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International conference on Universal Child Grants

ODI - 6. Februar 2019 - 0:00
International conference on Universal Child Grants convened by UNICEF, the International Labour Organization and the Overseas Development Institute.
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Katowice Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP 24)

Women - 2. Dezember 2018 - 21:22

“The Katowice Climate Change Conference will include the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the UNFCCC, along with meetings of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP), the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), and the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA). COP 24 is expected to finalize the rules for the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change under the Paris Agreement work programme (PAWP)”. More information here.

Date: 2-14 December 2018
Location: Katowice, Slaskie, Poland

Katowice Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP 24)
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COP 14 -Fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity

Women - 17. November 2018 - 21:04
COP 14 -Fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity

The Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, 14th Meeting, will be held in Sharm El-Sheikhm Egypt, from 17-19 November 2018.

For the provisional agenda, access here.

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Eighth meeting of the IAEG-SDGs

Women - 5. November 2018 - 21:31

The eighth meeting of the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs), will be held from 5 to 8 November 2018 in Stockholm, Sweden. The meeting will be hosted by Statistics Sweden. More information here.

Meeting objectives
  • Review the tier classification
  • Discuss the implementation plan for data flows and case studies on data flows for SDGsReview Tier III work plans and updates
  • Review timeline and process for 2020 comprehensive review and additional indicators
  • Discuss progress made on the work stream on data disaggregation
  • Share experiences on implementing monitoring of the SDGs
  • Other related issues
Eighth meeting of the IAEG-SDGs
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Africa’s rising debt

ODI - 5. November 2018 - 0:00
This conference explores the challenges of keeping rising public debt in sub-Saharan Africa on a sustainable track.
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The EU’s international cooperation: Contributing to the Global Agenda

ODI - 17. Oktober 2018 - 0:00
How can inequality, growing perceptions of insecurity and increasing contestation of the global order be managed to secure sustainable progress for all?
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Can farming improve the lives of rural women and girls?

ODI - 15. Oktober 2018 - 0:00
ODI convenes an expert panel to discuss the role of agriculture in improving the lives of rural women and girls in developing countries.
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‘AgTech’ disruptors in East African value chains

ODI - 2. Oktober 2018 - 0:00
This session explores the new forms of agricultural technology that are transforming agro-value chains and the implications on integration and inequality.
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Leave no one behind: accelerating action for people caught in crisis

ODI - 27. September 2018 - 0:00

This event, hosted by ODI, International Rescue Committee and Richard Curtis, UN SDG Advocate, launches new analysis that highlights the need for urgent, accelerated action on the 2030 Agenda's promise to leave no one behind. Focusing on the challenges facing displaced people and people living in conflict-affected areas; people caught in crisis, the report makes concrete recommendations about how to ensure they are not left behind. 

The event will also screen the premiere of a new short film by award-winning filmmaker Richard Curtis, which explores the theme of leaving no one behind. 

Please note: registering your interest to attend this high-level event does not guarantee entry, unless you have already received an individual invitation. We will contact you if your application has been successful. 

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UNGA breakfast briefing: financing the end of extreme poverty

ODI - vor 16 Minuten 25 Sekunden
Ahead of the UN Secretary General’s ‘High-level meeting on financing the 2030 agenda’, ODI launches a major new report.
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Donald Trump and the United Nations: What to Expect at the UN General Assembly This Week

UN Dispatch - 23. September 2018 - 15:16

Donald Trump will spend three consecutive days at the United Nations. And this year, like last year, his speeches, off the cuff remarks and general comportment will drive the discussion in New York.

On Monday, Trump will chair a meeting focused on counter narcotics and drugs. This event is mostly intended for a domestic political audience and includes a somewhat banal pledge from attendees to engage more deeply on supply and demand side issues of the drugs trade. It will be a brief event, and attendees are promised a photo-op with Trump.

On Tuesday, Trump delivers his remarks to the General Assembly. Given the apparently warm feelings that Trump now holds for Kim Jong Un, we probably cannot expect a repetition of his bellicose rhetoric from last year in which he derided Kim. However, we probably can expect some harsh words directed against the Palestinians, as the United States has recently broken with decades of precedent and cut off virtually all humanitarian to Palestinian refugees and bi-lateral assistance to the Palestinian Authority. We can also expect Trump to hit on themes of sovereignty, stressing that the United States should remain above reproach and not bound to international agreements like the Paris Accords.  

The real drama may unfold on Wednesday, when President Trump is scheduled to chair a meeting of the United Nations Security Council. 

