest management, from substantive data collection to addressing the causes of deforestation and forests degradation.
- General Assembly, in special debate, aims to boost interaction between UN and G20 On 15 April, the United Nations General Assembly held a thematic debate with the Group of 20 major economies, or G20, to strengthen interaction between the two bodies and to improve global economic governance. “Since the outbreak of the world economic, financial and debt crisis, the ongoing discussions about how to improve global economic governance have grown in significance, drawing increased public attention across the planet,” General Assembly President Vuk Jeremic said in his opening address to the thematic debate, ‘UN and Global Economic Governance.’ The one-day debate takes place just ahead of the spring meetings of finance ministers and central bank governors set for 18-19 April in Washington DC. The debate also takes place during the 1,000 day countdown to the 2015 deadline for the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the shaping of the post-2015 agenda.
- "Do One Thing to support Cultural Diversity and Inclusion" The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) in partnership with UNESCO and various other partners from corporations to civil society is launching the world campaign “Do One Thing for Diversity and Inclusion”, aimed at engaging people around the world to Do One Thing to support Cultural Diversity and Inclusion.
Following the adoption in 2001 of the Universal Declaration on Cultural Divers...ity the UN General Assembly declared May 21 as the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. This Day raises awareness on the richness of world cultures and the opportunities that cultural diversity can bring to societies. Learn more at http://www.unaoc.org/do-one-thing-for-diversity-and-inclusion/ or on the Facebook page below.
- Young creative minds raise awareness of critical forest-related issues They are gifted storytellers who are using stunning visual imagery and powerful narratives to raise awareness of the challenges affecting forests and those who dwell within them, as well as to spur action to protect this vital resource. They are international award winners. And, they are all under the age of 30. They are recipients of awards handed out this week in Istanbul during the tenth session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF10).
- MDG Momentum - 1,000 Days of Action On 5 April, the UN and partners worldwide will observe the 1,000-day mark to the 2015 target date for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs are the most successful global anti-poverty push in history. Governments, international organizations and civil society groups around the world have helped to cut in half the world’s extreme poverty rate. More girls are in school. Fewer children are dying. The world continues to fight killer diseases, such as malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS. There are 1,000 days to accelerate action on issues such as hunger, access to education, improved sanitation, maternal health and gender equality. Get involved and help build more #MDGmomentum!
- Innovate Your Future - Empower Youth to Sustain the Planet They are the world’s youth - more than one billion people - almost 20 percent of the entire population. Poised to change the world and secure their future, young people are coming together to meet the demands for clean energy to protect the environment. In some countries, young people have succeeded in bringing about political change using social media. They also continue to embrace science to improve access to clean water and safe food.
Show the world you agree by sharing your voice before decision-makers and world leaders get together for the annual meeting of the United Nations Economic and Social Council in Geneva this July. Contribute a tweet or a Facebook post before 30 June for release on 1 July. Together we can inspire the world to use science, technology, culture and innovation to improve lives.
- Official report, Committee on NGOs 2013 regular session The report of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations on its 2013 regular session in January was released today. The Committee recommended to grant status to 159 organization and took note of 277 quadrennial reports.
- CSW57 adopts global plan to end gender-based violence Top United Nations officials today 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.
- 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 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.
- 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. Updates are on the link below.
- Open to Civil Society Leaders: United Nations Summer Academy, 10-15 June 2013 The UN Summer Academy offers executive education, learning and knowledge exchange to those working for the United Nations and those who actively engage with the UN System in their daily lives such as diplomats and civil society representatives.
The UN Summer Academy combines academic rigour with cutting edge thinking and builds on a renowned faculty. You are invited to visit the UN Summer Academy website at www.summeracademy.org where you will find more information about the programme.
- 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. Stories like yours! 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. It is administered by DSPD as part of its mission to promote more equitable growth, seeks to identify innovative approaches for poverty eradication, social integration, full employment and decent work for all. The deadline for submitting your stories is 14 May 2013.
To submit your story, please visit the link below.
- Google+ Hangout on Sustainable Development As part of the ongoing follow-up of Rio+20, UNDESA hosted a Google+ Hangout on 12 February, featuring key experts from the UN system and civil society on Rio+20 and sustainable development. Panellists for the first “Sustainable Development in Action” Google+ Hangout included Nikhil Seth, Director of the UN’s Division for Sustainable Development and Head of the Rio+20 Secretariat; Elizabeth Thompson, Executive Coordinator for the Rio+20 conference; Kimo Goree, Vice-President of the International Institute for Sustainable Development Reporting Services (IISD); and Jacob Scherr, Director of global strategy and advocacy for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC.) You can review the Hangout from the link below.
- 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. You can of course also check your own's organiztion's status directly in our database.
2007-2010 report overdue:
A total of 202 organizations are currently suspended for one year, and are at risk of having their status withdrawn in May 2013 if the report is not received on time. They can be found from page 15 of the official report of the Committee on NGOs.
2008-2011 report due:
Around 200 organizations in this list are at risk of being suspended for one year in May 2013.
2009-2012 report due:
Around 500 organizations are required to submit a report as soon as possible. This could be your organization! Click below to make sure.
PRINT A ONE-PAGE PDF GUIDE ON HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR REPORT HERE.
- Committee on NGOs recommends 159 organizations At its 2013 regular session, which closed on 8 February, the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations had before it 355 applications for consultative status, including 130 applications deferred from earlier sessions. Of the non governmental organizations submitting those applications, the Committee recommended 159 for consultative status, deferred 180 for further consideration at its regular session in 2013.
Click here to see an advance unedited copy of the report adopted on 8 February.
- Join the e-discussion on building the future we want You are invited to participate in an open online discussion on “Building the future we want with science, technology and innovation (STI) and culture” from 18 February – 19 March, jointly organized by UNDESA, UNDP and UNESCO. The e-discussion brings together experts from within and outside of the UN system to formulate critical policy messages to the ECOSOC Annual Ministerial Review, being held in July 2013 in Geneva. We invite you to bring new thoughts and ideas to the policy debate, drawing on your experiences, in order to brainstorm on challenges and untapped opportunities in the use of STI and culture for sustainable development solutions.
- Consultation Report to the High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda At the request of the Secretariat for the High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (#Post2015HLP), the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS) facilitated a civil society consultation through 11 January 2013 to inform the Panel’s meeting in Monrovia, Liberia taking place from 30 January to 2 February.
The consultation synthesis report is available from the link below.
- 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. The forum is 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. It is to avoid overlap with existing structures, bodies and entities.
