Millennium Development Summit September 20 – 22, 2010

You can access the various statements of the Member States here http://www.un.org/en/mdg/summit2010/debate/20092010.shtml   A short video of each Head of State delivering the statement can be accessed here.  http://www.unmultimedia.org/tv/webcast/index.html

Declaration from the 63rd DPI conference in Australia.

A report on the UN NGO DPI (Department of Public Information Conference) held in Melborne, Australia can be accessed here  http://makinghealthglobal.com.au/media/conference-releases/the-declaration/#more-468  Michaela Gutridge who attended the conference wrote the following :   63rd Annual United Nations Department of Public Information,  Non-Government Organisation Conference: Advance Global Health,  Achieve the Millennium Development Goals
 Beautiful opening ceremony included Indigenous Opera performance from Pecan Sunrise.
 General overview of common issues arising at the conference:
·         “The right of a human being is non-negotiable” Dr Aleida Guevara, Cuba (daughter of Che Guevara)
·            Health, education and even the basics of life, like water, food and shelter have become commodities bought and sold and no longer human rights for all
·         Need to hold governments to account
·         Need to develop networks and coordinated campaigns, particularly regional collaborations with organisations under similar thematic missions. Recommendation: Choose one issue all can agree on, despite differences
·         Remember the destruction caused by transnational and multinational corporations. Consider the problem of NGOs delivering aid without questioning these corporations who cause the conditions that necessitate the aid. Consider private sector collaboration to hold corporations to account
·         The best data in the world means nothing if it doesn’t translate to community needs
·         Empowering women eliminates poverty
 Attended seven workshops. The two most thought-provoking:
1.      Indigenous Health and Self Determination, NACCHO
·         The issue of political will arose throughout the conference and again at this workshop. A delegate offered this: “We are looking for political will in the wrong places. We must remember we are the body politic, we are the political will and the health of the body politic is crucial. The question is the lack of political courage and wisdom of governments and our own political will”
·         Indigenous projects should not only focus on outcomes, but also processes
·         Indigenous health services on average report to 52 funding bodies
·         Statistics/evidence used too often to justify existence of organisations, rather than to help the communities they exist to serve
·         The very large number of young Indigenous people places an equally large pressure on them to succeed and to become the change-makers
 
2.      Signposts and Indicators of Progress in Gender Equality, CARE International
Teo Vimenes, Timor Leste: Seven strategies to gender equality in education:
1.    Improve girls self-esteem
2.    Promote leadership and self motivation, foster critical thinking and creativity
3.    Encourage girls to analyse opportunities for women in their society
4.    Cultivate strong role models in female staff
5.    Tell stories in language about females who are smart, funny and great problem-solvers
6.    Share knowledge with parents
7.    Build capacity to advocate at the government level
Four challenges to gender equality in education:
1.    Settling the disparity, promoting equal chances between girls and boys
2.    Qualitative measures for gender progress
3.    Sustainable change of attitudes
4.    Adaption to community needs
Jo Crawford, IWDA: Making sure the outcomes matter: Consider how the locals define poverty and what is most important for the community to overcome.
 
Prior to voting on the Conference Declaration, Rob Mooney said “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good”. The Declaration was passed with overwhelming support and received a rousing standing ovation. All GS Delegates voted for the Declaration, which can be found at this link: http://makinghealthglobal.com.au/media/conference-releases/the-declaration/#more-468
 
Rev. Tim Costello of World Vision moved a motion to UN Under Secretary-General Kiyo Akasaka for a two year debt moratorium for Pakistan.
 
Next meeting: Bonn, Germany on the theme of Sustainable Societies.
  

Michaela Guthridge
Justice Development Manager
Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand
An NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, New York.

Theme for the Good Shepherd Gathering in Australia/New Zealand ‘If you want Peace work for Justice’

Read all about it at  http://goodshep.net.au/gathering/ and don’t forget to follow the links where the information is further expanded.  http://goodshep.net.au/gathering/about/our-speakers/  and http://goodshep.net.au/gathering/about/un-worker-to-speak-at-gs-gathering-in-melbourne/

Opening of the 65th Session of the General Assembly

His Excellence Mr Joseph Deiss is the newly elected President of the 65th Session of the General Assembly and  is from Switzerland.  In his acceptance speech in June Mr Deiss said “… the message that I would like to underscore is that the values that the United Nations embraced at its founding are as relevant as ever in overcoming the challenges facing humankind today. I therefore invite members to turn once again to the founding of our great Organization to breathe new life into the purposes and principles set out in Article 1 of the Charter: peace and security, friendship among nations and international cooperation. Peace, friendship and cooperation must remain the keywords of our work and of our action— words which our determination will fill with meaning.”  For more  click on the link  http://www.un.org/en/ga/president/65/statements/acceptance.shtml  The full text of his opening statement at the commencement of the General Assembly on September 14, 2010 can be read here http://www.un.org/en/ga/president/65/statements/opening1409.shtml

NGO Survey on Implementation of the Resolution on ‘Social Integration’ an outcome of the 48th Session of the Commission for Social Development , 3-12 February 2010, New York

The NGO Committee on Social Development has launched a survey on the implementation at national level  of the policy recommendations in the resolution ‘Social integration’ covering the following 5 areas:   i)  Meeting basic needs of the people living in poverty and ensuring their human rights and dignity,    ii)   Effective participation,   iii)   Universal access to social protection,   iv)   Gender equality,   v)  Elimination of discrimination, abuse and violence. 

I am seeking your cooperation requesting that you complete the short survey so that we can assess implementation of the resolution at national level.    A copy of the resolution – which is only available in English – can be accessed at this link  http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/csd/2010/resolutions/social-integration.pdf   

The links to the survey are in two parts  i) some background  http://www.un-ngls.org/spip.php?article2845   and ii) the on-line survey.  http://www.un-ngls.org/socialintegration/en/survey.php   

 French links (i)   http://www.un-ngls.org/spip.php?page=article_fr&id_article=2829      ii)http://www.un-ngls.org/socialintegration/fr/survey.php

 Spanish links i)   http://www.un-ngls.org/spip.php page=article_es_s&id_article=2848   ii) http://www.un-ngls.org/socialintegration/en/survey.php       

 There are 4 sections.   First personal and organization details followed by 3 questions.   The first question is about Awareness of the Resolution  –  tick appropriate box.   

The second question concerns new programmes/policies that have been initiated in response to 5 policy recommendations in the resolution.  You are asked to check all that applies.    i)  Meeting basic needs of the people living in poverty and ensuring their human rights and dignity:  ii) Effective participation of the people:  iii)  Universal access to social protection:   iv)   Development policies promoting gender equality:  v)  Policies to eliminate discrimination, abuse and violence.

The third question asks for one or two concrete suggestions for the implementation of policy recommendations during the coming years?

The deadline for replies is September 30th. 

I would appreciate you sending a copy of your replies to me winifreddohertyrgs@gmail.com 

 The theme of the 49th Session of the Commission on Social Development is ‘Poverty Eradication’.  Our Congregational direction statement reads “We commit ourselves to work zealously with women and children, especially those who are trafficked, forced to migrate or oppressed by abject poverty.”  Poverty is one of the root causes for human trafficking and migratory flows.  What can we do to eradicate poverty?