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Second CoNGO Global Thematic Webinar–Pursuing Global Justice and Solidarity: Realizing Agenda 2030, Sustainable Development and Humanitarian Action

5 June 2023 @ 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM UTC-5



Click to register for webinar online participation.

June 5, 2023 Monday

9:30 AM – 12:00 PM EDT New York | 15:30 – 18:00 CEST Geneva

16:30 – 19:00 EAT Nairobi | 8:30 PM – 11:00 PM ICT Bangkok

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Provisional Program Ver. 3.5

9:30     Anniversary Remarks by CoNGO 75th-Anniversary Honorary Co-Chairs

  • Gillian Sorensen (Former UN Assistant Secretary-General for External Relations)
  • Patrick Rea (Grand Master Emeritus, Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem, OSMTH)

9:34     Opening Remarks

  • Liberato Bautista (President of CoNGO and Assistant General Secretary for United Nations and International Affairs of The United Methodist Church—General Board of Church and Society)

9:40     Framing Remarks

  • Samuel Rizk (Head of Conflict Prevention, Peacebuilding & Responsive Institutions {CPPRI}, Crisis Bureau, United Nations Development Programme {UNDP})

9:45     Panel 1: Framing the Intersections of Sustainable Development, Peace and Humanitarian Action

Moderator: Liberato Bautista, President of CoNGO and Main Representative to the UN, United Methodist Church-General Board of Church and Society)

UN Agenda 2030 and the WSIS Action Lines: Convergences for the Attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals

  • Tomas Lamanauskas (Deputy Secretary-General, International Telecommunication Union)

Gender Justice and the Achievement of Sustainable Development and Sustainable Peace: No Development Without Peace, No Peace Without Development

  • Catherine Renee Andela (Chief of Gender Unit, UN Department of Peace Operations, and Senior Gender Adviser)

Achieving Global Justice and Solidarity in Times of Intersecting Global Pandemics and Crises

  • ·Lidy Nacpil (Coordinator, Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development, Philippines)

International Financial Institutions and Trade: Their Impacts on Development

  •  Kinda Mohamadieh (Senior Researcher and Legal Advisor, Third World Network)

10:18    Q & A

10:25   Panel 2: Sustainable Development and Peace in a Time of Intersecting Global Development and Humanitarian Crises

Moderator: Jan Lönn (Chair of CoNGO Board Standing Committee on Agenda 2030, Secretary General of ISMUN)

Reducing Inequalities Within and Among Countries: Challenges and Prospects in Implementing the Right to Development

  • Mihir Kanade (Independent Expert, UN Human Rights Council Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development; Professor and Director of Human Rights Centre at University of Peace, Costa Rica)

Pursuing Global Justice and Solidarity: Achieving Just and Equitable Access to Global Public Goods

  • Ana María Suárez-Franco (Executive Coordination Team in Geneva—FIAN International; Colombia)

Full Funding of the UN and Financing for Sustainable Development

  • Anita Thomas (Chair, NGO Committee on Financing for Development; Representative to the UN of Women First International)

10:53   Q&A

11:00    Panel 3: Sustainable Development In a Time of Intersecting Global Development and Humanitarian Crises

Moderator: Priska Fleischlin (Vice Chair of CoNGO Board Standing Committee on Agenda 2030 and Commissioner to the UN for the International Federation of Social Workers)

Humanitarian Action in a Time of Intersecting Global Pandemics and Crises

  • Rudelmar Bueno de Faria (General Secretary of ACT Alliance)

Humanitarianism and Sustainable Development: Dilemmas and Transformations

  • Ignacio Packer (Executive Director of Initiatives of Change {IofC} and former Executive Director of ICVA {global consortium of humanitarian NGOs})

Achieving Global Justice and Sustainability in a World of Uneven Economic Development and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities

  • Maria Mercedes Rossi (Main Representative to the UN, Associazione Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII APG23)

11:35    Q&A

11:42    Break for Rapporteurs

11:50    Rapporteur’s Report in View of an Outcome Document

Rapporteur’s Team: Cyril Ritchie (Lead Rapporteur, CoNGO First Vice President) Margo LaZaro (NGO Committee on Sustainable Development/New York), Ingeborg Geyer (NGO Committee on Sustainable Development/Vienna; Zonta International), and Nina Wendling/Norm Coleman (International Cancer Expert Corps, tbc)

11:57    Closing Remarks by Liberato Bautista (President of CoNGO)



Background to the theme

1. We live in a time beyond warning. Global inequities are widening. The ambitious UN Agenda 2030 with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is far from its realization. A climate emergency time bomb is ticking and already causing disasters for many millions of people. Action to cope with humanitarian crises is meeting increasing challenges, not least a decline in public attention to some of the most serious and long-lasting, accompanied by a decrease in funding.