The United States currently holds the presidency of the Security Council, a position that rotates each month between member states. This gives the United States the chance to set the Security Council’s schedule for September, and therefore the US president the opportunity to serve as President of the Security Council when other heads of state are in town.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley first announced in early September that this meeting would focus on Iran. Days later, she walked that back after it became obvious that every single country on the Security Council, including America’s closest allies, would use the opportunity to re-iterate their support of the Iran Nuclear Deal,  from which the United States has withdrawn. Furthermore, the bylaws of the Security Council would have permitted the President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, to address the Council.

The optics of this would not have been great for the United States, so the US Mission to the UN sent a clarifying note saying that the meeting would instead focus on non-proliferation issues more generally. But one week before the scheduled meeting, the Washington Post reported that the White House had disowned this new iteration, and instead the meeting would now focus on a rather vague grab-bag of international affairs buzzwords favored by conservatives, including “sovereignty and constitutionalism.” A planning memo for the press circulated by the White House on Thursday lists simply “counter-proliferation” as the topic of the meeting. But then, on Friday, Trump tweeted this: 

I will Chair the United Nations Security Council meeting on Iran next week!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 21, 2018

The upshot is that no-one really knows what will happen on Wednesday, when President Trump chairs this meeting. Still, in a press conference on Thursday, Nikki Haley invoked Trumpian superlatives to describe the upcoming meeting, saying it would be “the most watched Security Council meeting ever.” 

Every country on the 15 member panel will be given an opportunity to speak. Chances are, most countries will play it cool and strenuously avoid anything that may offend Trump. (The exception here might be Bolivia, which seems to enjoy needling the United States during Security Council meetings.) The real variable is Trump himself. Will he stay on script and follow protocol as “President of the Security Council?” Will he break protocol by interrupting speeches and take pot shots at other Council members, as he did during the G7 and NATO? Does he even have the stamina and attention span to sit through 14 purposefully innocuous speeches by other member states? Does he expect the Security Council meeting to mimic meetings of his cabinet, in which officials take turns lavishing him with praise?

The fact that no-one really knows what to expect from Trump during this meeting is exceedingly worrisome to people around the United Nations. There is a profound desire around the UN not to offend Trump or do anything that might trigger a negative reaction from him. The worst outcome would be a repeat of the G7 or NATO summits, which Trump purposefully blew up by offending allies and openly deriding the utility of these institutions.  “Figuring out what might offend Trump and how to avoid that is something of a parlor game around here,” one time UN watcher told me. “No one wants this to end up like the G7 or NATO summits.”

So far, the UN has been able to escape Trump’s ire. But whether or not UNGA devolves into a diplomatic train-wreak hinges largely on what will happen during this Security Council meeting. 

The post Donald Trump and the United Nations: What to Expect at the UN General Assembly This Week appeared first on UN Dispatch.

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U.N. Secretary-General on the #metoo movement

Devex - 22. September 2018 - 6:21
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U.N. Secretary-General shares key insights for #UNGA73

Devex - 22. September 2018 - 6:21
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U.N. Secretary-General on the Green Climate Fund

Devex - 22. September 2018 - 6:21
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U.N. Secretary-General on NCDs

Devex - 22. September 2018 - 6:21
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Bring the United Nations closer to the people, urges GA President

UNSDN - 21. September 2018 - 18:04

The new session of the United Nations General Assembly opened on Wednesday with its President pledging to use her year in office to bring the world body closer to the people and strengthen their sense of ownership and support for the UN.

In her first keynote address to what is the 73rd session of the 193-member General Assembly, President María Fernanda Espinosa, said that the need for stronger global leadership in the service of multilateralism, to ensure more peaceful, equitable and sustainable societies, would underpin her work.

“Let us proceed together, building a world more equal and free, more sustainable and respectful of nature, and more inclusive and supportive,” she said.

Ms. Espinosa, who was elected the President of the General Assembly in June, succeeds Miroslav Lajčák, the President of the 72nd session. She is only the fourth woman to hold that position in the history of the world body, and the first woman ever from Latin America and the Caribbean region.

In her address, the Assembly President outlined her seven priorities – identified in consultation with Member States – that will shape the year-long session: promoting gender equality; promoting and implementing the new global compacts on migration and refugees; advocating for decent work; protecting the environment; focusing on rights of persons with disabilities; supporting the UN reform process; and facilitating dialogue.

“I am also prepared to facilitate quick and effective responses of the General Assembly to emergency situations as they arise,” she added, noting that “unfortunately, they will arise.”

