I hope that you will find this an interesting way to keep updated on Good Shepherd International Justice Peace Office activities in New York. I trust that this tool will facilitate information sharing on NGO and other activities at the United Nations.
IDG Support Team Sep 19 The 2023 Girls Speak Out will draw upon the IDG theme of “Invest in Girls’ Rights: Our Leadership & Wellbeing” focusing on action for girls’ rights. This begins with fulfilling, protecting, and respecting girls’ rights. It demands trusting girls’ leadership as equal partners, ensuring there is space for girls to be heard, to participate and co-lead, and respecting their voices, perspectives, and lived realities as decision-makers and as the leaders of today. This also requires investing in and supporting girls’ health and well-being as well as their education and including girls in determining what their needs are while working in an intergenerational effort to meet those specific needs. In listening to Girl Advocates’ perspectives and Girl Activists who are already making change, the overarching questions at this year’s Girls’ Speak Out will be: How are you taking action for girls’ rights? How are you investing in, supporting, and working towards the realization of girls’ rights? Register Here In-person Registration:https://www.eventbrite.com/e/717402930477?aff=oddtdtcreator Virtual Registration:https://www.eventbrite.com/e/717421947357?aff=oddtdtcreator
In collaboration with the Working Group on Girls, the GSIJP Office is cosponsoring with Istituto Internazionale Maria Ausiliatrice (IIMA) Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco an IDG Sponsorship Day on October 7 ‘Investing in Girls’ Leadership and Power.’ This is an X/Twitter Storm starting at 11.00 a.m. EST. Follow social media for more details.
Join girls from Asia Pacific on October 7 from 10.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. Malaysian time in their celebration. LINK TO REGISTER
The words of the UN Secretary General at a press conference following the opening of the 78th Session of the General Assembly
” My appeal to world leaders will be clear:
This is not a time for posturing or positioning.
This is not a time for indifference or indecision.
This is a time to come together for real, practical solutions.
It is time for compromise for a better tomorrow.
Politics is compromise.
Diplomacy is compromise.
Effective leadership is compromise.
If we want a future of peace and prosperity based on equity and solidarity, leaders have a special responsibility to achieve compromise in designing our common future for our common good.
Next week here in New York is the place to start.”
All you every need to know about the General Assembly and what is taking place from September 16 to 29
JCOR have prepared a very informative guide in Powerpoint to help us navigate at home and at the UN Headquarter in NY. It is available in four languages English, French,Spanish and Portuguese. Get a sense of when your national leaders are going to address the assembly on Slides 6,7 and 8. Social media with sample messenging are towards the end.
Saturday September 16: Mobilization Day: Opening Session of the SDG Action Weekend followed by ‘Towards a Rights-Centered Gender-Transformative Economy, including a new International Financial Architecture” organized by Women’s Major Group, with the suppor of UN Women. It will be live on UN Web TV from 12.00 pm – 2.00 pm. EST. This is followed by a side event at 2.15 pm. entitled from SDG Summit to Summit of the Future: building the UN we Need in Conference Room 4 and lastly at 4.15 pm EST : Towards the Realisation of SDGs: Multi-stakeholder, Intersectional and Intergenerational Approach.
Sunday September 17th: I will attend the Global People’s Assembly at the Church Center. 9.00 am EST Opening Plenary; 11.15 am Which Financial Architecture for Economic Justice; 1.30 pm Linkages of Pushback, Linkages of Resistence: Gender, Climate, Migration and Democracy and at 3.00 p.m. join the Climate March.
Monday, September 18 is the first day of the SDG Summit with a leaders dialogue taking place in the UN. From 9.00am – 11.00 am EST I will attend the second day Global People’s Assembly in a session entitled Feminist Economy. The conclusion of the day is around Civil Society Networking followed by Final Plenary and Public Action at 6.30 p.m. EST Concurrently, Religions for Peace have an event TRILATERAL PARTNERSHIP OF REGIONAL FAITH-BASED NETWORKS FOR THE SDGs: Register HERE to attend virtually. Register HERE to attend in person.
