CIVICUS expresses shock at the arrest and subsequent detention of Adilur Rahman Khan, Secretary of the prominent Bangladeshi Adilur Rahman Khanhuman rights NGO, Odhikar, a CIVICUS member. Adil was arrested in front of his house on the night of 10 August by plain clothed police from the Detective Branch. No warrant was produced at the time of his arrest. Adil was taken before a judicial magistrate on 11 August and has been remanded to custody for five days. He is reportedly being accused of violating the Information and Communication Technology Act for the publication of a fact finding mission report by Odhikar on the alleged killing of 61 people by Bangladeshi security forces in May 2013.

CIVICUS believes that Adil is being unjustly persecuted for his work and beliefs as a human rights defender by Bangladesh’s security forces. Adil and Odhikar have been particularly active in raising concerns about Bangladesh’s human rights record at international forums including the UN Human Rights Council. He has been threatened and placed under surveillance in the past.

CIVICUS has written to the Head of Bangladesh’s Permanent Mission in Geneva amid heightened concerns about Adil’s safety and security in custody.

CIVICUS asks you to spread the word and join the call for Adilur Rahman Khan’s release by signing the petition to Bangladesh’s Prime Minister here

Find out more:
Odhikar statement on arrest of Adilur Rahman Khan 

Ales Bialiatski

In commemoration of "International Day of Solidarity with Civil Society of Belarus", CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation reiterates its call for the immediate release of imprisoned Belarusian activist, Ales Bialiatski.

Bialiatski, the founder of one of Belarus' leading human rights organisations, "Viasna", was sentenced in August 2011 to four and a half years in prison as reprisal for his work and beliefs as part of the government's on-going crackdown on civic dissent. Today, Belarus has one of the most disenabling and oppressive operating environments for civil society in the world.

Sign the petition for Ales Bialiatski's release on Civil Society Behind Bars!
For more information please contact Tor[dot]Hodenfield[at]civicus.org

24 de junio 2013

CIVICUS: Alianza Mundial para la Participación Ciudadana está buscando candidatos a  la elección de su nuevo Consejo de Administración. El actual Consejo se está acabando, y estamos buscando dirigentes de la sociedad civil competentes para ayudar en la gestión de la organización desde fines de 2013 hasta fines de 2016.

1. Funcionamiento

Los miembros de CIVICUS pueden ahora ser candidato a la elección del nuevo Consejo de CIVICUS. Después del 28 de julio 2013, un Comité de Nominaciones de CIVICUS (compuesto de los actuales miembros del Consejo quienes no pueden presentarse a estas elecciones) examinara las candidaturas recibidas y seleccionara los 26 candidatos más calificados quienes corresponden más a los criterios enunciados abajo.

CIVICUS Guest Column by John Coonrod, PhD, Executive Vice President, The Hunger Project

All politics is local. The truth of this saying is underscored by the experience of my Hunger Project colleagues working in 20,000 villages, as well as by studies such as the World Bank’s massive 2010 study “Moving Out of Poverty.”

Progress on all eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) requires planning and action at the local level: food security, jobs, primary health care, primary education, changing gender attitudes, water, sanitation and preserving the natural environment.

While national governments need to provide resources and standards, the nitty-gritty details of ensuring that people can reach these fundamental services depends on local government.

When we look at success stories where people have rapidly liberated themselves from extreme poverty - such as in Brazil and the Kerala state of India - these are often the result of strong decentralisation and strong mechanisms of participatory local democracy that involves a vibrant local civil society.

Yet good local governance is virtually absent from the international agenda. How do we transform this?

French | Spanish

CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation would like to invite you to a series of civil society events taking place between 10th and 15th November 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Coming just two months after the UN General Assembly meetings in New York in September, the week of strategising, dialogue and mobilisation will be a key milestone and space for global civil society to chart a route forwards on how to bring real citizen voice, accountability and mobilisation into the newly emerging development vision.

