What’s happening at High Level Political Forum on Sustainabla Development Goals ?

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Recording of the 13 July WebEx Briefing on HLPF is available on YouTube.
The link is:
http://bit.ly/29THSq3 (English, approximately 53 minutes)
The briefing was given by Dr. David Nabarro, UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and moderated by Ms. Margaret Novicki, Acting Director of the Strategic Communications Division.

OPENING OF HIGH-LEVEL POLITICAL FORUM ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

Today,11 July 2016, Monday:
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The High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), under the theme, “Ensuring that no one is left behind,” will take place from 11-20 July at HQ in New York. The Forum will consist of a five-day expert level meeting and a three-day ministerial meeting (18-20 July). It will be webcast live at webtv.un.org. This is the first HLPF that will examine efforts at the regional, country and global levels to put policies and measures in place that will help achieve the SDGs. In this first year since countries unanimously adopted the goals, they have become the global sustainable development standard for countries, businesses and local governments around world. It is also an opportunity for the UN to highlight the work it has done in support of the goals. More information: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/hlpf
SL President addressing SDG Summit
President of Sri Lanka, Mr. Maithripala Sirisena among 70 global leaders to pledge commitment to improve gender rights at UN
At national level, Ministry of Sustainable Development and Wild Life launched the SDG Platform and the Inaugural Transformation Dialogue on 3rd June 2016.SDG Ministerial launch Hon. Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera addresses the gathering.
At School Community: Awareness programmes on SDGs are conducted by UNIC Colombo island-wide.
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SDGs were depicted on Vesak lanterns at the Vesak celebrations 2016.

UNIC Colombo congratulates UN SG upon receiving an honorary doctorate at the Sorbonne-Pantheon University in Paris

එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ මහ ලේකම් බැංකි මූන් මහතා ප්රංශයේ සොබොන්-පැන්තියොන් විශ්ව විද්යාලයේ ගෞරව ආචාර්ය උපාධියකින් පිදුම් ලබයි.
SG receiving honarary doctorate from Sorbonne Uni, Paris
A wide view of the special ceremony where Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (at podium) received an honorary doctorate from Pantheon-Sorbonne University in Paris.
25 June 2016
Paris, France
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Senior Fijian diplomat elected UN 71st General Assembly President

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H.E. Mr. Peter Thomson, Permanent Representative of Fiji to the United Nations, was recently elected President of the 71st session of the General Assembly.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Thomson_(diplomat)
Mr. Peter Thompson of fidjiUNITED NATIONS, June 13, 2016 (Xinhua) — Fijian diplomat Peter Thomson addresses the General Assembly after being elected as president of the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), at the UN headquarters in New York, June 13, 2016. Thomson will replace the current president, Mogens Lykketoft of Denmark, when the next assembly session convenes in September this year. Mr. Thompson vows to give voice to small island states and developing countries through support for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).(Xinhua/Un Photo/Manuel Elias)
The UNGA presidency rotates annually between five geographic areas. It is the turn of an Asian representative to head Assembly meetings.
– See more at: http://www.sigmalive.com/en/news/politics/145863/un-to-elect-president-of-71st-general-assembly-session#.dpuf
In recognition of his selection, UNIC Colombo is pleased to place below an article written by Mr. Peter Thompson and entitled “The Sustainable exploitation of the Ocean’s Minerals and Resources” which was appeared in the April 2013 issue of the UN Chronicle, the flagship periodical of the United Nations to mark the UN International Year of Water Cooperation (2013) devoted to water.
Mr. Thomson explores the topic from the perspective of a small island developing State.
http://unchronicle.un.org/article/sustainable-exploitation-ocean-s-minerals-and-resources/

