Highlight of the week at the UN – International Day for the Eradication of Poverty Tuesday October 17th

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This is the spirit of the day – coming together to ensure that human rights be respected’ quoting from Fr. Joseph Wresinski.  He was born to immigrant parents on February 12th, 1917 in Angers, France and knew the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd as a child, serving Mass each morning in the Contemplative Community.  He founded the organization International Movement ATD4th World.  We were celebrating 100 years of his birth and more. Each year since 1987 – 30 years – the International Day has been celebrated at the United Nations stemming from a Resolution proposed by  tow UN Member States – France and Burkina Faso and adopted by the General Assembly inaugurating October 17th as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

This was my 11th time celebrating this day at the United Nations with ATD4th World.  My first experience was at ‘the commemorative stone’ on the North Lawn in 2007  and part of this celebration was at the commemorative stone which has now been replaced following the UN building renovations.   Below is a good photograph of the restored stone and the words of Fr Wresinski.  IDRPYou can see baskets with stones on the corners – each participant at the celebration was invited to take a stone home with them.  This is my stone.

A group photo of all the participants. 

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Your UN Representative Winifred and Cecilie at the stone  – STOP POVERTY 

The UN Webcast has the full recording of the event in Conference Room 2 when people living in poverty (this year from around the world)  take the microphone and speak truth to power – experiences of  humiliation, stigmatization, exclusion, inhumanity, disrespect, marginalization and the words  , to those in poverty: “Demand that the world learn from you and your courage”

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Event entitled “Answering the Call of October 17 to end poverty: A path toward peaceful and inclusive societies” (on the occasion of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (A/RES/47/196)) (co-organized by the Permanent Mission of Burkina Faso and France, in collaboration with the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and ATD Fourth World)

Webcast   17 Oct 2017 – Event entitled “Answering the Call of October 17 to end poverty: A path toward peaceful and inclusive societies” (on the occasion of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (A/RES/47/196)) (co-organized by the Permanent Mission of Burkina Faso and France, in collaboration with the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and ATD Fourth World)

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IDF Musical Interlude

Another moment of insight for me – read the tweet …IDEP 8

The STOP Poverty Campaign did not end today!  No, there was renewed commitment to ‘ALL TOGETHER IN DIGNITY.’

A video live stream is available HERE  We need to hear the voices of the people.

Do you know the Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights and the handbook “Making Human Rights Work for People Living in Extreme Poverty’.  The handbook is available in three languages.   Download Here

 

 

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.

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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.

SOCIAL PROTECTION IN TIME OF INEQUALITY PROTECCIÓN SOCIAL EN TIEMPOS DE DESIGUALDAD PROTECTION SOCIALE AU TEMPS DES INÉGALITÉS

In January 2017,  I participated in a global consultation on Social Protection and Diakonia at Sigtuna, Sweden, hosted by the Church of Sweden.  The word ‘Diakonia’ is a Greek term and equates with  ‘ministry.’   People from twenty countries gathered to discuss the issue of social protection and ask what is the role and voice of church and faith based actors in the issue of social protection – and how to relate this to the responsibility of States to fulfill everyone’s right to social protection.  Among the participants were members of Norwegian Church Aid.  Good Shepherd had long -standing relationships with them dating back to the early days in Ethiopia when they funding Bethlehem Training Center.

It was a privilege for me to be invited to participate in the discussion and reflection integrating scripture and social policy.  The statement is the outcome.  I suggest that this could be a reflection/prayer/discernment document for use by sisters and mission partners on social protection and taxation.  It is certainly integrating spirituality and social policy and the sustainable development goals.  As you know I have been a long time advocate on the need to implement national floors of social protection – moving from poverty to prosperity.

A video and statement has been prepared – and are now in three languages – English, Spanish and French.

