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)

Position-Papers-Poster-EN

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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See more …

 

World Refugee Day – June 20; Journée mondiale des réfugiés 20 juin; Día Mundial de los Refugiados, 20 de junio 20

World Refugee Day 2018

On this World Refugee Day, as people of faith and of conscience, the Good Shepherd International Justice Peace Office strongly condemns the United States’ policy reversing protections for asylum seekers fleeing domestic abuse and gang violence, and the “zero tolerance” policy that has resulted in the inhumane and deliberate separation of immigrant children and parents at the United States border. We call for an immediate end to these cruel and immoral policies, which have an especially harmful impact on migrant women and children. In the face of such egregious mistreatment of the most vulnerable seeking refuge in the United States, we cannot remain silent.  Read more … Statement on the Separation of Immigrant Children from Parents at the US Border

Día Mundial de los Refugiados 2018

En este Día Mundial de los Refugiados, como gente de fe y de conciencia, la Oficina Internacional Justicia y Paz del Buen Pastor condena enérgicamente la política de los Estados Unidos de revocar la protección para los solicitantes de asilo que huyen del abuso doméstico y de la violencia de pandillas, y la política de “tolerancia cero” que ha resultado en la separación inhumana y deliberada de hijos y padres inmigrantes en la frontera de los Estados Unidos. Pedimos poner fin inmediatamente a estas políticas crueles e inmorales, las cuales afectan de un modo particularmente pernicioso a las mujeres migrantes y a sus hijos. No podemos quedarnos calladas ante tan indignante maltrato a los solicitantes de refugio más vulnerables en los Estados Unidos.  Lee mas … Declaración sobre la Separación de Niños Inmigrantes de sus Padres en la Frontera Estadounidense

Journée mondiale du réfugié 2018

En cette Journée mondiale du réfugié, le Bureau Justice et Paix International du Bon Pasteur condamne fermement la politique américaine qui inverse la protection des demandeurs d’asile fuyant la violence domestique et la violence des gangs, ainsi que la politique de « tolérance zéro » qui en découle, séparant de manière inhumaine et délibérée des enfants migrants et leurs parents à la frontière des États-Unis. Nous appelons à stopper immédiatement ces politiques cruelles et immorales, qui ont un impact particulièrement néfaste sur les femmes et les enfants migrants. Face à ces mauvais traitements flagrants à l’égard des personnes les plus vulnérables qui cherchent refuge aux États-Unis, nous ne pouvons pas rester silencieux. Lire la suite…  Déclaration sur la séparation des enfants immigrants de leurs parents à la frontière américaine

See Good Shepherd Position Papers

Position Papers 2018    Documentos de Posición 2018     Prises de Position 2018

Position Paper on Migration and the UN Global Compact on Migration …

Position-Slidshow-banner3As the updated Position Papers of the congregation are launched negotiations of the 5the week of the Global Compact on Migration have just finished – May 4 – 8, 2018Cecilie Profile

We must pay tribute to our excellent colleague and NGO Main Representative to the United Nations – Cecilie Kern – our migration expert – for keeping abreast of the negotiation, supporting in ever way possible the NGO Committee on Migration in their tracking and contributing  to the enhancement the negotiations to ensure the human rights of each and every migrant.  Her dedication and passion in this cause are unrivaled. Here is a Copy of the document start of negotiations on June 4.    Cecilia has provided an update on the current position as we moved into the week of June 4th negotiations. Read more here ETW GCM

 

The Papers are available in all three languages Spanish Documentos de Posición 2018  French Prises de Position 2018  and English Position Papers 2018

This work did not begin today or yesterday but has been ongoing since the year long negotiation leading up to the New York Declarations on Refugees and Migrants in September 2016 – a year after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development including the Sustainable Development Goals.  The New York Declaration give rise to the work on the Global Compacts and here we are on the road to Morocco (10 and 11 December 2018) when the Global Compact will be adopted.  See More about the Conference  It will be preceded by the Global Forum on Migration which Good Shepherd have been engaged in over the years – with regresentatives coming from the Philippines, Malaysia and the GSIJPO in New York.

 

See New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants   Available in Spanish and French.  What is in the position paper on Migration?

