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.

Screen Shot 2018-07-07 at 10.29.41 AM

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

Screen Shot 2018-07-07 at 12.53.23 PM

(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

Picture                                                    Picture  

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

See more …

 

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

Screen Shot 2017-09-15 at 8.40.24 AM

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

 

 

 

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

 

 

Blanca Nubia (Good Shepherd Sister) welcomes Pope Francis to Cartagena

“And so, about four years ago, I began a new program for girls. We called it Talitha Kum, words from the Aramaic Gospel phrase Jesus used to bid a girl to rise up. It honors the dignity of each person. According to the mission of our congregation, I had made a decision to go to the tourist city of Cartagena de Indias, the colonial name when Cartagena was a port for export of silver to Spain and import of slaves from Africa. It is famous for being a walled city — and, indeed, many invisible walls hide lives of poverty, unemployment, gangs and early pregnancies in squalid neighborhoods. Good Shepherd has a center dedicated to the prevention of sex tourism, which is, sadly, the specific object of many tourists.

At Talitha Kum the children “rise up” every day. We welcome children (ages 9-17) to a program that includes school, human and spiritual accompaniment, and enrichment of family and civic environments. We are always proud when, as recently happened, a 17-year-old girl finished high school and now continues her study. ”    Read the full article   Global Sisters Report – Papal Encounter in Cartagena, Colombia

Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 9.04.07 AM

 

Reflections on October 11 – International Day of the Girl (IDG)

IDG 2017 MoniqueOctober is a busy month with the 11 days of Action in preparation for the celebration of International Day of the Girl.  It is followed by a number of other important days – October 15, International Day of Rural Women; October 16, World Food Day; and October 17th International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.  Indirectly all these days impact negatively on girls as girls live in rural areas, are often hungry and experience multidimensional poverty.  All these issues were summed up in the hashtags for the International Day of the Girls #JusticeForGirls and #GirlsRights.

The GSIJP Office Sponsored one of the 11 days with Twitter Chat on October 8th.   Cecilie prepared a set of question  and then answered them from the @gsijp twitter account.  Here are a few samples Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 3.57.24 PM

Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 3.56.54 PM

Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 3.59.16 PM

The highlight was October 11 with the Girls Speak Out from the ECOSOC Chamber of the United Nations, New York.  The Speak Out was cleverly crafted using a ‘Girls in Crisis Hotline’ to introduce stories and issues that affect girls. Three criteria were outlined prior to answering a call ‘Listen with full attention; Ask how they are feeling,’ and thirdly say ‘We love you, we believe you and you are not alone.’  You can view the full webcast HERE  There is a snippet with Under Secretary General Amina Mohammed remarks.

Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 4.33.57 PM

The Member States of Canada, Turkey and Peru  (displaying their Day of the Girl writs band)

Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 4.35.53 PM

were the sponsors of the resolution on the International Day of the Girl and present supporting girls.  The personal sharing of the Honorable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women Canada’s moving – a migrant, a muslim and the first woman muslim women to be a member of the parliament in Canada.  See marker 10.10 of the webcast.

Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 4.38.30 PM

The ECOSOC Chamber was filled to capacity with girls … and yes there were some boys too supporting the International Day for Girls also.  Our Sisters and mission partners in Indonesia share a lovely video implementing the ‘HeForShe’ campaign From Jakarta

and a short video show

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 8.35.46 AM

More photographs from Yogyakarta

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Other events were also hosted … UNICEF in the morning.  The video recording of the  UNICEF Event  An opportunity to the Honorable Minister from Canada again.  Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Loretto Sisters cosponsored an event also celebrating girls hope and resilience.  It was streamed on Facebook Live    Plan International had an event in the evening .

Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 4.06.34 PM

At the end of July and into August there was a request from the Working Group on Girls and through our GSIJP Office to submit stories, poetry, art etc telling the story of what it is like to be a girl where you live.   These stories were collated and formed the backdrop for the Girls Speak Out.  Thanks to Indonesia for sharing their celebrations with the office and thanks to Monique for the lovely image used at the top of the page.  I had one other reply from the Democratic Republic of Congo but it was late for inclusion.  Much has been done – much remains to have #JusticeforGirls and #GirlsRights

DL4cckWW4AI69VT.jpg-large

Happy International Day of the Girl 2017!

International Day of the Girl 2017 – Yes, it is that time of the year again!

IDG 2017International Day of the Girl 2017 is almost here!  We celebrate the 6th annual day on WednesdayOctober 11, 2017.  Every year Good Shepherd around the world celebrate the day in amazing ways and I am sure that this year will be no different.  The International Day is preceded by 11 days of action starting on October 1 and concluding with ‘Girls Speak Out’ at the United Nations when girls initiate, prepare, and moderate the session speaking to world leaders of  girls’ experiences around the world.