Short Version – English only   Video

English  Video  

Spanish Video

French Video

Statement in three language:

DIAKONIA IN THE TIME OF INEQUALITY  DIAKONÍA EN TIEMPOS DE DESIGUALDAD

DIACONIA AU TEMPS DES INÉGALITÉS

We call on churches and faith based organizations everywhere to stand up and demand for fair redistribution of wealth and social protection as a matter of social justice and human rights. We affirm that social protection is an essential requirement for a just society, regardless of nationality, legal citizenship or the level of economic development in a country. We also believe that taxation is a fundamental instrument for redistribution and for financing the common good so that all can have life in dignity.

Reflecting on week one of the Commission for Social Development

Friday, February 3 was the last day of week one of the Commission for Social Development. Overall, it was an interesting week which commenced on Monday afternoon with the opening of the Civil Society Forum.  This forum continued on Tuesday morning with panel presentations followed with the continuation of Monday’s discussion in the afternoon.  Both these session are webcast.  Civil Society Forum – January 31st and Part 2 Afternoon session  civil-society-forum

The formal opening of the Commission took place on Wednesday February 1st  – all sessions are webcast – Opening Session (Meeting 2)  There were three statements presented – one from the President of the General Assembly (PGA) H.E. Peter Thompson (Fiji), the President of the Economic and Social Council H.E. Frederick Musiiwa Makamure Shava (Zimbabwe) and a statement on behalf of the Secretary General Antonio Guterres.  Points noted from these statement are the following:  The Commission is taking place at a time of global contradictions.  While significant progress has been made in eradication extreme poverty, conflicts are reversing gains in social well-being and the gap between the rich and poor was growing (Sec General) The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the “masterplan for people planet and prosperity,” and is “firmly within our reach.” (PGA).  “Today’s generation can be the one that eradicates poverty and turns the tide on inequality, exclusion and environmental degradation…” (President of ECOSOC)   ANA HELENA CHACÓN ECHEVERRÍA, Vice-President of Costa Rica, speaking on behalf of the Group of Friends of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, said that despite all achievements, many countries had been left behind and growing global inequities challenged the universality of human rights. Poverty was a system and people living in poverty continued to be deprived, above all, of the capacity to claim their inalienable rights.  Human dignity must be at the centre of any sustainable development process.  Further the vice-president said  respecting, promoting, and protecting rights required Governments to take positive action, which in turn, demanded national compliance with international obligations, particularly the 2030 Agenda.

In the afternoon at Meeting 3  the Vice-President of Costa Rica was a member of the panel during the interactive discussion on “Strategies for eradicating poverty to achieve sustainable development for all.”  She stressed the need to design public policies to meet the needs of people facing constant hunger, exclusion and poverty.   No development can be sustained if millions of people are left behind.  Poverty is a flagrant violation of human rights.  Social policy must  end the income gap and move towards peace, justice and inclusion.  Costa Rica is poised to eliminate extreme poverty in less than 10 years.  Costa Rica has developed social maps to track impoverished areas and understand the prevailing socioeconomic conditions. This coupled with a poverty index was used to measure poverty beyond income poverty and to take into account shortages in education, health care, water and housing.

Nigeria, both Government and civil society perspective were presented and Brazil noted that their nation had been removed from the FAO Hunger Map.  The new challenge for Brazil is to sustain the gains.Through Bolsa Familia cash transfer programme 13.6 million low-income people received stipends on condition that they kept their children in school and followed a vaccination schedule. This year a National Strategy for Social and Productive inclusion was launched by the Government to build professional skills and generate income.  The Happy Child Programme was launched in 2016 that gives regular assistance, including home visit to 530,000 children in 2017 and 1.5 million in 2018

Good Shepherd continue to promote implementation of social protection floors as a good strategy for eradicating poverty to achieve sustainable development for all. There is growing interest in and concrete action towards implementation.
See http://bit.ly/2kttxSM which ‘showcases 16 experiences from 12 countries which have achieved universal or near-universal social protection coverage in the areas of health care, child allowances, maternity benefits, disability benefits and old-age pensions. Good Shepherd are in 5 of the Countries Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, South Africa, Thailand.