Two major global civil society conferences, at the heart of the week, are being hosted for the first time outside of Europe:

  • The conference on Building a Global Citizens Movement, convened by CONCORD/DEEEP, will take place on 11-12 November, and bring grassroots activists and social movements together with organised civil society. A session hosted by CIVICUS and partners, with a special South African focus, will connect the experiences of yesterday’s struggle activists with more recent social justice movements.
  • The International Civil Society Centre's Global Perspectives 2013 conference engages global and national CEOs of leading international civil society organisations in a dialogue around navigating disruptive change. The conference is co-hosted by ActionAid International and CIVICUS and will take place on 13-15 November.

In the wings of these two important conferences, CIVICUS will also organise a range of side meetings and events, bringing together many of its existing networks for regular meetings and holding a number of workshops, for example on strengthening the enabling environment for civil society. We will also convene the alliance’s membership Annual General Meeting, Board of Directors, and Youth Advisory Group.

In late 2012, CIVICUS announced that it would not hold a CIVICUS World Assembly in 2013, instead using the year to learn and evaluate what kind of spaces could best convene global civil society around the issues that matter. While we carry on this learning process, the series of events scheduled for 10th – 15th November will provide an important space and opportunity for global civil society to convene, and is expected to bring together around 500 civil society leaders and activists.

Are you interested in participating in or organising your own session in the wings of the CIVICUS civil society week? We want to bring as many CSOs, activists and friends of civil society to Johannesburg as possible for this important week, so please let us know as soon as possible by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and watch this space for details of formal application and registration!

24 juin 2013

Veuillez télécharger et compléter le formulaire de mise en candidature en Anglais, Espagnol, Français. La date limite de dépôt des candidatures est le dimanche 28 Juillet 2013.

CIVICUS: Alliance Mondiale pour la Participation Citoyenne recherche des candidats pour l'élection de son nouveau Conseil d'Administration. A l'heure où le mandat de l'actuel Conseil touche à sa fin, l'alliance mondiale de la société civile pour le renforcement de l'action citoyenne recherche des dirigeants de la société civile compétents afin d'aider à diriger et gérer l'organisation de fin 2013 à fin 2016.

1. Fonctionnement

Les membres de CIVICUS peuvent maintenant être candidat à l'élection du nouveau Conseil de CIVICUS. Passé ce délai (28 juillet 2013), un Comité de Nominations de CIVICUS (composé des actuels membres du Conseil qui ne peuvent pas se présenter pour ces élections) examinera les candidatures reçues et sélectionnera les 26 candidats les plus qualifiés, et qui répondent le mieux aux critères énoncés ci-dessous.

by Marlyn Tardros, PhD Executive Director of Virtual Activism

The world watched the January 25th revolution which ousted long-time president Hosni Mubarak. Now the world is watching again, this time with less optimism. But this is the story of a people who refuse anything less than freedom. Egyptians of all walks of life are not sleeping in tonight. Everyone throughout Egypt is on the streets determined to continue their revolution which had been interrupted.

Tahrir Square Panorama by Mohamed Azazy on Flickr

Ahead of the mass protests expected in Egypt on Sunday, CIVICUS spoke with Hicham Ezzat, an activist for Egypt’s pro-revolution movement.

Hicham Ezzat 21) Why did you become an activist?

It was a call more than a choice. The overwhelming nature of the causes brought out by the Egyptian revolution was beyond my individualism and I felt like my person was not as important as these causes.

Even more personally, the Egyptian revolution reconciled me with Egypt. I hadn’t found a place for myself as a French-Egyptian bi-national. There was no box for bi-nationals in Egypt before. I felt most of the people protesting around me were looking for a box to identify with or some acceptance that they had not found in the old Egypt.

For me, there is a very strong feeling that I now feel more Egyptian than some of these “pure Egyptians”. They were always accusing me of being less Egyptian than they. But the revolution made me realise that I love this country more than some of them do. Many travelled away and left, but I stayed.

mazen-darwish

Mazen Darwish, president of the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression, has been held in detention for more than a year by the Syrian authorities. Mazen’s colleagues have appealed to CIVICUS to highlight his case ahead of the International Day of Torture on 26 June. 

