Attended – Special Meeting on “Towards sustainable, resilient and inclusive societies through participation of all” May 23, 2018

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On May 23 the President of ECOSOC H.E. Marie Chatardová, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic, held a Special Meeting entitle “Towards sustainable, resilient and inclusive societies through participation of all.”   Here is  the Agenda for the meeting.  I was privileged to have Joan Wu accompany me to this meeting. It was a full day.  The panelists were excellent and provided a wide range of perspectives and suggestions.  See who’s who in the  Biographies of the various panelists.  The ones that interested me most were H.E. Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations.  I liked her capturing of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as ‘an agenda of the people, by the people and for the people, and it is an agenda to be achieved with the people.’  To conclude Her Excellency said  ‘The 2030 Agenda needs the participation of all actors to ensure no one is left behind and that all can enjoy prosperity, dignity and opportunity in a world of peace.  Let us, therefore, join our efforts for a sustainable, resilient and inclusive future.’   A summary of Session 2 and 3 can be read HERE   If you prefer see and hear the WEBCAST   I added to the discussion see marker 1:18 focusing on ‘leave no one behind.’  “Many of the people whom Good Shepherd represents are outside the political arena.  Until such time as we address the divide that exists between this meeting here this morning and the people I represent in these countries,  whom I say are outside of the political arena,  I don’t think we will have movement and progress because of  growing inequality,  threat of conflicts, climate change and disasters, as some of the panelists have already noted.   We have to walk the talk by putting the resources at the most vulnerable, most excluded groups and bringing them into the political arena to talk about how they wish to participate and what can be done in these situation.  They work in groups in terms of their own empowerment but are not contributing to local and national development.   I would like to raise this issue this morning in the light of moving forward.  Thank you.”

Michale Shank the moderator of panel two offered 7 c’s with regard to citizen participation and community engagement.  Tactic (1 and 2);  Objective (3 and 4);  Process (5)  and Results (6 and 7)

  • campaign mode
  • crowd-sourcing – not merely using internet
  • consensus building
  • community wide engagement
  • communication – not PR or selling but reflecting back what the community is doing so the feel part of the process
  • concrete commitment
  • conflict prevention

Do you know about participatory budgeting?   This was presented by Francesco Tena.  Check out Participatory Budgeting

  • money that matters
  • grassroots leadership
  • inclusive design
  • targeted outreach
  • equity criteria.

What is e-governance and e-participation?  Listen to Dr Aroon Manoharan.

Session 4 was in the afternoon – a good opportunity to hear Andrew Gilmore,  Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Head of New York OHCHR Office.  Human Rights are paramount.  Session 4   I was interested to know that sometimes Parliaments don’t know about ‘Voluntary National Reviews’ (VNR’s) and it was noted by Tomáš Rákos that participation would be much more robust if quality civic education was imparted to all coupled with the existence of trust between people and government!    2018 ECOSOC 10

Toward the end of this panel Margaret O’Dwyer,  Daughters of Charity were able to share SEE

Ending of the High Level Political Forum (HLPF)

The UN mechanism for reviewing implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (High Level Political Forum – HLPF) ended on July 19th with the adoption of a Ministerial Declaration.  The adoption of this declaration affirming what is already committed to was not without political tensions around two issues – foreign occupation and means of implementation.

It is interesting to compare our experience on the ground with all the rhetoric of 8 days.  Good Shepherd is present in 20 of the countries reviewed.  In a survey with 13 responses from the 20 of the countries making voluntary reviews there appears to be some discrepancy between the experience of the 8 days and reaching actual programs with people who are among those furthest behind.  Read our report on on efforts towards linking ministry with national implementation programs – Report HLPF 2017 GSIJP Office

Our analysis of 13 countries as an organizations was part of a bigger survey in preparation for the HLPF which was reported on July 17th  Grassroots

Cecilie was able to live stream the event on Facebook – Click on Event live-streamed

If you are interested in following up on what your government presented you have two options – look at the webcast or read the report.  The Voluntary National Reviews took place over three days July 17, 18 and the 19.  To find the relevant webcast  click HERE and then click on the date.