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February 2nd  Meeting 4 and Meeting 5  and  February 3rd Meeting 6  and Meeting 7. These meeting focused on “Promoting Integrated Policies for Poverty Eradication: Youth Development in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” (meeting 4) Meeting Coverage and “Leaving no one behind: poverty and disability” Meeting 6. Meeting Coverage

Side events are taking place throughout the Commission focusing on a myriad of topics related to the theme.

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Side events where I have been a panelist:

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If you wish to see your country statement to the commission for Social Development Papersmart UN Meetings

 

UN – High Level Political Forum 2016

HLPFThe High Level Political Forum (for those who love acronyms HLPF) starts on Monday July 11th.  Full details of all that will take place is on the website Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform  If you have a smart phone you can down load the app HLPF and have immediate access.  The website is only in English (apologies). The HLPF is the central platform for follow up of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  By clicking HERE you can see easily the sustainable development goals which is the subject of the review.  Commitment to implementation began in every country on  January 1, 2016.  The theme of this years’ review is ‘Ensuring That No One Is Left Behind.’   There are the official meetings of the HLPF and multiple side events.

Part of the official meeting is the presentation of 22 national reports on implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  Good Shepherd is present in 1o of the 22 countries -Colombia, Egypt, France, Germany, Madagascar, Mexico, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Switzerland and Venezuela. A direct link is HERE and the reports are in French, Spanish and English depending on the language of the country. (The French report is not yet posted)

Apart from inputs from governments there are inputs from Intergovernmental Bodies and Forums – including the Commission for Social Development,  Commission on the Status of Women,  Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women  (CEDAW),  Human Rights Council ,    Human Rights Treaty Bodies, International Labour Organization (ILO) and International Dialogue on Migration  These are points of contact that the GSIJP Office follow at the United Nations throughout the year. The full list can be accessed here

A third group is  Major Groups and Other Stakeholders   We are members of the Women’s Major Group and have signed on to that paper.  Click HERE  The paper is divided into six areas 1. Introduction; 2. The Women’s Major Group; 3. Addressing the systemic causes of ‘being left behind’; 4. Key areas of action for implementation, follow-up and review to ensure no one is left behind; 5.Ensuring that the Review of 2030 Agenda Leaves No One Behind; and 6. Conclusion.

The focus on addressing systemic causes of ‘being left behind’ is central to our work at the United Nations. ‘Identifying and responding to the intertwined systemic issues of neoliberalism, fundamentalisms, militarism, racism and patriarchy, and their correlation to inequality and gender inequality, are essential for the successful implementation o the 2030 Agenda and shout be an important focus of follow up and review processes at all levels…” and address the systems that negatively affect the lives and lived realities of all girls and women of all ages.

In section 4 there is a call for a) inclusion and participation of grassroots women’s organizations in planning, implementation and monitoring of the 2030 Agenda at the local and national level.  The advice of 19 year old Berryl from Kenya sums this up quite succinctly:        “Bringing girls and young women to the table during the discussions about the SDGs is important because girls are the experts in their own lives. Girls and young women in the communities should be taught about the SDGs and how they affect their lives so they can monitor the implementation and how well the governments are doing. I think that world leaders need to:

  •  Give better support to girl advocates by providing resources and encouragement.
  •  ….allocate budget[s] for implementation of the SDGs, especially Goal 5 and Goal 16.
  • Invest in girls and their access to education

An educated, empowered girl is good not only for the family but also for the community, country and the world.” 

b) Financing and capacity building for women’s rights groups at all levels.

c) Gender disaggregated data

Section 5 states that women’s groups must be meaningfully engaged at all levels of the implementation, follow up and review from the national level to the global.

