Continuing to reflect on the Commission for Social Development

Reading from Mark Gospel 8:1-8 on Saturday February 10, I was struck by the feeding of the people and was reminded of words quoted by the Chair of the Commission María del Carmen Squeff of Argentina ‘we need to be kind when thinking of each others’ suffering’. Response to suffering is not a platform but an action. These phrases echo Jesus’ words ‘I feel sorry for all these people, they have been with me for three days now and have nothing to eat. If I send them off home hungry they will collapse on the way; some have come a great distance.’ His disciples replied, ‘Where could anyone get these people enough bread to eat in a deserted place.’ Ched Myres (“Binding the Strong Man: a Political reading of Mark’s Story of Jesus”) notes that the response of the disciples was one of despair in the wilderness. There were outside of the dominant social order and it’s markets. How can one find resources to feed the hungry? I felt myself pulled into the suffering of people experiencing increased hunger and malnutrition throughout the world because of ‘desert like conditions’ due to COVID pandemic, climate change, displacement, ongoing conflict, mining, deforestation, some traveling distances to leave behind oppression and extreme poverty as migrants and refugees vulnerable to being trafficked.

Often we (you and I) feel desperation in attempting to make a response in the midst of these situations. People are being exploited by today’s markets, with patents, profits and monopolies ruling to the exclusion of people and care of the planet. In the midst of the situation Jesus asks ‘How many loaves have you?’ Immediately my mind jumped back to our Chapter and a morning prayer reflection which challenged us ‘FEED THEM YOURSELVES’ inviting us to a mindset of abundance which can be contrasted with a mindset of scarcity. Resources are within and among us. We have the 7 loaves. These loaves symbolize resources, good stewardship, co-responsibility, capacities and a culture of justice. As I continue to reflect I realize more and more that the policy issues pursued by the GSIJP Office are from a mindset of abundance – national floors of social protection, inclusion of all, gender justice, ending all forms of exploitation, climate justice, sustainable livelihoods, food and decent work – in collaboration with like-minded NGO’s and the ‘Gospel Space’ within the United Nations, the Commission for Social Development in this case.

Ched Myres comments that in the organizing of the people there is a superabundant result. “FEED THEM YOURSELVES’ is possible through the organization of the people. Everyone shares their resources, all the people are listened to and empowered to act for change. There is an upholding of human dignity, recognizing each person’s inalienable human rights, encouraging participation, voice and action. There is one paragraph in the Resolution from the Commission on the priority theme Paragraph 25 Encourages Member States to facilitate the meaningful participation and empowerment of those in vulnerable situations, including those living in poverty, in the design, implementation and monitoring of COVID -19 recovery plans.” The feeding of the people includes building peoples’ self-esteem, unleashing the capacity of the people themselves to bring about the change that is required. We declare that our programmes have moved from a ‘charity model’ to a ‘right-based’ approach. How open are we to engaging the participants themselves in the design, implementation and monitoring of our multiple projects and programmes? We have good practice from our experiences with girls for the Day of the Girl activities.

February 20 was Social Justice Day – “Change means more than charity and occasional service. Two
strands of practice must intersect in us to establish justice for permanent change. First and obviously, we have to create relationships, institutions and communities ruled by just practices. Second, and perhaps equally obvious, we need to change ourselves” from Just Prayer: A Book of Hours for Peacemakers and Justice Seekers.

The resulting resolution recommended that the Economic and Social Council urge Member States to address multiple causes of poverty, hunger and inequality by creating decent work, improving coherence between social protection, food security and nutrition policies, and prioritizing investment in early childhood education, nutrition and care to break intergenerational poverty. “Sustainable agricultural production, food security, food safety and nutrition are key elements for the eradication of poverty in all its forms,” the Commission emphasized through the text.

The priority theme of the sixty-first session is “Creating full and productive employment and decent work for all as a way of overcoming inequalities to accelerate the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. In the tradition of the Commissions at the UN one closes and the following one is immediately opened.

