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UN75 2020 and Beyond: Shaping our Future Together

6. November 2019 - 18:31

To mark UN Day on 24 October 2019, Secretary-General António Guterres has announced that next year’s commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations will feature a large and inclusive global conversation on the role of global cooperation in building the future we want.

Starting in January 2020, the United Nations will hold dialogues around the world and across borders, sectors and generations. The aim is to is reach the global public; to listen to their hopes and fears; and to learn from their experiences.

The United Nations was founded in 1945 to support collective action to realize peace, development and human rights for all. The UN75 initiative seeks to spark dialogue and action on how we can build a better world despite the many challenges we face.

While UN75 seeks to drive conversation in all segments of society – from classrooms to boardrooms, parliaments to village halls – it will place special emphasis on youth and those whose voices are too often marginalized or not heard in global affairs.

In a new film released, the UN Secretary-General appealed to people everywhere to add their voices to this campaign: “We need your opinions, your strategies, your ideas for us to be able to deliver better for the people of the world that we must serve.”

Through the upcoming dialogues, UN75 aims to build a global vision for the year 2045, the UN’s centenary; to increase understanding of the threats to that future; and to drive collective action to realize that vision. Global opinion polling and media analysis will be conducted in parallel to provide statistically representative data.

The views and ideas that are generated will be presented to world leaders and senior UN officials at a high-profile event during the 75th Session of the General Assembly in September 2020, and disseminated online and through partners on an ongoing basis. There are no limits or requirements for those who want to be a part of the conversation – physically or online.

Source: UN DGC and the UN75 Campaign

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‘We may be small islands, but no man is an island’, Papua New Guinea youth tells world leaders

30. September 2019 - 17:26

The young advocate from the island nation of Papua New Guinea, painted a vivid picture of the dangers for delegates on Friday, during the last major summit of the UN’s high level week, dedicated to looking at the progress and pitfalls facing Small Island Developing States (SIDS) as the world warms, and the seas rise.

Speaking from the General Assembly Hall podium, she offered a personal view in poetic form, of the struggles she is dealing with: “I am a youth of a small island, when in a global community, most everyone doesn’t know where I am. And what hurts the most, is I know where they all are”.

Testimonies like Ms. Nen’s received a warm welcome during the event, geared towards addressing climate and development issues unique to island states, and assessing the implementation of priorities laid out in a 2014 mandate, to accelerate SIDS development.

The Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action – or SAMOA Pathway, was agreed in September 2014, during the Third International Conference to focus the world’s attention on islands’ special development roles and particular vulnerabilities.

As world leaders gathered for a mid-term review on the plan’s implementation, five years form its adoption, they conceded that progress toward sustainable development for SIDS require a major increase in urgent investment, and the road to stability for many island nations is threatened by amplified environmental challenges, economic crises, food security, and others.

While some progress has been made in addressing social inclusion, gender equality, poverty and unemployment, inequality continues to affect vulnerable groups, and devastating effects of climate change cause lasting loss of life and property.

Putting the plan into action represents “an important chance for the international community to demonstrate solidarity”, Secretary-General António Guterres stressed.

“Small Island Developing States are a special case for sustainable development. They require the concerted long-term attention and investment of the entire international community”, he said.

Following in line for comment, President Michael Higgins of Ireland, which sponsored the event, emphasized that “we cannot allow our words in one compartment to be contradictory to another. There must be consistency across the architecture and delivery, most of all the words must be followed by action.”

“This is not academic, this is about life,” he added, highlighting that for island nations “the word ‘disaster’ has a different meaning…as it is a disaster that will come again and again, and therefore response must take account of the danger of recurrence.”

The day-long review comes one month after Hurricane Dorian devastated parts of the Bahamas, adding to the increasing frequency, scale and intensity of natural disasters and their unique threat to island nations and their people.

Keynote speaker and leading Hollywood actor, Jason Momoa said, “I am standing here today because I am ashamed that not all leaders have wanted agreement”, referring the groundbreaking 2015 Paris Climate pledge to limit the globe from warming beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“I have seen how one place can be oblivious to another…with a foothold in two worlds, I began to see how a problem for one can become a problem for all,” said the star of the Aquaman superhero movie, speaking to his background as Hawaiian-born, and Iowa-raised.

A political declaration is expected to come at the summit’s conclusion, a concise action-oriented agreement to further propel the SAMOA pathway’s integration which will require the international community’s support.

Source: UN News

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Add your voice to the call for #HealthForAll

30. September 2019 - 17:12

On 23 September at UN Headquarters in New York, world leaders adopted a high-level United Nations Political Declaration on universal health coverage (UHC), the most comprehensive set of health commitments ever adopted at this level.

