MMS &UN news -June


Violence is Costly! ; Global Peace Index (GPI) was launched and at a related press conference at the UN experts said “The world had become less peaceful in the past year, Syria being the “biggest ever faller”. We take a key definition of peace as the absence of violence or the absence of fear of violence,” Michelle Breslauer, Director, United States Operations, Institute for Economics and Peace, said of the Index, which comprised 22 indicators measuring internal and external levels of peacefulness in society, including levels of militarization, safety, security and organized conflict. Iceland maintained its position as the most peaceful nation, followed by Denmark, New Zealand and Austria. Afghanistan had always been in the bottom 10 since the Index started in 2007.For 2012, the cost of violence to the global economy was $9.4 trillion, about 11 per cent of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Population report : information collected from 233 countries and areas of the world now estimated population at 7.2 billion, could reach 8.1 billion by 2025 and up to 9.6 billion by 2050 United Nations population expert said a top at a Headquarters press conference today. India was now expected to become the world’s most populous country, surpassing China by 2028 or so, while Nigeria’s population could surpass that of the United States by 2050. In response to a question about the link between population projections and United Nations sustainable development efforts, Mr. Wilmoth said that Governments had emphasized the right of individuals to choose how many children to have, which limited policy options in the area of population.  Indeed, the solution to sustainability challenges had to come by “changing the way that we live”, and not through population policies, he stressed. It was repeatedly heard at the UN meetings that more than the government policies, the population control has to happen by the couples in their bedrooms. Will it be an answer to those who believe that UN is promoting abortions?

The Security Council resolution on sexual violence:  Angelina Jolie, special Envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) emphasized that tackling war-zone sexual violence is the Council’s responsibility and the duty of Governments in countries affected by it. She told the Security Council that “hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of women, children and men have been raped in conflicts in our lifetimes.” British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who presided over the meeting, stressed that “in conflicts in nearly every corner of the globe, rape is used systematically and ruthlessly, in the almost certain knowledge that there will be no consequences for the perpetrators.” Soon after Jolie spoke, the council adopted a legally-binding resolution demanding the complete and immediate cessation of all acts of sexual violence by all parties to armed conflict.

U.S. and Rest of G8 Won’t Follow UK on Corporate TransparencyThe United States is being singled out for criticism after the Group of Eight (G8) rich countries failed to adopt a plan pushed by British Prime Minister David Cameron to require the creation of public country-level registries with detailed information on corporate ownership and activity. Although the United States did unveil important new pledges Tuesday to crack down on anonymous “shell” corporations, used by money launderers and tax evaders, critics point out that Washington has not outlined how it will implement these commitments. They also warn that the commitments will not put corporate ownership information into the public domain, a criticism also leveled at the G8 declaration overall.

The G8 met Monday and Tuesday at a summit in Northern Ireland, during which tax evasion and corporate transparency were given top billing. While Cameron had hoped other countries would back his call for the creation of public registries, none did so.

While the United States has now said it will be creating these registries on its own, these will apparently be available only to law enforcement and tax authorities. Critics urge these databases to be made open to the public from the beginning.

“The G8’s declaration is absolutely historic,” Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, a religious antipoverty group, said Tuesday.  Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, similarly issued congratulations, noting, “International tax avoidance and evasion have emerged as major risks to government revenue and as threats to the credibility of tax systems in the eyes of citizens – in both advanced and developing countries.”

Open working Group 4: The 4th session of the Open working group regarding Post 2015 development agenda was held at the UN with the theme- Employment and decent work for all, social protection, youth education and culture. Poverty eradication remains the overriding goal that is manifestly linked to decent and productive work, social protection, and access to quality basic education and health care. On the second day the theme was Health and Population dynamics: Reference was made to universal health coverage; equitable access to quality basic health services; health promotion, prevention, treatment, and financial risk protection. Health Mugs could be integrated as targets under an overarching universal health goal. It was clear that Member States are taking the job of defining sustainable development goals, which could also define the future for sustainable development, seriously, and their efforts to build and share knowledge will hopefully prepare them for the difficult road ahead. When the inputs and voices are broad and wide-ranging, as this process has prided itself on, narrowing down the many ideas into simple goals, targets and indicators will not be an easy task.

 Knowledge from Experience with people living in Extreme Poverty:  For the first time in the history of UN an official session was held on 27th June to listen to the people living in extreme poverty. The highlight was one of the proposed themes in the High Level Panel Report for the post 2015 Sustainable Development Agenda “Leave no one behind”. This was organized by the ATD Fourth World and few other cosponsors including the mission of France, Philippines and Peru. There were panel discussions, sharing of participatory research findings and proposals from several countries. One of the speakers Juan C Baltazar, a grass roots activist from Bolivia said “I don’t want to be poor; I don’t like to be called poor” and he burst in to tears, many of us felt the pain and responded with a standing ovation. The linkage between poverty and shame was discussed and its crippling effect on millions around the globe. The Ambassadors and UN officials present assured that these voices will be heard when discussing the Agenda in September.


Celine Paramundayil

MMS UN rep


One Reply to “MMS &UN news -June”

  1. Knowledge from Experience with people living in Extreme Poverty: Juan C Baltazar got opportunity to speak and he was able to articulate. that is great.

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