The Sustainable Exploitation of the Ocean’s Minerals and ResourcesPeter Thompson

In contributing to the theme of the International Year of Water Cooperation, this article provides a perspective from a Pacific Small Island Developing State. In the context of the large body of water that surrounds Fiji and other Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS), a vital and long-standing concern has been the sustainable exploitation of the ocean’s living resources and, more recently, the non-living or mineral resources.
Fiji is an archipelago of over 300 islands scattered across 1.3 million square kilometres of the South Pacific Ocean. In comparison to that large expanse of water, Fiji’s land area is a mere 18,333 square kilometres. The Fiji archipelago is a part of the Oceanic group of islands. As one of the 14 island countries located within the Pacific Ocean, Fiji’s relatively small land size and large ocean real estate or exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is not unique. Taken together, the total land mass of the 14 Pacific island States is a mere 3 per cent compared to their combined EEZs, totalling 97 per cent of the ocean. For Fiji and the Pacific Island countries, the ocean provides the basis of our livelihoods, food security and economies. Sustainable development truly depends on a healthy and sustainably managed Pacific Ocean.
As a resource and the basis of our livelihoods, the ocean represents both opportunities and challenges. As an island nation surrounded by the sea, we are, on the one hand, at the mercy of the ocean but, on the other hand, the custodians of its resources. These resources sustain us today, and without them future generations will suffer, which is why we are vigilant about destructive fishing practices, oppose illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and call for the strengthening of Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs).
A major part of the environmental and climatic challenges we face is influenced by the ocean that surrounds us. Changing winds, ocean currents, hurricanes and storms are all a result of the interplay between the ocean and the atmosphere.
This article highlights the few priority areas and challenges faced by Fiji in ensuring the sustainable exploitation of the ocean’s resources. In addressing these issues, reference is made to the Pacific SIDS as a whole since the challenges identified are not unique to Fiji but common to all Pacific SIDS.
DEVELOPMENT ASPIRATIONS
The sustainable development of the Pacific SIDS depends on their receiving a fair share of the revenues and other means of active economic participation from their fisheries and other marine resources. Currently, the Pacific SIDS do not enjoy equitable economic and social benefits derived from the use of living marine resources despite our overwhelming dependence on them.
The sustainable development challenges of SIDS have already been well recognized in the existing multilateral framework for both oceans and sustainable development, yet progress towards the implementation of effective strategies to address them remains piecemeal, insufficiently supported and inadequate. The disconnect between the international instruments governing oceans on the one hand, and sustainable development on the other hand, has created barriers to the full realization of development aspirations of SIDS and, in many instances, is a primary barrier to the achievement of national economic development goals.
Firm and measurable commitment is required to more fully address the legitimate development aspirations of SIDS as contained in the 1995 United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement. The Pacific SIDS see the imperative for a concrete pathway for States, with specific timelines, targets and milestones to facilitate the sustainable management of oceanic resources and increase the share of benefits from their utilization. This should include enhanced direct economic participation and capacity-building. The cooperation and assistance of the international community is also necessary to enable SIDS to realize their development aspirations.
FISHERIES

Healthy fish stocks are critical for food security and for sustaining the economic prosperity and social and cultural well-being of many States. One of the most serious gaps in the implementation of relevant outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development is in the area of fisheries. Although countries agreed in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation to restore global fish stocks to sustainable levels by 2015, stocks continue to be fished at increasingly unsustainable levels. To address this problem, States should recommit to maintaining or restoring depleted fish stocks to sustainable levels, and should further commit to implementing science-based management plans for rebuilding stocks by 2015, including reducing or suspending fishing catch for all stocks being overfished or at risk of being overfished.
More needs to be done to improve transparency and accountability in fishery management if we are to address this decline. The commendable efforts by RFMOs that have undertaken independent performance reviews should be expanded and augmented through regular transparent reviews by the United Nations General Assembly to bring RFMO implementation in line with international commitments. Previous Assembly reviews of the implementation of fisheries management goals, such as on the driftnet fishing moratorium and on impact assessments for bottom fisheries, have resulted in positive reforms that would not likely have occurred without its oversight. General Assembly reviews of RFMO performance can be expected to improve its effectiveness and should generate the political will necessary to take critical action to restore fish stocks to sustainable levels. It is unfortunate that the proposed disciplines in the World Trade Organization on fisheries subsidies, which contribute to the overexploitation of fisheries resources, have not been agreed to. It is crucial for the Pacific SIDS, such as Fiji, that subsidies for commercial fishing which result in unsustainable and destructive practices be curbed, while artisanal and small-scale fisheries by coastal States, where fishing is a way of life, should be allowed to operate.
The Pacific SIDS have shown global leadership in marine conservation, for example, through the creation of marine protected areas and adoption of innovative solutions, such as vessel day trading schemes as well as targeted high seas closures, to address sustainable fishing goals. Other innovative strategies geared towards the sustainable exploitation of marine and ocean resources include dealing more aggressively with IUU fishing, introducing Fish Aggregating Device seasonal bans, and eliminating destructive fishing practices.
CLIMATE CHANGE AND OCEAN ACIDIFICATION
The third priority area for Fiji relates to the consequences of climate change, including ocean acidification. Oceans and climate change cannot be seen in isolation from what happens in the coastal zones. The combined impacts of climate change, namely, sea-level rise, increased sea surface temperature and intensified storm activity, and the adverse effects of ocean acidification caused by increased absorption of carbon dioxide by the oceans, are among the biggest threats to the health of oceans and coastal areas.
Coral reef ecosystems are particularly susceptible to climate change and ocean acidification, and they may be the first marine ecosystems to collapse unless mitigation and adaptation efforts are significantly increased. We have numerous studies on the impacts of climate change on our coral reefs through temperature rise, and are only beginning to see how acidification will doubly impact them. These corals are global treasures that need safeguarding from cultural, social, economic and environmental factors. Deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are a global imperative.
Additionally, given the dangerous levels of carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere and oceans, building the resilience of vulnerable marine ecosystems should feature prominently in a new action-oriented sustainable development paradigm. This is a new and emerging issue that requires immediate attention and concrete results. In particular, international support for capacity-building for developing nations to build marine ecosystems’ resilience to ocean acidification and climate change is essential to safeguard marine ecosystems. We must also enhance global monitoring and sharing of information on the impacts of ocean acidification, as well as ensure that international organizations and RFMOs consider climate change and ocean acidification in their oceans management decisions, including through enhanced environmental impact assessments.
SEABED MINERALS
The final area of priority is the exploration and sustainable mining of seabed minerals. While fish and other living marine resources have been vital to Fiji’s economic development, we believe that our efforts to explore the deep seabed and mine its mineral resources present great potential for economic expansion. With the many lessons learned from terrestrial mining activities and fisheries arrangements, we believe that a careful approach towards seabed mining will ensure that we do not sacrifice environmental conservation in the pursuit of economic rewards. The demands for rare earth metals for use in industries as ubiquitous as cell phones and computer chips are such that we should carefully consider, in a timely fashion, the sustainable exploitation of seabed minerals.
Although the status of seabed mining is largely at the exploratory stage, for Fiji and many Pacific SIDS, this activity presents a viable new era of opportunity for economic growth and development. In this respect, we are conscious of the need to avoid adverse impacts on the marine environment, preserve biodiversity, maintain the integrity of marine ecosystems and minimize the risk of long-term or irreversible effects of seabed mining.
All of these concerns underpin the strong advocacy by Fiji and the Pacific SIDS that greater political will must be directed towards the well-being of oceans and fisheries, and to the strengthening of the nexus between oceans and sustainable development. In order to move from rhetoric to action in saving the declining health of global oceans, the international community can no longer hide commitments deep within obscure paragraphs of distant instruments. We must address the root causes in a truly comprehensive, direct and honest manner. (End)