“This declaration represents a landmark for global health and development,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General at WHO. “The world has 11 years left to make good on its sustainable development goals. Universal health coverage is key to ensuring that happens.”

He added: “Universal health coverage is a political choice: today world leaders have signaled their readiness to make that choice. I congratulate them.”

The declaration comes the day after the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners flagged the need to double health coverage between now and 2030 or leave up to 5 billion people unable to access health care.

In adopting the declaration, U.N. Member States have committed to advance towards UHC by investing in four major areas around primary health care.

These include mechanisms to ensure no one suffers financial hardship because they have had to pay for healthcare out of their own pockets and implementing high-impact health interventions to combat diseases and protect women’s and children’s health.

In addition, countries must strengthen health workforce and infrastructure and reinforce governance capacity. They will report back on their progress to the U.N. General Assembly in 2023.

“Now that the world has committed to health for all, it is time to get down to the hard work of turning those commitments into results,” said Melinda Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“We all have a role to play. Donors and country governments need to move beyond business as usual to bolster the primary health care systems that address the vast majority of people’s needs over their lifetimes,” said Gates.

On 24 September, WHO and 11 other multilateral organizations, which collectively channel one third of development assistance for health, will launch their Global Action Plan for health and wellbeing for all. The plan will ensure the 12 partners provide more streamlined support to countries to help deliver universal health coverage and achieve the health-related SDG targets.


WHAT IS UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE?

Universal health coverage means that all people have access to health services they need, when and where they need them, without financial hardship. Currently, for at least half of the people in the world this is not possible. About 100 million people are pushed into extreme poverty each year because of out-of-pocket spending on health. This must change. To make health for all a reality, we need commitment at all levels of society to ensure high-quality services to all people as close to home as possible.

WHY HEALTH FOR ALL? – 5 ARGUMENTS Learn more about the Universal Health Coverage. Source: WHO

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World’s 1.8 billion youth must ‘have a say in the future of the planet’

24. September 2019 - 16:51

It is “crucial” that the world’s 1.8 billion young people have a say in the fight against climate change and ultimately “the future of the planet” according to the UN Youth Envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake.

Young activists, innovators, entrepreneurs and change-makers are due to gather at UN headquarters in New York at the Youth Climate Summit on Saturday 21 September to put pressure on global leaders to take action to prevent climate change.

Ms. Wickramanayake will be there, and UN News asked her why young people are so important to the climate action debate.

Why is it necessary to bring young people together to discuss climate change?

There are 1.8 billion young people in the world today, that’s the largest number ever, so it is crucial that they have a say in the future of the planet, in their future. The school strike for climate action started by the young Swedish activist, Greta Thunberg, in her home town, Stockholm, and the other strikes by young people around the world which followed, have shown that they are demanding action on climate and want to have a decisive role in the decision-making process. The time to respond with action is now.

This Youth Climate Summit taking place at UN Headquarters will bring together the key leaders of the youth climate movement and provide a chance for them to engage with a wider global audience. Some 1000 young people from across the world will be attending the event in person and many more will be following online.

Is this an acknowledgement that those people in power, in other word adults, are not doing enough?

It is clear that tackling climate change needs to involve all people, young and old, privileged and underprivileged, from developed and developing countries. Young people want and deserve a role in what should be a participatory process and the school strikes for climate action were born out of their desire to make global leaders aware of and act on their concerns. Just as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development underlines that young people are the torchbearers of sustainable development, they are also the thinkers, doers and innovators who can realise this agenda. They have a stake in the future as this is the planet, they will inherit; it is they who will bear the impact of a changing climate.

What do you think this youth summit can achieve?

The Summit is a platform for young leaders and youth-led organizations to showcase the actions they are taking to slow down climate change with the aim of keeping to a 1.5 degree Celsius increase in global temperatures above pre-industrial levels. In May, I launched the “Summer of Solutions” challenge to young people to create innovative technology-based climate solutions. These include developing a platform to enhance the access of localized climate and market information, developing tech tools to boost the “circular economy,” an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the re-use of resources. The best ideas will be highlighted at the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit on 23 September.

The youth Summit will also feature a strong inter-generational component that will carry forward into the Climate Action Summit and which will allow youth activists from both the global south and north to question world political leaders about addressing climate change.

Providing young climate pioneers with an opportunity to engage with political leaders, including by asking bold and provocative questions, as well as proposing concrete solutions in a UN setting will be an important testament to fact that the voices of youth are being listened to. Beyond that, and more importantly, they are being responded to and they are influencing decision making at the highest levels. The youth summit is the United Nations Youth Strategy “Youth 2030” in action, where the first priority is engagement, participation and advocacy to amplify young peoples’ voices for the promotion of a peaceful, just and sustainable world.