- High-level Panel on Post-2015 meets Civil Society in Monrovia, Liberia The third meeting of the 27-member High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda opened 30 January, in Monrovia, Liberia. During the three-day meeting, co-chaired by the Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia and the UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Panel members will discuss national growth, economic transformation, and development. On the first day of the meeting, High-level Panel members met with sixty civil society representatives from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and the Arab regions. Although the details of what a new post-2015 development framework should look like, how it should be implemented and by whom it should be shaped are still unclear and under debate, Ask Africa Now – the African CSO Secretariat for post-2015 – underscores that a bold new approach is emerging that begins with the recognition of the tremendous work that civil society organizations are carrying out worldwide in terms of empowering and uniting citizens towards social justice and governmental accountability.
- 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, which were prepared by members of the working group, focus on lessons learnt from MDG8 and a series of specific themes relevant to renewing global partnerships in the post-2015 development agenda. These think 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.
- Committee on NGOs opens: Number of applications double those of 2012 Opening its regular session for 2013, the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations today recommended 37 organizations for special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, and deferred action on the status of 11 others. The 19-member Committee vets applications submitted by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), recommending general, special or roster status on the basis of such criteria as the applicant’s mandate and governance.
- 9 January: The UN Post-2015 Development Agenda - Where to start 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 in the post-2015 process? Interest by civil society and other stakeholders is growing in these questions. Answers to these questions are posted in a brief FAQ sheet.
Download the FAQ sheet here (PDF)..
The following sites will help you to connect to the debate.
- post2015hlp.org: Official website of the Panel
- worldwewant2015.org: Joint United Nations and civil society platform facilitating national, thematic and online consultations in the months ahead, with links to many civil society initiatives.
- un.org/millenniumgoals: Select "Beyond 2015" to get an overview, timeline, resources and think pieces related to the post-2015 process.
- endpoverty2015.org: United Nations Millennium Campaign website.
- UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda: Overview of the process so far.
- Realizing the Future We Want for All: Report by the UN System Task Team to the Secretary-General, published June 2012.
- Sustainable Development Goals: Website of DESA's Division for Sustainable Development, with latest news and initiatives on the SDGs.
- UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network: Mobilizing scientific and technical expertise for local, national, and global problem solving.
- MY World: Vote for the changes that would make the most difference to your world.
- 9 January: MY World: A people's survey the next set of global poverty goals The United Nations and partners have teamed up to put in place MY World, an innovative global survey to encourage people’s participation in the process of defining the next set of global goals to end poverty. MY World is an options survey that asks individuals which six of sixteen possible issues they think would make the most difference to their lives. The sixteen issues cover the existing MDGs, plus issues of sustainability, security, governance and transparency.
People can access MY World at http://www.myworld2015.org and vote for their priorities for the next development agenda. The survey will be also available through mobile technologies such as SMS and IVR (toll-free phone numbers) and paper ballots in late January 2013 to ensure maximum outreach, particularly to draw communities without Internet access into the global debate.
- 9 January: Third HLP meet in Monrovia to focus on “National Building Blocks for Sustained Prosperity” Following the meetings held in New York and London, the High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda will convene again in Monrovia, Liberia for substantive interactions hosted by HLP Co-Chair, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. The meeting will be held between 30 Jan to 1 Feb 2013 and will include a dialogue with civil society and other stakeholders. Discussions will be organized around the broad theme of “National Building Blocks for Sustained Prosperity,” with a particular focus on economic transformation.
Topics under discussion include (i) Enablers and barriers to economic transformation (ii) Equitable and sustainable outcomes (iii) Role of the Private Sector (iv) Governance and Institution building, with a particular focus on conflict affected and fragile States. An emphasis on African Perspectives and Positions is also proposed.
Please track askafricanow.org and worldwewant2015.org/post2015hlp for further updates.
- Important information on 2013 UN Grounds Passes As of August 2012, the DESA NGO Branch has moved to the main Secretariat building and will no longer be based in DC-1. Therefore, the application process for UN grounds passes for NGOs in ECOSOC consultative status has changed. Please read carefully:
Please note that grounds passes for 2013 can be requested following the procedure described below.
• You will no longer be required to visit the DESA NGO Branch for issuance of UN Grounds Passes.
• Instead, you will be required to pre-register your request online at http://csonet.org/?menu=86.
• As before, you will need a letter from your organization (on the organization’s letterhead) in order to obtain a pass. This is a mandatory requirement.
• You will then apply for the pass, with all the necessary documentation, in person, at the UN Pass and ID office, situated at the corner of 45th Street and 1st Avenue, between 9 am and 4 pm, Monday through Friday.
• Registrations submitted online before 4 pm (New York time) will be endorsed the next business day by the UN Pass & ID office.
• Procedures for Geneva and Vienna are unchanged.
- 17 December: Round Table Discussion on a New Inclusive Multilateralism The multiple challenges in today’s world, such as the consequences of climate change, patterns of unsustainable development and consumption, and rising inequality within and among nations, require new forms of multilateralism. A forward-looking and effective multilateralism will require governments and multilateral institutions, the United Nations system in particular, to engage in an open debate, drawing on the perspectives and participation of all stakeholders and partners.
The ongoing debate on new multi-stakeholder partnerships and new forms of multilateralism is therefore of critical importance to the United Nations, which is contributing to the growing practice and discourse on the subject. The United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are pleased to invite you to a roundtable discussion on 17 December to discuss how these and other developments can help to shape a new inclusive multilateralism. The discussion will take place from 1:00-3:00pm in United Nations NLB Conference Room 4.
- 14 December: Online Application for Bonn Post-2015 Conference, 20-23 March 2013, open An event "Advancing the Post-2015 Sustainabe Development Agenda Reconfirming Rights – Recognising Limits – Redefining Goals" will be held from 20 to 23 March 2013 in Bonn, Germany. This global event 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. Funding for a limited number of participants, mainly from developing countries, is available.
- 14 December: Information Note, Committee on NGOs, 2013 regular session The 2013 regular session of the Committee on NGOs, to be held from 21 to 30 January, will review 225 new applicatons for consultative status, 130 applications deferred from previous sessions, 4 requests for reclassifications deferred from previous sessions, 278 quadrennial reports, 22 quadrennial reports deferred from previous sessions, 4 requests for change of name, 1 deferred request for change of name, and one request by an organization seeking withdrawal of status.
An information note on the names of the organizations with these requests is available from the link below.
- 10 December: Download the United Nations Calendar of Observances App on your mobile device A new free iOS app features official United Nations observances and links to related videos and further information. It also illustrates how the UN makes a difference in tackling global challenges. The UN Calendar can store UN observances in the native calendar of your iOS device, or it can be used independently.
