Climate Emergency!

The Season of Creation is the time of year when the world’s 2.2 billion
Christians are invited to pray and care for creation. It runs annually from September 1 through October 4. The theme for this year is ‘The Web of Life.’ It was first proclaimed by the Patriarch Dimitrios 1 for the Orthodox in 1989 and endorsed by people Francis in 2015. See letter of 23 May 2019 and letter of 5 June 2019 Visit their website and explore many resources it holds The website is in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese

The UN Secretary General António Guterres has convened a Climate Summit for Monday 23rd September 2019. This will take place during the opening of the 74th Session of the General Assembly September 17th – 30, 2019. UN Secretary-General is calling on all leaders to come to New York on 23 September with concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050. Climate Week in New York City is September 23 – 29 in collaboration with the United Nations and wants to urge accelerated action for climate change.

Climate Week NYC 2019
UN Website for Climate Action Summit 2019
The website is in Spanish and French

Action porfolios

In order to ensure that the transformative actions in the real economy are as impactful as possible, the Secretary-General has prioritized the following action portfolios, which are recognized as having high potential to curb greenhouse gas emissions and increased global action on adaptation and resilience. 

Energy transition, Climate finance and carbon pricing, Industry transition, Nature-based solutions, Cities and local action, Resilience
  • Finance: mobilizing public and private sources of finance to drive decarbonization of all priority sectors and advance resilience;
  • Energy Transition: accelerating the shift away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy, as well as making significant gains in energy efficiency;
  • Industry Transition: transforming industries such as Oil and Gas, Steel, Cement, Chemicals and Information Technology;
  • Nature-Based Solutions: Reducing emissions, increasing sink capacity and enhancing resilience within and across forestry, agriculture, oceans and food systems, including through biodiversity conservation, leveraging supply chains and technology;
  • Cities and Local Action: Advancing mitigation and resilience at urban and local levels, with a focus on new commitments on low-emission buildings, mass transport and urban infrastructure; and resilience for the urban poor;
  • Resilience and Adaptation: advancing global efforts to address and manage the impacts and risks of climate change, particularly in those communities and nations most vulnerable.

In addition, there are three additional key areas:

  • Mitigation Strategy: to generate momentum for ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and long-term strategies to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.
  • Youth Engagement and Public Mobilization: To mobilize people worldwide to take action on climate change and ensure that young people are integrated and represented across all aspects of the Summit, including the six transformational areas.
  • Social and Political Drivers: to advance commitments in areas that affect people’s well-being, such as reducing air pollution, generating decent jobs, and strengthening climate adaptation strategies and protect workers and vulnerable groups.
Español
Français

Check out each of the nine areas – see the countries that are working on a particular thematic area and who are supporting. While the graphics only illustrate 6 areas the one that we are most interested in is Social and Political Drivers ensuring that the economic, environmental and social aspects of the transformation of economies and societies towards greater sustainability are managed in ways that maximize opportunities of decent work for all, reduce inequalities, promote social justice, and enhance country’s efforts to improve the people’s health.

One heading on expected outcomes address gender equality and climate change focusing on national climate change plans with gender action plans.

Where does one start? It can all seem so vast and out of our reach. A very good place to begin is with the position paper – See especially Page 15 for the critical action points.

Position Paper English
Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd Position on Integral Ecology Page 14
Toolkit PowerPoint Part 1
Toolkit Powerpoint Part 2
Prise de Position
Notre-Dame de Charité du Bon Pasteur : Position surl’écologie intégrale Page 14
Boîte à outils Powerpoint Partie 1
Boîte à outils Powerpoint Partie 2
Documentos de Posición
Posición de Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Buen Pastor sobre la Ecología Integral Page 14
Toolkit Powerpoint Parte 1
Toolkit Powerpoint Parte 2
How would you rewrite with todays’s understanding
‘A person is of more value than the world’ ? St Mary Euphrasia
A person and the world are inaleinable, one is not of more value than the other!
The Paris Agreement
L’Accord de Paris
El Acuerdo de París 

Are you aware that there are Regional Weeks on Climate? One in Latin America and one in Asia preceding the Summit in New York. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Climate Change Conference will take place in Santiago in December 2019 More information HERE Website in French and Spanish.