Commission for Social Development – just completed – February 7 – 16, 2022

The Commission has been in session since February 7 exploring the theme “Inclusive and resilient recovery from COVID-19 for sustainable livelihoods, well-being and dignity for all: eradicating poverty and hunger in all its forms and dimensions to achieve the 2030 Agenda.” Some concepts stand out – sustainable livelihoods, well-being, dignity, eradicating poverty and hunger. The GSIJP Office has been engaging with the theme since late July 2021 when I attended the Expert Group Meeting. Alexis Schutz prepared our written statement to the Commission SEE reflecting on the global situation, focusing on solutions and making recommendations. Throughout the year we were engaging with the NGO Committee for Social Development and contributed to the Civil Society Declaration with it’s 10 calls to action linked with the theme. This Declaration has been signed and supported by several Good Shepherd Representative in various countries and programs throughout the world. It was Ernestine Lalao, NGO Designate in Madagascar who mobilized in Africa for a webinar on the Commission and the Civil Society Declaration.

The Chair of the Commission H.E. Ms. María del Carmen Squeff of Argentina has been firm in her challenge to the Commission asking time and again to hear about practical solutions to ending poverty, and hunger, utilizing decent work grounded in dignity of each person. The Vice Chair Mr. Stefano Guerra of Portugal asked for concrete examples that are being implemented and effective at the Multi-Stakeholders Forum Panel on Thursday morning. Concept Note

The Commission together with NGO’ call for a new ‘Social Summit’ and a ‘New Social Contract’. You might well be asking what do these terms mean? The first Social Summit was held in Copenhagen in 1995, the same year that the 4th World Conference on Women took place in Beijing. The Declarations are visionary and principled, accompanied with concrete action towards implementation and realization. In the intervening 27 years the vision and dream remain largely unfulfilled for most of the world’s population. While there had been significant progress in eradicating poverty prior to the pandemic but today the number of people living in extreme poverty are as high as they were in the 90’s. The roll out of social protection programmes during the pandemic proved to be effective. They show and demonstrate that access to social protection – a government provision for all the people – was indeed helpful. Today, there are fears of a return to austerity measures while some few people, companies, and corporations amass huge and unseemly profits in a time of immense global suffering. This is further evidenced in the lack of political will to roll

The social contract of the 20th century was an attempt to equalize relations between capital and labour and aimed to institutionalize social rights for citizens largely in industrialized countries grounded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The contract started to fail in the 1970s with the development of neoliberal policies and globalization. A new report of the UN Secretary General “Our Common Agenda” references and elaborates both the New Social Contract and the Social Summit. The social contract envisions a new global deal to deliver global public good. An UNRISD publication explains more about the ‘New Eco-Social Contract”. The Social Summit is proposed for 2025, 30 years after Copenhagen – a global deliberation as it were to live up to the values, including trust and listening that are the basis of a social contract. Gender equality, care of the planet, the roll out of social protection floors, and full implementation of the 2030 agenda are front and center in the social contract. The mobilization of people to engage in both processes are critical to success. Juan Somavida, Chairperson of the Preparatory Committee in the lead up to the first World Summit for Social Development, Copenhagen in 1995 says that the process of the ‘New Social Summit’ is as important, if not more important, than the outcome.

On Thursday February 10 I was able to ask a question at the Multi-Stakeholder Forum “How ensure ethical and rights based approaches to honour people’s dignity and implement human rights – Listen or Read

On Tuesday 15 Alexis delivered our oral statement to the Commission during the general discussion.

Alexis was asked to send a video recording which was played during the session. Read the text.

We prepared a written Statement to the Commission

The commission ended on Wednesday 16 with the adoption of a resolution by consensus on the priority theme “Inclusive and resilient recovery from COVID-19 for sustainable livelihoods, well-being and dignity for all: eradicating poverty and hunger in all its forms and dimensions to achieve the 2030 Agenda.” We as NGO’s are happy to read Para 25 “Encourage Member States to facilitate the meaningful participation and empowerment of those in vulnerable situations, including those living in poverty, in the design, implementation and monitoring of COVID-19 recovery plans.” While the resolution was adopted by consensus, there are a few sentences that led some Member States to state their opinions and concerns e.g Para 26 “…empowering all people and facilitating the social inclusion and participation of those who face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination;” or “…especially for women and girls who experience multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and violence…” The 3rd pillar of the Copenhagen Declaration and Platform for Action – the first Social Summit elaborates ‘Social Inclusion’ together with Poverty Eradication and Full Employment and Decent Work. Despite the intervening years we are still struggling with ‘discrimination’ against certain groups of people including women and girls. Indeed it is the challenge for all of us – how cultivate a mindset of inclusion of every person.

