What is HLPF? A UN Platform to review Sustainable Development!

2018 HLPFThe United Nations High Level Political Forum 2018  (HLPF) commences on Monday July 9 and will finish on Thursday July 18.   What is HLPF?   It is a United Nations platform  on Sustainable Development.  The High Level Political Forum (HLPF) was mandated in 2012 by the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), “The Future We Want”.

The HLPF on Sustainable Development  provides political leadership, guidance and recommendations. It follows up and reviews the implementation of sustainable development commitments and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It addresses new and emerging challenges; promotes the science-policy interface and enhances the integration of economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

This year the theme is “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies”.  The thematic review will  concentrate on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 6, 7, 11, 12, 15, and 17.

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Good Shepherd reporting on implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (see chart) tells us that we as an organization are not fully cognizant of the intersectionality of the goals.  The SDGs under review this year appear to be the same SDG’s that we are weakest on.  (see chart below).  Reflecting on this leads me to ask where are the people in the goals currently under review?

Report HLPF 2018

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(Chart from page 5 of Report HLPF 2018- GSIJP Office Report)  See   Report HLPF 2018

From my personal experience in grassroots ministry working on issues of water, sanitation, and energy for example were always at the core of community development, and women’s empowerment programs with the big focus on addressing the multidimensional aspect of poverty and gender related issues.  The focus was people centered – the girls and women carrying water – negotiating with local government for water connections to enable girls to school and mother to have time to earn income.   Witnessing fuel carriers (choosing some images from google to make my point) children

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and girls carrying such weights, the impetus is to remove the burden from that child, that girl, that mother hoping that the systems and structures that created such dehumanizing conditions would soon change.

Drawing from the Secretary General’s Report Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (see pages 7 and 8) I ask how will the 844 million people around the world who still lack access to a basic drinking water source  or the 1 billion without electricity be impacted by this session of the HLPF in 2018?   The tension for NGO’s on the ground is between alleviating immediate dehumanizing conditions while waiting for political momentum and resources allocation towards reaching the loftiest ideals of ‘leaving no one behind’ and ‘reaching the furthest behind first.’

Cecilie Kern from the GSIJP Office with the Mining Working Group of which we are members has contributed to publishing a paper on Water, Women & Wisdom     Screen Shot 2018-07-07 at 4.00.04 PMa Companion document to Water & Sanitation – A People’s Guide to SDG 6 

DonatusIn El Obeid, the sisters run two schools that have been upgraded from kindergarten to primary. A feature of these services is that they offer opportunities to children to attend school who otherwise would be excluded because of poverty. The school compound has some vegetation (flowers), is equipped with a reservation tank for water storage, and has toilets and clean water. During school holidays, tutorials are provided for the children. Apart from poverty, child, early and forced marriage is a problem that the sisters continue to encounter through education in both locations. (Excerpt from narrative report from Sudan)

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It is interesting to see where the links of water, sanitation and energy  are in our Position Papers  There is no actual naming of SDGs 6 or 7 but reference to water, sanitation and energy are in the papers on Economic Justice and  Integral Ecology.  See Page 7 (f), Page 14 and page 15 (j) for reference to water and sanitation and energy on Page 15, Paragraph 6 (c) referencing the need for personal responsibility in the use of energy and water, a call to avoid non renewable energy and support low energy production and for support of  political action on national energy policies and sustainable water usage.

Position Papers       Française     Español

In our survey report there was one response to SDG 12 on Responsible Consumption and Production.  You will not find SDG 12 named in the position papers but the term production and consumption is referenced in Economic Justice and Integral Ecology.  In Economic Justice (page 6, paragraph 4)  we are challenged to support sustainable production and consumption patterns and the Integral Ecology paper (pages 14 and 15 ) challenges us to re-evaluate prior conception, previous understandings, and unquestioned practices.  “We cannot ignore that the “dominant pattens of production and consumption are causing environmental devastation, the depletion of resources, and a massive extinction of the species.”  We see injustice when “communities are being undermined and the benefits of development are not shared equitably.” We know that “injustice, poverty, ignorance and violent conflict are widespread and cause great suffering.”  The discord we experience within the very air we breathe, the water we drink, and among our communities calls for a response consistent with our mission of reconciliation which calls us to “join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice and a culture of peace.” (Quotes excerpted from the Earth Charter, 2000)   The last quotation is an echo of the three pillars of sustainable development – the environmental, the social and the economic – upon which the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is founded.

Reference on page 14, paragraph 6 (c) and (i) are apt calling us to convert individual and communal behavior from ecological ignorance to environmental sustainability naming specifically waste and consumption and (i) evaluate and adjust personal and communal decisions in areas of consumption, production, and use of natural resources in the light of sustainability of the universe.

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DISOBEDIENCE

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(Met some friends at the film)

Last evening a 40 minute film was premiered in New York and will be launched today across the globe.  It is a new phase in the climate movement.  It is the story of four communities preparing to participate in Break Free from Fossil Fuel actions in May 2016.

Link to the film    You can access the film in different languages HERE

If you check out this link you can get access to a discussion guide that can help initiate discussion Click the tab Posters and More

This is a natural continuation of  COP 21 which was held in Paris last December and the signing of the Paris Agreement at United Nations headquarters on Friday April 22nd, 2016.

It could be part of your celebration of Laudato Si which was published one year ago.  Naomi Klein is also interviewed on this film.  Have you read her book  ‘This Changes Everything’?