- 28 November: Report of the London consultations of the High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda At the request of the Secretariat of the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS) conducted an online consultation to gather inputs for consideration by Panelists and the Secretariat from 26 October through 7 November 2012, in two phases. The consultation, undertaken through the virtual platform www.worldwewant2015.org/Post2015HLP, enabled civil society to respond to four framing questions related to the focus of the High-level Panel’s meeting on individual and household level poverty, which took place from 31 October to 2 November 2012 in London. Specifically, the consultation sought feedback to questions relating to the two main themes f human development, and jobs and livelihoods.
Read the full report from the link below.
See also the NGLS website for related news.
- 27 November: Keeping the Momentum: Review the results of the Facebook live chat on the Post-2015 Development Agenda With three years left to the target date of the Millennium Development Goals in 2015, it is time to accelerate preparations for a global development agenda beyond 2015 that can build on the progress of the MDGs and meet the new challenges facing our world.
Civil society and NGO networks were asked to join an interactive live chat today on the way forward for the global development agenda beyond 2015. The live chat was an opportunity for those following or interested in the post-2015 process to engage with members of the UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda. Topics included: What is the ‘post-2015 development agenda’? Who is involved in the discussions on the post-2015 development agenda? How will the voices of the poorest and most vulnerable people be included? How is civil society participating and what happens next in the post-2015 process?
The following representatives answered questions from the online community: Rob Vos, UN DESA, Director Development Policy and Analysis Division, David O’Connor, UN DESA, Division of Sustainable Development, Diana Alarcon, UN DESA Development Policy and Analysis Division, Paul Ladd, UNDP, Bureau of Development Policy, Jose Dallo, UNDP, Bureau of Development Policy (tbc), and Friedrich Soltau, UN DESA, Division of Sustainable Development.
Read the discussion here. You can see the questions to UN representatives and their answers on Facebook – http://bit.ly/beyond2015CHAT – or on Twitter using #beyond2015 . Background information is here.
- 26 November: Dialogue between the President of the 67th session of the General Assembly and civil society H.E. Mr. Vuk Jeremiæ, President of the 67th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, met with representatives of NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC and associated with DPI on Monday, 26 November. The meeting focused on the issues before the 67th session of the General Assembly. A brief statement on these issues by the President was followed by a substantive exchange with the NGO representatives.
In his introductory remarks, the President underlined the need to further engage with civil society to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. He also addressed the many initiatives towards the building of an agreed post-2015 development agenda, and welcomed the participation of civil society in these discussions. The President also presented a brief overview of the ongoing General Assembly negotiations in follow-up to the Rio+20 conference, including the delays in the forming of an open-ended working group on sustainable development goals, as has been called for in the Rio+20 outcome document. He expressed confidence that the group would be able to start its work in early 2013.
On the matter of global economic governance, the President stated that this matter was a priority for him. He expressed his intention to strengthen the footprint of the General Assembly in economic and social areas, and stated that this could be best done by engaging the G-20. He intended to launch a consultative framework between the General Assembly and the G-20 with the participation of the IMF and World Bank as appropriate.
Finally, the President presented a preliminary list of six thematic debates that will be held in the resumed part of the 67th session, as follows:
1. A thematic debate on enhanced cooperation between the G-20 and the United Nations;
2. A thematic debate on climate change and green energy, in cooperation with the Earth Institute, led by Professor Jeffrey Sachs;
3. A thematic debate on social inequality, to be organized in cooperation with the Organization of American States;
4. A thematic debate on development as a tool of peaceful resolution of disputes, with a focus on Africa, in cooperation with the African Union;
5. A thematic debate on culture and development, to be organized in cooperation with Unesco;
6. A thematic debate on the role of international criminal justice in reconciliation.
In all of these events, the President would welcome contributions from civil society and participation by non-governmental organizations.
During a frank and open question-and-answer session, the President answered a number of queries by representatives of NGOs on the above topics. NGO representatives praised the President for the open spirit in which he addressed them and answered each of the questions in a focused and clear way.
Under the guidance of the Office of the President, the meeting had been organized by the OESC NGO Branch in collaboration with UN-NGLS and DPI NGO Relations.
- 2 November: Video - Panel on Post-2015 Agenda as its second meeting in London The second meeting of the High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda was held from 31 October to 2 November in London. You can watch much of the proceedings from an archived webcast on the link below.
- 2 November: Initial civil society report presented to Panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda in London At the occassion of the second meeting of the High-Level Panel on a Post-2015 Development Agenda, fromo 31 October to 2 November in London, a two-page briefing note was presented on 30 October to the Panel by representatives of civil society. A longer summary of substantive contributions will be produced by the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS), and will be provided to the Panel and published online by mid-November.
- 25 October: "Working with ECOSOC" NGO Guide to Consultative Status now available in Portuguese, Korean and Japanese "Working with ECOSOC" is an informational booklet that briefs Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) on the benefits of establishing a consultative relationship with ECOSOC, as well as to provide instructions on how to obtain this status within the framework provided by ECOSOC Resolution 1996/31.
Apart from English, it is now available in Portuguese, Korean and Japanese. Other language versions are under development.
The booklet consists of 44 pages and provides basic information about the way in which NGOs can interact with the United Nations in general and with ECOSOC in particular. It describes the different formal and informal mechanisms that civil society can utilize in order to work with the different ECOSOC Commissions (i.e. attendance to meetings, submission of statements, side-events, oral interventions, etc.) as well as the obligations that NGOs assume by entering in this consultative relationship.
In a friendly language and modern tone, the booklet intends to show the multi-dimensional benefits of working with ECOSOC and how NGOs can maximize their contribution to the United Nations.
- 19-26 October: Global online consultation: High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the post-2015 development agenda The High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the post-2015 development agenda will hold its first substantive meeting in London from 31 October to 2 November 2012, and will focus on the issue of household poverty.
As part of the Panel's efforts to reach out to civil society and other stakeholders, a global online consultation will be held from 19-26 October around the same framing questions the Panel will address, namely on:
1. Human development; and:
2. Jobs and livelihoods.
Interested organizations and networks are invited to participate in the consultation from the link below. Participants are strongly encouraged to send their contributions well in advance of the 26 October deadline.
Click the link below to participate.
- 17 October: Redesigned version of the LDC Support Measures Portal Today the Secretariat of the Committee for Development Policy (CDP) launched the new Support Measures Portal for Least Developed Countries, available at www.un.org/ldcportal. The Portal was announced during the introduction of the Secretary General Report on the implementation of the Programme of Action for LDCs for the Decade 2011-2020 and through electronic media.