In his accompanying letter, the President stated that following open, transparent and inclusive consultations under the leadership of H.E. Mr. Fergal Mythen, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations and H.E. Ms. Alya Ahmed Saif Al-Thani, Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations, he has been informed that the text attached to his letter has reached the broadest possible agreement among Member States ahead of the Summit. In this regard, the President stated his intention to transmit the draft political declaration to the Secretariat for its further processing. The President also expressed his sincere thanks to Ambassadors Mythen and Al-Thani for their steadfast and professional stewardship of the political declaration process.
The President noted in his letter that while it may not address all issues of importance for every delegation, the draft declaration ensures a common understanding among Member States to advance transformative actions leading up to 2030. He emphasized that the political declaration represents the beginning of a new phase of accelerated implementation of the 203 Agenda, which will need to be complemented by continuous high-level political guidance.
SDG Action Weekend
To galvanize all actors ahead of the SDG Summit the United Nations is organizing an SDG Action Weekend at United Nations Headquarters on 16 and 17 September 2023. Being the first time that the United Nations Headquarters will be open to all stakeholders ahead of the General Assembly high-level week, the SDG Action Weekend will be an opportunity for all stakeholders to showcase their innovative and ambitious commitments, contributions and multi-stakeholder partnerships to drive SDG transformation between now and 2030 and mobilize towards an ambitious SDG Summit. It will bring together heads of state and government of UN Member States and other senior government representatives such as ministers, leaders from civil society and activism, youth advocates, academics, private sector representatives, and more.
The SDG Action Weekend will consist of the SDG Mobilization Day (16 September 2023) and the SDG Acceleration Day (17 September). The SDG Mobilization Day (16 September) will feature seven “mobilization segments.” These include segments on Major Groups and other Stakeholders as well as on civil society, youth, women, local and regional governments, the private sector and science and academia. The SDG Acceleration Day (17 September) will be centered around the twelve UN High-Impact Initiatives spearheaded by the UN development system to highlight a set of transformative transitions and cross-cutting enablers that can be brought to scale to bring SDG achievement back on track. The SDG Action Weekend will also feature high-level opening and closing sessions as well as more than 40 high-level side-events organized by coalitions of UN Member States, UN entities and other international organizations, and global stakeholder networks. Please review the full programme here.
The SDG Action Weekend will be open to representatives of all Member States, the UN system and organizations and stakeholders whose work is relevant to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. All in-person participants MUST have either a valid UN grounds pass or a Special Events Ticket issued by the United Nations to enter the United Nations Headquarters during the SDG Action Weekend. Please note that, as an exception, CSO badges (“N”) and retiree badges (“R”) will be valid during the two days of the SDG Action Weekend (16 -17 September 2023). Holders of a UNLP (United Nations Laissez-Passer) can also attend the SDG Action Weekend. Registration for the SDG Action Weekend was closed at 5 pm EDT on 8 September 2023. Due to the large number of registration requests received, no late registrations nor onsite registration can be accommodated. If you missed the deadline to register, you can follow the live streaming on UN WebTV. More than 4000 stakeholders have registered to attend the SDG Action Weekend.
National Commitments to SDG Transformation
The Secretary-General has urged world leaders to deliver a “Rescue Plan for People and Planet” at the SDG Summit including by announcing national and global commitments to drive SDG Transformation in the years ahead. Member States are encouraged to present forward-looking national commitments to SDG transformation that include (i) priority transitions and areas for investment that will help maximize progress across the SDGs; (ii) a national benchmark for reducing poverty and inequality by 2027; and (iii) steps towards strengthened national planning and institutional frameworks to support progress in these areas. Member States in a position to do so have further been encouraged to put forward time-bound global and regional commitments to strengthen international cooperation and support for developing countries, particularly the most vulnerable countries. The SDG Acceleration and Accountability Platform now includes a separate, dedicated form for submitting National Commitments to SDG Transformation. The updated form seeks to respond to the requests from RCs and Member States for a simplified process for registering national commitments on the platform. The platform is currently accepting submissions through the end of UNGA high-level week, with a deadline of Friday, 22 September 2023. Member States can access the dedicated form here: National Transformation Commitments to SDG Transformation.
