Peoples' Voices from around the world celebrated in SDGs Exhibition in UN Visitors Lobby

Since its launch on the 18th of July, the SDGs: A People-powered Agenda – Leave No One Behind exhibition at the United Nations Headquarters has drawn excited crowds of visitors and high-level delegations from around the world.

IMG_20160808_115212.jpgH.E. Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway, visits the SDGs exhibition 

During the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), H.E. Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway and co-chair of the United Nations Secretary-General’s SDG Advocacy Group, was one of the first to visit the exhibition together with the Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations, Ambassador Geir O. Pedersen. Both expressed their commitment to making the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) a reality for all on the exhibitions large size blackboard. H.E. Erna Solberg wrote that she will continue to advocate for “Quality Education for All”, while H.E. Geir O. Pedersen committed to “Take Action against Inequality”.

IMG_20160718_110241.jpgH.E. Geir O. Pedersen, Permanent Representative of Norway to the UN, writing his commitment to the SDGs on exhibition blackboard 

The HLPF is central platform of the United Nations for the follow-up and review of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. It provided political leadership, guidance and recommendations on the 2030 Agenda’s implementation and follow-up; keep track of progress of the SDGs; spur coherent policies informed by evidence, science and country experiences; as well as addressing new and emerging issues. In addition to visiting the SDGs exhibition, H.E. Erna Solberg delivered the opening key-note speech at the start of the Ministerial Segment of the HLPF on 18 July and presented Norway’s voluntary national reviews on its progress of delivering the Sustainable Development Goals on the 19th.

IMG_20160804_171540.jpgJCI members at the exhibition’s selfie station

Taking up the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s challenge that “youth should be given a chance to take an active part in the decision-making of local, national and global levels,” members of Junior Chamber International’s (JCI) visited the SDGs exhibition during the JCI Annual Global Partnership Summit. Held July 25 to 28 in New York City, the summit offered international leaders and JCI members the chance to visit the exhibition and experience its interactive selfie stations, take surveysand engage with the important challenges and opportunities that the SDGs present to youth globally.

IMG_20160729_111157 (1).jpgYoung students read the stories of Humans of MY World (www.facebook.com/homy2015)

Moreover, groups of national and international students have been particularly drawn to the exhibition’s touch screens hosting the MY World 2030 Survey (www.myworld2030.org), the High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment’s special MY World 2030 Empower Women Thematic Survey (www.empowerwomen.myworld2030.org) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Impossible Choices humanitarian challenge (www.impossiblechoices.org).

IMG_20160808_115129.jpgVisitor taking the MY World 2030 Survey on exhibition touchscreen 

The UN Virtual Reality film series, which allows visitors to immersively experience the life of some of the world’s most vulnerable using high-tech 3D VR headsets has been a major visitor attraction since the opening of the exhibition. Visitors have been touched by the human stories of the Syrian refugee crisis, the Ebola outbreak in Liberia and the effects of conflict in the Gaza Strip in the VR films Clouds Over Sidra, Waves of Grace and My Mother’s Wing (www.unvr.org).

IMG_20160729_104940 (1).jpgStudents watch United Nations Virtual Reality at exhibition 

Watching the movies and experiencing global issues up close has had a profound effect on visitors, many of whom have tried virtual reality technology for the first time. Especially touched was a group of students from LaGuardia Community College, NYC, who had scheduled a special visit to the virtual reality station. After visiting the exhibition with around 30 students the teacher wrote to the SDG Action Campaign to describe what a strong tool for the creation of empathy UNVR had been for the students:

“I just want to thank you for making the extra headsets available for my students last Friday. They were very impressed with the films. My students recently wrote an essay about whether or not the United States should take in Syrian refugees. Most of my students (who are all immigrants) said no, we shouldn’t let them in because there could be dangerous terrorists among them. One student stayed after class and argued with me about this, insisting that all Syrians are terrorists. After this particular student saw your film and experienced what it was like to be in a refugee camp, he told me he wants to rewrite his essay. We have been reading about refugee situations all during the term, we’ve seen film clips from the news, and we’ve watched Hotel Rwanda, and still most students wanted to keep refugees out. Your film changed that for some of them, which is very powerful. So thank you!”

The interactive SDGs exhibition will continue to be open until 4 September 2016.

HOW TO VISIT

The exhibition is open to the general public during official UN visiting hours:

  • Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
  • Saturday & Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm
  • All visitors must exit the building by 5:30pm.
  • Virtual Reality screenings at the exhibition: Monday through Friday, 10am to 4pm.

The entrance is at 46th Street and 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10017. Visitors without an official UN Pass will have to first obtain a guest pass at the screening station on 46th and 1st across the street from the UN. Be sure to bring a photo ID.