The Portal aims to assist LDCs in confronting their special development challenges and in progressing towards graduation from the category. The new interactive platform compiles and catalogues in one central platform, information about LDC-specific international support measures provided by development partners. As the single source of information, the Portal allows for a better understanding of what LDC-specific support measures are, who the main “suppliers” of the measures are, and where to access these resources.
Download a flyer here.
- 10 October: Inequalities and the Post-2015 Development Agenda Income inequalities between and within countries have worsened in recent decades. Gender inequalities are narrowing at a snail’s pace. Citizenship and location continue to determine life chances, despite the increasing integration of economies. Policy instruments to promote equality of outcome have largely been neglected in the name of approaches to claim to create equality of opportunity. This has failed to stem the tide of inequality. Current social discontent and distrust of government highlight the urgency of addressing inequality head-on: it should be high on the post-2015 development agenda, both as a goal in itself and reflected in targets for other goals.
- 8 October: Second Committee opens: "Inclusive economic structure depends on effective, centralized state" An effective centralized State was needed to ensure the existence of an inclusive economic structure, delegates in the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) heard today as they opened the first general debate of the sixty-seventh General Assembly session.
Delivering a keynote address to the Committee, James Robinson, David Florence Professor of Government at Harvard University, told delegates how his book, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty, emphasized the relationship between politics and economic institutions, and how his comparative history of economic development provided an historical perspective on the driving forces of inequality within and among nations. While long-run economic growth was driven by new ways of producing things, including innovation and technical growth, society also needed to be organized in such a way as to harness the talents, energy and skills of its people, he said. “Societies that fail, fail to use these attributes,” he added.
He said that argument formed the central thesis of his book, noting the impact of historical events in shaping the way in which polities in the Americas had developed. Citing the United States, he said it enjoyed inclusive economic institutions that harnessed the talents and skills of its citizens. While many parts of Africa had enjoyed very democratic institutions before colonization, he continued, they had not experienced economic growth because political power had been broadly distributed rather than centralized. In Colombia, where Mr. Robinson said he had lived for many years, the major development problem arose from the central State’s trouble in wielding effective political power.
Also militating against economic growth was discrimination against women, other races or ethnic groups and young people, he continued. Any discriminatory policy was detrimental to economic prospects because of the large scale unemployment that such policies caused, he said, pointing to Apartheid South Africa, where certain jobs had been strictly allocated and reserved for the white minority amid massive and growing inequality among the black majority.
Opening the Committee’s general debate, Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, said the world economy was “teetering on the cliff” and the Committee would play a central role in tackling the world economy’s “glaring weaknesses”, including poor job growth, the fragile financial sector, unsustainable public debt, social inequality and ecosystems in peril. Beyond those crises, he stressed the importance of setting a sustainable development path, noting that three ongoing processes were reshaping United Nations development efforts.
Full press release is available here.
- 8 October: Third Committee opens: “Of all remaining development challenges, none are more daunting than rising inequality” As the target date for the Millennium Development Goals approaches, no challenge was more daunting than the continuing rise in inequality and its impact on vulnerable groups, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Wu Hongbo told the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) today as it opened its annual session with a debate on social development.
“We must tackle rising inequalities and address the impact on vulnerable groups,” Mr. Wu said. Ahead of the Goals’ 2015 target, he said there had been significant achievements: the proportion of persons living in extreme poverty continues to fall; the population without access to safe drinking water had been halved; the prevalence of diseases had been reduced and access to health care improved; child mortality had been reduced; and more girls had been ensured the same opportunity as boys to attend school.
The significance of those achievements should not be underestimated, he said, adding “A child who is able to read is a future leader; a mother in good health is an entrepreneur-in-waiting.” But, even while acknowledging the accomplishments, the multi-faceted challenges ahead must be recognized, and ‘none is more daunting’ than rising inequality, he said. Since 1990, 62 out of 116 countries with available data have shown increased income inequality, slowing progress in poverty reduction and jeopardizing prospects for sustained growth. “The global jobs crisis has hit youth the hardest. Young women and men represent nearly 40 per cent of the 200 million jobless people worldwide. They are nearly three times more likely than adults to be jobless,” he said.
Full press release is available here.
- 26 September: Rio+20 Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform
Rio+20, one of the largest conferences ever convened by the United Nations, ushers in a new era for implementing sustainable development. The Conference was a rare opportunity for the world to focus on sustainability issues - to examine ideas, forge partnerships and solutions. There were several outcomes to the Rio+20 Conference.
The political outcome, The Future We Want, agreed to by all 193 countries, charts the way forward for international cooperation on sustainable development. In addition, governments, businesses and other civil society partners registered more than 700 commitments to concrete actions that will deliver results on the ground to address specific needs, such as sustainable energy and transport.
In the follow-up to Rio+20, a new website has been launched; the Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform (SDKP), available at http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org.
The platform contains information pertaining to the past nineteen years of normative and analytical work of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), a wealth of content from the preparatory process of Rio+20, and is the go to place for the Rio+20 follow-up.
- 24 September: Dialogue on Post-2015 the High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda In conjunction with the September launch of The World We Want 2015, a Civil Society Dialogue on the Post-2015 Development Agenda featuring high level panelists working on the Post-2015 UN processes was held 24 September. More than 200 civil society participants were in attendance, and the event featured lively discussion between the panelists, the members of the High Level Panel, and interventions from those present as well as those engaging in the dialogue online. The discussion was moderated by Rosa Lizarde, Global Coordinator of the Feminist Task Force of the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP).
- 12 September: Seeking to advance rights of people with disabilities, UN treaty review starts Hundreds of advocates and experts on disability, as well as Government delegates, have gathered at UN Headquarters for the start of the Fifth Session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which will have a special focus on women and children.“It is our responsibility as members of the international community and citizens of our own countries to bring about changes to more than one billion persons with disabilities worldwide,” the UN Under Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Wu Hongbo, said in a news release.
- 6 September: Report on Accelerating progress towards the MDGs A report by the Secretary-General on "Accelerating progress towards the MDGs" is now available. The report will be considered by the General Assembly this fall, under agenda item 114 on Follow-up to the outcome of the Millennium Summit. Particularly relevant is section V, which includes an update on the post-2015 process.
The report can be downloaded here.