 

 

 

 

Berta Cáceres, assassinated in Honduras on March 2nd

Terrible news from Honduras regarding human rights defender, Berta Caceres. We will keep her in our thoughts and prayers. She is a victim of what we call the Extractives Development Model–the nexus of unscrupulous business, corrupt government and the devastating extractives industry. (Rosa Lizarde)

BertaWe are shocked and saddened to learn of the assassination of Honduran environmental activist and indigenous leader of the Lenca people, Berta Cáceres.

Berta Cáceres’ faithful leadership of the Council of Indigenous Peoples of Honduras (COPINH) reflected not only her dedication to nonviolent resistance to illegal logging and mega-projects that devastate the environment but also her deeply felt belief in the rights of indigenous communities to their land and livelihoods.  Maryknoll

Photo: Berta Caceres, courtesy of the Goldman Environmental Prize.

Berta Caceres  (You Tube) Berta Cáceres, galadornada del Premio Goldman 2015, Honduras

NGO Briefings Continued

Here are the links to the NGO Briefings during the 54th Session of the Commission for Social Development for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Wednesday February 10, 2016   See markers No 21 and 29

Thursday February 11, 2016   The co-chair for this NGO Briefing was Amber Williamson, an intern from Manhattan College, who is  interning at the Good Shepherd International Justice Peace Office.  Amber began last week of January and will continue two days a week until the end of May.  Secondly, a panel presenter is Susan O’Malley, Chair of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women.  She has some interesting points to make around the definition of ‘gender’.  See marker 33 for specific reflections.   Another interesting concept is the role of the public sector.

Friday February 12, 2016  This is the last of the NGO’s Briefings. See marker 14  Bringing to the attention of the Commission that there are good resource documents for use at grassroots level.  One is Making Human Rights Work for those Living in Extreme Poverty and a Hand book on Civil Society Guide to National Floors of Social Protection

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Yolanda shares her experience from Paris

Sister Yolanda Sanchez is currently in Paris, attending the COP21 climate change conference.  Here’s her update from the first week of the conference, along with lots of pictures.  Many thanks to Yolanda for representing us all in Paris!

Hermana Yolanda Sánchez se encuentra actualmente en París, asistiendo a la conferencia delcambio climático COP21 . Aquí está su reporte desde la primera semana de la conferencia, junto con algunas fotos. ¡Muchas gracias a Yolanda por representarnos todos en París!

Sœur Yolanda Sanchez est actuellement à Paris, assister à la conférence sur le changementclimatique COP21.
Voici son rapport à partir de la première semaine de la conférence, ainsi que quelques photos. Un grand merci à Yolanda pour nous représenter à Paris!

COP 21

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French Text

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COP 21: Climate change, change of the system and paradigms.

From November 30 to December 11, 2015, 195 countries are meeting at the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) having as their main objective to review the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change

This is very important, but even more important to me because I am participating in the space called “Climate Generations” (this place gives civil society, NGOs and other participant a space to bring an alternative voice to this Summit). From this it is clear to see that there are many people with a deep commitment to climate change and to changing present paradigms regarding this.

What I lived in this first week of the COP 21? I have signed petitions, I have heard about good practices and alternative initiatives being carried out not only in the developing countries but also in developed countries to reduce the impact of climate change in large and small cities; I have shared with many people who have come from all over the planet -young, less young, religious, people of all confessions- all animated with the desire to share experiences, express a concern in front of the indifference of Governments with regard to climate change and its consequences. Brothers and sisters of indigenous people have also brought their voices and concerns for the destruction of the land that they have inhabited for many centuries.

I have also participated in prayer initiatives carried out, among them the Ecumenical prayer at the Cathedral of Notre Dame. With joy I see that churches have undertaken this COP 21 to also assume the challenges on climate change and its consequences, assuming the responsibility of taking care of “our common home”.

What I have perceived in this atmosphere of COP 21?

On the one hand there is a serious commitment of many people whoCOP 21 2 have become aware that must not only speak of climate change but also a change of system, of paradigms, of ways to consume, and of behaviors. Development must never mean destruction of nature and its resources.

Secondly, I see that the language of human rights appears in the text being discussed. It refers to respect, protection and promotion of human rights for everyone in all of the actions proposed for tackling climate change.

And what is coming after the COP 21? Although this Summit is a turning point and an opportunity to make concrete commitments this is only a part of the solution. Many communities on the planet are still being threatened by the increase in the sea level, deforestation, natural disasters, and pollution of water sources, and there are whole communities in a situation of great vulnerability who will be forced to migrate. Many multinational companies are responsible for the current crisis in which these peoples are living.

A serious and determined will by individual Governments at national level, with or without international agreement is needed to deal with all these situations in which real people are living. Someone said “we cannot wait to have an international agreement to start acting now and take action at the national level”.

Personally, I think that it is also time to engage much more in advocacy work, lobbying, pushing government policies at nationally and internationally level responding to the needs of the people. In this first week of COP 21 I met many sisters and brothers who are already actively engaged in this.COP 21 3

Finally I invite you to meditate, to deepen, and put into practice the teachings that Pope Francis brings us in the wonderful encyclical Laudato SI , it is a source of inspiration and guidance for all peoples of the planet. He invites us to act and to participate in the care of creation, accepting the challenge that he makes us in Chapter 6, number 203 and so on: Towards a new lifestyle – at all levels.

Thanks Yolanda for this write up.

 

United Nations conference on climate change COP 21

logo-cop21-enYou may be interested in this interactive website – Climate Change Conference in Paris.  It is in English and French.  Click here  You can Learn – get to know the issue, Act – with suggestions as to what to do, and Follow the conference day after day.

Read another viewpoint from The Guardian December 4th and check what your national papers are reporting.  Do look at the video in the middle of the article.