If your delegation or mission would like to schedule a special exhibition tour, please kindly contact Kristin Gutekunst at kristin.gutekunst@undp.org (9143303774).

 

Celebrating 1.6 Million MY World Votes from Mexico City

By Di Cao – Global Youth Advocate at the UN Millennium Campaign

Answering the United Nations Secretary-General’s call, MY World was developed with one clear goal in mind —to reach out to people all over the world— and ask them: “What would make your life better?” As an integral part of the UN’s “global conversation” initiative, MY World gave people across the world a platform and the tools to raise their voices and tell the United Nations what is important to them. By engaging 8.5 million people in the global survey, MY World has proven that people want to be involved in defining their government’s priorities, and they are already actively working to make change in their communities. It has also proven that governments are interested in what their people prioritize and are willing to integrate their opinions into their public planning.

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(MY World Youth Ambassadors in Mexico City)

Mexico was responsible for 23% of the 8.5 million votes collected globally. The great success came from the massive mobilization of youth across the country, and in Mexico City in particular with the Mexico City Youth Institute. Mexico City had the highest number of people participate out of any city with 1.6 million votes. The city-wide initiative not only helped the government see priorities at the local government, setting the stage for the implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but it also had a positive impact on the local policy making and funding decisions made by the Mexico City government.

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(Mayor of Mexico City Dr. Miguel Ángel Mancera at the launch event of MY World Survey)

“The MY World survey recovers that democratic spirit of listening and taking into account the perspectives of young people who with their perseverance, talent and creativity have contributed to make of our city. The survey results allowed us to approach the priorities of 1.6 million people, it represents the most important youth public opinion consultation that has been realized in the country.”

——Miguel Ángel, Mayor of Mexico City
“MY World Mexico City Executive Report”

Recognizing this significant achievement, the UN Millennium Campaign and INJUVE DF launched the “MY World Mexico City Executive Report” on November 9th, 2015 at the UN Headquarters. INJUVE DF presented the report to the UN as well as the general public through live streaming. Maria Fernanda Olvera Cabrera, Director of INJUVE DF, shared the agency’s experiences in inspiring 3,000 youth ambassadors to collect millions of votes:

“Local, common people are receiving services from the government, therefore the government needs to know people’s priorities,” she said. “We inspired 3,000 youth ambassadors and created an educational program to teach them how to collect the votes; furthermore, we provided young ambassadors with small scholarships, which supported them to be completely devoted to the MY World survey for 3 months.”

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(Maria Fernanda Olvera Cabrera, Mexico City Executive Report in UN Headquarters)

1.6 million voices had a great impact on the local policymaking. Although Mexico City offers universal healthcare, the result of MY World survey highlighted the need for greater mental health services for young people, causing INJUVE to investigate with a more robust survey, focusing on emotions. In response, the government now offers free services for emotional health care and risk reduction for young people. “It is a long lasting experience and inspiration of empowering youth for the future,” said Mitchell Toomey, the Director of the UNMC.

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(Youth Ambassadors were collecting votes in Mexico City)

H.E. Mr. Zinsou, the Ambassador of Benin to the United Nations, joined the Executive report to celebrate 1.6 million Mexican voices. Ravi Karkara, the World We Want Policy Strategy Group Co-chair, praised the survey of Mexico City as “an great example of how to ensure inclusiveness for people-centered policy”.

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(L-R: Director of INJUVE DF Maria Fernanda Olvera Cabrera, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Benin to the United Nations H.E.Mr. Jean-Francis R. Zinsou,  Director of the UNMC Mitchell Toomey,World We Want Policy Strategy Group Co-chair Ravi Karkara)

Phasing in the new SDGs, the upcoming MY World 2030 survey will move forward to a more customized and localized platform with continued monitoring of SDG progress. INJUVE DF proposed a specific survey for young people to provide empirical evidence to inform youth-related policies in capital cities across the world.

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IMAGINE a World Where Every Voice Counts – Celebrating 7 Million Voices

12 December 2015, NEW YORK

Special Event
Ms. Anna Gurney hands over “We the Peoples – Celebrating 7 Million Voices” to UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson. Photo Credit: UNPhoto/Yubi Hoffmann

“Let’s stand for the world as it SHOULD be. That’s what the 7 Million Voices are telling us” – Deputy UN Secretary-General Jan Eliasson

Last week, the MY World global survey achieved its 2014 goal of reaching 7 MILLION people around the world!

Thanks to the dedication and hard work of MY World partners, 7 million people from 194 countries have had their say at the United Nations.  A special thanks is owed to the government of Nigeria which has led an incredible outreach during the past two months.