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July 17th – Voluntary National Review (VNR) 1 Nepal and Brazil;   Webcast    VNR  2 Indonesia and Japan;  Webcast VNR 3 Costa Rica and Kenya;  Webcast   VNR 4 Malaysia and Chile  Webcast

July 18th – VNR 5 Peru;  Webcast  VNR 6 Italy and Guatemala;  Webcast   VNR 7 Czech Republic, Thailand and Argentina; Webcast    VNR  8 Portugal and Uruguay; Webcast        VNR 9 Panama; (Webcast not available)

July 19 – VNR 10 Honduras and India;  Webcast and VNR 13 El Salvador; Webcast

The reports for each country can be accessed  HERE   Screen Shot 2017-07-31 at 7.09.52 PM

A very full account of the proceeding has been prepared by TAP Network  (Transparency, Accountability and Participation Network)   Another very informative way of having some insight into the proceedings are notes from  International Institute for  Sustainable Development  (IISD) – Summary Highlights Daily Coverage. Click IISD   There are some great photographs too!

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Keynote Address on the State of the World – HLPF July 17, 2017

Sec GenThe second part of the HLPF (High Level Political Forum) the High Level Ministerial Meeting began on Monday July 17th.  UN Secretary General António Guterres delivered a STATEMENT  on his understanding of the State of the World.  Mixed picture, deficit of trust, the need to find more legal avenues for migrants, financing development, and foresee what is coming.  Secretary General concluded  “And I think that looking at this Assembly, one can only be enthusiastic about the fact that there is a very strong commitment not only to the implementation of the agenda but a very strong affirmation of support to multilateral governance as the way to lead the 2030 Agenda respecting the leadership of member states but recognising that only working together we can rebuild the trust that is needed and we can make the Agenda 2030 that factor that brings the fair globalisation the world needs in the present times.”

This was followed by Jeffery Sachs with a key note address to the Member States. Access the  WEBCAST marker 34.45 to hear for yourself.  He started with the good news “the world output this year will be estimated by the World Bank at 127 trillion dollars – that is 17,000.00 dollars for every man, women and child on the planet.  If you prefer to read Meeting Coverage at the UN provides you that  opportunity.

“Despite the extraordinary wealth in the world, 1 billion people still struggled to survive every day, he said.  In the United States, the coal, oil and gas lobby had contributed $100 million in the election cycle.  “That is why we pulled out of our Climate Agreement,” he added, emphasizing that the world was witnessing the “corruption of our future”.”

Some of the forces referred to are directly responsible for the loss of life of Women Human Rights Defenders.  This fact was recognized in an action during week one.  A Press Release  names some of the women and provides background.  I was excited to see Dorothy Stang, a Sister of Notre Dame De Namur on the list.  She was murdered in 2005   SEE for more information

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Thanks to the Women Major Group for all they organized and prepared during this HLPF 2017.  The graphics are priceless, their statements clear and focused and more importantly on target.  10 Priorities for the Ministerial Declaration of HLPF 2017

HLPF 2017 (High Level Political Forum) has concluded

Yesterday, July 19th the HLPF ended with the adoption of the Ministerial Declaration but not without some challenges.  A vote was requested on paragraphs 4 and 21. Both paragraphs were retained the controversial issues being ‘self determination of people living under foreign occupation and language on multilateral trading systems.  A full account of the session can be READ HERE

The review of SDGs 1, 2, 3, 5, 9 and 14 is contained in paragraphs 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19 of the Ministerial Declaration  The various paragraphs state the reality, and indicate commitment to close the gaps.   Paragraphs 1 – 13 are a reiteration of promises already made through use of the following verbs  – reaffirm (2), recognize (4), commit (3), foster (1), stress (1), note (1) reiterate (1)  (the number after the verb indicates the number of times the verb is used.)

Paragraphs 20 recognizes that despite some positive development more is needed – coherent policies and an enabling environment for sustainable development at all levels by all actors. The following listing is provided:  difficult macroeconomic conditions, low commodity prices, subdued trade growth and volatile capital flows, but  also natural disasters, climate change, environmental degradation, humanitarian crisis and conflicts.  Having said that yet there is conflict over paragraph 21.

The retention of the whole document is a step forward and much advocacy took place to ensure that there was a ministerial declaration.