Concluding her remarks, Ms. Espinosa also pledged that she will uphold good practices in her Office, ensuring its geographical representation, gender parity, and total transparency in its administrative and financial management.

She also assured that she will observe, “with absolute responsibility”, the Code of Ethics for the President of the General Assembly, and will abide strictly by the precepts of the United Nations Charter and the Assembly’s Rules of Procedure.

World needs the General Assembly to show the value of international cooperation – UN chief Guterres

UN Secretary-General António Guterres also addressed the new General Assembly, congratulating President Espinosa on assuming the office and noting the important issues that lie ahead.

“We need action for peacekeeping, gender parity, financing for the 2030 Agenda [for Sustainable Development], empowerment for the world’s young people, urgent steps to end poverty and conflict, and much else,” he said, calling on world leaders to come to the high-level week beginning on Monday,  “ready to be bold and ready to forge solutions for our global challenges.”

The Secretary-General also underscored the importance of international cooperation and for the Assembly to show the true value of working together.

“The Secretariat and I are committed to supporting you,” he said.

Source: UN News

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A New UN Report Finds that a Child Under the Age of 15 Dies Every 5 Seconds

UN Dispatch - 21. September 2018 - 15:12

Globally, children have a greater chance of survival than ever before. Yet because of growing inequality, in 2017, a child under the age of 15 died every five seconds, a new UN report says, and most of those deaths were preventable.

The report published Tuesday by UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Population Division and the World Bank Group estimated that 6.3 million children under the age of 15 died in 2017. Of those, 5.4 million died before their fifth birthday, mostly from preventable or treatable causes like complications during birth, pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria. For those between ages five and 14, injuries – especially from drowning and road traffic accidents – were the main cause of death.

Since 1990, the world has made impressive strides to reduced the mortality rate of infants and toddlers under age five by more than half. In 1990, the under-five mortality rate was 93 deaths per 1,000 live births. In 2017, it was 39 per 1,000 live births. But as the global rate drops, persistent inequalities are becoming more evident.

The report found that if a child lives in a rural area, she is 1.5 times more likely to die before she turns five than a child who lives in an urban area.

“Without urgent action, 56 million children under five will die from now until 2030 – half of them newborns,” Laurence Chandy, director of data, research and policy at UNICEF, said in a press release. “We have made remarkable progress to save children since 1990, but millions are still dying because of who they are and where they are born. With simple solutions like medicines, clean water, electricity and vaccines, we can change that reality for every child.”

Unsurprisingly, regional inequalities exists as well. A third of the children who died in 2017 before they turned five were in southern Asia. Half were in sub-Saharan Africa – or one in 13. Compare that to one in 185 children in high-income countries. Children age five and older in sub-Saharan Africa are also 15 times more likely to die before their 15th birthday than their European counterparts.

As global levels of child mortality decrease, the inequality gap is widening. According to the report, 30 percent of global under-five deaths occurred in sub-Saharan Africa in 1990. In 2017 it was 50 percent. By 2050, it’s estimated to be 60 percent. Especially in regions like sub-Saharan Africa, air pollution is an major contributor to children dying before their first birthday.

The report also suggests that had mortality rates in every country been as low as the lowest country rate in the world, 95 percent of deaths before age five would not have occurred. The deaths of more than 5 million children would have been prevented just in 2017.

“More than 6 million children dying before their 15th birthday is a cost we simply can’t afford,” Timothy Evans, senior director and head of the health, nutrition and population global practice at the World Bank Group, said in a press release. “Ending preventable deaths and investing in the health of young people is a basic foundation for building countries’ human capital, which will drive their future growth and prosperity.”

The report says that 118 countries out of the 195 analyzed have already met the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) target to reduce the rate of under-five mortality to at least 25 deaths per 1,000 live births, and 26 more countries are expected to meet that target by 2030 if they sustain current trends. But the other 51 countries – two-thirds of which are in sub-Saharan Africa – need to speed up progress if they want to hit the target by 2030. Thirty of them need to more than double how fast they’re reducing child mortality.

But, the report says, if every country can hit the SDG target by 2030, the lives of nearly 10 million children under the age of five can be saved.

The post A New UN Report Finds that a Child Under the Age of 15 Dies Every 5 Seconds appeared first on UN Dispatch.

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#AIforAll

D+C - 21. September 2018 - 12:10
Digitalisation offers opportunities, but also goes along with huge risks in India

The parking lot at Delhi airport gives you an idea of what the digital future may look like in India. For the barrier to open, you must scan your parking ticket. In most other countries, you would do that yourself. In Delhi, however, you hand over your ticket to someone who will do it for you.

The parking lot uses up-to-date technology, but staff members who are not really needed anymore are still employed. The general assumption is that technology boosts productivity by allowing employers to make workers redundant. It does not seem to apply in Delhi.

This may actually be a good sign, given that some 1 million Indians are estimated to join the labour market every month. Job-killing automation could cause a lot of harm. Foregoing automation, on the other hand, could hamper long-term development. Keeping staff to handle automated processes may seem counter-intuitive to most management consultants, but it makes sense in socio-political terms.

This issue is at the heart of how the future of work and artificial intelligence (AI) are currently being debated in India. At first glance, India seems to be doing pretty well in terms of growth and investment. The economy is expected to grow by around 7.4 %. That is one of the best rates internationally. In 2017, the country improved its World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking by 30 places and rose to the 100th rank.

At second glance, things look more challenging. Growth is mostly driven by government spending (almost 11 % of GDP), not by private consumption or investment. Even more disturbingly, the current growth rate is insufficient for generating the millions of new jobs that India needs. Indeed, India’s unemployment rate is rising.

According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, around 31 million Indians are currently unemployed (seven percent). This figure, however, can be somewhat misleading because it does not include 270 million Indians living in poverty, many of whom depend on informal employment.

Compounding the employment problems, half of India’s population is still engaged in agriculture, but environmental stress – not least due to climate change – is reducing productivity significantly. If digitalisation is done well, it might have beneficial impacts (see box by Aditi Roy Ghatak). On the other hand, many poor people are still hardly literate – and that may prove an obstacle to rural modernisation.

There can be no doubt, however, that the future of work is critically linked to the future of employment. This is the context in which technology can make a difference – for the worse or the better. As is true of globalisation, digitalisation and technological progress will create winners and losers. In this regard, India does not differ from other countries. Due to its sheer size, however, it may well become the central battleground for “decent digitalisation” in emerging markets. The challenge is two-fold:

  • In the global race for technological leadership, India can build upon its existing and quite reputable IT sector if it adapts to innovation fast. To do so, massive investments in research and development (R&D) and human skills are necessary.
  • India must create high-quality employment that caters to the needs of the young and aspirational generation, in terms of both jobs and livelihoods.

Prashant K. Nanda of the business website livemint.com estimates that out of the one million new job seekers per month, half lack employable skills. According to a similar essay by Dilip Chenoy in the Hindustan Times, nearly 400 million people in India are unskilled.

India’s Industrial Training Institutes used to have a good reputation, but they have lost track of modern industrial production. New centres for skills training are mushrooming, but they seem to be chasing government subsidies and specialising in rent seeking. Most of them do not teach up-to-date vocational skills. Given that they are not rising to today’s challenges, one should not expect them to rise to tomorrow’s challenges. On the other hand, nobody – whether in India, Europe or elsewhere – really knows exactly what skills will be in labour-market demand in the future.

What impact digital technology will have, differs from sector to sector, of course. The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, a foundation linked to Germany’s Social Democrats, recently held a workshop on the matter in the Delhi agglomeration. Leading business experts agreed that the sectors least likely to be affected by digitalisation are construction, domestic and/or care work as well as hospitality.

Business leaders at the FES event expected lay-offs to concern mostly workers with some, but not very sophisticated skills. Repetitive tasks in manufacturing are the easiest targets for automation. This is a common pattern, and it explains why growth often remains jobless.

Mumbai beats Hamburg

Logistics is among the front runners in technological innovation. When talking to trade union members in logistics, one gets a feeling for the enormous challenge ahead. For example, the Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai is now one of the world’s most digitally controlled ports. It is the largest container port in India and among the global top 25. Currently, it handles 10 million containers annually with a mere 1,700 permanent employees. The comparative figures for the Hamburg Port Authority are 8.8 million containers and 1,800 staff. To judge by these numbers, Mumbai’s port is more digitally advanced than Hamburg’s. In both cities, however, the docks used to be crowded with workers. Now they are empty and digitally managed. The trend is good for business, but bad for employment.

India is famous for its strong ICT sector. Corporations involved in information and communications technology have been making international headlines for about two decades. Nonetheless, even their jobs are not safe. It surprised many when the sector drastically cut jobs last year. The leading corporations – including Infosys, Wipro, Tech Mahindra and HCL – laid off more than 50.000 employees. International competitiveness had suffered due to a lack of investments and innovations, so managers had to adjust.