In celebration of this achievement, and to ensure that the UN is listening to these voices, We the Peoples – Celebrating 7 Million Voices, a special report detailing the global results of the MY World survey was launched at United Nations Headquarters in New York last Friday.

Special Event Special Event OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Photo Credit: UNPhoto/Yubi Hoffmann

According to Corinne Woods, Director of the UN Millennium Campaign, the report details how the results of the MY World survey reveal important trends for the Post-2015 Development Agenda, “The existing Millennium Development Goals continue to be important, but we also see new issues which people prioritize highly, such as ‘An honest and responsive government,’  ‘Protection from crime and violence,’ and ‘Better job opportunities.’”

“We need a paradigm shift and a coming together. MY World results show there is more that unites us than divides us. Working together we can be the generation that ends poverty and preserves the planet,” added Ms. Woods.

Continue reading “IMAGINE a World Where Every Voice Counts – Celebrating 7 Million Voices”

UN Belarus marks International Day of Disabilities by collecting MY World votes

(English below)
Originally posted on UN in Belarus— Written by Dasha Mironova, photos by Carolina Poliakova
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3 снежань 2014

Вчера, в Международный день инвалидов, команда ООН побывала в гостях в маленьком, но таком интересном мире – в Белорусском обществе глухих. Мы пришли поговорить с людьми, которых обычно не слышат, об их приоритетах и проблемах, которые их волнуют. Мы пришли рассказать о глобальном опросе ООН МОЙ Мир 2015 и попробовать сделать так, чтобы этих таких разных и удивительных людей услышали.

Белорусское общество глухих – это организация, которая объединяет людей с нарушением слуха, место, где они собираются вместе, общаются, узнают о том, что происходит вокруг, делятся переживаниями и просто проводят время вместе. Это, в первую очередь, очень активные люди, которые тоже являются частью общества.

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На встрече было поднято множество важных и не всегда заметных обычным людям проблем. Пришедшие поделились с нами тем, как тяжело быть глухим при недостаточно высоко развитой безбарьерной среде: когда не всегда понятно, на какой станции метро выходить, потому что нет электронного табло, когда не можешь смотреть новости, интересные передачи и фильмы, потому что нет перевода на язык жестов или субтитров, когда не можешь объяснить доктору, что тебя беспокоит, и многие другие вещи, о которых здоровые люди, не сталкивающиеся с этой проблемой, могут и вовсе не знать.

“Я очень люблю смотреть биатлон, но я не слышу, когда объявляют результаты, а таблица с ними слишком быстро сменяется рекламой. Ведь это так просто – задержать ее на пару секунд”, -поделился с нами один из участников.

Вчера члены Белорусского общества глухих проголосовали за свой мир и свою Беларусь! Присоединяйтесь и вы, чтобы вместе сделать этот мир лучше!

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3 December 2014

Yesterday, on the International Day of People with Disabilities, the UN team has visited a small but incredibly interesting world – Belarusian Society of the Deaf. We came to talk to those who are often not heard about their priorities and problems they face. We came to tell about the ongoing UN global survey MY World 2015 and to try to make these wonderful people heard.Belarusian Society of the Deaf is an organization that unites people with hearing disorder. It’s a place where they gather to talk, to learn what is going on in the world around them, to share their thoughts and worries and just spend time together. It is, first of all, a group of active people who are also a part of our society.

During the meeting, a number of important and not always known for ordinary people issues have been raised. People have shared how hard it is to be deaf in the environment that is not yet barrier-free: when it’s not always clear what station it is in the subway as there is no electronic display, when you can’t watch news, interesting TV-programmes or movies because there’s no sign language translation or subtitles, when you can’t tell the doctor what is wrong with you, and many other things that healthy people might not even know about.

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“I love watching biathlon, but I can’t hear the results of the race and the table with them always disappears so fast followed by adds. It’s not so hard to let it stay a few seconds longer”, – mentioned one of the participants.

Yesterday members of the Belarusian Society of the Deaf voted for their world and their Belarus! Join and have your say at the United Nations to change the world together!

www.myworld2015.org

#MYWorld2015 #PublicConsultations #Belarus #UN #disability

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People's Voices & UNSG Post-2015 Agenda Synthesis Report: add your comments through UNNGLS

Secretary-General Briefs Assembly on Post-2015 Development Agenda

4 December 2014

NEW YORK – The UN Secretary-General released the post-2015 Synthesis Report, in an Informal Briefing to the General Assembly. The unedited version is available online here in English only. It will be available in all official languages at the end of this month.