Global Sustainable Development Report
The Global Sustainable Development Report 2023 (GSDR) will be launched on Tuesday, 12 September, at a press conference at 12:30 p.m. EDT at UN Headquarters in New York. On Monday, 11 September, the Independent Group of Scientists who prepared the report met with the Deputy Secretary-General for a hand-over ceremony. Additionally, UN DESA is organizing a Global Policy Dialogue in the SDG Studio on “Time for Transformation” (14 September, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.) to further present the GSDR to the public in an engaging and informal way. Finally, the Report will be presented to Member States and other stakeholders at the SDG Summit (18 September). Scientists will also participate in webcast interviews at the UN-organized SDG Media Zone during the UN General Assembly High-level Week.
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Two events are on the calendar – the first tomorrow Thursday, September 7, at 10.00 am EST and the second a week later on Thursday, September 14 at 10.00 am EST. They are organized by UNANIMA and co-sponsored by other NGO’s including Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd. REGISTER HERE to receive the Zoom link
A two day program it scheduled and planned for September 16 and 17 – the first day is a mobilization day featuring mostly NGO’s and the second is an Acceleration Day with the foucs on High Impact Initiatives. The full 24 page program is available HERE The proposed program is vast and complex and always demands choices – difficult choices. How does one choose between ‘A Rights-Centered Gender-Transformative Economy, including a New International Fiancial Archecture’ and ‘Breaking Down the Barriers to Leave No One Behind’ and ‘Torchbearers for the SDG’s Meaningful Youth Engagement & the 2030 Agenda.’ Other aspects of the day focus on ‘Catalyzing Transformative Change: Science, Academia and the Journey to 2030;’ ‘Local & Regional Governments Forum: Action and Leadership from the Ground Up; Towards the Rescue Plan for People and the Planet;’ ‘Enhacing Advocacy, Financing and Acountability: Key Messages from Civil Society to the SDG Summit and Beyond;’ and ‘Unlocking the Potential of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMES): Meeting the Finaincing Gap.’
The SDG Acceleration Day (17 September, 2023) will propel stakeholders from ambition to action by highlighting how the High Impact Initiatives, multigenerational campaigns such as Generation Equality, and cross-SDG impact catalyzers such as SDG Digital can accelerate collective achievement. See pages 11 to 21 of the program
These programs, presentations, approaches surely indicate a tumultous desire for a new future – one of equity, prosperity and wellbeing for every person and for the planet. It is a privilege to be part of, a participatant in, and a contributer to such activities. While attending and moving throught the varous fora inside and outside of the United Nation, the unmistakable ask, advocacy moment, is and will be one of peace, good will and prosperity for all. I, as your representative at the United Nations hold this desire for you, your ministry and your country at this time. The Congregations is surely part of a groundswell seeking full implementation of the Sustaiable Development Goals, gender justice, climate justice and the upholding of the rights of every person especially those of girls, women, and children in all their diversity and mother earth.
While all this is happening we are in the Season of Creation …
and will observe UN International Peace Day on September 21 which is linked with ambition to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Take Action and contribute to implementation of the SDGs See the Action Guide for helpful suggestions
We invite you to the Global People’s Assembly 2023 on 17 and 18 September! This is a hybrid event – with the physical assembly in the UN Church Centre in New York and online participation for all events. We will also have interpretation in French and Spanish for the majority of sessions. Please register above to receive links for online participation and a confirmation letter to access the Church Center in New York.
The Global People’s Assembly is the culmination of community and national People’s Assemblies in 41 countries and constituencies, where representatives of marginalized and excluded groups alongside civil society discussed the state of implementation of the SDGs.
This year we will bring people’s voices to the UN SDG Summit on the 18th and 19th of September and other high-level events during the UN General Assembly week. It is now more important than ever that we come together to make our voices heard, as it is the SDG mid-point and we are still not close to achieving the 2030 agenda.
This year’s programme is brought to you by 60 civil society networks from national, regional and global levels (see list of organisers here) – coordinated by Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP).
