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During the 68th GA, several events took place at the UN and some of the High lights are the following:  -

CARITAS International – UK & Ireland Reports:  Catholic Fund for Overseas Development in UK and Ireland presented their reports at the UN titled “listening to the voices of the Poor” shared the stories of real people and stressed the goal of Zero Poverty. Speakers pointed out that lack of accountability from the governments, as well as gender discrimination, are two major blocks to poverty eradication. The role of Civil Society was highlighted as critical in supporting and challenging the governments.

Churches Witnessing With Migrants :  In the context of the High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development on Oct 3rd & 4th a side event was organized on the theme : “the other is my Neighbor”. Several Christian denominations gathered to share their experiences and organized several activities of advocacy on behalf of the migrants. NGOs from the Philippines were among the leading groups.

Sixth High Level Dialogue on Financing for Development (6-8th Oct): Addressing participants at the opening of the HLD, UN General Assembly President John Ashe urged the international community to accelerate efforts to mobilize financial resources towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the 2015 deadline, and towards paving the way for a post-2015 development.

Civil society speakers called on member states to explore the many options available for raising and strengthening public financing for sustainable development, rather than relying on private sector investments or leveraging private sector finance as the default option. In the Roundtable- 3, MMS highlighted  the illicit capital flow and the issue of Tax havens and Tax evasions by MNCs. We requested the member states to address the growing inequalities as well as the problem of Climate Change. The Chairman responded to the MMS statement “It is painful to hear the realities from civil society who are closer to the realities of the people”.

Report: Global Right to Food movement emerging: The Special Rapporteur of right to food submitted his final report to the UN General Assembly on Oct 25th entitled “Assessing a Decade of Progress on the Right to food”:“ At a time when multiple, conflicting visions for food security have been put on the table, it is impressive to see so many States adopting laws, policies and strategies to realize the right to food,” he said, recalling the importance of these legal and political steps in putting food security at the top of the decision-making hierarchy. India has recently signed the right to food bill as a law in spite of the warnings from World Trade Organization about the expenses in can incur.

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty;  Nympha Que, MMS from the Philippines, accompanied Celine to the UN and was able to attend various programmes associated with this special day. One of the events was the Film” the Gold Fever” highlighting the struggles of the people of Latin America against the mining companies, and the director of the film spoke at the event. It was organized by several NGOs including the working group on Mining in which MMS is a part. We are working on our advocacy plans and a group is visiting the religious in Peru for networking and MMS in Peru are expected to participate in the meeting.

Post 2015 Agenda – Our Moment:  The UN Representative of Caritas International addressed the religious group at the UN (RUN) and shared the current realities including the budget cut in the UN and Secretary General is seeking more collaboration with Faith Based Organizations. He said the post 2015 Agenda is our moment since “the UN needs us more than ever and it is the best opportunity for us to get involved as a Catholic group” says the representative.

The Security Council adopted resolution 2122 last week on women, peace and security. 

Open Working Group: A series of sessions in preparation to the post 2015 Development Agenda is going on at the UN. The fifth session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, a vital part of the post 2015 is from Nov 25-27. It will address the following topics: Sustained and inclusive economic growth, macroeconomic policy questions (including international trade, international financial system and external debt sustainability), infrastructure development and industrialization. MMS are part of the Steering committee to discuss strategies and propose panelists for this event.

Ref:   http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?menu=1685

Information regarding the upcoming events and special dates to mark will be followed soon.                                                                                                                                  Best,       Celine