Read this call in French or Spanish

Download forms (EnglishSpanishFrench). Nominations close Sunday 28 July 2013

CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation is looking for nominations for election to its Board of Directors. As the term of the current Board draws to a close, we - the global civil society alliance dedicated to strengthening citizen action - are now searching for suitable civil society leaders to help steer and govern the organisation from the end of 2013 to the end of 2016.

1. How it works

Members of CIVICUS can now be nominated to stand for election to the new CIVICUS Board. Once the deadline(28 July 2013) has passed, a CIVICUS Nominations Committee (comprised of current Board members who will not be eligible to stand for election) will review the nominations received and select the 26 most suitable candidates to stand for election, who best fit the criteria outlined below.

An election will then be held, in which CIVICUS members with voting rights will elect 13 of the 26 candidates on the ballot paper. The 13 successful candidates will then be elected as the new Board of Directors, taking up their positions in November 2013 for a three-year term. The first meeting of the new Board is expected to take place in Johannesburg in the week beginning 11 November 2013. Board members appointed for the first term in 2013 will be eligible to stand for their second, final term again in 2016.

Maurício Santoro, human rights advisor at Amnesty International Brazil speaks on the on-going protests in his country and what they mean for civil society.

EC2014 confed protests

1)      Many are connecting the protests in Brazil to the protests in Turkey. Your thoughts?
There is a direct link. When the Brazilian demonstrations began, the activists in São Paulo were shouting: "Turkey is here".  Besides that, there any many similarities, both countries are democracies, with leaders who enjoy high rates of popularity at polls and they are not in economic crises - in contrast with the United States or the European Union. Even so, president Dilma Rosseff and prime minister Recep Erdogan are facing huge demonstrations in the major cities of their nations.

Aysegul Ekmekci and Semanur Karaman from Third Sector Foundation of Turkey (TUSEV) speak to CIVICUS about the on-going protests in the country and what they mean for the youth, politics and civil society in Turkey.

      Taksim Square

 

1)    Some analysts are comparing the situation in Turkey with the Arab Spring. What are your thoughts?
The Arab Spring was quite unique in the sense that it was a series of unprecedented events to see in the whole region. Within a matter of months, repressive governments of the region faced strong resistance from their citizens and had to respond to their calls. Although the international media is comparing the events in Turkey with the Arab Spring, they are actually quite different. The events, that started to take place in Istanbul as a reaction to the demolishing of the last green park in the center of Istanbul, did not initially begin with a political demand. However, public reaction to the government has escalated after the police forces used excessive violence against protestors who wanted their voices to be heard by the government.

Converting Africa’s impressive economic performance over the past decade into greater gains on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) remains a primary challenge for Africa, according to a new report.


Released today, The MDG Report 2013: Assessing progress in Africa toward the Millennium Development Goals concludes that while Africa is the world’s second fastestgrowing region, its rate of poverty reduction is insufficient to reach the target of halving extreme poverty by 2015.


The progress report, prepared by the African Union Commission (AUC), UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), UN Development Programme (UNDP), and the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), was launched on the final day of the African Union Summit.


Read more at African Brains

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), recognized Wednesday that Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and Peru are the only countries in Latin America to have already achieved the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) related to reducing poverty and malnutrition.


The first of the MDGs – to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger – involves reducing by half the number of people who suffer from malnutrition between the years 1990 and 2012. This was also the biggest challenge to emerge at the World Food Summit.


In addition to the three Latin American nations, several other countries around the world were also recognized by the FAO for reducing poverty and malnutrition: Guyana, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Djibouti, Georgia, Ghana, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Samoa, São Tomé and Principe, Thailand, Turkmenistan, and Vietnam.


Read more at SiBCI

Jordan was among 38 countries worldwide that were able to halve the proportion of hungry people between 1990-92 and 2010-2012, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said Wednesday.


FAO said in a statement, posted on its website, that these countries have met internationally established targets in the fight against hunger, Millennium Development Goal (MDG) number one, making successes ahead of a deadline set for 2015.


Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger is one of eight MDGs to be met by all the world's countries by 2015. The other goals are: reducing child mortality, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality, improving maternal health, combating diseases such as HIV/AIDS, ensuring environmental sustainability and creating global partnerships for development.


Read more at Menafn.com

The Women Deliver 2013 Global Conference in Kuala Lumpur concluded with a united call for continued investment in girls and women at a time when the world critically needs to prioritize girls and women in the lead up to the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDG) deadline and beyond.

All speakers and panelists at the conference, billed as the biggest in the decade, addressed the importance of placing girls and women at the center of the next development agenda, discussing advocacy strategies to keep girls’ and women’s needs in focus by prioritizing gender equality and the empowerment of girls and women to make their own decisions on the lives they lead.


Read more at The Jakarta Post

The U.N. high-level report on the post-2015 framework reflects an evolution on global development thinking that departs substantially from the MDGs, writes Terra Lawson-Remer, Fellow for Civil Society, Markets and Democracy at the Council on Foreign Relations.
 
Last week the U.N. High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda released its long anticipated report: A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies Through Sustainable Development. I’ve finally had time to give the long report a good read. It is an aspirational manifesto, reflecting a “new mainstream” in development thinking that departs substantially from the development thinking of the 80s, 90s or even the 2000s.
 
The HLP focuses on some critical issues that have too long been sidelined: governance and rule of law, inequality and social and economic exclusion, and sustainability (especially climate change) to advance shared opportunity within and across generations. The report also recognizes the central role played by global economic rules, rather than aid flows, in creating opportunity or perpetuating poverty and exclusion. This attention to the local impact of global rules is similarly the starting point of my ongoing CFR series on poverty, inequality, and global economic governance.


Read more devex

On 30 May 2013, the High-Level Panel assembled by the UN Secretary General published its recommendations for the post-2015 development agenda. The document outlines both a general view on the future of global development (culminating in the five ‘big, transformative shifts’) and a list of goals and targets to follow up on the original Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).


The new list is longer than the original: there are now 12 instead of eight goals, and 53 instead of 21 targets. Two clear observations can be drawn from this sheer rise in numbers. First, the increase may be interpreted as an indication of a wider and higher level of ambition. Coming from this group of eminent persons, including many political leaders, this is a positive factor. Despite attracting various critiques, the MDGs have been a positive focusing device for policy and thinking about policy. By increasing the scope of goals, this focusing function is potentially stronger because it will affect a larger set of relevant issues.


Read more at Talkin’ Business

United Nations officials today highlighted the need to recognize the vital role of culture in poverty reduction and sustainable growth, and to ensure that it is integrated into the post-2015 development agenda.


As Member States plot the course for the global development agenda after 2015, the target date for achieving the anti-poverty objectives known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the General Assembly convened today’s high-level thematic debate to consider the role and impact of culture on development.


“The significance of the nexus between culture and development for the post-2015 agenda is not yet fully grasped,” said the President of the Assembly, Vuk Jeremic, who convened the debate in cooperation with the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).


Read more at UN News Centre

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has endorsed the replenishment of funding for the Global Fund and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership.
In a dispatch from Japan, President Sirleaf who spoke just at the close of an opening statement by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, recalled her appointment by Mr. Ban in July 2012, to co-chair, along with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia and Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, and a Panel of 24 eminent persons, to consult and devise a new development framework to replace the Millennium Development Goals in 2015.


Read more at allAfrica

The High-Level Global Cooperation for Development Symposium is happening in Ethiopia 6 to 7 June 2013. It intends to see "A renewed global partnership for development for a post-2015 era".


High level delegations from over 100 countries both developed and developing have convened in Addis Ababa to look into the performance of the Millennium Development Goals and to see how the remaining goals would be achieved.


Addressing the Symposuim Sofian Ahmed, Minister of Finance and Economic Development reckons Africa is on track to meet the Millennium Development Goals.


The Symposium intends to renew the global partnership for development to meet goals that haven't been achieved and may possibly be unmet in the coming two three years.


This Symposium is a preparatory meeting to the upcoming symposium in 2014 that will convene to renew the millennium development goals for post 2015.