- 10 September: The 21st session of the Human Rights Council opens in Geneva The Human Rights Council opened its 21st session today in Geneva, with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commending the actions of the Council on Libya and Syria and stressing that “we must use all our tools to shine the light of human rights everywhere. We need to do more to ensure that the output of this Council and other United Nations human rights mechanisms shapes policy making across the United Nations,” he said. “I remain strongly committed to mainstreaming human rights throughout the Organization.” In his speech, the Secretary-General reminded States of the responsibility to protect those who “courageously advocate and risk their lives to defend human rights and the values of the Charter,” and commended the progress made by the Council in various thematic areas and stressed the need to fight for the rights of women, including “their reproductive rights and their political, social and economic empowerment.”
- 31 July: Members of High-level Panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda announced Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the members of a High-level Panel to advise on the global development agenda beyond 2015, the target date for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Three co-chairs were appointed: President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia; President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia; and Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom. “I have asked my High-level Panel to prepare a bold yet practical development vision to present to Member States next year,” said the UN chief. “I look forward to the Panel’s recommendations on a global post-2015 agenda with shared responsibilities for all countries and with the fight against poverty and sustainable development at its core.”
The full list of Panel members is available on the link below.
- 29 July: Secretary-General disappointed over lack of agreement on conventional arms trade treaty Describing it as a “setback,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed his disappointment over the failure by United Nations Member States to reach agreement on a treaty that would regulate the conventional arms trade. “I am disappointed that the Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) concluded its four-week-long session without agreement on a treaty text that would have set common standards to regulate the international trade in conventional arms,” Mr. Ban said. “The Conference's inability to conclude its work on this much-awaited ATT, despite years of effort of Member States and civil society from many countries, is a setback,” he added. Ending on Friday without agreement, the four-week long Conference brought together the UN's 193 Member States to negotiate what is seen as the most important initiative ever regarding conventional arms regulation within the United Nations. According to media reports, some countries had indicated they needed more time to consider the issues.
- 27 July: As ECOSOC annual substantive session ends, UN officials hail achievements The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) today wrapped up four weeks of high-level engagement and dialogue, review and deliberation, and decision-making on issues such as unemployment, women’s empowerment and information technology. “Indeed, there is much to commend all-around,” the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Sha Zukang, said as he addressed the closing session.
- 23 July: ECOSOC Endorses Reports of Committee on NGOs Today the Economic and Social Council adopting the recommendations, granting consultative status to 286 NGOs and taking note of 525 quadrennial reports of organizations already in status. These recommendations were contained in two reports of the Committee on NGOs. Apart from endorsing the reports, the Council also endorsed two additional draft decisions.
First, the Quadrennial report of the non-governmental organization Suzanne Mubarak Women’s International Peace Movement (document E/2012/L.14) would have the Council decide to request the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations to resume consideration of that group’s 2007-2010 quadrennial report at its regular 2013 session. The Council also would request the Committee to defer — until its regular 2013 session — consideration of the request for that group to change its name to “End Human Trafficking Now”. The decision was adopted without a vote.
A second decision on the application of the non-governmental organization Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (document E/2012/L.15) would have the Council decide not to grant special consultative status to that non-governmental organization. This decision was adopted after a vote. See link below for details.
- 10 July: Concluding High-level Segment, ECOSOC Adopts Ministerial Declaration on Tackling Jobs Crisis Committing to a “powerful road map on jobs” through the adoption of a far-reaching Declaration, Government representatives in the Economic and Social Council capped the body’s 2012 high-Level segment, and, opening its next phase — on coordination — held a dialogue with the heads of its regional commissions. Adopting a Ministerial Declaration by consensus — though with several delegations expressing serious reservations — Council members concluded the week-long high-level segment, which had focused on the theme “promoting productive capacity, employment and decent work to eradicate poverty”. The segment had been set to conclude yesterday but was extended to allow more time for negotiations on the outcome. By the terms of the text, they committed to work together to promote the inclusive and equitable economic growth that was needed to reach the Millennium Development Goal targets.
ECOSOC Home Page | Ministerial Declaration text
- 6 July: Realizing the future we want for all post-2015 The first report by the UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda was submitted to the Secretary-General in June 2012 and published on the UN system “Beyond 2015” website on 2 July. The report, Realizing the Future we Want for All, is to serve as a reference for the broader consultations on the post-2015 UN development agenda to take place, as well as to inform the work of the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Post-2015. The Report contains key recommendations and suggestions of the UN System Task Team on a new vision for development to generate transformative change, the possible contours of such an agenda and options for moving forward in the consultation process. It arrives at these recommendations through analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the MDG framework and assessing the lessons learned for the post-2015 UN development agenda, as well as by outlining emerging and existing pressing global challenges that have to be taken into account.
Full Report | Key Recommendations | Summary
- 2 July: Three MDGs met, global partnership key for reaching the goals by 2015 With three important targets on poverty, slums and water having been met, a new United Nations report stresses the need for a true global partnership to achieve the remaining Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the 2015 deadline. The 2012 MDG Report offers “the most comprehensive picture yet” on global progress towards the Goals, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said as he launched the report at the high-level segment of the annual session of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The Millennium Development Goals Report 2012 was launched in New York by the Secretary-General on 2 July 2012. The report presents the yearly assessment of global progress towards the MDGs, highlighting several milestones – three important MDG targets have been met well ahead of the target date of 2015. The report says that meeting the remaining targets, while challenging, remain possible - but only if Governments do not waiver from their commitments made over a decade ago. The report, presented today at the opening of the Ecnomic and Social Council's 2012 substantive session, is based on a master set of data compiled by the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on MDG indicators led by the Statistics Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The report is available in all UN languages, Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish, from the link below.
- 1 July: New Deputy Secretary-General takes office On 2 March 2012, Mr Jan Eliasson (Sweden) was appointed Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. He took office as Deputy Secretary-General on 1 July 2012.
- 22 June: Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development Adopts "The Future We Want" On 22 June, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, held at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, came to a close and adopted the outcome document entitled "The Future We Want." Nearly 11,000 major group representatives attended the event, with many more taking part in numerous side events. Full details on the event, including the outcome document, are found on the link below.
- 21 May: Cte on NGOs Opens, Recommending 35 organizations The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations today recommended 35 entities for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, and postponed consideration of 10 applications, as it resumed its 2012 session. General, special and roster status is granted in accordance with such criteria as the applicants’ mandate, governance and financial regime. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) enjoying general and special status can attend meetings of the United Nations Economic and Social Council and circulate statements, while those with general status can, in addition, address meetings and propose agenda items. Roster-status NGOs can only attend meetings. Organizations with general and special status must also submit a report every four years.