UNFCCC Website
English: French: Spanish

Ending Human Trafficking by 2030: The role of Global Partnership in Eradicating Modern Slavery

The Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations hosted an event on Ending Human Trafficking by 2030 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.  The event is over three hours long and made up of a number of panels.  It is a very informative event.  The panels included a keynote panel, followed by a panel on ‘The Scope of the Problem and the Opportunities it Provides.’  The third panel  focused on ‘What Is Being Done To Address the Problem in a Coordinated Way,’ followed by ‘Insights from Member States’ and closing.  Link to the Web cast

machariakamau_0_0The most outstanding speaker for me was H.E. Macharia Kamau, Kenya’s Ambassador to the United Nations and one of the Co-Chairs of Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals. See the full Program of speakers. Ambassador Kamau of all the speakers identified clearly what needs to be done to bring about change. He spoke from his experience. The resistances referred to are real and constitute the challenges that must be addressed.  If you wish to listen to his address move the marker to 3.01 approx.  Ambassador Kamau said ‘it is interesting that we are having this conversation this evening on modern slavery because when I was working for the Sustainable Development Goals, which I was co-charing, you cannot imagine how difficult it was to get these key issues on board. When working on 8.7 it took the direct intervention of the Pope himself – I was sitting there and I know because I scripted it.  These issues were incredible complex, but I am thrilled to see all are on board, and wanting to get on with the business of finishing this scourge from the face of the earth.

For us,  those of us of colour, this is not something we see as a modern phenomena. It is deeply rooted in our history, and our being for over 500 years. There is a monument outside, dedicated to modern slavery, slavery period really – transatlantic slavery, but it could equally be the Indian Ocean Slavery. I don’t know if many of you have seen it?  It took the United Nations  almost 70 odd years to mobilize the gumption to actually put it there.  You would not believe the amount of resistance we have faced over the past 10 years to have a monument to slavery, here at the United Nations.

I am thrilled that there seems to be such voices speaking for this issue and that everyone is finally on board on this issue.  Indeed the Pope was clear, the Pope was clear on many other things too – climate change, inequality, and I want you to know that we were confronted by a huge amount of resistance to have these issues included.  Issues of slavery, of human trafficking, are horrific issues that have deep roots in history, and has deep roots in our psychology. It represents a racism, misogyny, horrible prejudices that have warped the way in which the world functions, to this very day.

We should be clear, if we are serious about the issue of modern slavery, we need to fundamentally reassess the way in which we are in modern society, the way we have been as human beings to each other, the way in which we are as human beings to each other.

8.7 is just a target.  8.7 is a target among 169 other targets.  But I can assure you that 8.7 will mean absolutely nothing, if we are unable to take care of other fundamental challenges that have to do with the way we as  human beings reach out to each other.  How are we able to allow and facilitate the development of all society so that within our countries  inequalities disappear.  Besides those people who are trafficked are trafficked from our countries and they are going to destinations that are in our countries.

We have to take structural responsibility for this.  All the legislation, and good will in the world, if not followed by change of will and a change of mentality, as to how we treat each other, and as to how we embrace each other as human beings,   will mean in the end that we will not succeed.

I am afraid, whether we are talking of unemployment, inequality, issues of gender or climate change which has a direct impact on forcing people into slavery, as their land becomes destroyed – when, the where with all to live off that land is decimated by drought, it is impossible that you expect that these people will not be carted off into all kinds of exploitation, including modern slavery

My message to this forum – yes 8.7!   8.7 helps us to focus,  but 8.7,  this is only symptomatic of a  fundamental and structural challenge that faces us human being, and us as a collective global society.  Somehow, we have to find the belief and the determination to undertake the real structural transformation that is needed in our societies and economies in order to be be able to do what it is we claim to be doing to combat abuse, slavery and exploitation of one human being by the other.

Nuncio, I could tell you about what Kenya is doing – we have legislation of all kinds and acts on the books for a long time.  I bet that Nigeria has probably as many as we do, but if fundamentals do not change, nothing will change.  My sincere hope is that the Pope will continue to focus all our attentions on this issue, in his way, in a manner that challenges us to go beyond the issue of slavery which is a horrific issue, but touches on the way in which we receive each other, embrace each other and ultimately give a space to each other to live in this world as equal being.”

You might ask what is 8.7 ?  This is a way of referring to Sustainable Goal 8   ‘Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all’

E_SDG_Icons-08

and Target 7  ‘Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms.

Other Highlights:  Ms Dona Hubbard witnessed to her personal experience.  An inspiration – see Marker 1.09.  Dona is a member of Airline Ambassadors International.

Imelda Poole of RENATE was a panelist see marker at 1.22 RENATE is a network of religious throughout Europe engaged in ministry to trafficked persons.    Imelda Poole

Human trafficking is mentioned in the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development in two other places.  Paragraph 27 which is the declaration part of the Agenda states “We will seek to build strong economic foundations for all our countries.  Sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth essential for prosperity.  This will only be possible if wealth is shared and income inequality is addressed.  We will work to build  dynamic, sustainable, innovative and people-centered economies, promoting youth employment, and women’s economic empowerment, in particular, and decent work for all.  We will eradicate forced labour and human trafficking and end child labour in all its forms…”   Goal 5 Target 2  states ‘Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private Spheres, including trafficking  and sexual and other types of exploitation.”  Goal 16 Target 2 “End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children.”

E_SDG_Icons-05                   Goal 16

Proud to be Irish!

The Column from theJournal.ie today invites us to meet the Irish man managing global change on behalf of everyone on the planet.  Click here to read the column  I have come from a day long meeting at the United Nations – a Post 2015 Stakeholders Preparatory Forum.  This was a gathering of NGO’s sharing concerns and view points with regard to the next steps in the process.  Part one of the Webcast of the morning’s proceedings have been uploaded HERE

It was a good day with the various perspectives of member states and NGO’s ‘s being shared.  The programme for the day can be had at the webcast page.  Ambassador Donoghue was not present today but the Deputy Permanent Representative Tim Mawe was present for the cosing of the session.  Returning to the Column do read it “Their aim is to get UN agreement on a visionary set of goals to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, fight corruption, and transform the global economy towards a more sustainable growth path.”

See the website Action 2015 referred to in the column.

 

 

UN to commence the last stages in finalizing the New Post 2015 Development Agenda

On December 4th, 2014 the Secretary General launched an advanced edition of his Synthesis Report entitled ‘The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet.’  I like the title, do you?  The official version is now available in six languages Synthesis Report of the Secretary General on the Post 2015 Agenda.  An outline of the report was posted on on December 18th.

The Working Group on Girls has posted a response to the Synthesis Report.  You can access all the responses here.  Another response that you may be interested in is the Women’s Major Group Response. You will find it posted on Website dated December 20, 2014  These will give you some perspectives on the issues of concern about girls and women  in the Post 2015 Agenda.

On Friday 16th January there is a stakeholders preparatory Forum.  The session from 11.00 – 1.00 p.m. will focus on the Secretary-General’s Synthesis Report.

The afternoon session will begin to deal with ‘Means of Implementation and global partnership for development.”  This will be making reference specifically to Goal 17 Goal-17

Easy access to the Open Working Group proposal for Sustainable Development Goals can be had HERE

The 17 goals and targets listed.  Towards the end of the document is Goal 17 divided into the following subheading Finance with five targets;  Technology with three targets; Capacity Building one target; Trade with three targets; and Systemic Issue with the following subheading: Policy and Institutional Coherence has 3 targets; Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships has 2 targets; and Data, Monitoring and Accountability has 2 targets.

Would love to hear if you have opinions about any of the above?  Why not post a comment in the comment box.

 

Beyond 2015 ‘Call for Participation …’

Congratulations to 37 ‘Good Shepherd’ led initiatives in 27 countries for engaging in the  ‘Beyond2015’s Call for Participation’  showing to our governments that we want to remain engaged during all phases of the setting of the post-2015 agenda.  To see the list of 826 organizations who signed including your own Click here!  Good Shepherd is significantly on board for the new development agenda.  Implementation will be at the national level.

The intergovernmental modalities were agreed yesterday December 17th.  The dates of significant meetings are

  1. Further decides on the following provisional indicative roadmap:
    (a) 19-21 January 2015 [3 days] – Stocktaking
    (b) 17-20 February 2015 [4 days] – Declaration
    (c) 23-27 March 2015 [5 days]  Sustainable Development Goals and targets
    (d) 20-24 April 2015 [5 days] – Means of Implementation and Global Partnership for Sustainable Development
    (e) 18-22 May 2015 [5 days] – Follow up and review     (f) 22-25 June 2015 [4 days] – Intergovernmental negotiations on the outcome document                       (g) 20-24 July 2015 and 27-31 July 2015 [10 days] – Intergovernmental negotiations on the outcome document.

The initial draft of the outcome document on the post 2015 development agenda shall be prepared by the co-facilitators  on the basis of views provided by member states and shall be presented to member states by May 2015 for the intergovernmental negotiations.   The co-facilitators of the process are Ambassador Kamau of Kenya and Ambassador David Donoghue of Ireland.

ambassador Kamau   Ambassador-David-Donoghue-114px

If you are interested in doing a little reading see the Synthesis ReportSynthesis report of the Secretary-General on the post-2015 development agenda “The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet.  It will be available in all UN languages in January 2015  To read more click here

The United Nations Summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda will be held from 25 September to 27 September, 2015, in New York and convened as a High-level Plenary meeting of the General Assembly.  This will coincide with 70 years of the United Nations.

The President of the General Assembly also has scheduled some relevant sessions:

i) High-Level Thematic Debate on Means of Implementation for a Transformative Post-2015 development agenda (9-10 February 2015)
ii) High-Level Thematic Debate on Advancing Gender equality and empowerment of Women in the Post-2015 development agenda (March 6,2015)
iii) High-Level Thematic Debate on Promoting Tolerance and Reconciliation (6 or 10 April 2015 tbc)
iv) High-Level Thematic Debate on Strengthening Cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organizations (May 15, 2015)
v) High-Level Event on Climate Change (29 June 2015).

The Third International Conference on Financing for Development – to be held in Addis Ababa from July 13th – 16th 2015 will hopefully impact positively the means of implementation in the Post 2015 Development Agenda.  See More

 

H.E. David Donoghue, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations to co-chair the new Global Development Agenda

H.E. David Donoghue, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations to co-chair the negotiations towards the new global development agenda to replace the Millennium Development Goals in 2015. This appointment was announced by the President of the General Assembly yesterday.   H.E. Macharia Kamau, Permanent Representative of Kenya has also been named as co-chair. Ambassador Kamau was a very effective co-chair during the Open Working Group process.  Check out the document that will lead into the discussion at the sustainable development website.  17 goals have been presented. We are awaiting the report of the Secretary General which is expected by the end of the month.

 

 

UN Women has dedicated the month of August to consideration about the girls and young women

UN Women launched a year-long campaign in the context of the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. The #Beijing20 campaign is running under the title: “Empowering Women – Empowering Humanity:  Picture It!” and features monthly mini-campaigns, each focusing on a subtheme of gender equality. They are now rolling out the third mini-campaign for August, focusing on girls and young women.                                                                                                                                                               The website is available in three languages by clicking on the required language    –  English     French     Spanish  You can access social media tools in the various languages by clicking here

download

Check it out – there is a lot of good information which could be used to lead discussion on girls and girls rights.   Nnenna Agba speaks for Nigerian girls.  Education is the key that opens doors to progress.  As I post this photograph telling us of Nigerian girls desire for education I am immediately thinking of the girls who have been kidnapped.  It is day 110 and on Facebook we are united with Rifkatu and this is her dress – Follow on Facebook   Each day a dress is made for a specific girl so as not to forget and to be in solidarity with all 273 girls.  Nnenna is the lucky one.  See her story on the website.

10458136_1513725802189942_5009122710754024748_n

See how Malala spent her 17th birthday in Nigeria championing #BringBackOurGirls   Click here

BshF_xZCcAA2oQ9

Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin Executive Director of the UN Population Fund and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka Executive Director of UN Women spoke out after 100 days.  Read the statement

And what about Palestinian girls and young women and what is happening in the Gaza.   While this infographic tells us of the benefits of education in reality a girls desire to be educated can be very threatening

infographic-banner-girl-child-675px-EN png

 

The L Platform of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for action is entitled the ‘Girl Child.’  How are the rights of the Girl Child being upheld in your country and project?  Click here to read the 9 strategic objectives enunciated 20 years ago

Strategic objective L.4.     Eliminate discrimination against girls in education, skills development and training.  Millennium Development Goal 2 – Achieve Primary Education                                                                                      Proposed Sustainable Development Goal 4 – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all.

When will rhetoric end  and real political will for change begin?  What is the systemic cause for this  continued violence against girls?  Share your thoughts in the comment section.