NEWSLETTER – May 2015: I. MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT OF CoNGO HONOURING THE UN ON ITS 70TH ANNIVERSARY SHARED IDEALS, SHARED VALUES, SHARED FUTURES………
INVITATION – THURSDAY MAY 7, 2015 – 10:00 – 12:30
United Nations Headquarters, New York – Conference Room 11
The United Nations System should be the prime location for intelligent, knowledge-based, rational and future-oriented intergovernmental debate and decision-making. Competent and responsible NGO/CSO input to intergovernmental debate and decision-making is a major factor in enhancing competent and responsible government output, to more effectively cope with the complex issues and needs of our interconnected planet.
The United Nations 70th Anniversary is an occasion to underline the fundamental synergy between UN VALUES and NGO/CSO ETHICS, and to focus on TOGETHER making the world a better place for future generations. The Conference of UN NGOs (CoNGO) is accordingly organizing or co-hosting three commemorative Events during the 70th Anniversary Year, one each in New York, Geneva and Vienna.
We invite you to participate (free seating) in the first of these Events, being held at UNHQ (Conference Room 11) on Thursday May 7, 2015.
PROGRAM 10.00 – 12.30 INTRODUCTION: Cyril Ritchie, President of CoNGO
KEYNOTE ADDRESS: H.E. Ambassador Martin Sajdik, President of the UN Economic and Social Council PANEL: Navid Hanif, Director of the Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination
Elizabeth Benham, Past-President, International Federation of Business and Professional Women
Natasha Despotovic, Executive Director, Global Foundation for Democracy and Development
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION AND INTERACTION, leading to Conclusions and pointers for the future of UN/Civil Society cooperation and mutual reinforcement in such key areas as:
Financing for Development, Sustainable Development Goals, Post-2015 Agenda, Climate Change, HABITAT III, World Humanitarian Summit, 2nd United Nations Environment Assembly, UNCTAD XIV, UN General Assembly Special Sessions on the world drug problem and on nuclear disarmament…….
RECEPTION 13.00 – 14.30
Participants are then invited to a Reception in Building DC1 (First Avenue), Third Floor, cosponsored by the International Alliance of Women and the UN Friendship Club.
The CoNGO Events are also financially supported by the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development, the Global Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church, and the Union of International Associations.
Cyril Ritchie, President of CoNGO
CoNGO’s current intern in the Geneva Office, Sinmyung Park, will return to Kyung Hee University, Seoul, in May to continue his studies. He again put together the present E-NEWSLETTER with the competence and care that he has shown during his time in Geneva. I thank him most warmly.
Cyril Ritchie, President of CoNGO
III. CIVIL SOCIETY NEWS & UPCOMING EVENTS
ANNALS OF PUBLIC AND COOPERATIVE ECONOMICS VOL. 86, 1, 2015
This Journal is on the theme «Organization and Governance of Social Economy Enterprises »
TITLES OF SOME ARTICLES are as follows:
1. GOVERNANCE OF NON-PROFIT AND NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS – WITHIN – AND BETWEEN – ORGANIZATION ANALYSES: AN INTRODUCTION
2. WHY PAY NGOs TO INVOLVE THE COMMUNITY?
3. MATCHING PROFIT AND NON-PROFIT NEEDS: HOW NPOs AND COOPERATIVES CONTRIBUTE TO GROWTH IN TIME OF CRISIS. A QUANTITATIVE APPROACH
You can view the articles at:
DRUG POLICY – ROLE OF CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS AT THE UN
Information from Dianova International
There is room for improvement so that civil society can contribute effectively to a decision-making process at all levels. Today, it is taken for granted that civil society should be attending the Commission on Narcotic Drugs meetings (CND). However, not long ago, the sole mention of “civil society” was not welcomed by all State representatives. The most significant changes derive from the work of the Vienna NGO Committee (VNGOC), a platform gathering NGOs working in the field of drugs, and to the facilitator role of UNODC Civil Society Team. NGOs such as Dianova have endeavored to be present at each session and to give their opinion about everything of concern to them.