Article 37 mentioned MY World and the World We Want as a way for people to provide valuable input into the building of the new agenda.

We encourage MY World partners to submit their comments on this draft via http://bit.ly/Submit-CSO-Response-SG-Synthesis

See below for an excerpt of the report and more information for how to submit feedback.

The Road to Dignity by 2030:
Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet
Synthesis Report of the Secretary-General
On the Post-2015 Agenda

2.2 What we have learned from the post-2015 process
36. The international community has come a long way in its deliberation on the new
development agenda. In July 2013, further to a request by the General Assembly, I
submitted to the membership my report A Life of Dignity for All. In it, I recommended
the development of a universal, integrated and human rights-based agenda for sustainable
development, addressing economic growth, social justice and environmental stewardship
and highlighting the link between peace, development and human rights – an agenda that
leaves no one behind. I called as well for rigorous review and monitoring, better and
more disaggregated data, and goals and targets that are measurable and adaptable. I
outlined a number of transformative actions that would apply to all countries.

  1. Many voices have informed this debate, and there have been valuable inputs from a wide range of stakeholders. (a) People around the world aired their views through the unprecedented consultations and outreach efforts of organized civil society groups as well as the global conversation led by the United Nations Development Group on A Million Voices: The World We Want, Delivering on the Post-2015 Agenda: Opportunities at the 11 National and Local Level, and MY World Survey. Millions of people especially young persons, took part in these processes, through national, thematic, and on-line consultations and surveys, as mirrored in the Global Youth Call and the outcome of the 65th Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference. The direct and active engagement of parliamentarians, business and civil society has also been critical.

Civil Societies can add to the report

The UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) and UN DESA Division for Sustainable Development (DESA-DSD) invite Major Groups and other civil society stakeholders to submit their official responses to the report to a central online repository via this online form: http://bit.ly/Submit-CSO-Response-SG-Synthesis

Links to all submissions will be published live as they are received here: http://bit.ly/CSO-Responses-Received-SG-Synthesis

UN-NGLS and DESA-DSD provide this mechanism to support review of these important perspectives by all stakeholders in preparation for the continued elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda, beginning with the 19-21 January negotiating session at UN Headquarters in New York. A preparatory forum for stakeholders will be conducted on 16 January by DESA-DSD and UN-NGLS at UN Headquarters. More information about this forum will be provided soon.

68th President of General Assembly’s High-Level Stock-taking Event – a participatory approach

Panel“Our work must remain open and transparent so that we hear the voices of all”

            -Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General

September 11, 2014, NEW YORK

Blog by Caya Johnson, Global Youth Advocate

The President of the General Assembly’s High-Level Stock-Taking event on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, held on the 11th and 12th of September in New York, emphasized the need for a participatory, inclusive, and open approach to formulating the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The proceedings of the Stock-Taking event, which marked the end of President of the General Assembly John Ashe’s term, will be incorporated into the Secretary General’s Synthesis Report at the end of November.  The Stock-Taking event also served as a way to pass the post-2015 agenda into the hands of the incoming President of the General Assembly, Sam Kutesa.

Over the course of the event, panelists, civil society guests, and country representatives stressed the importance of openness, transparency, and citizen involvement in the formulation and adoption of the SDGs.  Secretary General Ban Ki-moon noted that “the ongoing UN system consultations, including MY World, have sought the voices of…millions and millions of people around the world.”

Helen Clark praised the “unprecedented consultation around the world and online” which has allowed people to have their say in the post-2015 development agenda – she noted that “the global MY World Survey enabled many people to be involved.”

Helen Clark Ban Ki-moon

Continue reading “68th President of General Assembly’s High-Level Stock-taking Event – a participatory approach”

Road to Rights Launches the #MYWorldStreetCampaign

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By Ashan Perera, Road to Rights 

The Road to Rights (R2R) is a youth-led movement initiated in 2012 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, with the intention of promoting human rights education and awareness. It has a wide-spread global network within 14 different countries in Asia and Africa, with chapters in Sri Lanka , Nepal, Bangladesh , India , Pakistan , Nigeria, and Rwanda . Road to Rights launched the MY World Campaign at the 2013 International Youth Day celebration and now is a Global Partner of the campaign. So far R2R has conducted the survey and workshop in schools, institutions, governments and at the grassroots level.

The MY World Street Campaign is a new concept and initiative from R2R to reach out to the general public and create awareness about the campaign rather than collecting votes. Eventually encourage the public to complete the survey either through online or offline methods. The online survey is conducted using iPads, tablets, mobile phones, laptops whereas the offline campaign is paper-based. The campaign is carried out entirely by a set of passionate and enthusiastic young volunteers.