High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

11 – 20 July 2016, New York | Ministerial days from 18 – 20 July
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TRANSFORMING OUR WORLD:THE 2030 AGENDA FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

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“Ensuring that no one is left behind” adopted as theme of #HLPF2016 by ECOSOC today: http://bit.ly/1S0t5pi #HLPF

The High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development is United Nations central platform for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, adopted at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit on 25 September 2015.The Forum, which adopts a Ministerial Declaration, is expected to start effectively delivering on its mandates to provide political leadership, guidance and recommendations on the 2030 Agenda’s implementation and follow-up; keep track of progress; spur coherent policies informed by evidence, science and country experiences; as well as address new and emerging issues.
The forum is mandated to conduct regular State-led reviews and thematic reviews of the implementation of the Agenda, with inputs from other intergovernmental bodies and forums, relevant UN entities, regional processes, major groups and other stakeholders. The national reviews will provide a platform for partnerships.

The forum will adopt a Ministerial Declaration.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN DURING HLPF IN 2016?
HLPF in 2016 is the first since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. The session will include voluntary reviews of 22 countries and thematic reviews of progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, including cross-cutting issues, supported by reviews by the ECOSOC functional commissions and other inter-governmental bodies and forums. HLPF will also include a range of side events, a Partnership Exchange event, and SDGs Learning, Training and Practice sessions.
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Are you a student passionate about making the world a better place? Then listen 2 @ThomasGass msg! http://bit.ly/1UtCjgB #SDGs #GlobalGoals

NATIONAL SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PLATFORM LAUNCHES IN COLOMBO

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03rd June 2016, 09.00am-06.00 pm, Waters Edge, Battaramulla, Sri Lanka
National Sustainable Development Platform and the Inaugural Transformation Dialogue was launched in Colombo bringing together political leaders, senior public sector officials, CSOs, business leaders, international development agency representatives and experts into a single platform to discuss visions, pathways, policies, strategies, partnerships and best means of implementation of SDGs in Sri Lanka.
SDG Ministerial launch Hon. Minister of Sustainable Development & Wild Life addresses the gathering
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Panel discussions in progress..
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GOODBYE, THE BOXING LEGEND..

