MMS & the UN news-Dec 2016

Dear Readers,
Many things happened during the last few months including the Election of new leaders both at the UN and for the US. Though it seems like a defeat for women, we are delighted that Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, the Environmental Minister of Nigeria and outgoing Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning is the new Deputy Secretary General. She said “The opportunity and responsibility to serve people and planet as the next UN Deputy Secretary-General is truly humbling”.

The Paris Agreement on Climate Change
On November 4th, the Paris Agreement entered into force with the ratification of over 55 countries, just three days before the COP22 conference in Marrakech. This is the first time in the history of the UN that an agreement reached the required number of ratifications in less than one year! To celebrate this unprecedented feat, Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon held an event at the UN Headquarters in which eleven civil society organizations were invited to present their projects and relay their experiences of combating climate change. Initiatives included:
• Plant for the Planet – a youth led effort to plant trees and offset CO2 emissions;
• Local Governments for Sustainability; a global network of over 1,500 cities, towns and regions that assists in achieving sustainability;
• the Global Compact of Mayors, which standardized data collection and a means of measuring climate change initiatives;
• Carbon Tracker, a financial think tank that consists of legal, financial, and energy experts who provide companies with strategies to create wealth by embracing clean energy.

These efforts demonstrate the strong will of individuals, NGOs, corporations, academics and governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The entry into force of the Paris Agreement will forever be remembered as a historic day in which the international community embarked on a journey to heal the planet.
Orange the World : 16 Days of Action to End Violence Against Women . The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women falls annually on November 25th , followed by the Sixteen Days of Activism Against Gender -Based Violence. This year, UN Women and the Secretary General’s UNiTE Campaign invited guests to attend their ‘Orange the World’ event wearing orange, to symbolize a bright future for women and girls. The event brought awareness regarding the harmful practices affecting women and girls such as female genital mutilation, honor killings, sexual violence, domestic abuse, and forced marriage.
The importance of education in empowering girls and engaging boys in fighting for gender equality was a common theme throughout. Photos and video messages were shared from participants around the world and can be found on Twitter under #orangetheworld and #16days16stories. We are continuing in our fight to shift the global consciousness towards a more gender balanced and equal world.
SDG 7 – Ensure Access to Affordable,Reliable,Sustainable and Modern Energy for all

SDG 7-Energy and the Climate Conference in Marrakech COP 22 :  

The first meeting of the parties to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change took place in Marrakech, Morocco from 7 – 18 Nov 2016 marking a critical turning point toward a zero-carbon and resilient world.
Sessions focused on how to achieve SDG7, ensuring universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Best practices were showcased in side events and wide-ranging innovative approaches to accelerating the change to renewable energy were shared.
Recommended Actions: Watch the 4 videos for your Ecofriendly life style

1. Clean Energy is life :
2. Tips for Fuel-Efficient Driving :
3. Your living habits make up your footprint:
4. Easy Ways to Save Energy at Home :
Upcoming Events in 2017 :
Jan 30 -31 : The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum, to be held in NY, will provide a platform for youth to engage in a dialogue with Member States and share ideas on innovation, collective action and solutions to global problems. It will also address the concept of “shared prosperity”, which is at the core of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Feb1- 10 : Commission on Social Development – Theme would be “Strategies for the eradication of poverty to achieve sustainable development for all”. From 30-31 January 2017, a Civil Society Forum will be convened at UN Headquarters. Registration required for participation.
March 13- 24 : Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 61) Priority theme: “Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work –
See more at:
note: Those wishing to pre-register for CSOCD or CSW, please let me know before Jan 15,
Thank you for your interest in the UN and wish you all a Merry Xmas and happy holidays!

Celine Paramundayil

MMS UN rep