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 Some of the highlights of the events at the UN are:

 March 3-5 2014 : 9th Session of Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals: This session was the first negotiation session, after a stocktaking phase from March 2013 to February 2014. The co-chairs of the OWG came out with 19 focus area which further was classified in to 8 clusters.
Cluster 1 – Poverty eradication – Promote equality Cluster 2 – Gender equality and women’s empowerment
- Education – Employment and decent work for all – Health and population dynamics
Cluster 3 – Water and sanitation – Sustainable agriculture, food security, and nutrition
Cluster 4 – Economic growth  – Industrialization  – Infrastructure  – Energy
Cluster 5 – Sustainable cities and human settlements – Promote Sustainable Consumption and Production
- Climate Cluster 6 – Conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, oceans and seas – Ecosystems and biodiversity Cluster 7 – Means of implementation/Global partnership for sustainable development
Cluster 8 – Peaceful and non-violent societies, rule of law and capable institutions

 March 10-21 CSW 58  :  The 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, was held  focused on “Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls”. More than 6000 representatives from 860 civil society organizations have registered for CSW58. Nearly 135 events have been organized by UN agencies alongside the official meetings of the Commission, as well as more than 300 parallel events hosted by the NGO community.  MMS cosponsored 4 events and Celine was a key note speaker for an event organized by the International Council of Women- ICW.  For details:  presentation by Celine

A rather strong outcome document of the CSW 58 represent a milestone  towards a transformative global development agenda that puts the empowerment of women and girls at its centre.

http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/csw58-2014

International Women’s Day 8 March:  Equality for women means progress for all : , In his message, the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said empowered women lift up society as a whole, countries with more gender equality have better economic growth, peace agreements that include women are more durable, and parliaments with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as health, education, anti-discrimination and child support. In this spirit, UN Women launched the campaign ‘HeForShe’. It invites men and boys to voice their support for women’s rights all over the world.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Inequality:  For the past half-century, the Washington-based IMF has operated as the world’s “lender of last resort” for failing economies. In return for offering short-term loans to governments in economic crisis, the fund typically demands the imposition of a range of often stringent austerity measures aimed at solidifying the country’s finances. . In a paper released Thursday, the fund suggests that a spectrum of approaches to “progressive” redistribution – national tax and spending policies that are purposefully tilted in favor of the poor – would decrease inequality and hence “is overall pro-growth”. The IMF, arguably the world’s premiere financial institution, is stating unequivocally that income inequality “tends to reduce the pace and durability” of economic growth.

U.N. responses:  Calls Annexation of Crimea Illegal : In the first step of global condemnation of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Ukraine and its Western backers persuaded a large majority of countries in the United Nations General Assembly to dismiss the annexation as illegal, with 100 votes in favor, 11 votes against, with 58 abstentions.

Human rights forum called for the U.N. Security Council to hold accountable those committing documented crimes against humanity in North Korea.

 Upcoming events:

March 31- April 4th:  OWG 10th session

9-10 April: GA and ECOSOC Joint Event – The role of partnerships in the implementation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda

07 – 13 April :  the 2014 Spring Meetings of World Bank and IMF will be held in Washington DC.

14-15 April: Global Dialogue on Financing for Development, MMS will be giving a statement during the meeting.

12-23 May: Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 13th session- registration is open

Best,

Celine Paramunda