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United Nations SDG Summit 2019

12. September 2019 - 18:57

“The 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals are our collective response to building a fair globalization.” António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General

The 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a global plan of action to drive economic prosperity and social well-being while protecting the environment. Countries established the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) — to boost efforts to achieve the goals.

The HLPF meets every year, in early July, bringing representatives of governments, businesses and civil society together to review progress, examine obstacles, exchange best practices, and recommend new actions to achieve the goals. Countries also agreed (resolutions 67/290 and 70/299) that every fourth year, the HLPF will meet under the auspices of the General Assembly at the level of Heads of State and Government. 2019 will mark the first HLPF meeting at the leader level.

On 24–25 September, world leaders will gather at UN Headquarters in New York for the SDG Summit to review progress and identify measures to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

The SDG Summit will bring together political and thought leaders from governments, private sector, civil society and international organizations in a series of high-level meetings to turn the ten years leading up to the 2030 deadline for achieving the SDG into a decisive decade of action and delivery.

The United Nations SDG Summit will be chaired by the President of the General Assembly and will result in a concise negotiated political declaration.

Since the 2030 Agenda was adopted, governments, businesses, and citizen organizations have moved to embrace the SDGs and made the goals and the centerpiece of their development plans. The SDG Summit will also seek to mobilize further support for action to achieve the SDGs. The meeting presents an important opportunity to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by announcing ambitious SDG Acceleration Actions to put societies and economies onto a path towards zero poverty and lives of dignity for all, on a safe, healthy and peaceful planet.

Learn more about the SDG Summit 2019.

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Activist Greta Thunberg gets preview of UNHQ ahead of climate summit

4. September 2019 - 21:18

The 16-year-old and two other teens got a preview of the UN General Assembly Hall, where all 193 of the entity’s Member States gather every year to discuss a wide array of international issues, and where Ms. Thunberg is scheduled to speak during the Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit next month.

The Swedish youth activist was greeted by General Assembly President, María Fernanda Espinosa, who tweeted:

Welcome, Greta Thunberg and climate activists to the UN in New York. Your determination for climate action  has shaken the world and we join you in holding leaders accountable. “Science, not Silence” #ClimateActionNow.

She also received praise from UN Secretary-General António Guterres in a Twitter message:

“I’m far from New York, but I’m happy to know that young people came to the UN once again to express their commitment in the fight against climate change. I encourage them to keep pushing for stronger #ClimateAction.”

Ms. Thunberg, who sailed from Europe to curb carbon emissions from air travel, will attend UN climate summits in New York in September, and in Santiago, Chile, in December.

Her 60-foot Malizia II racing yacht, equiped with solar panels and underwater turbines for electric power, docked in New York City on Wednesday, where she was welcomed by a flotilla of  17 sailboats, each representing one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The young environmental advocate has gained media attention since waging a “school strike” for climate action last August.

At just 15, she stood alone outside of Swedish Parliament in demostration, calling for drastic change. Since, other impassioned youth have followed her lead and skipped school for the cause.

“I would love not to have to do this and just go to school,” Ms. Thunberg told journalists upon arriving onto dry land, “but…I want to make a difference.”

Source: UN News

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The UN Tackles Inequality in the 21st Century

24. Juli 2019 - 0:18

The High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), the largest annual gathering on SDG implementation, commenced on 9 July and will run until 18 July. The event is expected to gather over 2,000 participants, including 100 ministers and business and civil society leaders, to assess the progress on the SDGs. Additionally, 47 countries have volunteered to present national voluntary reviews of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

This year’s theme is “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”. Addressing inequality is a central theme of the 2030 Agenda and a high priority for national policy agendas. At the Opening Session of the HLPF, the audience of Member State representatives and other stakeholders rated inequality as the top policy priority.

On 16 July, UN DESA and UNDP held a side event titled “The UN Tackles Inequality in the 21st Century”.  The event included a dialogue with Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of ECLAC, Elliott Harris, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development and Chief Economist of UN DESA, and Pedro Conceição, Director of the Human Development Report Office of UNDP on new ways of looking at inequality in the 21st century. The side event included a presentation of some of the emerging messages of the recent or forthcoming flagship publications including UN DESA’ World Social Report and UNDP’s Human Development Report.

The side event addressed the multidimensional strategies and efforts that UN DESA and UNDP are using to combat inequality. As Elliott Harris stated, “Addressing inequality is ultimately about what kind of world we are building. We must see reducing inequality as one of the core benchmarks by which the success of the 2030 Agenda will be measured.”


Source: UNSDN

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15. Juli 2019 - 19:13

As people-centred enterprises and key development actors, cooperatives have a critical role to play in the creation of decent jobs and the social and economic empowerment of communities. On 16 December 1992, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution that proclaimed the first Saturday of July 1995 as the International Day of Cooperatives.

This year’s celebration on 8 July marked both the 25th United Nations International Day of Cooperatives and the 97th International Cooperative Day.

The aim of the International Day of Cooperatives is to increase awareness of cooperatives, underscore the contributions of the cooperative movement to resolving the major problems addressed by the United Nations, and strengthen and extend the partnerships between the international cooperative movement and other actors. This year’s theme was COOPS 4 DECENT WORK, with an emphasis on the message that cooperatives are people-centred enterprises characterized by democratic control that prioritise human development and social justice within the workplace. Given today’s widening inequality, high unemployment levels, and decreased job security, particularly among youth, the 2019 theme was chosen to support Sustainable Development Goal 8, “Inclusive development and decent work.”

The Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC), UN Ambassadors and government representatives, and representatives of cooperatives engaged in an interactive debate on the role of cooperatives and how to further enhance their developmental impact.