- 15 May: Over 500 On-Site Side Events at Rio+20 Announced More than 500 on-site side events organized by Governments, Major Groups, Organizations from the UN system and other International Organizations will take place in RioCentro during Prepcom III (13-15 June), the Sustainable Development Dialogue Days (16-19 June) and the Summit (20-22 June). Please see below the preliminary programme of side events in RioCentro.
- 7 May: Work remains to realize rights of indigenous peoples Five years after the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted, a great deal remains to be done to realize the objectives contained in that landmark document, Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro said today. “We continue to hear stories of struggles and exploitation of indigenous peoples around the world. It is time for those stories to change,” Ms. Migiro said at the opening of the 11th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, at UN Headquarters in New York on 7 May. Almost 2,000 indigenous participants from all regions of the world are taking part in the two-week session, engaging with members of the Forum, Member States and UN agencies on advancing the rights and well-being of indigenous peoples, who number some 370 million worldwide. “Let us instead move towards the day when indigenous peoples are heard, listened to and empowered,” said Ms Migiro.
- 4 May: UN forum looks at the problem of youth unemployment (audio) One of the key markers in a young person's life is getting their first "real" job. But many young people around the world say this is becoming more and more difficult. They shared their views and experiences at the UN on Friday during a forum addressing the challenges of youth in finding decent employment. The event was organized by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and its outcome will be shared at the upcoming Rio+20 conference in Brazil. Listen to a UN radio feature by clicking below.
- 30 April: First Annual International Jazz Day Concert at UN General Assembly Click the link below to see a unique concert held in the UN General Assembly Hall on 30 April, celebrating the UN INternational Jazz Day. Featuring UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angelique Kidjo, Wynton Marsalis, Hugh Masekela, Shankar Mahadevan, and many special performers and celebrity hosts. (UNESCO, in partnership with the United States Mission to the United Nations and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz).
- 27 April: ‘Back in Our Capitals, We Have to Walk the Talk,’ Says Population Commission Chairman While members agreed, despite reservations, to give full attention to meeting reproductive health service, information, education needs of young people, the Population Commission concluded its 45th session on Friday. During the session, many youth delegates had spoken candidly about their experiences and expectations throughout the week-long session, said Population Commission Chairman late Friday following adoption of a key draft resolution, reminding members that “what really matters is what happens outside this room, when we are back in our capitals,” where, “we have to walk the talk, to move from paper to people.”The consensus adoption of the 10-page Chairman’s text on adolescents and youth came after protracted consultations. Hasan Kleib of Indonesia had pressed the 47-member Commission to “make a last effort to bridge differences”. Unless delegations had a “violent” reaction to the text, “let it go”, he had said; “the perfect is the enemy of good.” His text was not completely satisfactory to all, however, he had said it was balanced and he had reminded delegates that what was at stake were the pressing needs of the millions of youths and adolescents worldwide. “Consensus is the basis for our work,” Vice-Chair Pio Wennubst of Switzerland had said, similarly urging the text’s adoption. Having served as facilitator for its passage, he stressed that it was critical that the needs of adolescents and youth be answered “now”, and not “in 10 years”.
- 25 April: Information Note on the 2012 resumed session, Committee on NGOs The 2012 resumed session of the Committee on NGOs will take place from 21 to 30 May 2012. The session will consider new applications for status by NGOs as well as applications deferred from earlier sessions. It will also review quadrennial reports of NGOs in general or special consultative status. The Committee is expected to meet again on 8 June 2012 to adopt its report of the session. This session's recommendations will be sent to the Economic and Social Council for its approval in July 2012. Download a detailed information note here.
- 25 April: Restrictions on NGOs worldwide undermining human rights, says UN senior official Recent moves in a number of countries to limit the freedom of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are seriously undermining human rights, a United Nations senior official said today, urging governments to revise proposed laws that would restrict their capacity to operate independently and effectively. “Civil society – including NGOs, trade unions, human rights defenders, academics, journalists, bloggers and others – plays an absolutely crucial role in ensuring that human rights are protected in individual states,” said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay. “A dynamic and autonomous civil society, able to operate freely, is one of the fundamental checks and balances necessary for building a healthy society, and one of the key bridges between governments and their people. It is therefore crucial that NGOs are able to function properly in countries in transition, as well as in established democracies,” she added.
- 23 April: Rio+20 Negotiations to Energize Sustainable Development Agenda Representatives from Governments and civil society will start a new round of negotiations that will shape the outcome of “Rio+20”, a major global conference that will have a significant impact on how the world will address key challenges affecting economic growth, social well-being and environmental protection in the years ahead. The two-week session for Rio+20 — formally the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development — begins in New York on Monday, 23 April, and will continue through 4 May. In a statement addressed to the Conference ahead of the upcoming round of talks, leaders from across the United Nations system called on Rio+20 to “provide the road map to the future we want — a future with peace, dynamic economic and social development, universal social well-being, and a healthy and equitable environment for present and future generations where women and men, boys and girls, equally contribute to and benefit from development.”
- 23 April: "This Is Your United Nations," SG Tells Youth Representatives at Population Commission Opening Acknowledging the unusually large attendance at the forty-fifth session of the Commission on Population and Development, which opened today, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the turnout told only part of the story; the real message was the energy of the session and the presence of so many young people. “Welcome,” he said to the youth delegations. “This is your United Nations”. Recalling the events in Tunisia last year, he said “youth are more than a demographic force; they are a force for progress.” With “eyes wide open”, today’s young people were connected and engaged in the events around them, he said. However, no matter where he travelled in the world, he said, young people always asked him the same two questions: “Why isn’t the UN doing more to help the suffering?” and “What can I do to help the world?”
- 26 April: 64th UN DPI/NGO Conference Bonn Declaration on Rio+20 Presented to the General Assembly The Bonn Declaration, the final document from the 64th Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference that took place in Bonn, Germany, last September 2011, was issued as a General Assembly official document under the symbol A/66/750 on 20 March. The document serves an important input to the ongoing negotiations on the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development taking place in Rio do Janeiro, in June.