Read more at allAfrica

Anti-corruption and governance are undeniably key factors for achieving and sustaining development, globally as well as nationally. Governance and anti-corruption serve as forces behind eliminating poverty. Both are preconditions for sustainable and equitable development.
 
Until now, however, they have not been fully integrated into development agendas and efforts, most notably the Millennium Development Goals that were agreed in 2000 and which are to be achieved by 2015.
 
Yet all this may be about to change.
 
On Friday, a high-level panel of experts convened by the U.N. issued a report that identified 12 areas for goals that are to succeed the MDGs come 2015. Included is a stand-alone goal to ensure good governance and effective institutions, including a target to reduce bribery and corruption. It also put governance among the “transformative” factors affecting development beyond 2015. Putting governance so high on the agenda shows how much the development debate has shifted since 2000.


Read more at devex

May was a great month for showcasing the centrality of women to every single goal on the international agenda for development and poverty eradication. Dare I call it a watershed moment? It depends on what happens next.


The third Women Deliver conference -- a global call for action to improve the health and well-being of girls and women -- closed on the day that the UN's High Level Panel on post-2015 development objectives issued its recommendations. Both groups declared that poverty cannot be eradicated until no one, especially girls and women, is left behind.


The message: we must all get out of the "silos" that have each of us working against one problem in the development world while ignoring the rest. We must instead recognize that just as our targets are interlinked -- HIV/AIDS, family planning, maternal mortality, violence against women, child marriage -- so must our work -- and our spending -- be comprehensive as well.


Read more at Huffington Post

New global partnership for development - Global partnerships in development could work for Africa if they were aligned with the strategic vision of the continent and buttressed by a unified continental voice, Carlos Lopes, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), said here Thursday.

”In contrast,” Lopes added, “the partnerships that underpinned the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) framework did not go far enough to address some of the daunting challenges facing African countries.”

Lopes was addressing the opening session of a two-day high-level symposium that is discussing the future and features of a renewed global partnership for a post-2015 era, after the completion of the MDGs period in September 2015.

The symposium is the first of three major consultations in preparation for the Development Cooperation Forum that will be organised by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in July 2014 in New York to advance global dialogue on the future of development cooperation.


Read more AfriqueJet

MTN Ghana has pledged to work with the government in attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on education.


Mr James Bukari Basintale, General Manager of the Northern Business District of the Company, said this is in appreciation of the critical importance of education to the development of both the individual and the nation.
“It is the main resource that builds the human capital of every country.”


Launching the “Y’ellow Care 2013”, a community support activity, under the theme: “Investing in education for all”, he made reference to a research report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) which indicates that if all “students in low income countries left school with basic reading skills, 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty and this will contribute to reducing global poverty rate by 12 per cent”.

Read more at Vibe Ghana.com


Graham Stuart MP is encouraging charities and not-for-profit groups in Beverley and Holderness to bid for money from a £4m fund to support efforts to reduce global poverty.


The Global Poverty Action Fund’s Community Partnership Window allows small, UK-based organisations to put forward innovative ideas in pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals to help the poorest people around the world.
The bidding process has now opened and closes on 9 July 2013.


Mr Stuart said: “The Millennium Development Goals are a range of ambitious targets that were set by the leaders of 189 countries in 2000 and include the eradication of extreme hunger, the promotion of universal primary education, reduction in child mortality and improvement of maternal health.


Read more at  Driffield Times & Post


The report, compiled by the High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, co-chaired by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, was presented last week to Secretary-General with a focus on assisting the poorest and most marginalized, a disproportionate number of whom are women.

“The report puts reducing disaster risk centre stage in the Post-2015 Development Agenda debate,” said the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), Margareta Wahlström.

The 27-member Panel that wrote the document called for the new post-2015 goals to drive five major transformational shifts, including a transition from “reducing” to “ending” extreme poverty, leaving no one behind; putting sustainable development at the core of the development agenda; and forging a new global partnership based on cooperation, equity and human rights.