The ICT sector is supposed to be the future. Its staff members belong to the middle classes and include many women. Job losses in this sector are therefore especially painful. And more bad news seem likely because artificial intelligence is expected to be a game changer. The work done in call centres and comparatively simple computer programme writing may soon be taken over by advanced computer programmes.

Tandem Research and FES are therefore convening a series of six workshops with diverse stakeholders in India – including the government, civil society and private sector. The goal is to collectively evaluate and identify the narratives, social frameworks and key players for shaping AI in India.

The country faces opportunities and challenges. Advances in AI-based technologies could improve the quality, accessibility and affordability of health care and education for under-served populations, for example. On the other hand, unguided AI may cause serious problems in terms of job displacement, data privacy or the transparency of accountability of decision-making by algorithm. Moreover, the gains of progress need to be shared fairly. Broad-based debate is needed to ensure that #AIforALL does not become empty rhetoric.

India must shape new technologies to bring jobs and opportunities to the bottom of the pyramid and to solve persistent development challenges of providing health care, education and a clean environment. In the short term, it is indeed smart to adopt automation technology and keep unskilled staff to operate it – as is the case at Delhi airport’s parking lot.

Patrick Ruether is the representative of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) in India. FES is a non-profit foundation with close ties to Germany’s Social Democrats.
patrick.ruether@fes-india.org
www.fes-india.org

Vikrom Mathur is a co-founder and director of Tandem Research, a Goa-based, multi-disciplinary research collective which specialises in policy advice on technology, society and sustainability.
hello@tandemresearch.org
www.tandemresearch.org

Urvashi Aneja is a co-founder and director of Tandem Research.
hello@tandemresearch.org
www.tandemresearch.org

Kategorien: english

Appel à candidatures Atelier : Carrières académiques féminines

CODESRIA - 21. September 2018 - 11:20

Institut historique allemand, Centre de recherche sur les politiques sociales (IHA-CREPOS) et Merian Institute of Advanced Studies Africa (MIASA), Dakar, 6-7 décembre 2018
Calendrier :
25 septembre 2018 : Date limite d'envoi des candidatures
Début octobre 2018 : Annonce des participantes sélectionnées
6-7 décembre 2018 : Atelier à l'Institut historique allemand, Dakar

Quelle est la place des femmes aujourd'hui dans les universités africaines ? Quelles opportunités et solutions existent pour imaginer, planifier et promouvoir les carrières académiques féminines en Afrique et à l'international? Comment faciliter la conciliation de la vie professionnelle avec la vie privée et familiale ? À partir de ces questions, l'atelier vise à discuter des défis et des possibilités des carrières académiques féminines dans les contextes africains. Il sera constitué d'un workshop participatif animé par Folashadé Soulé-Kohndou (chercheure postdoctorante en relations internationales à l'Université d'Oxford), ainsi que d'une table ronde. L'atelier s'adresse à des chercheuses ressortissantes d'Etats africains et/ou affiliées à des universités africaines en début de carrière (postdoctorantes en priorité, doctorantes ; sciences humaines et sociales en priorité), qui pourront ainsi échanger sur leurs expériences respectives, réfléchir ensemble à des perspectives de carrière et renforcer leurs réseaux.

L'Institut historique allemand (IHA) est un centre de recherche international en histoire placé sous l'égide de la Fondation Max Weber - Instituts allemands en sciences humaines à l'étranger du ministère fédéral de l'Éducation et de la Recherche de la République fédérale d'Allemagne. L'IHA travaille en partenariat avec l'université Cheikh-Anta-Diop de Dakar et le Centre de recherches sur les politiques sociales (CREPOS). Ensemble, ils font partie du Maria Sibylla Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA). L'atelier a lieu dans le cadre du Women's Promotion Program du MIASA.

Les candidatures (environ 300 mots sur les motivations à participer à l'atelier, les propres intérêts de recherche et un CV, en français ou en anglais) sont à envoyer d'ici au 25 septembre 2018 à l'adresse workshopdakar@dhi-paris.fr. La sélection des participantes sera communiquée début octobre. Le cas échéant, les frais de transport et d'hébergement seront pris en charge sous réserve de financements. Pour tout renseignement, veuillez-contacter Zoé Kergomard (zkergomard@dhi-paris.fr) ou Marlène de Saussure (mdesaussure@dhi-paris.fr).

IHA-CREPOS, Dakar
Résidence Sidi Koumba
18 boulevard Martin-Luther-King
Fann-Hock Dakar, Sénégal
https://www.dhi-paris.fr/fr/recherche/afrique.html

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