Keeping our Pledge to End Child Labour by 2025

For July, we are providing an account from our Good Shepherd Partners in Lebanon showing the ugly face of child labour. We read of the dire situation of families and their children and the work undertaken in collaboration with Wells of Hope in the Middle East in the fight to end human trafficking. Nayiri, a social worker, in creating awarenss of adult rights in relation to human trafficking encounters many children who are engaged in labour. She addresses some of the consequences in counselling session and by offering social support. It pains me everytime I read ‘that trafficking in children is a ‘worst form of child labour’. This is a way of sanitising the violence of child sexual abuse. It is not labour it is violence! As long as conflict continues, profiteers continue to violate human rights, and governments fails in their duty to protect the human rights of people, implement universal child benefits and social protection, people seeking to survive are targets of exploiters.

Graphic in Arabic is done by one of our team members at Wells of Hope. 

Research Launch “A Good Shepherd Practitioner Understanding of Girls Rights’ Attainment – A Review of Rights Realisation by Girls in Asia Pacific.”

On July 31, 2021 Good Shepherd Asia Pacific launched a research entitled ‘“A Good Shepherd Practitioner Understanding of Girls Rights’ Attainment – A Review of Rights Realisation by Girls in Asia Pacific.”  The launch was livestreamed on YouTube and gives an excellent insight into the contents of the document. The session was hosted and moderated by girls from India and Philippines and how skillfully they interviewed the authors of the research – Theresa Symons and Lily Gardener. Girls from Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Indonesia, Philippines and India also shared their hopes and dreams for their future via video recordings. This research document should be considered a foundational document along side the position papers to be read in conjunction with the paper on the Girl Child. Do check out the recommendation on page 30. Another very helpful piece of information is on page 12, 3.4 The Global COVID-19 Pandemic and the girl child which notes the resurgance of extreme poverty. The gains made over the past decades to ensure that all girls have access to quality education, health care and justices systems are under threat. It further noted that globally 222 million girls in total, have been unable to access remote learning due to the schools shutting down. This is the reason that the International Day of the Girl is taking up that specific theme in October ‘Digital Generation. Our Generation’.

Access the Full Report. Enjoy the YouTube recording of the launch. The Asia Pacific Theme Songs for IDG 2020 opened the session and snippets from the Musical Euphrasia were incorporated as it was the birthday of St Mary Euphrasia. Towards the end all participants enjoyed some funtime and games. Well done Girls of Asia Pacific! We are proud of you!

Human Rights, Sustainable Development and Climate Policies: Connecting The Dots. A Toolbox published by Franciscan International.

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Here are the links to a toolbox for Human Rights 2018 published in three languages:  A Toolbox

 

FI Spanish

Aquí están los enlaces a una caja de herramientas publicada en tres idiomas:   Caja de Herramientas

FI French
Voici les liens vers une boîte à outils publiée en trois langues:  Boîte à Outils
What dots would Good Shepherd be connecting?  Human Rights, Gender Equality, and Poverty Eradication in the context of Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals!
¿Qué puntos estaría conectando el Buen Pastor? Derechos humanos, igualdad de género y erradicación de la pobreza en el contexto del desarrollo sostenible y los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible!
Quels points le Bon Pasteur se connecterait-il? Droits de la personne, égalité des genres et éradication de la pauvreté dans le contexte du développement durable et des objectifs de développement durable!

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.

Final Report_LNoB National-County Dialogue -May 9th 2017

Link to the ECA Regional Report

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

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

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

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Read the Concept Note_Universal Social Protection_July18_2017

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

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)