Read more at India Blooms

Give peace a chance. This is the message of the High-Level Panel, who singled out peace as a cornerstone of the post-2015 development agenda in their much-anticipated report released yesterday. The report stresses how freedom from conflict and violence are not just a means to an end, but ends in and of themselves. Such freedoms are “fundamental human entitlements” and “essential foundations for peaceful and prosperous societies.” Given simmering violence in the Middle East and across the Sahel, their message could not be more timely.


In putting peace squarely on the post-2015 development agenda, a historical wrong has finally been corrected. When the Millennium Declaration, which gave rise to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), was being crafted in the late 1990s, goals and targets on peace and security were quietly dropped from the final text. Now, they are front and center in the discussion. And rightly so. As the panel observes, “without peace, there can be no development.”

Read more at ISN Blog

One of the final announcements at Women Deliver, the global conference on family planning, was the launch of a social network campaign to demand countries include reproductive and sexual health and rights in the UN’s new development goals.


These new development goals will take over when the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expire in 2015. UN agencies, countries, non-governmental groups and suppliers are busy now working to ensure their top issue or product is included.


Read more at LifeNews.com

The European Union is edging closer to its final take on the post-2015 agenda.
 
The overarching framework for the period after the Millennium Development Goals expire in 2015 is one of the main items on the agenda of the EU development ministers’s meeting on Tuesday in Brussels, where ministers are also expected to approve a larger-than-expected budget for the European Development Fund and to set the tone for action to reduce poverty in the world with the implementation of the Agenda for Change.


Read more at devex

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is scheduled to receive the World Statesman Award from U.S.-based Appeal of Conscience Foundation (ACF) in his upcoming visit to New York.

The award is given in recognition of Yudhoyono's significant contribution to democracy, world peace and human rights promotion.

The award would be handed over by the ACF, a prestigious organization founded in 1965 that promotes coalition of business and religious leaders in enhancing peace, tolerance and resolution of ethnic conflicts around the world through democratic means and protecting human rights.


Read more People’s Daily Online

More than 3,000 delegates including policy-makers, advocates and world leaders representing over 150 countries will convene for the Women Deliver 2013 Conference at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) here, tomorrow, the decade's largest meeting focused on girls' and women's health and rights.

Malaysia is the first Asian country to be given the honour to host the three-day global conference, which was previously held in London and Washington D.C.

According to a statement from the conference's Malaysia Media Secretariat today, the conference would feature more than 100 sessions with talks by some of the world's leading voices, calling for action to ensure that girls and women are prioritised in the lead-up to the 2015 Millennium Development Goal deadline and beyond.


Read more at National News Agency of Malaysia

The United Nations Resident Coordinator Office in Lebanon is organizing a National Consultation on the Post-2015 Development Agenda which will take place on 29 May, at the Holiday Inn Beirut-Dunes (Dunes Ballroom) at 9:00 am. This consultation will be a unique opportunity for a frank and open discussion, to receive feedback from diverse segments of Lebanese society about key concerns, and to generate ideas for future regional and global improvements.


The UN General Assembly had called on the UN system to facilitate national discussions on development priorities in the post-2015 period. Lebanon was one of 83 countries selected to participate in the process.


In September 2000, The Assembly adopted the Millennium Declaration. Ratified by 198 countries, the Declaration pledged to achieve by the year 2015 eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) including poverty reduction, universal education, gender equity, protecting the environment and enhancing global partnership.


Read more at Zawya

Investing in the sexual and reproductive health of women and girls will help accelerate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, United Nations senior officials said on the final day of the Women Deliver Conference.


“We need – in Governments, legislatures, and public administrations – more people who will lead on these issues,” today said UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator, Helen Clark, in her remarks to the third Women Deliver Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


“We need many more women in positions of power, and women who are prepared to use that power to advance the human development and rights of other women.”


She added that life had improved for many girls and women since the eight anti-poverty targets known as the MDGs were launched with a deadline of 2015, and a 20-year action plan on sexual and reproductive health rights was agreed on in 1994 in Cairo at the UN International Conference on Population and Development.


Read more at UN News Centre

Investing in the sexual and reproductive health of women and girls will help accelerate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, United Nations senior officials said on the final day of the Women Deliver Conference.