Dianova’s objective is not only to represent the interest of its network within international organizations, it is also to strengthen the role of civil society in these organizations.
The last 58 CND session took place between 9th and 17th of March in Vienna. In this meeting, we could confirm the ground gained by civil society members within the organism, as well as their broad acceptance by the United Nations. The following constitute a sample of these affirmations.
Launch of a Civil Society Task Force to Prepare UNGASS 2016
Thanks to the collaboration of NGO Committees working in the field of drugs at the United Nations, a Civil Society Task Force has been established, the objective of which is to ensure a comprehensive, structured, significant and balanced participation of civil society at UNGASS. The working group consists of 27 members (18 representing various regions in the world, 6 the affected populations and 3 covering global perspectives), that will be presenting civil society stances regarding issues to be addressed during UNGASS 2016.
Fourth Civil Society Hearing
This type of meeting, which was organized informally in the previous years, has been established within the CND system, which implies to incorporate Civil Society in the consultation procedures. The fourth hearing counted with the participation of UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov; Chair of Board in charge of UNGASS, Khaled Shamaa; and UNODC chief of prevention and treatment branch, Dr. Gilberto Gerra, among others. Highest authorities have recognized the role of civil society and have supported the creation of the Civil Society Task Force.
The special segment on UNGASS preparations was structured around five different interactive debates. Each debate would count with a panel comprising representatives of member states, regions, high level authorities and, for the first time, a representative of civil society. The latter had the opportunity to address the plenary session (among which were representatives at the ministerial level) during 7 minutes. Moreover, during the Q&A, civil society representatives were entitled to ask questions, as any ministry-level State representative.
VNGOC: Civil Society Platform
Taking advantage of the gathering of so many NGO representatives, VNGOC organized an Assembly of members and presented an online program prototype on which the organizations has been working for more than one year. The Market Place program resembles a kind of Facebook network designed to put in touch service providers and clients in the field of drug prevention, treatment and reintegration.
Dianova deems especially positive the many advances made to make civil society representatives and organizations more visible and accepted. However, we should remain vigilant because there is still room for improvement so that civil society organizations can secure their role in the CND and through their expertise contribute effectively to advancing drug policies worldwide. Our ultimate objective is to have a positive impact on people’s lives.
INDEPENDENT COMMISSION ON MULTILATERALISM (ICM)
Over the course of two years, the Independent Commission on Multilateralism will analyze the multilateral system through the lens of fifteen issue areas, and each will be the focus of expert-level discussions. The resulting issues papers will be posted on www.icm2016.org and circulated to seek external input before culminating into a final report by the end of 2016.
The fifteen issue areas are as follows:
1. New Threats, Challenges, and Opportunities for the Multilateral System
2. Weapons of Mass Destruction, Non-Proliferation, and Disarmament
3. Armed Conflict within and between States
4. Terrorism, including issues related to Ideology, Identify Politics, and Organized Crime
5. The Impact of New Technologies on Peace, Security, and Development
6. Fragile States and Fragile Cities
7. Sustainable Development, Climate Change, and the Post-2015 Development Agenda
8. Global Pandemics and Global Public Health
9. Social Inclusion, Political Participation, and Effective Governance in Challenging Environments
10. Justice, Human Rights, and the International Legal System
11. Women, Peace and Security
12. Humanitarian Engagements
13. Forced Displacement, Refugees, and Migration
14. The Relationship between the UN, Regional Organizations, Civil Society, the Private Sector, and NGOs
15. Communication Strategy for the UN multilateral system
The ICM is chaired by former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, with former Indian ambassador to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri functioning as the Secretary-General. The work of the Commission will be conducted under the supervision of the chair and the co-chairs and supported by the International Peace Institute (IPI), a global think tank, which serves as the Secretariat.