- 20 April: Programmes for ECOSOC substantive session in July announced The 2012 Annual Ministerial Review of ECOSOC, to be held at United Nations Headquarters in New York, will focus on the theme “Promoting productive capacity, employment and decent work to eradicate poverty in the context of inclusive, sustainable and equitable economic growth at all levels for achieving the MDGs”. Decent work and promoting productive capacity are central to poverty eradication, the achievement of the MDGs and equitable, inclusive and sustainable development. The global economic and financial crisis exacerbated pre-existing challenges to the achievement of full employment and decent work in both developing and developed countries. Therefore, the 2012 AMR provides an important opportunity for ECOSOC to put a spotlight on economic growth models that promote job creation, are sustainable, inclusive and equitable and can be tailored to the particular needs of countries, while promoting also social protection and rights at work. Nine countries - Algeria, Brazil, Ecuador, Kenya, Mauritius, Qatar, Russia, Senegal and Ukraine - will make National Voluntary Presentations (NVPs) during the 2012 AMR session. Programmes of the four segments of the ECOSOC substantive session are posted here:
Operational Activities Segment
- 23 March: 2012 ECOSOC High Level Segment Open Call for Oral and Written Statements (Deadline: 6 April 2012) The NGO Branch of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs is pleased to announce an open call for oral and written statements for the 2012 ECOSOC High Level Segment (HLS) for NGOs in ECOSOC consultative status. The HLS will include sessions on the Annual Ministerial Review (AMR) and the Development Cooperation Forum (DCF). The theme for the AMR segment this year will focus on "Promoting productive capacity, employment and decent work to eradicate poverty in the context of inclusive, sustainable and equitable economic growth at all levels for achieving the MDGs". The HLS will be held on 2 - 9 July 2012 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. This is a unique opportunity for organizations in consultative status with ECOSOC to be heard at ECOSOC deliberations, as well as to contribute to issues of critical concern to the global development agenda. It will also provide a platform to specifically address the issue of employment and decent work this year, which is a crucial cross-cutting theme for the achievement of the MDGs.
- 15 March: Head of UN Gender Entity Expresses ‘Deep Regret’ as CSW Concludes without Adopting Agreed Conclusions Expressing “deep regret” that the Commission on the Status of Women had failed to adopt the agreed conclusions that traditionally mark the conclusion of its annual sessions, the head of UN-Women today urged delegations to move past that setback and press ahead with efforts to ensure that rural women — the focus of the current session - would be fully empowered to reach their potential. “I sincerely hope that this does not mean Member States are not ready to do what still needs to be done,” said Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for General Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women). She added that, irrespective of its disappointing conclusion, the Commission’s fifty-sixth session had “witnessed passionate and dynamic discussions” on the empowerment of rural women and strengthening their role in achieving sustainable development for all. The session, which opened at Headquarters on 27 February, was scheduled to have concluded on 9 March, but protracted negotiations on the agreed conclusions forced the Commission to extend its work by one week. Delegations were unable to overcome “a disappointing inability to reach consensus”, in Ms. Bachelet’s words, and the session closed without a final document.
- 13 March: Severe Austerity, Weak Policies, Job Shortages Hurting Global Recovery, Experts Caution ECOSOC Severe austerity measures, weak policies and a dearth of jobs were constraining efforts to reduce poverty and to trigger real recovery from economic crisis and sustainable “green” growth, the Economic and Social Council heard today as it concluded its special high-level meeting with international financial and trade institutions.
- 2 March: Ban appoints veteran Swedish diplomat as new UN Deputy Secretary-General Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Jan Eliasson of Sweden, a veteran in the fields of diplomacy and foreign relations, as the new Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations. Mr. Eliasson, who will take over from Asha-Rose Migiro of Tanzania on 1 July, is no stranger to the UN, having served as the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Darfur, President of the 60th session of the General Assembly and first Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs. He is currently a member of the Secretary-General’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Advocate Group.
- 27 February: Commission on the Status of Women Opens to Address Unleashing Rural Women’s Potential Unleashing the potential of rural women — a quarter of the world’s population — was critical to ending global poverty and hunger, high-level speakers said today as the Commission on the Status of Women opened its fifty-sixth annual session. “Empowering women is not just good for women, it is good for all of us,” Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), told the first meeting of the two-week session, which concludes on 16 March. Focusing in particular on the issue of women’s participation in public life, she said it was crucial to women’s social and economic advancement. That would also require the enactment and enforcement of laws, including trade and economic policies, that had gender equality as a priority aim, she said, noting that such wide-ranging reforms were under way in some countries, although progress remained slow and uneven.
- 27 February: ECOSOC Forum: Employing Youth for a Better Future Governments, corporations and policy-makers must do more to realize the potential of young people worldwide, Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro said today, calling for action to overcome the structures and problems that are keeping youth unemployment rates high around the worldwide. In an address in New York to a partnership event organized by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Ms. Migiro said the lack of decent jobs for young people had become a “key source of social and political upheaval” around the world recently. “From Brooklyn to Cairo, Barcelona to Belfast, Tunis to Tripoli, too many young people are jobless and disaffected,” she said. “Some are poor, some are school drop-outs, some are highly educated but with no immediate prospects.
- 27 February: Human Rights Council opens with calls to uphold freedoms worldwide As the current session of the main United Nations human rights body began today, senior officials stressed that the Organization’s work in this area is as vital as ever, particularly at a time when men and women worldwide are rising up to demand basic freedoms and a life of dignity. Addressing the opening of the latest session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said the public demand for the enjoyment of human rights has been most striking in the Arab region, where tens of thousands of women, men and young people have taken to the streets to voice their claims.
- 17 February: Committee on NGOs Adopts Final Report, Recommending 157 Organizations The 2012 regular session of the Committee on NGOs completed its main work on 8 February, recommending 157 organizations for consultative status and taking note of 375 quadrennial reports of organizations already in status. On 17 February it adopted its draft report. Click here to download the final report.
- 14 February: Commission for Social Development approves seven draft resolutions Concluding its fiftieth session today, the Commission for Social Development recommended seven draft resolutions for adoption by the Economic and Social Council, covering topics that ranged from the mainstreaming of disability into the international development agenda, to the priority theme for the next session. The Commission’s approval of the drafts capped two weeks of negotiations as well as plenary panel discussions and lively general debates that focused on unemployment, social protection floor initiatives and ways to shrink the widening gap between the rich and poor. Ministerial-level officials from around the world described national efforts as the Commission considered the most effective and efficient means to lift millions of people out of poverty.
- 7 February: Pespectives on the current economic and financial situation The global economy faces acute uncertainties and volatility, which present serious concerns to all United Nations Member States. In order to better understand the structural or systemic challenges of the current global economic and financial order, and explore adequate policy responses, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) will convene a special session to brief Member States on the current economic and financial situation. On 7 February, distinguished economists provided their views and perspectives on the present situation and future prospects. Speakers will include Professor Peter Diamond, Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and 2010 Nobel Economics Laureate; and Professor Carmen Reinhart, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics. See a summary of the discussion below.