What practical steps will come out of the interaction between youth and global leaders?

The Youth Climate Summit will prioritize meaningful engagement with leaders from national governments, the private sector and civil society. It is hoped that a large number of countries around the world will commit to consulting youth when formulating and designing climate action policies, plans and laws.

It is also expected that by facilitating these exchanges, corporate leaders will commit to working with, mentoring, as well as learning from, young entrepreneurs and/or youth-led companies, many of whom are in fact at the forefront of developing solutions to climate change.

Source: UN News

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Climate Action Summit 2019: Join the #ActNow movement

20. September 2019 - 17:12

Global emissions are reaching record levels and show no sign of peaking. The last four years were the four hottest on record, and winter temperatures in the Arctic have risen by 3°C since 1990. Sea levels are rising, coral reefs are dying, and we are starting to see the life-threatening impact of climate change on health, through air pollution, heatwaves and risks to food security.

The impacts of climate change are being felt everywhere and are having very real consequences on people’s lives. Climate change is disrupting national economies, costing us dearly today and even more tomorrow. But there is a growing recognition that affordable, scalable solutions are available now that will enable us all to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies.

The latest analysis shows that if we act now, we can reduce carbon emissions within 12 years and hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C and even, as asked by the latest science, to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Thankfully, we have the Paris Agreement – a visionary, viable, forward-looking policy framework that sets out exactly what needs to be done to stop climate disruption and reverse its impact. But the agreement itself is meaningless without ambitious action.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres is calling on all leaders to come to New York on 23 September with concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050.

Learn more about the UN Climate Action Summit 2019 and join the #ActNow movement.

Source: UN DGC

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2020 United Nations Public Service Awards Call for Nominations

19. September 2019 - 22:11

The United Nations Public Service Awards is the most prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service. It rewards the creative achievements and contributions of public service institutions that lead to a more effective and responsive public administration in countries worldwide. Through an annual competition, the UN Public Service Awards promotes the role, professionalism and visibility of public service.

The UN Public Service Day intends to celebrate the value and virtue of public service to the community; highlight the contribution of public service in the development process; recognize the work of public servants, and encourage young people to pursue careers in the public sector. Since the first Awards Ceremony in 2003, the United Nations has received an increasing number of submissions from all around the world.

The 2020 United Nations Public Service Awards (UNPSA) is now open for nominations under the following categories:

1) delivering inclusive and equitable services for all;
2) promoting integrated mechanisms for sustainable development;
3) developing transparent and accountable public institutions;
4) promoting digital transformation in the public sector, and
5) promoting gender responsive public services to achieve the SDGs.

The UNPSA is an annual Award that recognizes excellence in public service at the local, regional and national levels. It promotes and rewards innovation and excellence in public services in support of the realization of the SDGs and the principle of leaving no one behind. Public institutions at the national, sub-national, and local level from all UN member states are eligible to apply. In the case of public-private partnerships, the lead nominee must be a public-sector institution. The deadline for submitting nominations is 27 November 2019.

To apply click here.

Source: UN DESA

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Empowering Women and Girls Summit: Gender, Disabilities and Technology

17. September 2019 - 22:52

Global Leaders from the world’s leading Brands, Companies, Trade Associations, NGOs and Public Sector convened at the Annual Ideagen Empowering Women & Girls 2030 Summit at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City on September 13, 2019 to discuss solutions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

George Sifakis, Global Chairman, CEO and Founder of Ideagen Global, shared insights on the overall objective and mission of the summit and achieving the SDGs. Ideagen serves as a global accelerator of solutions and scale. Its objective is to nurture and strengthen connections and communication between organizations, which, together, have the ability to create innovative solutions to some of the most vexing issues of our time.

Inspirational conversation took place at the Summit featuring the participation of companies’ leaders from Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Sodexo, Feeding America, IBM, Goldman Sachs Foundation, AARP, Limbitless Solutions and others.

Ms. Daniela Bas, Director of UN DESA’s Division for Inclusive Social Development highlighted that the role of the CEOs today is to make sure the SDGs are incorporated in the company policies and practices. She also advised the youth to think about social protections floors, safety nets and bringing solutions to promote a healthy community and planet.

UN DESA also participated in the panel discussion moderated by Limitless Solutions on how technology can be used as a powerful tool to empower women and girls with disabilities, reducing social stigma, and allowing active participation in cultural life, leisure and sports.

For more information about the event, please visit: https://www.ideagensummits.com/

Source: UNSDN

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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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