 

I signed on this Statement by the Women’s Major Group calling for a strong declaration with full commitment to gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls with the Means of Implementation SEE

During the negotiations on the Ministerial Declaration June 15 and 16  I delivered the following statement on behalf of the Women’s Major Group  Statement

During the negotiations I had the following Advocacy Points   Reviewing the ministerial declaration you will see that they were not included.  The most disconcerting one is the continued mention of ‘targeted measures’ in paragraph 14 in the context of a declaration to eradicate poverty, accelerate the pace of implementation, and decisive action is imperative and in response the best we can do is ‘targeted’ measures!  While children and youth are recognized within the Major Group system and there are stakeholders on aging and people with disabilities and a strong emphasis on a life cycle approach I continue to hold that girls are most vulnerable to being left behind and being the ones furthest behind.

 

HLPF (High Level Political Fourm) July 11, 2017

Those of us attending the HLPF, now in its second week are overwhelmed with words.  Yesterday,  July 17th the National Voluntary Reviews begun, and continue today and tomorrow.

One highlight of the first week was our side event at the Irish Mission to the UN.Screen Shot 2017-07-04 at 12.44.53 PM

IMG_3134It was a great event … great sharing, collaboration and real implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals from India to Kenya to Mexico – reaching the furthest behind! I will be forgiven by my other religious colleagues at the UN for saying that Donatus Lili from Kenya made an excellent

Presentation The event was live streamed on Facebook  and there were numerous photos.

 

 

 

 

The dedication and commitment of sisters  – Daughters of Charity, Presentation Sisters, Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loretto) and ourselves with our mission partners can never be underestimated.  This was truly an event illustrating the the words of the gospel – “the kindom is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.” This yeast of ministry is truly the transformative agent toward the ‘world we want’ and full implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.   Towards the end of the discussion there was a reference to spirituality that informs such commitment and Ambassador Donoghue concluded yes, but in the political arena it is a moral imperative.

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Reviewing Goal 5 at HLPF!

SDG 5SDG 5 – ‘Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’  is one of the goals to be reviewed during this session of the High Level Political Forum (HLPF).  The Women’s Major Group is a recognized entity contributing to the HLPF.  Good Shepherd is a member of this group.   Earlier this group prepared a  POSITION PAPER

Do read the executive summary – two pages ‘ Gender inequality (SDG 5) is one of the most pervasive inequalities, evidenced by numbers of women living in poverty (SDG 1); discriminatory laws/policies targeting women, including
unequal inheritance or criminalization of abortion (SDGs 2, 3); predominant unsustainable industrial agriculture/fisheries models pushing out small farmers and artisanal fisher people, majority of whom are women (SDGs 2, 14); and reduction/elimination of essential services and infrastructure women and girls rely on, such as education/health services and social protection (SDGs 3, 9).”  The paper looks at 5 issues – Women’s Human Rights, Meaningful Participation, Civil Society Space, Finance and Accountability.

How does this compare with the the thematic review of SDG 5?   Link to Thematic Review     I attended this two day review in June – Expert Group Meeting on Strategies to Achieve Gender Equality and Empower all Women and Girls through the Gender-responsive Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development     I added my piece to the discussion – as various forms of violence were raised but not human trafficking.  See towards the end marker 2.52.40

See the other Webcasts:  Part 1; Part 2 above; Part 3  Reviewing these Webcasts will give you some idea of the complex and multi-faceted issues that affect women and girls and how important it is to connect the dots and see the inter-linkages across all 17 Sustainable Development Goals and in particular SDG 1, 2, 3, 5, 9,14 and 17 as being reviewed this year.

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The side event for the Women’s Major Group:

WMG Side Event

Zonta presents:

Zonta

There is a very interesting website Women Thrive  hosting a National SDG Advocacy Scorecard Results.  The score card is in English and French

 

What is HLPF?

If you are at the United Nations these days all you will hear is HLPF! HLPF!  I know that many people do not like  or use acronyms.   So what is HLPF?  Well the acronym stands for the ‘High Level Political Forum’.  Not sure that was a help!   The High Level Political Forum is a meeting of all the Member States of the United Nations to assess how the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goal is being achieved.  The meeting this year is from July 10 to 19th and is divided into two parts – week one focuses on a thematic review – “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world“.  Each of the selected goals will be reviewed.  Related issues will also be discussed -(i) multi-dimensional poverty and inequalities; (ii) multi-stakeholders perspectives; (iii) countries specifics – small island states, (iv) least developed countries, land locked countries, and middle income countries; (v) science technology and innovations for SDG’s; (vi) leveraging interlinkages for effective implementation; and (vii) science policy interface and emerging issues .

