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8th July, Thematic Debate on inequality: The UN Secretary General Ban ki- moon said at the thematic debate on inequalities. “If inequalities continue to widen, development will not be sustainable, that is why equity is emerging as a central plank in discussions on the post 2015 development Agenda ; Tackling inequality, eradicating poverty and promoting shared prosperity must be at the heart of sustainable Development agenda’. The president of the GA quoted major religious scriptures and said, “God shows no partiality”. Most of the speakers mentioned social justice as the key ingredient for a sustainable world. Over all, it was a call for a new world order based on social justice and human rights. Even though the UN is far from its ideal, looking at it from a faith based perspective, the session was very refreshing.

10th July, New chief for UN Women: Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, a former deputy president of south Africa and women’s advocate has been appointed as the new head of UN women replacing Michelle Bachelet, a former president of  Chile who stepped down a few months back. Phumzile was the first woman to hold the position of deputy president of South Africa from 2005-2008, and has served as the deputy minister in the Department of Trade and Industry and minister of Minerals and Energy.

 12th  July, Malala Day :“It is a great pleasure to have our champion Malala among us, in celebrating her 16th Birth Day.I thank her for her vision, and my warmest congratulations on your birthday”. Said SG Ban ki-moon. Malala very gracefully gave her strong and capturing message for the cause of education while recalling her own experience of the attack by Taliban. She said, “the terrorists thought they would change our aims and stop our ambitions, but nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died; strength, power and courage were born.”  She submitted a petition to the SG Ban, with the 4 million signatures to promote education for the 57 million illiterate children. Thanks to all those who signed the petition !

 15th July,  Interactive Panel on Migration :  On Monday, the General Assembly held an informal interactive panel on migration and development from Civil Society perspective.  The President of the GA, Vuk Jeremic, noted that migrants were often “trapped behind walls” of discrimination, xenophobia and racism, as well as reprehensible labor, medical and housing conditions.  He warned that continuation of current migration trends could lead to greater inequalities between States.  The President strongly encouraged discussion on how to influence Member States to incorporate migration in their debates on bridging the gap between rich and poor countries. Civil Society has submitted a proposal with key issues for an Action Agenda to the Member States.

 18th July, Nelson Mandela International Day: Nelson Mandela’s 95th Birth day is on July 18th and SG Ban said “our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Mandela, his family and with all the people of S.Africa” at this time of his illness. The over arching objective of Mandela Day is to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the  better and in doing  so build a global movement for good. Nelson Mandela gave 67 years of his life to the struggle for human rights and social justice. In marking the day, the UN is joining the Mandela Foundation in asking people around the world to devote at least 67 minutes of their time on 18th July to community service.                An invitation to all of us !                                                                                More news and articles are posted in our web www.mms-un.org    and        Face book

Celine Paramunda