Virtual meeting with Amina Mohammed on Post 2015, first online link up with all UN Country Teams in Caribbean

19 May 2015

UN Country Teams in Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica and Suriname, as well as PAHO staff in Saint Lucia, linked online to hosts at UN Information Centre in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, for a Town Hall with Amina Mohammed, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning this month.  

Ms. Mohammed opened the interactive 90 minute session by introducing the major principles driving the post-2015 development process, including equity and balance (empowering all groups), inclusiveness (“leave no one behind”), and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in an integrated way.  Her comments emphasized the need “to grow and invest in economies, but not to the detriment of people and planet.”

Moderated by UNIC Port of Spain Director, Juan Miguel Diez, participants requested an update on SDG indicators and targets – including their refinement, and tools for their measurement, evaluation and reporting of achievements. They also raised concerns about the overall capacity of the SDG framework – as an improvement on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) model, and in its potential support for the UN’s technical work on human rights, peace and security, and other thematic issues such as gender equality, youth empowerment, and climate change.  Questions were also raised about the role of the private sector, and whether the Goals could address donor resistance to high middle-income countries. 

In response, Ms. Mohammed stressed the political nature of the post-2015 negotiations among Member States over the past three years, and that it reflected countries’ own identified development needs: “The post-2015 agenda addresses the sustainable well-being of the entire planet in a holistic way: [it’s] not just about us talking a bit of development or a part of it or a Band-Aid on it, it’s about us talking about the whole.” 

This approach, she continued, would ensure sustainability and that “we don’t reverse the gains” of development in one area by fighting crises in another (such as had happened with the Ebola epidemic).  All States needed to use the SDG framework in support of their respective country development plans, while financial partners were equally responsible for assisting the process through aid and technical assistance.  UN country teams would also have a crucial role in assisting implementation of the Goals over the next 30 years. 

Participants were also reminded of the three significant markers in this final phase of the Post-2015 Agenda process – the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa in July, the SDG summit at UN Headquarters in September, and the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in December – and their importance in getting the necessary commitments for eliminating poverty and reaching attendant development goals within this generation.  

The meeting, a first for linking-up online all Caribbean country teams, was made possible with the technological support of the Department of Public Information’s (DPI) Information Centre Service. The complete session (1’ 31”) can be viewed on YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiyVvrV4hxE&feature=youtu.be 

Around 130 persons including UN staff, government technocrats, academics, parliamentarians, students, and civil society attended the region-wide meeting. DPI is exploring upcoming sessions to continue the online Caribbean UN collaboration. 

MUN Turgut Özal University meeting in Ankara

15 May 2015
UNIC National Information Officer during his speech

On 15 May, the National Information Officer for UNIC made the keynote speech at the Model United Nations (MUN) meeting at Turgut Özal University.

The event was part of the Turgut Özal Univeristy MUN activities to recruit more members to the club and also discuss current global affairs.

In his speech, the National Information Officer discussed the importance of international organizations in solving the ills that plague humanity, emphasizing that the UN was the only international forum that could bring the international community together to establish a better world for all. He added that 2015 was important for two reasons – being the 70th Anniversary of the UN and also the beginning of the post-2015 sustainable development agenda.

Following the National Information Officer’s speech, UNHCR External Affairs Officer made a presentation on the Syria refugee situation in Turkey and in the region and how the UN humanitarian organizations cooperating to assist the needy.

The event was attended by more than 300 students and also by the Deputy Dean and academicians from Turgut Özal Univeristy.

ESCAP Survey 2015 launch in Ankara

14 May 2015

The survey’s launch in Turkey was organized by UNIC Ankara in cooperation with TEPAV on 14 May, with the participation of Sudip Ranjan Basu, an Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) expert and Prof. Güven Sak, Managing Director of the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV).Representatives from government agencies, embassies, academia, NGOs and media attended the meeting.

At the beginning of the event, a video message by Shamshad Akhtar, Executive Secretary of ESCAP, was screened. 

“Subsuming unattended Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the success of the sustainable development goals will depend on how effectively the Asia-Pacific region makes economic growth more inclusive” Basu said.

According to Basu, postponement of structural reforms in some countries, change in the economic development model of China and resource based economies of many countries in the region are the main reasons behind the economic slowdown of the regional economy.

Basu stressed the importance of inclusive development models for the countries in the region to overcome the economic slowdown. He added that income equality should be accompanied with opportunity equality, including education and infrastructure, to achieve an inclusive development model.

Prof. Sak said in his presentation that although Turkey has increased its trade with the Asia-Pasific countries, it is still not at desired levels and Turkey should enter into the Asia-Pacific market in a more active way. Prof. Sak added that one of the issues that has to be addressed is the inadequate infrastructure in the region, which should be addressed to integrate regional economies more. He said he is happy to see that the report had a section on issues related to infrastructure.

He added that all the countries in the region, and Turkey, would benefit significantly if a more comprehensive infrastructure were built, which would help revitalize the ancient Silk Road.

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Launch of the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2015

14 May 2015

UNIC Moscow together with its partner, the Centre for Asian-Pacific Studies, launched the ESCAP's flagship publication, Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2015, to a representative group of invitees, including government officials, members of the academic community, think tanks, the private sector and the media, on 14 May 2015. Female guests accounted for almost a half of those present at the launch - some 30 people altogether - which was held on the premises of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. 

At the beginning of the event, a special video introduction by Shamshad Akhtar, Executive Secretary of ESCAP, was screened. Acting as moderator of the event, the Director of UNIC Moscow made opening remarks related to the document's focus on inclusive growth as the key to creating new sources of economic dynamism amidst the persisting global uncertainty.

Sustainable development was also touched upon. Dr. Olga Shteinberg from the Russian Commerce and Industrial Chamber made several suggestions to be taken into account by the team working on this flagship publication. In her view, more attention should be given in future reports to topical issues, such as green economy, biotechnology and business sustainability. 

All in all, the event was a success, gaining much media attention.

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Categories: Moscow
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