1. An Advisory Council of Eminent Persons
2. A Ministerial-level Board
3. An Ambassadorial-level Board
The above structure will be supported by a Working Group made up of participants from governments. Under the direction of the Secretary-General, and in close cooperation with the Chair and Co-Chairs, IPI will take the lead in drafting the final report of the Commission.
Information – International Peace Institute
WORLD FUTURE COUNCIL (WFC)
The World Future Council recently launched FuturePolicy.org – an online database designed for forward-thinking policy-makers, to simplify the sharing of existing and proven policy solutions which tackle the world’s most fundamental and urgent problems.
Grown from the conviction that solutions exist for the most essential challenges to humanity’s survival, FuturePolicy.org highlights the most exemplary policy solutions for present and future generations as uncovered by the WFC’s future-just law-making methodology.
The new version of this policy website goes beyond the climate change challenge. Recognising the importance of interconnections to sustainable policy solutions, WFC aims to highlight all research carried out according to the broad thematic chapters of the WFC Global Policy Action Plan . Policy-makers will be able to discover, learn of, and consequentially utilise successful policy innovations from all over the world, listed under seven thematic chapters.
FuturePolicy.org bridges the gap between complex academic research and the implementation process, presenting each policy in a clean and structured format which provides additional information with regards to policy context, the reasons for its selection as a “best Policy”, methods of implementation, impacts and potential as a transferable model. It goes beyond simply ‘identifying’ solutions by taking the next steps to engage policy-makers and thus enable a proactive implementation process.
WFC welcomes all feedback and further suggestions as to exemplary policies!
Subscribe to WFC’s fortnightly newsletter
IV. UN NEWS & UPCOMING UN EVENTS
THE 58th SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS COMMISSION ON NARCOTIC DRUGS (CND)
Preparations for the special session of the United Nations General Assembly on the world drug problem
Among the most prominent aspects of the session were:
The issue of prevention: Finland announced that it was about to establish the equivalent of a “Ministry of Prevention”, that will have competencies among all government initiatives and programs. This new department will replace all prevention sections present at various government levels (in general directions, health agencies, schools and hospitals). Having a unique prevention department (health, education environment, etc.) will enable the issue to be treated holistically. This announcement was warmly welcomed by UNODC.
Access to drugs for medical purposes in developing countries:
One of the main functions of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) is to establish a list of narcotic drugs that should be controlled, and control its production. The problem is that there are serious distorts in their distribution. A very alarming figure is that 75% of the world population has no or very limited access to morphine or other heavy pain relief analgesics. Civil society representatives requested governments and INCB to ensure accessibility to drugs with medical use to all people that for medical and humanitarian reasons needs these.
UNITED NATIONS OFFICE ON SPORT FOR DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE (UNOSDP)
UNOSDP AND CAMP BECKENBAUER JOIN EFFORTS TO EMPOWER YOUTH
A new cooperation partnership has been established between UNOSDP and Camp Beckenbauer Management (CBM).
With a joint mission to support and inspire youth to invoke change in their communities, the two organisations will share their educational platforms to multiply empowerment opportunities for young people through sport.
As part of the agreement, CBM intends to contribute to the curriculum of the UNOSDP Youth Leadership Programme by facilitating a one day session for participants of a Youth Leadership Camp (YLC) in 2016. The session will be designed in the form of a workshop through which CBM experts will teach the participants how to generate visionary ideas and how to promote them, while showing them how these skills can be projected onto Sport for Development and Peace initiatives and the issues faced in their communities back home.
UN Women’s Report “Progress of the World’s Women” was launched in April 2015, with the theme: “Transforming Economies, Realizing Rights”
Fusing human rights and economic policymaking, this report provides insight and analysis on what makes economies work for women, and how to make them a reality, for the benefit of all.
The chapter headings and their brief summaries are as follows:
1. SUBSTANTIVE EQUALITY FOR WOMEN: The challenge for public policy
Bridging the gap between formal rights and women’s lived experience, to achieve substantive equality, is the key challenge for public policy. To address this gap, Progress proposes a 3-point framework for action:
i. Resources: Redressing women’s socio-economic disadvantage
ii. Respect: Addressing stereotyping, stigma, and violence
iii. Voice: Strengthening women’s agency, voice and participation
Only when action is taken in all three domains can we bring about the transformation of structures and institutions – including households, labour markets and governance institutions – that maintain women’s subordination.