Ingo Ritz and Rose Heffernan
On behalf of the Organisers
On Monday, September 18th the opening of the SDG Summit will take place.
Season of Creation starts on September 1 with a Global Ecumenical Online Prayer Service. Faith leaders from around the globe will lead this time of prayer and reflection as we celebrate the start of the Season of Creation, on this year’s theme, “Let Justice and Peace Flow”. Below is a flavour of the season
Register on Zoom or join directly on YouTube. Other opportunities at Taize on September 30th and on October 4 when the season ends.
On Wednesday, October 4, as we celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi and remember the first anniversary of the release of the film The Letter, we will close the Season of Creation with an online ecumenical prayer service. Join us through our YouTube channel. See more
LATAM Symposium for the care of our common home. LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN ON THE ROAD TO “ACCELERATING THE JUST ENERGY TRANSITION” IN TERMS OF INTEGRAL ECOLOGY. See More and register to attend HERE September 7 from 9.00 – 12.00 Bogota time
Concluding lines from the message of Pope Francis is my wish and prayer “In this Season of Creation, as followers of Christ on our shared synodal journey, let us live, work and pray that our common home will teem with life once again. May the Holy Spirit once more hover over the waters and guide our efforts to “renew the face of the earth” (cf. Ps 104:30).”
The Global People’s Assembly 2023 will be on 17 (Sunday) and 18 September (Monday) in New York – at the UN SDG Summit and the UN General Assembly. This is a critical moment for people and planet. The assessment of how well we are doing implementing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals at the High Level Political Forum in July was dismal. This is a critical moment as the UN SDG Summit on September 18 and 19 can be the turning point that people and planet need to survive and flourish. The Global People’s Assembly was started in 2019, and has since grown stronger. The assembly is co-organised by 40 civil society networks. Everyone is invited to participate. To learn more, read the concept note here, and read the Global People’s Assembly 2022 Declaration here.
A declaration will be presented at the UNSDG Summit. We are members of the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors – on of the 40 civil society network co-organizing the Global People Assembly and also of Coalition for the UN We Need.
Register to attend virtually. I will be present in person. The focus is on structural reasons for social, environment and economic injustice and to move towards ending inequalities. If you have any queries don’t hesitate to contact me using the comment box at the end of this post.
Today the GFA Adolescent Girl Leadership Town Hall gave girls the opportunity to come together with a shared purpose: to reaffirm the power and leadership of girls worldwide. Throughout the town hall, girls engaged in vital conversations with key stakeholders: member states, UN agencies, philanthropies, and civil society organizations. Girls’ recommendations revolved around the five domains of adolescent well-being: good health and optimum nutrition, connectedness, positive values, and contribution to society, safety and a supportive environment, learning, competence, education, skills, and employability, and agency and resilience.
We are proud to report that a Good Shepherd student from India named Sugandha was able to give her recommendations where she called upon the Member States to engage as active participants with girls to empower adolescent girls worldwide. She shed light on the burden of responsibility that rests upon Member States’ shoulders to guarantee the safety and welfare of adolescent girls. She urged Member States to actively implement policies to combat gender-based violence, to focus on adolescent health, and to ensure quality education – so that Member States can shape a brighter future for adolescent girls.
Mr. Fred Simwaka, the Deputy Director for Gender Affairs responsible for Women Empowerment in the Ministry of Gender Children Disability and Social Welfare from Malawi responded to Suganda’s recommendations and seemed to agree with many if not all her recommendations, which is promising. It is through the commitment and support of Member States that meaningful change can be achieved.
During the UN agencies segment, Ms. Begona Lasagabaster, Director for Gender Equality at UNESCO and Sarah Hendriks, Deputy Executive Director for Policy, Programme, Civil Society and Intergovernmental Support ad interim from UN Women responded to girl recommendations and again agreed with many of the recommendations given by the girl advocates. UN Agencies bring specialized knowledge, resources, and networks to address the challenges faced by adolescents, making their contributions invaluable.
