The 67th UN DPI / NGO Conference
August 22 and 23, 2018
Report by Mary Brophy, UN Rep
Together Finding Global Solutions for Global Problems
The focus of this two-day conference was to foster a “people-centered multilateralism” to address global challenges. A people-centered multilateralism requires expanding the role of civil society partnerships, especially with youth, to advance the Sustainable Development Goals, to ensure that the 2030 Agenda leaves no one behind. This multilateralism is a rejection of the narrow nationalism that is rising, a rejection of the idea that development for some at the expense of others is acceptable. The conference featured many examples of NGOs and corporations worldwide working with the United Nations to raise awareness of the SDG’s and toward achieving the 2030 Agenda. A series of short films by a Japanese ad agency, Dentsu, was wonderful. I think some can be seen on:
It was recognized that:
“…the United Nations has been a platform for activists, artists, entrepreneurs, and social movements that have shaped the world we live in. Billions of people have benefited from this cooperation. However, far too many are being left behind. Violations of international norms by those in power, together with widening inequality have caused some to doubt that the potential benefits of international cooperation can be realized. Since 1945, the distribution of power in the world has shifted dramatically. Today, corporations, non-state armed groups, and transnational social movements influence the fate of billions.” The United Nations’ legitimacy depends in part on its ability to build consensus in a world where state power has become more diffuse and where non-state actors play a substantial role…
We, as civil society, pledge to work side by side with governments, the private sector, and other stakeholders to pursue the SDGs…
The conference was chaired by by Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International. The participation of the Youth Caucus was everywhere – from a Youth Hub in the UN General Assembly Lobby to a significant number of the Roundtables and workshops focused on empowering youth and featuring youth-led projects. The passion and energy brought to the conference by youth was inspiring. They will not sit silently on the side lines…
Youth, with our unique capacities and vibrant energy, are propelling humanity’s movement towards a new future. Today, millions of families are still trapped in extreme poverty, struggling to access even basic resources like education, healthcare and employment. Today, a quarter of the world’s youth still live in the shadows of violent conflict, everything from wars to human trafficking to substance abuse threaten to steal the promise of tomorrow. And today, all on the planet earth are impacted by environmental degradation, communities of people and creatures are endangered by pollution, climate change, sea-level rising, and many other byproducts of human development. If we don’t join in concerted action now, we may not have an earth to live on tomorrow.*
Just a couple of contacts that might be useful to our members:
I met Fred Sullivan, Executive Director of Man UP (Stop Violence Against Women). He would be a strong contact for anyone working on the topic of violence against women.
I also visited a booth run by Merakiu, (Merakiu.com) a organization that provides a global directory and marketplace promoting women owned business. They also have a crowd funding campaign to support women business. Most of the products that I saw on display seemed to come from Columbia, but there could be other artisans and handicrafts involved. It is worth looking into….