2. TRANSFORMING WORK FOR WOMEN’S RIGHTS
Minimum wages reduce the risk of women being in low paid work and narrow the gender pay gap
Providing paid leave and child-care services make it easier for women and men to combine paid and unpaid work, expanding women’s employment choices
Joint titling and equal ownership rights for married women, increase women’s control over land, helping to secure their livelihoods.
3. MAKING SOCIAL POLICY WORK FOR WOMEN
Social protection measures (family allowances and pensions) and social services (health, care services and water and sanitation) can reduce women’s poverty, reduce their unpaid care work and expand their choices, but only when they are designed with women’s rights at their heart.
4. MACROECONOMIC POLICY AND GENDER EQUALITY
Macroeconomic policies are assumed to be ‘gender neutral’, but they impact on the distribution of unpaid work, the availability of jobs and the quality of public services, all with major implications for women. In recent years, austerity policies have led to cut-backs in essential public services and public sector employment, with disproportionate impacts on women.
You can download the full report at http://progress.unwomen.org/en/2015/
The NGO INVESTIGATION SPECIALIST ROSTER (NGO-ISR)
An initiative aimed at strengthening UNHCR-NGO cooperation in investigations
Aim of the NGO-ISR
The aims of the NGO-ISR are to strengthen both UNHCR / NGO cooperation in 3rd party investigations as well as the accountability and quality of the performance of UNHCR’s partners. It is also predicted that the NGO-ISR will serve to reduce incidents of abuse of persons of concern, and will ensure more efficient use of financial, physical and human resources. The ability and will to investigate and discipline misconduct is a key to the credibility of humanitarian action in general, and to the reduction of misconduct in particular.
Who can use the NGO-ISR and for what purpose
The NGO-ISR is available to UNHCR’s NGO partners to ensure that allegations of misconduct of NGO staff, notably in cases such as sexual exploitation and abuse, fraud, corruption, programme management, procurement, etc., are expeditiously pursued, and the necessary investigations carried out. Exceptionally, the IGO may also request the deployment of a roster member to investigate allegations of misconduct of UNHCR staff. In such cases, the IGO will be fully responsible for all aspects of the investigation, including administrative arrangements.
Financial and Administrative arrangements
The requesting partner is normally expected to cover the costs of the investigation. However, for NGOs that are not in a position to fund these costs, the IGO will cover them. For investigations financed by the IGO, the latter will be responsible for all administrative arrangements. For investigations financed by NGOs, the latter will be responsible for all administrative arrangements.
What to report
What happened? Describe in detail what you know about the incident(s).
Who committed the alleged wrongdoing? Do you know if anyone else was involved? (Provide full names, titles and organization, if possible)
When and where did the incident(s) occur? Indicate dates and times, if available.
Focal Point for the NGO-ISR
Inspector General’s Office
94 rue de Montbrillant
Geneva 1202, Switzerland
Fax: +41 22 739 7380
UNITED NATIONS OFFICE AT VIENNA (UNOV)
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
The Secretariat of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption informs Economic and Social Council Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) that in accordance with resolution 4/6 entitled “Non-governmental organizations and the Mechanism for the Review of Implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption”, a Briefing for NGOs will be held on Thursday, 4 June 2015, on the outcomes of the review process, including on the technical assistance needs identified.
The briefing will be convened on the margins of the sixth session of the Implementation Review Group and will be conducted by the secretariat in cooperation with a member of the bureau on the basis of the Implementation Review Group reports, thematic implementation reports and regional supplementary agenda. Admitted observer organizations who may designate representatives to attend the Briefing, are requested to provide concrete information on their activities contributing to the review process, technical assistance activities and the implementation of the Convention.