Mohammed Ali
The Secretary-General, UN, extends his condolences to the Ali family and the many millions of fans mourning his death in every corner of the world on behalf of the United Nations.

World champion for equality and peace
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Mr. Ali was far more than a legendary boxer; he was a world champion for equality and peace. With an incomparable combination of principle, charm, wit and grace, he fought for a better world and used his platform to help lift up humanity.

Named a United Nations Messenger of Peace in 1998, Mr. Ali travelled the globe to support children and others caught up in conflict, and to promote reconciliation between people and nations. Well before taking on this role, he came to the United Nations in the 1970s to campaign against apartheid and racial injustice.

The Secretary-General was honored to join Mr. Ali as a flag bearer at the opening of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. He recalls Mr. Ali’s strength, humour and ability to bring people together.

The United Nations is grateful to have benefited from the life and work of one of the past century’s great humanitarians and advocates for understanding and peace.

New York, 4 June 2016

UN -NGO Conference opens with spotlight on global citizenship to achieve 2030 Agenda

GYEONGJU, REPUBLIC OF KOREA
30 May – 1 June 2016

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At the opening ceremony on 30 May, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted that the contribution of NGOs, academia and youth will be key to achieving the SDGs, for without the participation of NGOs and civil society groups, no initiative, however visionary, can be fully achieved.
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Secretary-General Addresses Opening Session of DPI/NGO Conference
30 May 2016

“I am such a strong believer in NGOs, I constantly call on governments to expand space for you to operate,” said the Secretary-General in his address to conference delegates. “Four days ago, at the Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity, I denounced shrinking democratic space and I urged freedom for civil society organizations and human rights defenders. Unfortunately, that freedom is under threat, including at the last place this should happen: at the United Nations. I call on Member States to stop constricting NGO engagement.”
– UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon
The NGO-DPI Conference will bring the civil society voice to the United Nations, and foster NGO support for implementation of the 2030 Agenda,”
– Dr. Scott Carlin, Co-Chair of the conference & Associate Professor of Geography at Long Island University.
For Press Conference schedule, see http://www.un.org/sg/spokesperson/confschedule.asp

DPI-NGO RELATIONSHIP GET STRENGTHENED TO ACHIEVE SDGs TOGETHER

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Opening of the 62nd Conference of DPI/NGO “For Peace and Development: Disarm Now!” (Ex Convento de San Hipolito)

Opening of the 62nd Conference of DPI/NGO “For Peace and Development: Disarm Now!” (Ex Convento de San Hipolito)


30 May 2016, Monday – 66th UN DPI/NGO Conference (30 May – 1 June)
The 66th UN DPI/NGO Conference will take place from 30 May to 1 June in Gyeongju, Republic of Korea under the theme “Education for Global Citizenship: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals Together”. Organized by the Department of Public Information in partnership with the NGO/DPI Executive Committee, the Government of the Republic of Korea and the National Organizing Committee of Korea, the Conference will bring together 2,000 representatives of civil society from some 100 countries, as well as United Nations and government officials. The Conference will be the first to take place following the adoption of the SDGs by the international community, and will focus on education and global citizenship as drivers for change and action. For background information please visit: http://outreach.un.org/ngorelations/conference-2016/. Background and social media materials are available here: https://trello.com/b/mMeLzYwT .

DPI/NGO Relations proactively reaches out to representatives of approximately 1,300 members of civil society who seek information about the UN and look for opportunities to support the Organization at the international, regional, national and community levels. Among the many services provided by our office, the most important ones are the Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference (NGO Relations’ premier event for civil society at the UN), the weekly Briefings, two Communication Workshops, two orientation programmes for new representatives and NGOs, the youth initiative, and the Resource Centre. It also aims to facilitate an exchange of information and development of partnerships around issues relating to civil society within other offices of the Department and with colleagues in the UN Secretariat as well as to reach out to civil society partners around the world to enhance their interaction with and understanding of the work of the United Nations. The Cluster is a service-oriented office assisting the NGO community.

For more information, please visit : www.un.org/dpi/ngosection
Please find below the link to the Official Directory of NGOs.
http://esango.un.org/civilsociety/displayDPISearch.do?method=search&sessionCheck=false

FUTURE BEGINS..WITH SDGs

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UNIC with SDGs at Yovunpuraya – 2016 (Youth City) in Seegiriya on 01st & 02nd April 2016.

The Yovun Pura 2016 Youth Camp jointly organised by the National Policy and Economic Affairs Ministry, National Youth Services Council and the Federation of Sri Lanka Youth Societies on the theme ‘Future begins’ was held at the Sigiriya Sri Lanka Air Force Complex from March 30 to April 3 under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

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