During the Philanthropies segment, we had the pleasure of hearing responses from Ms. Lisa Bohmer as the Global Lead for Early Childhood Development initiative at Hilton Foundation and Ms. Aminata Kamara, as the Acting Co-Lead, Resourcing Resistance at Purposeful. Philanthropies play an important role in influencing the flow of resources, particularly financial support, for the well-being of adolescent girls so their input is important for this type of conversation.
During the Civil Society segment, the importance of Civil society organizations serving as vital partners in driving transformative change, advocating for policies, and amplifying the voices of girls was demonstrated. We had the honor of having Christle, a Good Shepherd student from Sri Lanka address civil society as an ally. She demanded necessary space, support, and opportunities to drive girls’ development agenda. Christle also urged Civil Society to actively engage girls in policy creation, programming, and research. She called for Civil Society to empower girls to thrive and reach their full potential. Adolescent girls are not just the leaders of tomorrow, but they are leaders today.
Ms. Divya Srinivasan, Global Lead of the Ending Harmful Practices program, Equality Now and Ms Kathleen Sherwin as the Chief Strategy and Engagement Officer at Plan International responded to Christle’s recommendations and shared their reflections where in general they also accepted and complimented her recommendations.
It was clear that the girls appreciated the stakeholders’ willingness to engage and listen to them as equal partners. However more is needed from them – a guarantee that girls’ voices were heard and that their wellbeing is ensured.
3 girls from Latin America – Andrea, (Bolivia) Genesis, (Equidor) and Keiry (El Salvador), 2 from Africa Athible, South Africa, and Rose from Senegal together with Jasmine (India) were participants in the session. Isabel and Jasmine were members of the planning team but not selected as speakers.
Read more HERE about the 1.8 billion young people for change and the Global Forum for Adolescent ’23. October 11 and 12th are the big days. Join the world’s largest-ever gathering for adolescent well-being! The Forum will be a key milestone for the 1.8 Billion Young People for Change campaign, bringing together youth and adolescents, advocates and global decision-makers. Through national events and a two-day virtual mainstage, the Forum will promote political and financial commitments toward improved adolescent health and well-being.
The July edition of VOICE a monthly newsletter from UN DESA (Department of Economic and Social Affairs is filled with information about the upcoming High-Level Political Forum. The first article is about turbocharging the SDGs. This is followed by how action for climate change and the SDGs create synergies that reinforce each other.
In my last posting, I did not mention anything about the call of the Secretary-General for an SDG stimulus. There is a section in Voice entitled 5 things you need to know about the SDG Stimulus to deliver the 2030 Agenda. In February 2023 the Secretary-General called for the G20 to deliver US $ 500 billion annually to Sustainable Development. The crunch will be on September 18 and 19 when the SDG Summit is taking place – will the call be answered? Will the money be provided? If one does a tour of the UN one sees the amount spent on military expenditure – currently at 5 Billion a day. This is a steep increase from November of 2022 when 1 Billion a day was recorded.
The Sustainable Development Goals Report will launch on July 10 at 12.30 EST. You can watch live on UN WebTV
As I write this piece I am reminded of the working document or ‘instrumentum laboris,’ towards the Synod released at the end of June. The document outlines the current reality as characterized by too many wars, the threat represented by climate change, the cry to oppose an economic system that produces exploitation, inequality, and a throw-away culture, the desire to resist the homogenizing pressures of cultural colonialism that crushes minorities, persecution to the point of martyrdom, and emigration that progressively hollows out communities. This is the current reality that is at the heart of the High-Level Political Forum and the global framework outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals. This desire for implementation is often thwarted by counter-systems that are war-mongering, that demand to invest in militarism and fossil fuels.
These counter-systems uphold neo-liberal capitalism, maintain inequality – including gender inequality, profit from the exploitation of child labour, migrant labour, bonded labour and human trafficking, maintain a throw-away culture, crush minorities, harass women leaders, to the point of murdering women’s human rights defenders and others calling for change. The Global NGO presence and voice at the United Nations call for, propose and witness to an alternative reality – a reality informed by dignity and human rights, inclusion and respect for all people and our common home opposing and resisting the dominant narrative. Read More