The program for this year is focusing on achievements, gaps and challenges in implementation of Goals 1, 2, 3, 5, 9, 14 and 17.

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Week two of the program gives a pace to 44 countries to make their voluntary national reviews (VNR’s)   Afghanistan; Argentina; Azerbaijan; Bangladesh; Belarus; Belgium; Belize; Benin; Botswana; Brazil; Chile; Costa Rica; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; El Salvador; Ethiopia; Guatemala; Honduras; India; Indonesia; Iran; Italy; Japan; Jordan; Kenya; Luxembourg; Malaysia; Maldives; Monaco; Nepal; Netherlands; Nigeria; Panama; Peru; Portugal; Qatar; Slovenia; Sweden; Tajikistan; Thailand; Togo; Uruguay; Zimbabwe.   Good Shepherd is present in 20 of the countries presenting  reviews.   Some are grouping together and presenting as panelist and some are making individual national presentations.

Are you interested in knowing what your country is reporting?  Many of the reports – are now available on the  WEBSITE    Some have the main message but many have provided the full report.

Monday July 17th

  • 11.00 – 12.30     Brazil, Luxembourg, Nepal –  Q&A
  • 12.30 – 2.00       Indonesia Q&A; Japan Q&A;  Monaco Q&A
  • 3.30 – 5.00         Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Kenya, Netherlands  Q&A
  • 5.30 – 6.30         Chile Q&A;  Malaysia Q&A

Tuesday July 18th 

  • 9.00 – 10.30     Belgium, Benin, Peru  -Q&A
  • 10.30 – 12.00   Guatemala, Italy, Zimbabwe – Q&A
  • 12.00 – 2.00     Argentina Q&A; Czech Republic Q&A; Jordan Q&A;  Thailand Q&A
  • 3.30 – 5.00        Belarus Q&A; Portugal Q&A;  Uruguay Q&A
  • 5.00 – 6.30       Nigeria, Panama, Sweden  Q&A

Wednesday July 19th 

  • 9.00 – 11.00   Ethiopia Q&A;  Honduras Q&A; India Q&A  Maldives Q&A
  • 11.00 – 12.45  Afghanistan Q&A; Azerbaijan Q&A; Belize Q&A; Denmark Q&A
  • 12.45 – 2.00   Cyprus, Iran, Togo  Q&A
  • 3.00 – 5.15     Botswana Q&A;  El Salvador Q&A; Qatar Q&A; Slovenia Q&A; and          Tajikistan Q&A

(The bold print are countries where Good Shepherd are present)    On Wednesday evening just before the closing of the session a ministerial declaration will be adopted.

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Sr Donatus Lili from Kenya – the NGO Regional Designate for Africa is currently in New York for the HLPF.  Kenya is presenting it Voluntary National Review (VNR) on Monday July 17th.  Donatus has been following the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development since her appointment in January 2017.

She has attended a review session with NGO’s at National Level and also was in Addis Ababa for the Regional Review at the Economic Commission for Africa.  It is interesting to read both reports.

Final Report_LNoB National-County Dialogue -May 9th 2017

Link to the ECA Regional Report

Donatus is a panelist at a side event entitled ‘Poverty to Prosperity: Shared Stories from NGO’s Working with Communities  Tuesday July 11th Screen Shot 2017-07-04 at 12.44.53 PM

Another side event that we are co-sponsoring in collaboration with ATD4th World ‘Participation’

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Implementing  robust, well financed national floors of social protection is critical to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and its goals.  The Global Coalition for Social Protection is active during the HLPF – with a number of side events.  These are collaborative efforts with Member States, UN Entities and NGO’s.

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Read the Concept Note_Universal Social Protection_July18_2017

  •   Keeping and accelerating the momentum behind universal social protection.
  •   Promoting sustainable financing strategies for universal social protection floors.
  •   Invitation to joint action for universal social protection.