“We need – in Governments, legislatures, and public administrations – more people who will lead on these issues,” today said UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator, Helen Clark, in her remarks to the third Women Deliver Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


“We need many more women in positions of power, and women who are prepared to use that power to advance the human development and rights of other women.”


She added that life had improved for many girls and women since the eight anti-poverty targets known as the MDGs were launched with a deadline of 2015, and a 20-year action plan on sexual and reproductive health rights was agreed on in 1994 in Cairo at the UN International Conference on Population and Development.


Read more at UN News Centre

The 27-member U.N. panel expressed "deep respect" for the MDGs, saying: "The 13 years since the millennium have seen the fastest reduction in poverty in human history: there are half a billion fewer people living below an international poverty line of $1.25 a day. Child death rates have fallen by more than 30 percent, with about three million children's lives saved each year compared to 2000. Deaths from malaria have fallen by one quarter."
The panel proposed a major expansion of the MDGs — with a special focus on the more than one billion people still living on less than $1.25 a day — to tackle the causes of poverty such as weak government institutions, corruption, a lack of basic freedoms, conflict and hunger.

Read more at ctpost.com

Excellency,

The undersigned organisations are writing to urge your government to ensure that the human rights situation in Egypt is addressed by your delegation at the Human Rights Council at its upcoming twenty third session in June 2013.

"We urge members and observer states of the Human Rights Council to explicitly address the ongoing human rights violations taking place in Egypt under items 3 and 4 of the programme of work. We also urge your delegations to call for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to ensure that any memorandum of understanding establishing an OHCHR regional office between the OHCHR and the Egyptian government allows the regional office to monitor and report on violations of human rights in Egypt to the OHCHR and other relevant entities."

Read more

“We are writing to call on members of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) to take action during the current 23rdsession of the HRC to renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, in response to the continued appalling situation of widespread and systematic human rights violations in Eritrea and the lack of cooperation demonstrated by the Eritrean government towards international and regional human rights mechanisms.”

Read More

Kenya's medical practitioners are among 3,000 guests attending an international conference on girls and women's health and human rights issues in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


The Women Deliver 2013, which brings together leaders and women rights advocates from more than 150 countries will be officially opened by Malaysia's Prime Minister Dato Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak on Tuesday.


Institutions such as the World Bank and World Health Organisation (WHO) are expected to release their new findings on how to improve voluntary family planning services within the next seven years.


The conference also hopes to make a resolution on how to place the needs of women and girls at the centre of the 2015 millennium development agenda.


Read more at Daily Nation

As the 2015 deadline to meet up with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approaches, the African region on Thursday called for the inclusion of all unmet health targets in the post-2015 agenda.


The post-2015 development agenda refers to a process by the UN to help define the future global development framework that would succeed the UN Goals.


Speaking on behalf of Nigeria in an interview, Dr Bridget Okoeguale, Director Public Health, Federal Ministry of Health, said there was the need to continue with MDGs 4 and 5 MDGs 4 and 5 deal with the health of mothers and children.
She noted that most countries, including Nigeria, were yet to meet up with the MDGs relating to women and children.


Read more at Spy Ghana

There is a growing push to include resilience to disaster risk in the post 2015 development agenda discussion.

The most frequently used reasons used at the UN Global Platform meeting underway in Geneva are huge costs to infrastructure and government and its impact on the poor and the most vulnerable groups in society.

Vulnerable groups, according to United Nations definition in terms of disaster risk represents women, children and people living with disability.

Speaking to journalists, the UN Deputy Secretary General, Jan Elliason said investing in disaster risk is not the sole responsibility of the central government but all stakeholders in the community.

“All stakeholders, which includes government, civil society and the business community should work together to build resilient infrastructure and communities to prevent natural disasters.


Read more at Prevention Web

A group United Nations human rights experts today called* for the post-2015 development agenda to be urgently refocused on equality, social protection and accountability. The statement came as UN Member States will discuss this week in New York how to shape a new set of global development goals.