- 8 Feb – 14 March: Join the ECOSOC E-Discussion on Jobs, Decent Work and Inclusive Growth In preparation for the 2012 Substantive Session of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), you are invited to participate in an e-Discussion on “Jobs, Decent Work and Inclusive Growth” from 8 February to 14 March 2012. A joint initiative of DESA, ILO and UNDP, the e-discussion presents a unique opportunity to make your voice heard, and to formulate critical policy messages that will feed directly into the ECOSOC’s Annual Ministerial Review in New York in July 2012. Join the e-discussion, and share this invitation to colleagues who may be interested in participating. If you are not already a member of UNDG’s MDG-Net, UNDP Poverty Reduction Network, Gender or Human Development Report Networks and would like to participate, please register by sending a request to email@example.com. For any further questions, please contact Mr. Gregory Barrett at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 917 367 2048.
- 30 January: Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing The High-level Panel on Global Sustainability, established by the Secretary-General in August 2010 to formulate a new blueprint for sustainable development and low-carbon prosperity, presented its final report, "Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing", on 30 January. It contains 56 recommendations to put sustainable development into practice and to mainstream it into economic policy as quickly as possible.
- 25 January: UN chief outlines five-year action plan to build ‘the future we want’ 25 January 2012 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today outlined a series of actions he believes the global community must take over the next five years to build “the future we want.” In a speech to the General Assembly last September Mr. Ban presented five imperatives – or generational opportunities – that must be addressed to ensure a better future for the world’s people. These are sustainable development; preventing and mitigating conflicts, human rights abuses and the impacts of natural disasters; building a safer and more secure world; supporting countries in transition; and working to engage the talents of women and young people. “Today I want to share with you an action agenda for the coming five years,” he told the Assembly as he returned to the rostrum to brief Member States on his vision for his second term.
- 17 January: Can a protracted economic slowdown be avoided? 17 January - The world economy is teetering on the brink of another major downturn. As in 2008, economic woes in the major developed economies are weakening economic prospects around the world. This and other findings were presented as DESA’s flagship report the World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2012 was launched today.
- 12 January: Zero Draft of Rio+20 Outcome Released The zero draft of the Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) outcome document is now available online. Click on the link below. See the Rio+20 website for all information on the Conference: www.uncsd2012.org.
- 10 January: Slovakian official to lead ECOSOC Slovak ambassador Miloš Koterec was elected today to serve as President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), one of the six principal organs of the UN and the main body tasked with coordinating work in those two fields worldwide. Addressing the Council in New York after his election, Mr. Koterec called for a new approach to development during times of economic uncertainty. “Making ECOSOC a truly meaningful organ that has the capacity to make a difference calls for new approach,” he said. “This is so especially now, during times of hardened economic uncertainty that ECOSOC’s role and relevance is ever-increasing.”
- 4 Jan: 740 ECOSOC NGOs need to submit reports in 2012 - Are You One of Them? Every four years, NGOs with general or special consultative status must submit to the Committee on NGOs a brief report of their activities in support of the work of the United Nations. This is known as the "quadrennial report." In ECOSOC decision 2008/4, it was decided that failure to timely submit this quadrennial report will lead to suspension or withdrawal of status.
- 488 NGOs need to report on the years 2008-2011.See list.
- 272 NGOs need to report on the years 2007-2010.See list.
Failure to submit in time will lead to suspension or withdrawal of status. All 740 NGOs were notified through the email address on file with the NGO Branch. Every year, NGOs loose consultative status because we cannot reach them. Make sure your contact details are current. Click here to login and update your profile.
- 488 NGOs need to report on the years 2008-2011.See list.
Pre-registration for participation in the preparatory meeting and in the Conference by relevant NGOs and other major groups is now open. NGOs that are not accredited for the Conference can seek accreditation online.
Visit www.uncsd2012.org/registration to learn more and start the process.
See you in Rio!
NOTE: The annual reporting requirement applies ONLY to NGOs associated with DPI. NGOs with general or special consultative status with ECOSOC need to submit a report once every four years (quadrennial report).
NGOs with both DPI and ECOSOC status need to ascertain they fulfill both obligations.
“Too often, by the time we have hard evidence of what is happening at the household level, the harm has already been done,” said Mr. Ban during a briefing for the General Assembly on the Global Pulse initiative, which focuses on harnessing real-time data and new technologies for agile global development. See unglobalpulse.org for more.
“Cooperatives contribute to food security, rural development, and other social services,” said Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, opening the Assembly’s plenary meeting to launch 2012 as the International Year.
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You can also read the text of all the statements at the General Debate, and search by country or topic, at gadebate.un.org.
Alternatively, if you want to view video any of the statements made during the General Assembly's general debate, or see the side events to the opening of the General Assembly, you can visit the archived video at http://un.org/webcast.
The Second and Third Committees of the General Assembly are scheduled to start their work on Monday, 3 October. Annual NGO passes will provide access to the UN grounds from that date onwards. More information on the Second and Third Committee is available here.
The two-day high-level General Assembly meeting, attended by more than 30 heads of State and Government and at least 100 other senior ministers and experts, is discussing a draft declaration calling for a multi-pronged campaign by governments, industry and civil society to set up by 2013 the plans needed to curb the risk factors behind the four groups of NCDs – cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) coordinate the Social Protection Floor Initiative (SPF-I) as a joint UN effort to build a global coalition committed to supporting countries in building national social protection floors for their citizens.
The NGO Commitee for Social Development is engaged in an online campaign in support of this initiave. Please visit the link below. More information at ngosocdev.net
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In other action, the Council today came to the following decisions.
Action was taken upon the recommendation of the following two reports of the Committee: 2011 regular session report and the 2011 resumed session report.
For a more detailed account see the day's meeting coverage, see this link: http://bit.ly/otnzq0
annual report on children and armed conflict, already names those parties which commit violations such as the recruitment of child soldiers, killing or maiming of children, and rape or other forms of sexual violence against children.
Read the 2011 MDGs Report. | See a related video.
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“Civil Society’s Essential Role in Achieving Education for all” will be the theme of the CSDF 2011 Geneva Component, that will take place on 29 – 30 June and the morning of 1 July in the Ecumenical Centre, 150 route de Ferney, Geneva. The CSDF will, as each year, focus on the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) that is the priority of ECOSOC’s Annual Ministerial Review. In 2011 the theme of the ECOSOC Annual Ministerial Review is “Implementing the internationally–agreed goals and commitments in regard to education”. As in previous years, the CSDF 2011 Geneva Component will be held before the ECOSOC High Level Ministerial Review sessions with the aim to monitor important developments and promote action.
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“The gains we have witnessed in the traditional drugs markets are being offset by a fashion for synthetic ‘designer drugs’ mimicking illegal substances,” said Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) which produced the World Drug Report 2011.