UN Commission for Social Development

Read about our highlight!  Shirley O’Sullivan represented Cork Social Housing Forum – a best practice at the Civil Society Forum on February 2, 2010.  The Commission opened on February 3 and resulted in the first ever Resolution on Social Integration.  http://www.corksocialhousingforum.com/

Civil Society Forum – Copenhagan + 15: Achieving a Society for All

Social Inclusion Policy Informed by Good Practice - A Civil Society Perspective

The Civil Society Forum was held on February 2, 2010, the day prior to the opening of the Commission for Social Development.  Shirely O’Sullivan was a member of the panel.   Other panel members from left to right: Edwin M, John, Neighbourhood Community Network, India; Shirley O’Sullivan, Cork Social Housing, Ireland; Joan Burke, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, (Moderator) Beatriz Merino, Ombudswoman of Peru and Clem McCartney, Club de Madrid.   Shirley noted that “discrimination and lack of enforced rights were the dominant causes of poverty and social exclusion.”   You can read all the responses to the NGO Committee for Social Development’s Survey on Good Practices for Social Integration / Inclusion by clicking here http://ngosocdev.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/master-1-original-_nov-24th-2009_-revised.pdf   Collected the NGO Committee for Social Development with the support of the UnitedNations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS)   November 24 th, 2009.  Read about Cork Social Housing Forum http://www.corksocialhousingforum.com/news1.html and the response of the Cork Social Housing  to the United Nations on the issue of Social Integration – Building Communities towards an intetgrated society – a recognized and chosen good practice. http://www.corksocialhousingforum.com/CSHF_Social_Response_Nov_09.pdf

The Good Shepherd Internation Justice Peace Team attending the Commission for Social Development:  Winifred Doherty, NGO Representative to the UN; Marie Helene Halligon (France);  Shirley O’Sullivan (Ireland); Barbara O’Carroll (USA) and Yolanda Sanchez (Columbia)

Commission for Social Development

Today the 48th session of the Commission for Social Development opened at the UN in New York.  The theme is ‘Social Integration’.  If you go to the web site you can follow the theme and do some background reading.     http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/csd/2010.html    If you go to Documents you can read the Secretary General’s report on Social Integration in preparation for the Commission:  http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N09/620/59/PDF/N0962059.pdf?OpenElement  together with the two statements submitted by the GSIJP Office (1) Gender and Social Inclusion http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N09/623/65/PDF/N0962365.pdf?OpenElement and (2) Achieving Social Integration – meaningful work, social protection and social inclusion http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N09/625/27/PDF/N0962527.pdf?OpenElement   We also signed on a number of  other statements    No 1 Second Decade for the Eradication of Poverty;  No 6 People on the move – a need to include them where they are:  No 8 Responding to Climate change – striving for inclusive societies in a divided world and No 11  Legal Empowerment of the Poor.  The World Summit for Social Development (Copenhagen, 1995 has three pillars: Social Integration, Poverty Eradication and Decent Work. 

Yesterday there was the Civil Society Forum – Copenhagen + 15: Achieving a Society for All.  The NGO Committee for Social Development presented a Survey of Best Practices for Social Integration.  On the panel was Shirley O’Sullivan from Cork, representing Cork Social Housing, Ireland.  This was one of the best practices selected from the Survey.  See this link.  http://www.corksocialhousingforum.com/    In a 10 minute presentation Shirley highlighted both barriers to Social Integration and Challenges facing voluntary organizations.  Well done Shirley!  The afternoon panel, ‘Voices of the People: Civil Society Speaks’ was composed of  a number of persons who spoke of their personal experience of exclusion and how they worked towards inclusion.  We heard personal sharings from a young woman with a disability, a trafficked teenager, a migrant worker, a woman who had been imprisoned and a women who was separated from her parents because they were migrants.  The last part of the day was spend in groups strategizing how to do advocacy work around various issues – 1) The main theme of Social Integration  2) The Family  3) Ageing  4) Disability   5) Youth.  These topics were chosen because in the past 15 years since the Social Summit in Copenhagen attention has been given to these areas with the adoption of international instruments to promote inclusion and integration of social groups.  These efforts began with the Copenhagen Declaration and program for Action, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the World Programme of Action for Youth, all adopted in 1995.  This was followed with the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing in 2002, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, each adopted in 2006.  These instruments help to guide governments in developing national strategies to combat discrimination and intolerance.