“As we enter this crucial phase we must not forget the failures that have left nearly one billion hungry and poverty still rife. The rise of inequality has severely undermined the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals,” the independent experts said.


“Future goals must be sensitive to who benefits and at whose expense, and must go beyond blunt, aggregate targets that allow us to pick the ‘low-hanging fruit’ and ignore the most vulnerable groups, while leaving systemic injustices untouched,” they stressed.


The UN Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals will meet from 22 to 24 May to discuss the contours of a set of post-2015 targets to succeed the Millennium Development Goals.


Read more at Scoop World

Reproductive health is an essential right for all females and should be a major component in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, local and international experts told The Jordan Times.


“The Post-2015 Development Agenda gives us in Jordan and the world a great chance to renew commitments to women and children,” said Muna Idris, the UNFPA assistant representative in Jordan.


“Many of our indicators related to women’s health and reproductive health have stagnated over the past few years, and we need to exert additional efforts to reach a tipping point upwards again,” Idris told The Jordan Times in a recent interview.


In order to prepare a Post-2015 Development Agenda, the UN is carrying out global and national consultations to understand what priorities and recommendations are to be included in this future agenda, which will follow the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).


She explained that with youths representing 70 per cent of Jordan’s population, “we need to focus more attention on reproductive health and the empowerment of young women”.


Read more at The Jordan Times

The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that a total of 470 million new jobs, or about 32 million jobs per year, will be needed to provide employment to the world’s working age population in the 15 years from 2015 to 2030.
ILO senior economist, Aurelio Parisotto, cited the first results of the United Nations (UN)’s ‘My World’ global survey, which asked people in 190 countries for their priorities for a post-2015 development agenda, and which showed that “jobs are a high priority everywhere.”


Parisotto said that the current employment scenario is already bleak.


“One in every three workers in the world is living with their families below the US$2 poverty line,” he said. “They work as paid employees, own-account workers or unpaid family labour, but remain trapped in poverty.”


The world’s youth are particularly affected by unemployment. Parisotto said that of the over 200 million unemployed people worldwide, almost 73 million of whom are young people.


Read more at Asian Journal

As the world faces growing water securitychallenges, experts are calling for better monitoring of the availability, quality and use of water, and its inclusion in the UN's Sustainable Development Goals as a key issue in the post-2015 development agenda.

Human activities, such as building dams andagricultural irrigation, they say, have fundamentally altered the global water system, threatening ecosystems and a steady supply of fresh water. But a lack of scientific data and monitoring mean there is still no effective global governance of this key resource.


TheMillennium Development Goals, which expire in 2015, focus narrowly on drinking water and sanitation forhuman health, but ignore global water quantity and quality standards for personal use, agriculture and healthy ecosystems, argue scientists from the Global Water System Project (GWSP).


Read more at Thomas Reuters Foundation

“The rise of inequality has severely undermined the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs,” the independent experts said in their message to Member States which will meet this week in New York to discuss how to a shape a new set of global development goals for the period after the 2015 deadline of the MDGs.
“Development targets that pay no attention to which groups are being left behind are just like economic growth targets – they can be met without having any real impact on ensuring a more equal and just world,” they added.


The experts stressed that as the 2015 deadline approaches, countries must not forget that one billion are still hungry and that poverty is still rife across the world.


Read more at UN News Centre

African leaders and experts have called for children to be at the centre of the post-2015 development agenda. The call comes as the African Union (AU) prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary.


According to a statement issued yesterday by the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF), a panel of distinguished African leaders and thinkers agreed on a number of critical priorities to ensure children's specific and holistic needs are reflected in a strong post-2015 development agenda and a common set of accountable and comprehensive goals for governments and the international community.


ACPF is a leading pan-African centre for policy research and dialogue on the African child.


Joaquim Chissano of former president of Mozambique and Chairman of the International Board of Trustees of ACPF, said; "The MDGs have achieved much for children, galvanising development efforts and guiding global and national priorities, and as a continent Africa has witnessed much progress including impressive reductions in child mortality and greatly improved primary school enrolment."


Read more at allAfrica

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