The MY World Street Campaign started on the 1st of September and will be conducted till 26th of September. Within the span of almost one month, the period has been split into 4 week intervals, where each week the volunteers will specifically discuss four priorities out of the 16 stating the history, background, relative current issues etc. of each priority. In each week, the volunteers will educate the people they approach on the current situation of these issues and encourage them to share their opinions on the issues:

  • Week 01 – “Good education”, “Better job opportunities”, “Reliable energy at home”, “Phones and internet access”
  • Week 02 – “Protection against crime and violence”, “An honest and responsive government”, “Protecting forests, rivers and oceans”, and  “Better healthcare”
  • Week 03 – “Political freedoms”, “Affordable and nutritious food”, “Freedom from discrimination and persecution”, “Action taken on climate change”
  • Week 04 – “Equality between men and women”, “Better transport and roads”, “Access to clean water and sanitation”, “Support for people who can’t work”

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The importance of the MY World Street campaign is that we intend to approach those who are rarely focused on, especially in the urban communities, such as shop owners, employees, street sweepers etc. R2R volunteers are very energetic and passionate about this task, hence we have already been able create a fair amount of awareness within the urban community.

R2R volunteers will also be traveling outside of urban areas and reaching out to those who are in marginalized communities to include their voices in the process, making the street campaign more effective and productive.

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  • JOIN the Campaign! http://vote.myworld2015.org/?partner=RTR
  • VISUALIZE the results! http://data.myworld2015.org/?partner=RTR
  • PROMOTE the Campaign with the #MYWorldStreetCampaign and #RoadtoRights
  • FOLLOW R2R on Twitter, Facebook, and visit their Website: www.roadtorights.org

YOUTHFIM Aims to collect 100,000 Votes in Democratic Republic of Congo

By Benjamin Buyemere, Youthfim Program Coordinator.

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With a profound desire to allow participation and also to make the global campaign “MY World” well known for a large group people, youth gathered in the Youth Forum on ICPD and MDGs, “YOUTHFIM” have set the target of reaching more disadvantaged people, by meeting them in public markets, in the streets, students in Universities and others that are not in contact with information, raising their awareness about the process that is undertook by the UN Millennium Campaign, aiming to gather the voices of all categories of people, in order to contribute to the MY World global survey in the context of the  world we want.

Continue reading “YOUTHFIM Aims to collect 100,000 Votes in Democratic Republic of Congo”

Reaching Out to Youth in the Poorest Regions of India

By Ms. Natasha Kanvinde, MY World 2015 Youth Ambassador. Ms. Kanvinde has collected over 3,000 votes in the past month and she continues to reach out to youth in the poorest regions in India.

The annoying ringing of my alarm clock woke me up at 5am on a Friday morning. My unaccustomed system groaned in protest, but I heaved myself out of bed. I almost had second thoughts about going on the trip, but then I remembered I wasn’t working for myself, but for the greater good. Little did I know, that today was going to be one of the best days of my life.

Continue reading “Reaching Out to Youth in the Poorest Regions of India”

Vice President of Dominican Republic launches MY World with 50,000 vote commitment

(c)MICHELLE RIVAS - PNUD R.D.

SANTO DOMINGO 11 June 2014

The Vice President of the Dominican Republic, Dr. Margarita Cedeño de Fernández has launched an initiative to collect 50,000 votes for MY World. She called upon her citizens to join her in voting in what she considers is a transformative human development initiative for the country and the world.

“Today I want to make the promise with the UN Dominican Republic that we will collect 50,000 votes at a national level. In order to do so, we are putting are making all of the computers in all of the Techonological Community Centers available to the UN, so that people can vote” she added. There will be 94 Techonological Community Center and 4 Centers for Community Solidarity (Prosoli) available for the general public to vote so that they can establish the country’s priorities in the elaboration of the United Nations Development Group’s Post-2015 Agenda.

2014.06.11 - MICHELLE RIVAS - PNUD R.D. 2

The Vice President considered that the agenda should have as a goal a more equitable world, where prosperity is shared and we leave behind human catastrophies that violate the fundamental rights of millions of people in the whole planet.

She also manifested that poverty, hunger, malnutrition, infant and maternal mortality, environmental destrucion and the systematic violation of women’s rights are realities that weigh heavily over the Post-2015 agenda.

She indicated that the new challenges are digital gaps, the productive use of technology, food security, access to clean water, the development of ethical science, and the strengthening of world peace amongst other themes, which should weigh over this new agenda.

Translated from the original UNDP Dominican Republic Press Release (Spanish). Photos by MICHELLE RIVAS – PNUD R.D.

For more information: