“SDGs is about people, this is about leaving no one behind, about creating a world for our current generations, for our future generations.”It has to be about having a new vision, a new paradigm with implementation from all sectors. We want Europe to be leading from the front and Belgium is in a strong position to be a champion of change.” Barbara Pesce-Monteiro, United Nations Representative in Belgium urged to innovative thinking, stronger partnerships and more ambition in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Combating inequality matters and our lifestyles matter to meeting the sustainable development goals. We need a whole of society approach and the center of gravity for political innovation lies within cities and people. We have an impressive set of initiatives run by associations in Belgium that provide civic platforms between people and the government.” Olivier De Schutter, former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, highlighted that we must all start changing the way we live.
On 23 November, representatives from private sector, local governments, civil society organisations and students took part in a one-day inter-ministerial conference to tackle how Belgium can implement the Agenda 2030 and oversee a truly transformative multi-stakeholder approach.
The UN SDG Action Campaign, along with the UN and UNDP in Brussels, organized an SDG Action Zone, occupying a central space to engage visitors on the Sustainable Development Goals, bring the voices of children, men a women from around the world and their needs to the center of the discussions.
In a consultation recently conducted in Somalia, and despite the severe challenges the country is facing, most people perceived their situation in the past 12 months has improved in the country. Yet the report shows that greater attention and significant improvements must be made in security, justice, education, and health.
The recently implemented e-consultation, a coordinated effort between the Federal Government of Somalia and UNDP, supported by the SDG Action Campaign, finds that SDG1 – poverty reduction, SDG 2 – food security and nutrition, SDG 3 – health & well-being, and SDG 4 – education, are among those goals in which progress is most notably perceived. Lowest in this ranking are SDG 11 – making cities inclusive, safe and sustainable, SDG 16 – promoting sustainable consumption and production, and SDG 12 – ensuring good and inclusive governance.
The preferred options to tackle these issues and achieve these goals: strengthening of national systems and developing clear strategies and plans.
Cultural Barriers preventing women´s equal participation in decision making
That “women can bring leadership and value to development, when equally represented” was agreed among the majority of participants. The major perceived factor preventing women’s equal participation in development in Somalia: the existence of cultural barriers, followed by lack of awareness about women’s rights and discrimination.
Why is this relevant?
This report harnesses the voices of a wide number of Somali people, their priorities and expectations, to put forward the key areas for investment in order to achieve the Goals. The initiative was specifically implemented at a first stage with the hope for furthering women’s inclusiveness and give the Federal Government of Somalia a better understanding of what is important to its citizens and the basis to create a strategy for implementing the SDGs.
Making the people´s voices count
Consultations allow people to participate effectively in raising their voices to their governments on priorities and on the preferred methods by which these Goals can be achieved and holding them accountable. Through this process we learned some key lessons that will help us better implement these surveys in the future:
Consultations are a key tool to better understand people’s perceptions and consider them in planning processes, monitoring implementation of programmes and projects by asking people about their perceptions on service delivery.
In order to do this, it is key to reflect what are the findings expected from such a survey: what do we want to listen to? This will help us answer important questions such as: Should the consultation be conducted at a national o local level? What segments of the population do we want to engage? what are their preferred or available options to reach out? Should civil society be engaged?
A consultation can support and strengthen an ongoing process and be a useful exercise for the planning and implementation of government plans. Moreover, these exercises are key to improve State legitimacy and build strong institutions.
Nationally-owned designed processes are much stronger when linked to global initiatives.
Professionals developing world class innovation discuss the real potential of virtual reality and new media and the challenges that lay ahead: How do we make sure it brings a positive impact to global issues.? How can we bring it to everyone and really use it to help the people who need it the most?
Friedrich Kurz, General Manager Social Innovation, Deutsche Telekom, Marisol Grandon, CEO of Untold Stories, Kristin Gutekunst, Executive Producer of UNVR, UN SDG Action Campaign, Wilfried Runde, Head of Innovation Projects at Deutsche Welle join the discussion at the SDG Live Stage of the Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development.
To convey the stories of the most vulnerable people in the world and bring them home to the decision makers and global citizens around the world, pushing the bounds of empathy, the UN SDG Action Campaign has coordinated the United Nations Virtual Reality Series since 2015.
On Thursday, October 20, over 600 people attended a grand exhibit aboard the Peace Boat. This “Floating Festival for Sustainability” marked the Peace Boat’s 92nd Global Voyage for Peace since the nonprofit was established in 1983, and the first time the ship has docked in New York in five years. It also marked the inauguration of the Global Goals logo on the boat.
The SDG Action Campaign has a long history of working with the Peace Boat, having launched a partnership in 2009 to promote the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Peace Boat previously hosted the Millennium Campaign logo, gave courses on the MDGs to passengers, and participated in the Stand Up Campaign among other activities. The Peace Boat has also been an early adopter of the MY World 2030 survey, helping to translate the ballot into Japanese, and collecting ballots both from passengers and people they meet during their journey. They presented the results of their first efforts in their recent report about the ship’s visit to Latin America – showing the enormous efforts and impact the boat is able to make on supporting the implementation of the SDGs.
The event occurred aboard the Peace Boat, providing guests with an intimate glimpse of life at sea. When guests first arrived, they were greeted with a tour of Peace Boat’s impressive ship. The foyer of the ship allowed guests to engage with the mission of the Peace Boat and with an exhibition of projects the peace boat is aligned with. Peace Boat, an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations, campaigns for the Sustainable Development Goals as it tours the globe each year. The UN SDG Action Campaign was present to drum up excitement about the SDGs and give participants the ability to engage with immersive content. Participants could take the MY World survey to voice their opinion on the importance and progress of the SDGs, take selfies highlighting their favorite SDGs and watch the virtual reality films of stories from around the world.
The World We Want team was also present, inviting guests to learn about their activities and to join the Policy Strategy Group. The World We Want is looking to continue doing WWW exhibitions around the world to promote the SDGs and civil society’s participation in UN activities. Other exhibits included the presentation of the Eco Ship, an entirely sustainable ship fueled by renewable energy sources that will retrieve the mission of the Peace Boat and promote climate action world-wide when in launches in 2020.
The main event of the evening began with live music and dance, followed by a series of speakers including H.E. Jan Eliasson (United Nations Deputy Secretary-General), H.E. Ahmed Sareer (Ambassador of the Maldives and Chairman of the Alliance of Small Islands States (AOSIS)), Jeff Brez (Chief NGO Relations Advocacy and Special Events, Outreach Division, United Nations Department of Public Information), Yoshioka Tatsuya (Peace Boat Director) and Cora Weiss of the (President, Hague Appeal for Peace). The presentations were followed by an eco fashion show highlighting sustainable designs, and the SDGs chosen to be of highest import to each of the designers.
The presenters made appealing calls to action for all guests to get involved with the SDGs and in promoting peace. The Mr. Eliasson stressed the need to join forces and approach the SDGs in a collaborative manner, encouraging everyone to not be phased by the large task at hand, but rather to focus on small actions that add up: “nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something”. He stressed the need to empower and create space for youth and women as major actors in the fight for peace.
Mr. Tatsuya gave an energetic presentation about the new ship the Peace Boat is developing, which will soon be the most sustainable ship to ever set sail. It will include an on-board university for peace & sustainability, sport activities, and volunteer exchanges in local communities visited.
The evening also included a passionate appeal from a survivor of the Nagasaki atomic bombing as part of a special partnership with the United Nations First Committee on Disarmament and International Security (UNODA). Five victims of both Nagasaki and Hiroshima, known as Hibakusha, are traveling with the Peace Boat to campaign against nuclear weapons, hoping to see a world without them in their lifetimes.
Did you know, the MY World Survey is comprised of much more than one simple question now?
On July 18, 2016, the UN SDG Action Campaign, in partnership with UNDP, ODI and Global Pulse, launched the next phase of MY Worldin the UNHQ. Partners from multiple sectors joined in the discussion, reporting on methodologies and strategies. They also presented lessons learnt and preliminary results from early pilot testing and representative studies.
See what our speakers and panelist have said during the MY World 2030 Launch!
“MY World is an opportunity to hear from voices across the spectrum, voices of the people who really shifted this agenda” – Rosemary Kalapurakal, Lead Advisor, 2030 Agenda Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP
“We really need to work together to make sure that the spirit of the MY World campaign lives” – Haoliang Xu, Assistant Administrator and Director for the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, UNDP
“MY World 2030 is about monitoring progress, satisfaction and awareness” – Mitchell Toomey, Global Director, UN SDG Action Campaign
“The main focus of a questionnaire has got to be on the individual respondent” – Hayk Gyuzalyan, Methods Director, TNS Opinion
“Partnership is not about engaging varying entities, but also engaging all individuals in ensuring we leave no one behind” – Muhsin Syihab, from Indonesia
“Local actions must be taken to make impact, particular by youth” – Maria Fernando Olvera, Director of Injuve
“We must continue unfinished business of MDGs through implementation of SDGs” – Princess Orelope-Adefulire, from Nigeria
The UN MY World 2015 survey (2013-2015) showed that it is both possible and useful to bring peoples’ voices directly into policy making at a global level. MY World was designed to bring the voices of individual people into the political deliberations on the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and it has been highly successful in doing so. Almost ten million people have responded to the survey, and the results have fed into every part of the political process for creating the new goals. MY World has been cited as part of the High Level Panel deliberations, the Open Working Group discussions, the PGA consultations and the Independent Expert Group on Data. The SG, DSG, Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning, Secretary General Youth Envoy and chair of the UNDG regularly reference the MY World data.
