Nepal is remembered in most of the sessions at the UN and our prayers and hearts are with those affected and still in need.
April 7: World Health Day celebrated on 7 April, with WHO highlighting the challenges and opportunities associated with food safety under the slogan “From farm to plate, make food safe.” Some of the negative effect of globalization is reflected in food too. “Food production has been industrialized and its trade and distribution have been globalized,” says WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan. “A local food safety problem can rapidly become an international emergency. Investigation of an outbreak of food borne disease is vastly more complicated when a single plate or package of food contains ingredients from multiple countries.” Some important results of a study show: there were an estimated 582 million cases of 22 different food borne enteric diseases and 351 000 associated deaths; over 40% people suffering from enteric diseases caused by contaminated food were children aged under 5 years.
Financing for Development & Post 2015 Agenda: from 21-24 was a joined session on the Negotiations for the 3rd international conference on financing for development (FFD3) and the post 2015 development Agenda. The history is in 1970 GA adopted a resolution that economically advanced countries (OECD) will provide 0.7% of their GDP as Official Development Assistance (ODA) to the developing countries. Even after 45 years very few countries (less than 10) have reached that target. The FfD3 session talked about transformation, but that was not very apparent in the sessions. Rich countries regularly affirmed the importance of channeling more ODA to the least development countries—despite a declining trend in some regions in recent years. A representative from the Least Developed Country (LDC) stated that “we should not go to Addis to reconfirm commitments made 45 years ago”. The reality is more money is flowing back to the developed countries than the ODA.
The FfD process is the only space where financing issues can be discussed with the whole UN membership and where interlinkages can be made between different sources of financing and their linkages to the UN treaties and principles such as sustainable development.
The joint sessions were like a political battle as to who will shape the agenda—and how much real impact it will have. Another question is what is the direction of the “transformation” that is now so frequently discussed in both talks? Are we headed towards a world of multi stakeholder partnerships and the increasing outsourcing of public functions to private control, where those in positions of privilege can maintain their entitlements, disregarding the planetary boundaries?
During a session, one of the post-2015 co-facilitators expressed astonishment that the G20 recently committed to 1,000 structural reform actions in two years. He suggested that in comparison, 17 goals and 169 targets over 15 years seemed quite doable, and if not, something is “clearly wrong.” One of the worrying thing for Civil Society as well as some of the member states was the dominance given to the private sector in the FfD3 zero draft that some government representatives have referred to FfD3 being “outsourced” to businesses. A unified civil society voice is “unless development models change significantly to start with people and the planet instead of profits, prosperity will continue to drive poverty.
UN Women Report Proposes Vision of Global Economy Fit for Women: Millions of women work in low-paid, poor quality jobs, lack access to clean water and decent sanitation, and lack basic health care, according to a report by UN Women. Titled ‘Progress of the World’s Women 2015-2016: Transforming Economies, Realizing Rights,’ the report calls for a paradigm shift toward an economic agenda that places women and their economic and social rights at its center, in order to realize women’s empowerment, equality and rights. Among the panelist was a former Domestic Worker from South Africa who captured the attention of all by her enthusiasm and commitment. http://sd.iisd.org/news/un-women-report-proposes-vision-of-global-economy-fit-for-women/
Selma: A Film “SELMA” was shown at the UN one evening commemorating the 50th anniversary of the march for voting rights for the African Americans in Selma, led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The director of the film Ava DuVernay was available to take questions from majority audience students from 28 schools. I have no words to express the emotions in this film, watch on you tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6t7vVTxaic
Spring Meeting: World Bank, IMF, WTO and UNCTAD Annual spring meeting was held at the UN and attached is the MMS statement delivered on behalf of the civil society on Renewed global partnership.
5th Interactive dialogue on Harmony with Nature: An excellent Panel presentation was held on 27th on Harmony with nature, very inspiring and informative session I encourage all to watch it if you can: http://webtv.un.org/ The Panel Presentation can be found in the website: http://harmonywithnatureun.org/index.php?page=view&type=12&nr=45
I would like to close with an excellent 6.5-minute video done by Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development on *Development Justice:* https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1I2cEDbIW04