What unique challenges are girls facing just because they are girls?  There are so many unusual challenges girls have to deal with today, from injustice in society, their community and in the workplace, to unfairness in opportunities in education, or gender violence, sexism, war, climate change, trafficking in person, sexual exploitation, migration and many others. There’s no right or wrong answer here. What’s important is how you define “crisis” or “injustice” and how you or a girl you know dealt with it.

The International Day of the Girl is our day to celebrate girls everywhere -– to celebrate our power, our voices, and our unique place in this world.  On August 4th you were sent a request to share stories.  The request was for creative work by girl sharing on ‘What it is like for you to be a girl facing injustice?”   While the closing date has gone for inclusion in the ‘Girls’s Speak Out’ it is not too late to share with the GSIJP Office and we will feature them on Winifred’s Blog and  on Day of the Girl Summit website and the GSIJP social media sites

Here’s how:
  1. Be a girl (or group of girls) up to 18 years old
  2. Describe the whole situation in any format that you want to express yourself. It can be a monologue, a story, a poem, a piece of visual art, a video, or a song. Be creative!
    • What happened?
    • Who was there?
    • When was it?
    • Where were you?
    • Why did you do what you did?
    • What was the outcome?
  3. Send us your inspirational story! Email your submission and consent form to:  gsijpoffice@gmail.com  and winifreddohertyrgs@gmail.com with your name, age, country, and contact information no later than October 13, 2017  

Full information can be found here. Be sure to include this consent form with all submissions.

GSIJP Office will be taking the leadership for Day 8 of the 11 days of action bringing attention to the importance of girls’ human rights and demands #JusticeForGirls.

 

Part of the Good Shepherd Team in NY attending the Girls Speak out 2016 – visitors from Australia, Tanya Corrie and Rome Monique Tarabeh and some pictures from last year.  Check out posting of October 2016 on this blog.

 

Check out this resource prepared by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girls Scouts WAGGGS – Hong Kong – Resource for IDG 2017

Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 7.03.55 PM

Another resource is from 2015 entitled #Start the Convo: a guide to having healthy, meaningful and respectful discussion on gender equality #Start the Convo

Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 7.10.28 PM

 

Reappraisal of the UN Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Person September 27 and 28, 2017 at the United Nations, NY.

Trafficking in Person is an important issues to be reviewed with an appraisal of  the Global Plan of Action on September 27 and 28, 2017.  This is a high level meeting over two days following the opening of the 72nd Session of the United Nations under

Screen Shot 2017-09-13 at 4.45.29 PMthe new President of the General Assembly, His Excellency Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, (Slovakia).  The new President has outlined his vision and priorities under five headings – peace, migration, sustainable planet, human dignity and modern UN.

In September 2018 we will have the adoption of the the Global Compact on Migration and the Global Compact on Refugees.  Consultations continue with the last consultation to be held in Geneva on October 12, and 13.  Concurrently regional consultation are being held.  The intergovernmental negotiations will commence soon.  The website is very informative and updated.

Preparation for the appraisal of the Global Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons has been on going over a number of month and culminated with a  Political Declaration which will be adopted on September 27th.   A full list of document and a report on the stakeholder meeting held on June 23rd can be accessed HERE

Many NGO’s attended the Stakeholders meeting on June 23rd.  The NGO Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons had prepared the CSTIP Advocacy Doc for Global Plan of Action.

The Political Declaration proposes to be strong using language such as ‘evince our strong political will to take decisive concerted action to end this heinous crime,…’  While there is reference to the integrated and indivisible nature of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and a reference to combating all forms of trafficking in person,  Good Shepherd advocacy is a clear call for specifically referencing the three targets where trafficking in person is mentioned in the 2030 Agenda – target 5.2 (on trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation), target 8.7 (forced labor and child labor) and 16.2 (all forms of trafficking in children) to be given equal priority.

Trafficking - 5.2 8.7 16.2 GPA CTP

We are concerned that the trafficking of women and girls under Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 5.2 is falling under the radar for both Member States and the United Nations. For example, the recent High Level Political Forum reviewing SDG 5 made no reference to sex trafficking even though Target 5.2 specifically outlines the need to address the trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and girls.  Check out blog post of July 5   While various forms of violence were mentioned under 5.2 human trafficking was not. 

ViennaThis same point I made during the  Thematic Session in Vienna September 4 and 5 ‘Smuggling of migrants, trafficking in persons and contemporary forms of slavery, including appropriate identification, protection and assistance to migrant and trafficking victims.’ Read the full  Statement 5th Thematic Consultation on the Global Compact on Migration

Below are three powerpoint with up to date information on human trafficking.

Global Plan of Action Slides English

Global Plan of Action Slides French

Global Plan of Action Slides Spanish