MY World 2030 will have two clear areas to contribute to, enabled through four different channels.
Main goals of MY World 2030:
Contribute to efforts to report back on progress. The aim here will be to collect globally comparable (both at scale and nationally representative) data to monitor how people feel their lives are changing. This data could feed into official monitoring efforts both locally and globally and contribute to an enhanced mechanism for the effective monitoring and implementation of the goals.
Mobilise andbuild dialogue between decision makers such as parliamentarians, local governments, mayors and citizens, in particular young people in order to contribute a “people’s perspective” on how to implement the new agenda at different levels and establish accountability mechanisms. This data and citizen voice will be focused at the community; municipal and provincial level and provide a rich source of information for national decision makers. It is envisaged that this dialogue will be aggregated at national, regional and global levels. The demand for this has been demonstrated by the MY Municipality initiative in Macedonia and the continued expansion of U Report globally.
On Thursday November 19th, the United Nations Millennium Campaign (UNMC) partnered with the Office of the President of the UN General Assembly to make Virtual Reality available to the entire General Assembly via google cardboard. This effort brought the voice of a Syrian refugee straight to decision makers and marks the first time the UN has been able to distribute its films in a way to directly advance the UN’s advocacy efforts on a larger scale in a more sustainable way.
During the meeting, UNMC placed Google Cardboard viewers and information sheets for delegates and observers alike to gain a better understand of the human side to the Syrian refugee crisis through Clouds Over Sidra. H.E. Mogens Lykketoft, President of the General Assembly invited delegates to use the cardboard to understand the reality of refugees in his opening statement —
On your desks, you will see a small box through which you can watch a short film about one of these people: Sidra, a twelve year old girl who has fled her home in Syria due to the ongoing crisis. Having watched this video myself, I recommend it highly as it really brings home just how difficult life can be for a refugee in our world today.
Our meeting, however, is an opportunity to help refugees like Sidra, an opportunity to identify key actions to advance a more comprehensive and proportionate response to the overall global humanitarian and refugee crisis.
The President of the UN General Assembly called this informal meeting of the General Assembly three weeks prior due to the growing crisis in Europe. The meeting, entitled “Global awareness of the tragedies of irregular migrants in the Mediterranean basin with specific emphasis on Syrian asylum seekers” included H.E. Mogens Lykketoft, President of the UN General Assembly; H.E. Jan Eliasson, UN Deputy Secretary-General; Mr. Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees; Mr. David Miliband, President and CEO of International Rescue Committee; Ms. Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict; H.E. Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Co-Chair of the High Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing; Mr Stephen O’Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator; Ms. Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme; and Mr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, Corporate Secretary and Special Envoy of the President of the World Bank Group.
The meeting was separated into three panels, which addressed protection and legal asylum measures, ensuring adequate financing, and resilience efforts to advance support for countries dealing with the largest burdens as well as the connection between humanitarian and development efforts. Each was permeated with discussion moments from member states.
Coordinated by the UNMC for the past year, the United Nations Virtual Reality (UNVR) series has attempted to use Virtual Reality as a way to advance empathy and understanding for people living through some of the world’s greatest challenges. As the UNMC works towards advocating for marginalized communities and other critical development issues, new mediums of communication have shed light on critical issues in new, imaginative ways.
To coincide with the event, UNVR.org, was launched to organize information on the series into one location. The website highlights the importance of using UNVR for advocating for bold action towards critical issues presents in the Sustainable Development Agenda and especially for focusing on the most vulnerable.
UMUNC China has worked towards made great strides in gaining support from volunteers to promote MY World in China. Our team was concerned with how to really use our data to let the world know what China really needs. Can our data really illustrate the multi-dimensions of China’s youth? How do we help those who are living in difficult situations have more opportunity to express their needs?
We realized that this is our mission – for UMUNC to serve the most marginalized, bringing their voices to the forefront of development, this is also the mission of our generation of young people.
March 2015, we are pleased to introduce the Project Officer for South Western China – her name is Junchi Zhou and she is a middle school student from Chongqing Nankai Middle School. Her arrival has brought new inspiration to the team.
There is a marginalized community living right beside us. Their parents have to migrate away from home to find work. For survival, these parents use their wisdom and strength to try to change the fate of their families for the better. They have also sacrificed so much to promote the sustainable and harmonious development of China’s economy and society. Yet, their sons and daughters stay behind in the village, and they have become a very unique marginalized community, called “left-behind children.”
In September, 2012, the Ministry of Education announced the number of school-age children who migrated with their families to be over 12.6 million while the number of school-age children who are left behind is over 22 million. Behind this enormous number lies a tension that is a symptom of economic growth and the dramatic difference between urban-rural developments.
