The 57th Session of the Commission for Social Development will be held in New York from 11 – 21 February 2019. The priority theme for the session is ‘Addressing inequalities and challenges to social inclusion through fiscal, wage and social protection policies.’ Among the ways of taking part in the commission are the following – attending the session, preparing a written statement, delivering an oral statement, engaging in side events/parallel events and joining the discussion wherever it is happening. We have prepared a written statement which is now on the Commissions website in Spanish, French, and English
‘En nuestra experiencia, como organización que trabaja a nivel comunitario, las políticas de protección social y las políticas que garantizan un salario mínimo vital a todos los trabajadores son fundamentales para reducir la pobreza, lograr la igualdad entre los géneros y promover el trabajo decente y la inclusión social.’
‘D’après l’expérience acquise dans le cadre des travaux que l’organisation mène au niveau local, les politiques qui assurent à tous les travailleurs une protection sociale et un salaire minimum vital sont fondamentales pour réduire la pauvreté, atteindre l’égalité des sexes et promouvoir l’emploi décent et l’inclusion sociale.’
‘In our experience, as an organization working at the grassroots level, social protection policies and policies that ensure a living wage for all workers are fundamental to reducing poverty, achieving gender equality, and promoting decent work and social inclusion.’
Sign up for NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC to express interest in delivering an oral statement during the general discussion will be open online from 7 January to 24 January 2019. What points do you suggest we make at that time? Write your suggestion in the comment box and we will use them.
Friday, February 3 was the last day of week one of the Commission for Social Development. Overall, it was an interesting week which commenced on Monday afternoon with the opening of the Civil Society Forum. This forum continued on Tuesday morning with panel presentations followed with the continuation of Monday’s discussion in the afternoon. Both these session are webcast. Civil Society Forum – January 31st and Part 2 Afternoon session
The formal opening of the Commission took place on Wednesday February 1st – all sessions are webcast – Opening Session (Meeting 2) There were three statements presented – one from the President of the General Assembly (PGA) H.E. Peter Thompson (Fiji), the President of the Economic and Social Council H.E. Frederick Musiiwa Makamure Shava (Zimbabwe) and a statement on behalf of the Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Points noted from these statement are the following: The Commission is taking place at a time of global contradictions. While significant progress has been made in eradication extreme poverty, conflicts are reversing gains in social well-being and the gap between the rich and poor was growing (Sec General) The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the “masterplan for people planet and prosperity,” and is “firmly within our reach.” (PGA). “Today’s generation can be the one that eradicates poverty and turns the tide on inequality, exclusion and environmental degradation…” (President of ECOSOC) ANA HELENA CHACÓN ECHEVERRÍA, Vice-President of Costa Rica, speaking on behalf of the Group of Friends of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, said that despite all achievements, many countries had been left behind and growing global inequities challenged the universality of human rights. Poverty was a system and people living in poverty continued to be deprived, above all, of the capacity to claim their inalienable rights. Human dignity must be at the centre of any sustainable development process. Further the vice-president said respecting, promoting, and protecting rights required Governments to take positive action, which in turn, demanded national compliance with international obligations, particularly the 2030 Agenda.
In the afternoon at Meeting 3 the Vice-President of Costa Rica was a member of the panel during the interactive discussion on “Strategies for eradicating poverty to achieve sustainable development for all.” She stressed the need to design public policies to meet the needs of people facing constant hunger, exclusion and poverty. No development can be sustained if millions of people are left behind. Poverty is a flagrant violation of human rights. Social policy must end the income gap and move towards peace, justice and inclusion. Costa Rica is poised to eliminate extreme poverty in less than 10 years. Costa Rica has developed social maps to track impoverished areas and understand the prevailing socioeconomic conditions. This coupled with a poverty index was used to measure poverty beyond income poverty and to take into account shortages in education, health care, water and housing.
Nigeria, both Government and civil society perspective were presented and Brazil noted that their nation had been removed from the FAO Hunger Map. The new challenge for Brazil is to sustain the gains.Through Bolsa Familia cash transfer programme 13.6 million low-income people received stipends on condition that they kept their children in school and followed a vaccination schedule. This year a National Strategy for Social and Productive inclusion was launched by the Government to build professional skills and generate income. The Happy Child Programme was launched in 2016 that gives regular assistance, including home visit to 530,000 children in 2017 and 1.5 million in 2018
Good Shepherd continue to promote implementation of social protection floors as a good strategy for eradicating poverty to achieve sustainable development for all. There is growing interest in and concrete action towards implementation.
See http://bit.ly/2kttxSM which ‘showcases 16 experiences from 12 countries which have achieved universal or near-universal social protection coverage in the areas of health care, child allowances, maternity benefits, disability benefits and old-age pensions. Good Shepherd are in 5 of the Countries Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, South Africa, Thailand.
February 2nd Meeting 4 and Meeting 5 and February 3rd Meeting 6 and Meeting 7. These meeting focused on “Promoting Integrated Policies for Poverty Eradication: Youth Development in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” (meeting 4) Meeting Coverage and “Leaving no one behind: poverty and disability” Meeting 6. Meeting Coverage
Side events are taking place throughout the Commission focusing on a myriad of topics related to the theme.
Side events where I have been a panelist:
If you wish to see your country statement to the commission for Social Development Papersmart UN Meetings
The posters are in three languages: First giving you the dates, theme and link to the Good Shepherd Statement; the second set- describes the Commission and the third set answer the question what is Social Protection?
The first commission I attended was in February 2008 – the 46th Commission on the theme of “Promoting Full Employment And Decent Work For All.” 47th and 48th Social Integration, 49th and 50th Poverty Eradication, 51st and 52nd “Promoting empowerment of people in achieving poverty eradication, social integration and full employment and decent work for all,” 53rd and 54th “Rethinking and strengthening social development in the contemporary world.”
Jeanette Mc Dermott, Communications, Sisters of the Good Shepherd, Province of the Mid North, USA recently spent two weeks in New York following the work of Winifred Doherty as the NGO representative on behalf of the Congregation. Read her article in Items of Interest-March 2016
Catholic Ireland featured an article on Sisters speak out against trafficking at the UN
Aine, Angela and Winifred
A third article related to this time period is a summary of the side event Maisha – A New Life outside the Mines which was held durn the Commission for Social Development on February 4, 2016. Report on Side Event Feb 4 2016
A quote from the Universal Declaration on Human Rights – Article 25 on the right of everyone to a standard of living adequate for health and well being – linking with the rights to Social Protection for everyone.