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Dear Readers,

New year at the UN : The opening of the UN General Assembly’s 71st Session in September included a celebration of the first anniversary of the adoption of 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The moment also served as a reminder to the international community that only 14 years remain to achieve the ambitious targets set out in the SDGs. For any government or other actors that has not yet done so, it is high time to get started on implementation, but taking the first step to implement this complex agenda may be the most difficult. More info:  http://sd.iisd.org/policy-updates/towards-integrated-implementation-tools-for-understanding-linkages-and-developing-strategies-for-policy-coherence/

The UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants: A special High level event was organized on 19 Sept focusing on the issues of Refugees and migrants. The NGO committee on Migration (MMS are members) called the world leaders for action. The Summit launched explicit commitments to create two global compacts over the next two years: one on refugees and one for safe, orderly and regular migration. Civil Society and others are invited to contribute to the global compacts. Please see this link:   http://refugeesmigrants.un.org/declaration

New Secretory General :The Security Council formally chose the former Prime Minister of Portugal, (1995 to 2002 ) Antonio Gutiérrez, as its 9th Secretary-General of the United Nations for the next five years. For the first time the post of SG was advertised (thanks to civil society including the campaign UNA UK, ‘one for 7 billion’) the selection process was open, inclusive and the 13 candidates- including 7 women had to present their vision to the General Assembly and via social media to the world besides respond to the questions from diplomats and civil society.

Mr. Guterres, a Catholic who served as the UN high commissioner for Refugees for 10 years ended his term in 2015, brings wealth of experiences and expertise as a politician and senior UN staff. He pledges to “serve the most vulnerable, the victims of conflicts, of terrorism, of rights violations, of poverty, of injustices.” Mr.Guterres, who is officially approved on Thursday morning by the General Assembly, has promised gender parity in senior appointments. In 2015, 9 out of 10 senior leadership jobs went to men.  Women’s groups and all those who campaigned for a women SG were disappointed with the outcome since the male biased P5 eliminated the equally competent women candidates in the secretive straw poll process.

 Day of the Girl Child -11Oct : The ambition for gender equality in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) highlights heavily the  disadvantage and discrimination borne by girls everywhere on a daily basis. Only through explicit focus on collecting and analyzing girl-focused, girl-relevant and sex-disaggregated data, and using these data to inform key policy and program decisions, can we adequately measure and understand the opportunities and challenges girls face, and identify and track progress towards solutions to their most pressing problems. With this in mind, the theme for this year’s International Day of the Girl (11 October) is Girls’ Progress = Goals’ Progress: What Counts for Girls. There was also 11 days of special programs to highlight the issues.  As part of the International Day of the Girl Child, countries are encouraging girls to take on leadership roles.  Woman MP from Canadian parliament spoke at the event. For more info  http://www.un.org/en/events/girlchild/

Other events in October:

Oct 14 : World Food Day 2016, Organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) will be celebrated under the theme ‘Climate is Changing, Food and Agriculture Must too,‘ with a focus on raising awareness about the actions people around the world can take to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The official World Food Day Ceremony will take place at FAO headquarters in Rome, on 14 October.

Oct 17- 20 Habitat III:Habitat III — the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development that happens only once every 20 years — is happening in in Quito, Ecuador, from 17-20 October 2016.

 

Oct 17:  Eradication of Poverty: Theme of 2016, moving from humiliation and exclusion to participation: ending poverty in all its forms. The Sustainable Development Goal to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere” explicitly recognizes that poverty results not from the lack of just one thing but from many different interrelated factors, multiple dimensions that affect the lives of people living in poverty.

The theme was selected in consultation with activists, civil society and NGOs– highlights how important it is to recognize and address the humiliation and exclusion endured by many people living in poverty.

Oct 24: United Nations Day : The UN has designated 2016 as the “International Year of Pulses” (IYP 2016) with the following themes:
A. Food Security, Nutrition, and Innovation
B. Creating Awareness and Sustainability
C. Market Access
D. Productivity and Environmental Sustainability

Activities in connection to the UN day will be held all over the world.

 

by,  Celine Paramunda MMS