The Programme for the Briefing will be electronically available and can be accessed through the following addresses:
QR Code (Quick Response Code) posters will be posted around the Conference area to facilitate the immediate electronic access to the documentation.
An official letter indicating the names of the persons constituting each NGO’s delegation, including individual email addresses, should be sent not later than 21 May 2015 to the Secretariat of the Conference of the Parties, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, P.O. Box 500, 1400 Vienna, Austria, fax: +43-1 26060 5848 or an advance scanned copy to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that only scanned copies of official letters will be accepted by e-mail.
V. INTERGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS
COUNCIL OF EUROPE
Factsheet on the Istanbul Convention
Title of the convention: The council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence
Opening for signature: Istanbul, 11 May 2011
Added value of the Istanbul Convention:
It is the first international legally-binding instrument open to any country in the world to provide for a comprehensive set of measures to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence.
It recognizes violence against women as a human rights violation and a form of discrimination against women.
It criminalises specific offences such as stalking, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, forced abortion and forced sterilisation.
It provides that tradition or so-called honour cannot be a justification for violence against women.
It is based on the 4 Ps: prevention, protection, prosecution and integrated policies.
70th Anniversary of the United Nations Organization (1945-2015)
150th Anniversary of the International Telecommunications Union (1865-2015)
UN International Year of Soils
Serbian Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
May 19-22: World Education Forum 2015 (WEF) (Incheon, South Korea)
May 25-29: ITU, UNESCO, UNCTAD and UNDP: WSIS Forum 2015 – “Innovating Together: Enabling ICTs for Sustainable Development” (Geneva)
June 4: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime: Mechanism for the review of implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption – Briefing for NGOs on the outcome of the review process (UNOV Vienna)
Programme of the Briefing: http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/treaties/CAC/IRG-sessions.html
June 7-9: Organization of American States (OAS): General Assembly (Haiti)
June 9-11: UN enable: 8th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN Headquarters, New York)
June 22-24: Deutsche Welle (DW): Global Media Forum – “Media and foreign policy in the digital age” (Bonn, Germany)
July 13-16: UN: 3rd International Conference on Financing for Development (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
July 27-30: Asian Population Association: 3rd International Conference (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
July 28-31: TRANSED: 14th International Conference on Mobility and Transport for Elderly and Disabled Persons (Lisbon, Portugal)
September 7-11: 14th World Forestry Conference (Durban, South Africa)
WFC XIV – Info@fao.org
October 12-16: Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) – Istanbul, Turkey
12 – 13: GFMD Civil Society Days
14: GFMD Common Space between Governments and Civil Society
15 – 16: GFMD Government Days
November 1-4: WORLD MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRACY (email@example.com)
Eighth Global Assembly (Seoul, Korea)
Theme: “Empowering Civil Society for Democracy and Its Renewal”
November 16-18: OHCHR: Fourth annual United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland
German Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
March 14-18: UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT (UNCTAD): UNCTAD XIV – Lima, Peru
May 11-12: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: UN World Humanitarian Summit (Istanbul, Turkey)
May 23-27: UN Environment Assembly: Second Meeting of the UN Environment Assembly (Nairobi, Kenya)
July 25-27: Third session of the Preparatory Committee for Habitat III: JAKARTA, Indonesia
August 20-26: International Federation of University Women (IFUW): 32nd Triennial Conference “Empowering women and girls through lifelong, quality education and training up to the highest levels.”
September 30-October 3: Global Campaign on Military Spending: World Congress – “War, Money, Transformation: Disarmament for Development!” (Berlin, Germany)
October 17-20: Habitat III Conference: Quito, Ecuador
UN Commission on Human Settlements: HABITAT III (Quito, Ecuador)
UNODC: Special Session of the UN General Assembly on the World Drug Problem – “Achieving the 2019 Goals – A better Tomorrow for the World’s Youth”
UN General Assembly: UN High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament
UN-Habitat: 9th World Urban Forum (WUF9)(Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
100th Anniversary of the International Labour Organization (ILO)