The event also featured a screening of, a short documentary about the Bhabishya Nirman Sana Kishan cooperative, who are expanding decent work opportunities in the Dakshinkali municipality in Nepal.

Documentary makers Sara Vicari and Andrea Mancori also participated in the interactive discussions on the role of cooperatives.  Sara Vicari discussed the communities that comprise cooperatives, stating, “Although different in culture and socioeconomic grounds, they engage in collective actions to help each other, provide themselves with decent work, find innovative solutions to their problems, and make their contributions to leave this world better than how they found it. This is what our stories are about.”


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The Power of Sports for Social Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities

2. Juli 2019 - 19:27

Sports and the expressive arts serve as a powerful tool for the social inclusion of persons with disabilities. The UN recognized sport in its 2030 Agenda as an important contributor to the realization of sustainable development and peace goals due to its promotion of tolerance and respect and facilitation of social inclusion, conflict prevention, and peacebuilding.

The 12th session of the Conference of States Parties (COSP12) to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on 11 to 13 June, at UN Headquarters in New York, discussed the power of sports through its sub-theme of the inclusion of persons with disabilities in society through participation in cultural life, recreation, and sports.

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), the United for All Peoples, the Manhattan Multicultural Counseling, the Permanent Mission of Monaco and New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities organized a side-event for the Conference titled “1 Billion Voices: Making the Invisible Visible: The Power of Sports and Expressive Arts”. The event included a discussion of awareness-raising and best practices for how sport, leisure, physical activity, culture, and arts can contribute to the implementation of the CRPD and Sustainable Development Goals 4 and 10 of the 2030 Agenda. As Ambassador Stephano Stefanile, Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, stated, “Policies on disability are a collective responsibility that imply the involvement of the entire community.”

The following objectives were put forward for the event:

  • Raise global awareness among the private sector and engage it to find innovative solutions regarding challenges faced by persons with disabilities through participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport.
  • Exchange good practices, examples, and strategies to make a world more inclusive and accessible to sports for all.
  • Encourage national and international cooperation among various stakeholders.
  • Inspire individuals around the world to actively participate in making the world a more accessible and inclusive place.

Isabelle Pico, Permanent Representative of Monaco to the UN, stated that “Sport is not a human right, but sport is a means to achieve human rights.”  Other speakers addressed the role of sports in breaking down barriers: “Sports for me is one of the equalizers for equality, one of the things that brings people together, irrespective of disability” stated Walton Alfonso Webson, Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda. He continued, “Sports plays a significant role in the lives of all people, and people with disability should not be denied that opportunity.”

The event also included a dialogue between the public and private sector regarding best practices and innovative sustainable policies. Speakers acknowledged the importance of technological advancements in promoting accessibility and emphasized the value of intellectual property and innovation in supporting social development and the inclusion of persons with disabilities.


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UN launches a New Disability Inclusion Strategy

19. Juni 2019 - 6:26

Disability inclusion is not only a fundamental human right, it is “central to the promise” of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told the annual conference on the Convention of Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which began on Tuesday.

“When we fight to secure those rights, we move our world closer to upholding the core values and principles of the United Nations Charter”, he explained. “When we remove policies or biases or obstacles to opportunity for persons with disabilities, the whole world benefits”.

To this end, the UN chief said he was launching a new UN Disability Inclusion Strategy on Tuesday, “to raise the standards of the UN’s performance on disability inclusion across the board, and action to bring about the unified and transformative change we need”.

With an accountability framework to monitor progress and address challenges, the new strategy has clear benchmarks, and will encourage more persons with disabilities to work in, and be better supported by, the UN.

“I want the United Nations to be an employer of choice for persons with disabilities”, he stressed. “I want the United Nations to be fully accessible for one and all”.

According to Mr. Guterres: “We can no longer be a platform for change when persons with disabilities cannot access that platform, to speak”.

“Realizing the rights of persons with disabilities is a matter of justice as well as a common-sense investment in our common future”, the UN chief said, but “we have a long way to go in changing mindsets, laws and policies to ensure these rights”.

He urged participants to make the goals and the objectives of the Convention “a reality on the ground”.

Mr. Guterres cited last year’s first-ever UN Flagship Report on Disability and Development, which highlights core challenges, including disproportionate levels of poverty, lack of access to education, health services, employment and the under-representation of persons with disabilities in decision-making and political participation.

Together, we can raise awareness and remove barriers – UN chief

“We must do much more to address discrimination and exclusion, particularly against girls and women with disabilities”, he underscored. “We must also do much more on transportation, infrastructure and information and communications technology to make our cities, rural areas, and societies inclusive”.

“Together, we can raise awareness and remove barriers”, he maintained. “Together, with persons with disabilities as agents of change, we can build an inclusive, accessible and sustainable world”.

“My hope,” he concluded, “is that people with disabilities – particularly women and girls – one day live in a world that protects, respects and values us.”

‘Greater visibility’

Addressing delegates in the General Assembly Hall, Catalina Devandas, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities said that despite multiple agendas and competing priorities, “the rights of people with disabilities cannot be marginalized”.

She lauded the new UN Disability Inclusion Strategy to ensure that “people with disabilities are included in all development, human rights and humanitarian aid efforts”.

While calling it “an ambitious and far-reaching proposal that can mean a turning point for the inclusion of people with disability” in all pillars of the UN’s work, she warned that the strategy is “just the starting point of a long process”.

The UN expert called for the Member States to politically and financially support the strategy, flagging it as “a good investment” in strengthening the UN’s capacity to provide “better and greater support to national efforts to realize the rights of people with disabilities.”

“Social gains are only achieved when people fight for them”, she concluded. “It is this tireless fight that now allows people with disabilities to enjoy greater visibility on the international agenda”.

Source: UN News

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