这是典型的中国式矛盾。This is a typical Chinese style tension.
父母外出打工，把孩子留在乡村，这实在是一种痛苦和无奈的现实选择，即便被父母带入城市的孩子，在森严的城乡壁垒面前，也不得不面对与城市融合的困境。Parents work in the cities while children are left behind in the villages. This is really a painful decision for parents to improve the lives of their children for the future. The issue of adapting to life in the city also comes to mind when looking into whether rural children can quickly adapt to the pace of life in urban areas.
“As we go into the field, joining ‘left-behind’ children and learning form them, it is hard to imagine they are the same age as us but our future looks very different.” Left-behind children have a higher probability of entering the work force or getting married at an early age. Through MY World, UMUNC would like to work with multi-stakeholders to improve this situation and to deepen the impact young people have on the world, through the action from our own two hands.
This is our resolve.
也许有些残酷，但是问题的背后需要不是更多的同情、指责，需要的是关注和解决。这正是我们要做的。这也是为什么“MY WORLD 改变世界” 携手优梦中国青年发展计划为下一个联合国千年发展目标制定议题的意义。因为我们可以用我们的诉求，将世界改造成我们需要的样子，让这个世界真正与我有关。
Reality is difficult to face, but there is no need for criticism and kindness, what is needed is empathy and working toward finding solutions. This is what we must do, and what we would like to do by working on MY World, to find meaning that fits our needs in the next development agenda.
“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.
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.
Blog by Caya Johnson, MY World Global Youth Advocate
“Data are the lifeblood of decision-making and the raw material for accountability. Without high-quality data providing the right information on the right things at the right time; designing, monitoring and evaluating effective policies becomes almost impossible.”
In the period leading up to the adoption on the 2015 global sustainable development agenda, a revolution has been emerging at the UN – a data revolution for sustainable development.
In their report published in May 2013, the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda called for a Data Revolution for Sustainable Development to improve the quality of information for both people and governments, for purposes including a higher standard of accountability and decision-making. The High Level Panel stressed the need for disaggregated data, specifically by gender, income, disability and other categories in order to ensure inclusivity underpins the post 2015 agenda.
Last Thursday the group launched their report entitled A World that Counts – Mobilising the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development. The report specifically recommends a global consensus on principles and standards, the sharing of technology and innovation for the common good, the dedication of new resources for data capacity development, the establishment of a UN-led Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, and the establishment of a ‘SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) Data Lab’.
The report also features the MY World Survey as an important advance in the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development– the survey has provided decision makers at the UN with disaggregated data on the priorities of people around the world. This open-source data platform has allowed for people’s voices to contribute to the informed decision-making process surrounding the new sustainable development agenda.
MY World 2015 Disaggregated Data
Want to join the global conversation on the Data Revolution?
“An agenda that is built on the priorities of people will be a better agenda – it will respond more to their needs, to their aspirations, and how they want to live their lives.”
– Paul Ladd, People Driven Accountability Workshop, DPI-NGO Conference
New York City – August 28, 2014
The United Nations Millennium Campaign (UNMC) and the World We Want 2015 Policy Strategy Group presented the People’s Voices Workshop on August 28, 2014 during the 65th Annual DPI-NGO Conference. The workshop, titled ‘People Driven Accountability’ presented examples of the UN Millennium Campaign’s strategy for ensuring the millions of voices, hopes and dreams of people from around the world are heard by world leaders as they negotiate the post-2015 development agenda.
Ms. Rosa Lizarde, Co-chair of the World We Want 2015 Policy Strategy Group, moderated the workshop, and the keynote address was given by Mr. Nicholas Pron, Special Advisor to the President of the United Nations General Assembly. Panelists included Paul Ladd, UNDP Post-2015 Team Lead, Ghazala Mehmood, Policy Strategy Group Member representing Barakat Incorporation, Niels Caszo, President of AIESEC US representing youth-led organizations, and Mohan Sunkara, the CEO of Azri Data Engineering. Ravi Karkara, UNMC Post-2015 Strategic Partnerships Advisor and Co-chair of the World We Want 2015 Policy Strategy Group offered the closing remark for the workshop.
The workshop focused on how MY World 2015 and the World We Want 2015 are tools which allow people to have a say in UN Processes. The MY World Survey has so far accumulated the voices of over 4 million people from 194 countries. The World We Want 2015 platform steers discussions on the post-2015 agenda and enhances civil society’s participation to ensure that people’s voices are taken into consideration when drafting the new development agenda. The results of the MY World Survey are hosted in the World We Want 2015 Trends page and they complement the global consultative exercises by UNDG and by civil society organizations worldwide in light of building an inclusive future development agenda after the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) end in 2015. All of this open data is available for anyone to access, so “everyone can use this data to make a strong case and point and to hold governments to account,” as Ravi Karkara pointed out during the workshop.