  1. Reference to the global situation today and the fact that the Global Compact on Migration is being negotiated.
  2. Why migration happens and what can happen in the process.
  3. Who is on the move today?
  4. Here is our main point of advocacy
  • all persons, regardless of migratory status are rights holders.’
  • protection of migrants is a moral imperative
  • upholding the integrity of the family 
  • ensuring the rights of the child and of spouses
  • avoid criminalization of the migrant 
  • implement human rights and labour rights 
  • no to xenophobia 

5.  Welcome the stranger – recognize and honor difference – listen – accompany – provide services

6.   Critical to responding

  •  cross border OLCGS projects – share with us in the comments box what you are doing.
  • know your local, national and regional reality
  • educate on human rights
  • be gender sensitive
  • focus on long term solutions
  • advocate – human rights, family unity,  no to detention of children, due process
  • address systems and structures that discriminate
  • seeks universal social protection floor policy
  • highlight the need for ‘protection’
  • oppose efforts to restrict migration
  • speak abut the failure to address political , social and economic inequalities

Be eager to see the final edition of the Global Compact on Migration which we expect after the 6th round of intergovernmental negotiation to be held in New York July 9th – 13th, 2018

Make links with the Sustainable Development Goals 3, 4, 5, 8, 11, 13, 16 and 17

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Document available in 6 UN Languages

The Mission of the Holy See to the UN hosted a side event on June 4 entitled ‘The Protection and Integration of Migrants in Vulnerable Situations.’   This could be a title for our position paper on Migration.  See   Goal:  “to facilitate a reflection and discussion on the main challenges and responses for the protection and integration of migrants in vulnerable situations, especially the selected target groups of women and girls, and families, and the selected target areas of health care and dignified work.”    Read the Holy See reflection on the side event Side Event

Prayer the prayer for June … a prayer for migrants and refugees.  English    Espanol  and Francais

 

 

 

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

Catching a glimpse of Good Shepherd advocacy work from Paris to Indonesia, and from Washington to Santiago Chile.

An unusual moment to catch such a glimpse of advocacy work undertaken by Good Shepherd around the same time around the world.

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Cristina Durante and Catherine Mutindi were actively engaged in the OECD meeting in Paris. Director of Good Shepherd International Foundation , Cristina Duranti participated on April 17th together with Amnesty International and other panelists at #Cobalt session at #OECDminerals in Paris, to present our DRC program in Kolwezi and discuss abuses suffered by the most vulnerable in the cobalt mining communities.  Catherine presented on community-based approaches to ending child labour in Kolwezi during an NGO sponsored side event.  This side event was in collaboration with Care and Protection of Children – CPC Learning Network  Photographs are from Facebook.  Catherine is with the co-found of CPC Learning Network Mark Canavera.    Read more    See the documentary

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Once again children to the fore – now from Indonesia!  Congratulations to  Maria Anggelina, who  won Hermann Gmeiner Award 2018.  Maria Anggelina is an Administrative staff, Kindergarten of Good Shepherd Sisters, Batam, Indonesia 
Maria Anggelina is a champion for the cause of children and marginalised women in Indonesia. She is particularly active in trying to save children who have been trafficked to Batam, an island in Indonesia’s Riau Archipelago. As part of her work with the Good Shepherd Sisters, Ms Anggelina and a team cooperate with law enforcement, the military, social services and church organisations to combat human trafficking on the island. Thanks to their efforts, at least 40 victims have been rescued and returned to their home villages. Seeing many cases, especially ones where children from her own hometown have fallen victim, makes Ms Anggelina very grateful to have been cared for by SOS Children’s Villages Flores in Indonesia. She realises, if it were not for SOS Chlldren’s Villages, she could have been a victim of trafficking herself. By raising the awareness of parents and children, Ms Anggelina hopes to reduce the number of trafficking victims.  Read more

Washingon

The National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd are organizing a Human Trafficking Conference for Tuesday, May 15, 2008

In Santiago Chile, the regional preparatory meeting for the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) which will take place in New York, July 9-18, 2018 is presently happening.  The High Level Political Forum meets annually  to evaluate implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.   We have two members present at the meeting in Santiago – Marta Iris and Erika Sanchez.  Hedwig Joehl attended a similar meeting in Geneva.  Georgette hopes to attend in Beirut (April 24 to 26)  and Donatus will attend with the Sisters from Senegal at Dakar (May 2 – 4) the meeting for Africa.  Read more HEREErika 5

Click on – Video Clip

 

 

Reflecting on the outcome document of CSW 62

CSW 62 W 3The Commission on the Status of Women –  annually the most well attended event of the UN Calendar – with women for all walks of life coming to the United Nations, New York to advocate basically for the human rights of women and girls. I find a certain tension in the agreed conclusion between the need to address ‘all’ women and girl including those living in rural areas  Paras 2, 3, 14, 25, 26, 32, 41, 42, (c) (l) (aa) (jj) and (ww)  when in fact this year was specifically dedicated to ‘Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women girls.’  Maybe this is reflective of the dynamic tension, enthusiasm, and controversy concerning gender equality that is evoked from start to finish of the Commission.  Is there a fear that some women and girls – ‘those furthest behind’ – might gain at the expense of the whole?  This is impossible as the pre-ambular paragraphs only reference previously agreed, international law and frameworks from CEDAW to Beijing to the Sustainable Development Goals and the agreed conclusion are what they are ‘agreed conclusion’ and not legally binding.

Read the CSW62 Agreed Conclusion – Advanced Unedited Version

While the focus was specifically on ‘rural women and girls,’ yet prior to the commencement of the Commission the was a sense of unease about the meaning of the  phrase ‘rural women and girls.’   A suggestion was made many times that the phrase ‘women and girls living in rural areas’ would be much more acceptable – focusing on the intersection of women and girls and the very specific geographic location where they are living.   While much advocacy was done to have the terminology changed,  the bureaucratic institution of the United Nations approves the concepts used and ‘women and girls living  in rural areas was not one of them’! Likewise girls living in rural areas, while appreciating their visibility in the document,  would like to see their human rights issues addressed specifically and separately  from women focusing on the intersectionality of discrimination against girls and a specific geographic area, the ‘rural’.   Another bureaucratic hurdle for another time.

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Interesting in reviewing the document there are a few times when the phrase ‘women and girls living in rural and remote areas’ – Paras 36, 37 and (aaa) – has been incorporated into the  document – so maybe we as advocates have some new agreed language – referencing these agreed conclusion going forward.  An NGO group advocated to have reference to ‘mountain’ women in the agreed conclusion so I wonder how they feel with ‘remote areas’?  Does that include them?

I found some reflections and comments on the agreed conclusion.  UN Women had this headline –  UN Commission on the Status of Women delivers a blueprint to ensure the rights and development of rural women and girls.   ‘Food security and nutrition, land water, food, work and a life free of violence and without poverty as main issues to tackle.’

Soroptomist International had a reflection contrasting disappointment and rejoicing. One Group sorely disappointed were Widows for Peace through Democracy who were advocating for the inclusion of widows in the agreed conclusion knowing first hand the multiple and intersecting discriminations widows in rural areas experience.

Femnet – the African Women’s Development and communication network commented that CSW62  ‘It is rejuvenating, reenergizing and exciting to have such a progressive outcome document out of CSW…’   If you read on you will see their summary of  gains and losses.   One loss  is that labour rights for women was not shifted to the global level.

Vigil CSW 62We have a comprehensive, complex and eclectic agreed conclusions but where does one begin to implement and  evaluate?  Who is implementing what, where and how?  Apart from the preamblur paragraphs and the closing paragraphs there are three main section:

  • (i) the normative, legal and policy framework
  • (ii) implement economic and social policies for the empowerment of all rural women and girls.  But this begs the question which economic and social policies do we specifically need for women and girls.  Maybe the answers are in OP’s  (m) to (iii) What of environmental policies – the effects of climate change, climate induced migration  etc?
  • (iii) Strengthen collective voice, leadership and decision making.   During the first week of CSW 62 we were confronted with the murder of Mariella Franco.  The issue of the inclusion of Human Rights Defenders in the agreed conclusion was contentions up to the end mentioned in Para 42 and OP (rrr).

Screen Shot 2018-03-24 at 1.39.44 PMAre the two weeks of  CSW merely a time of playing around with words, engaging in political rhetoric,  maintaining national sovereignty and entrenched cultural and religious positions, while being blind, deaf, and unmoved to action  by the daily suffering caused by  poverty,  hunger, and violence that women and girls living in rural areas experience.   The continual lack of food, threats to food security,  no social protection, no land rights, scarcity of water, lack of provision of health care, education and decent work coupled with natural disasters and climate induced migration are features of the feminization of poverty.  A concluding paragraph in Rev 1 of the agreed conclusion read ‘ The Commission call upon Governments to heed the urgent United Nations humanitarian appeal to assist counties facing drought, starvation and famine with emergency aid and urgent funding, and underlines that, if no immediate response is received, an estimated 20 million people, most of whom are women and children, risk losing their lives.’  This paragraph was not in the final document!  READ more …

My answer to the the question I posed above is that such debate at the global level is not only necessary but vital to inching forward gender equality and the empowerment of girls and women living in rural areas.  Action is taken by the very same women who come to CSW year after year.  In the case of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd see our documentary out of India  Mahila – A Women’s Movement Rising

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Acompañando el camino del Crucificado a través de los ODS/Accompanying the path of the Crucified through the SDGs

S_2018_SDG_Poster_without_UN_emblemAcompañando el camino del Crucificado a través de los ODS

8th station

 

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Accompanying the path of the Crucified through the SDGs

12th Station

This is the translated text of the Spanish and pictures are not included.  Thank you Rohan Dominic of the Claretians!