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One on one with NGOs and the President of the UN General Assembly

Friday, October 6, 2017 ECOSOC Chambers, UNHQ

There was a lot of excitement as hundreds of representatives from various non governmental organizations gathered to listen to the newly appointed President of the 72nd. session of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák. The proceedings were moderated by Mr. Ramu Damodaran, Deputy Director for Partnership and Public Engagement in the UN DPI.

UNGA with NGOs

The President reminded everyone that what we do at the UN affects the whole world and thus, we need a stronger UN. He then shared his three priorities, based on his motto: “Focusing on PEOPLE,”

1. Peace. How well/not has conflict been prevented? What tools do we have, and use, for conflict prevention? Focus should be placed on the summit in April 2018 on ‘Sustaining Peace and Conflict Prevention.’

2. Migration. He reiterated that there are two global phenomenons that affect the lives of the world – migration and refugees. Since this is a recent crisis, governments are not equipped with the appropriate tools or methods. Governments need to understand this is a global phenomenon and not to be treated ‘countrywise.’ In this way, the rights and dignity of those involved will be better upheld.

3. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Achieving the SDGs is quite ambitious however, we are proud of the UN for it is the direction we need to go. The speed and momentum should not decrease however, for this, a need to link money to the SDGs is strongly recommended. Focus on partnering with financial companies needs to be encouraged. The President also mentioned next year, March 2018, will launch the International Decade of Water.

President of the UNGA - 72

His Excellency highlighted the fact that ALL countries presented a statement during the general debate addressing migration, terrorism, climate change and the role of youths in bringing new perspectives and motives in refining solutions to current issues.

Many questions were posed to the President from members of the audience including advanced access of the NGO community to the member states.

H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák encouraged all NGOs to continue the wonderful work they are doing in achieving the SDGs and to know that their proposals are seen as solutions and not problems.

“I have high expectations from you. Migration is not denied by anyone. So, keep your eye on the process. We need to show that the UN can meet the expectations of the world and are capable of handling the issues of the world.”

To watch the full event: https://goo.gl/iVsAUg

The President did a wonderful job at motivating the NGOs to continue their hard work of educating the global community in supporting the SDGs. However, the fact remains that there continues to be an increase of exclusiveness with regards to inter-relationships with member states at the UN.

NGOs bring to the world values of compassion, tolerance, humaneness, and many more, which the world needs if the UN wishes to achieve the SDGs.

 

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