We also have a voice in the Major Group of Non Governmental Organizations  See HERE

Another set of inputs can be found in Partnerships and Voluntary Commitments

GSIFThroughout the HLPF the GSIJP Office are using the brochure prepared by the Good Shepherd International Foundation ONLUS ‘Promoting Inclusive Development for Women and Children.’ highlighting  Participation, Empowerment, Livelihood and Human Rights in programs focusing on  community development and economic justice; child protection and education; girls and women’s empowerment; and migrant and anti-human trafficking.  See the brochure by clicking on the link

GSIF Promoting Inclusive Development for Women and Children

Good Shepherd International Foundation Brochure – Where are the SDGs?
How We Help

  •  Community Development and Economic Justice
  • “Projects to eradicate extreme poverty” (SDG 1)
  •   Market research, business training and planning, micro‐finance and micro‐credit to start micro-enterprises to raise level of income (SDG 8)
  •  Advocating to change unjust structures discriminating women and to break the cycle of poverty and exploitation (SDG 5)
  • Children Protection and Education
  •  “Programs protect and promote the rights of the most vulnerable children” in a holistic model of care
  • Psycho‐social assistance (SDG 3)
  • Nutritional Support (SDG 2)
  • Remedial education to be mainstreamed in the school system (SDG 4)
  • Awareness of human rights and activities for social cohesion and peace building (SDG 16)
  • Girls and Women Empowerment
  • Projects “help to achieve SDG no.5”
  • Engaging women and girls living in poverty (SDG 1), at‐risk of exploitation or victims of violence (SDG 16)
  • Counseling, psycho‐social assistance (SDG 3)
  • Reintegration in formal education (SDG 4)
  • Skills training, access to micro‐finance and micro‐credit, support to income generating activities (SDG 8)
  • Migrants and Anti‐human Trafficking
  • Programs to protect children, girls and women who have been trafficked or victims of commercial sexual exploitation (SDG 5, 8, 16)
  • Programs in border areas, where the rights of children, girls and women migrants are most at risk (SDG 8)
  • Psycho‐social support programs for children and women refugees (SDG 3)

Setting out for South Korea

Today May 19 we congratulate Good Shepherd Sisters who are celebrating 50 years of presence and service in Korea.  Read about their mission and see some of their projects HERE  I will join them on May 23, have a session in Soeul and one in Chunchon before traveling to Gyeongju for the 66th United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) NGO Conference. This is from 30th May to June 1, 2016.  Three sisters will accompany me Srs. Virginia Kim, Martha Ko and Paula Woon.  The theme of the conference is Education for Global Citizenship: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals Together.  Visit the conference website and read a proposed draft of the ‘Gyeongju Action Agenda’ now in the six languages of the United Nations

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Conference Website

This morning at the UN HQ in  New York a pre-conference meeting took place.  I attended along with many other NGO who will be attending or following with social media.  DPI 4

DPI pre-Conference 3

The conference days will be filled with learning opportunities while exploring the meaning of being a global citizenship and how to educate for global citizenship and how understanding of this might be a bedrock for implementing the 17 sustainable goals.  There will be 4 roundtable discussions: i) Inclusiveness in Education ii) Peace Education iii) STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) and iv) sustainable development and climate change.  There are at least 40 side events organized addressing multiple topics and themes. Youth will have a high profile throughout the conference and there will be an exhibition that will be open to the public in Gyeongju. Throughout the  conference the Gyeongju Action Agenda will continue to crafted based on the discussions taking place.

Our contribution to the conference will be to ensure that education for gender equality is a cross cutting component of the educational curriculum for global citizenship and at the heart of sustainable development.                                                                         IBVM                I like this picture taken from the twitter account of the ibvmun (Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

Some years ago Deirdre Mullen, a Mercy Sister from Ireland wrote a book on ‘Meeting the Global Citizen in you’  It was followed by another booklet on ‘Nurturing the Global Citizen Within’