2. Food insecurity and a cost-of-living crisis are leaving millions of people behind. Today, 828 million people are undernourished—this has risen by 150 million over the last three years. The debt crisis is alarming, with 60% of low-income countries and 30% of emerging market economies in or near debt distress, pushing nations to the brink where governments cannot provide their citizens adequate health, education, social protection, and other human resources rights.

3. Pursuing Global Justice—to ensure the right to development for all the citizens and nations of the earth and address the systemic root causes of a divided world—is a fundamental issue of our time. It must stand at the center of realizing the aims of the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, whose 75th anniversary is commemorated this year.

4. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have a deep-rooted relationship to peace and stability. Without peace, all other goals—from focusing on youth, women and gender justice (SDG5) rights to addressing climate change (SDG13) and water (SDG6), energy (SDG7) and food security (SDG2), sustainable cities (SDG11) and sustainable industrialization (SDG9)—will be impossible to achieve. The connection between peace and development is so intrinsic that bridging the gap between humanitarian and sustainable development responses is critical and urgent to addressing lingering and protracted polycrisis. In the same vein, implementing Women Peace and Security (WPS) priorities—a political commitment in the Secretary General’s Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) initiative—will be reaffirmed, recognizing women’s equal participation in peace processes and achieving global development goals.

5. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have a deep-rooted relationship to peace and stability. Without peace, all other goals—from focusing on youth, women and gender justice (SDG5) rights to addressing climate change (SDG13) and water (SDG6), energy (SZDG7) and food security (SDG2), sustainable cities (SDG11) and sustainable industrialization (SDG9)—will be impossible to achieve. The connection between peace and development is so intrinsic that bridging the gap between humanitarian and sustainable development responses is critical and urgent to addressing lingering and protracted polycrisis. Similarly, implementing Women’s Peace and Security (WPS) priorities—a political commitment in the Secretary General’s Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) initiative—will be reaffirmed, recognizing women’s equal participation in peace processes and achieving global development goals.

6. The United Nations agenda of 2023 is marked by the preparations for and holding of the September SDG Summit, the High-Level Dialogue on Financing for Development, and preparations for the 2024 UN Summit of the Future. At the SDG Summit, Heads of State and Government will gather at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to review the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The preparatory process for the SDG Summit has stressed the urgency of action and commitment to focus on reversing negative trends, the immediate acceleration of SDG implementation and breakthroughs that steer towards transformative and systemic change. (GA Co-Facilitators’ elements paper for the consultations on the Political Declaration of the SDG Summit).

7. The 2024 UN Summit of the Future, organized on the proposal of the UN Secretary-General, will have a Ministerial meeting in September 2023 to set the stage for the Summit. To prepare for the Summit of the Future, the UN Secretary-General appointed a High-Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism (HLAB), which published its extensive report in April 2023: ”A Breakthrough for People and Planet: Effective and Inclusive Global Governance for Today and the Future.” The Report includes proposals on reconstituting our global financial system to provide fairer representation, sustainable financial resources for all, and adoption by the UN of a Pact for People and the Planet. The report stresses that ”On our current trajectory, we face a collective breakdown. We are putting the existence of future generations at risk”.

8. At the UN General Assembly, a vital consultation process for the adoption by the 2024 Summit of a Declaration on Future Generations has started. These are ongoing UN processes that this second 75th Anniversary CoNGO webinar will seek to contribute to.

CoNGO and the webinar

9. The Civil Society Summit on Substantive Issues, “Shaping the Future: The UN We Need for the World We Want,” organized by CoNGO on 8 October 2021, highlighted global justice among all humanity’s significant global critical concerns.

10. The Civil Society Summit on Substantive Issues brought together over 1,000 participants worldwide to contribute experience and competencies, share doubts about our current world, and collectively articulate aspirations and proposals for the world we want and must achieve. The Civil Society Summit was rich in outlining concepts and actions needed to shape the future.

11. As a direct outcome, the CoNGO General Assembly resolved to use the outcome of the Summit—the Synthesis Report—as a substantive basis for CoNGO’s programmatic direction, especially highlighting it in 2023, CoNGO’s 75th anniversary year. It agreed to convene a series of six high-level global thematic webinars throughout 2023 to highlight and engage the global constituency on the critical themes articulated at the Summit and to elaborate on the agenda, responses, and actions necessary to shape a future of human rights, global justice, social justice, non-discrimination, peace, sustainable development, human and environmental security, and gender justice and inter-generational solidarity for all.

12. The Syntheses report stressed that “The UN and Civil Society must raise solidarity as an essential universal standard, proclaiming it a global public good. We need a new social contract that is not about economic recovery alone, but an approach based on broad consensus and not on special deals, and brings to the fore the voices of civil society and impoverished and marginalized communities.” “The CoVID-19 situation further illustrates the interests of the few taking precedence over the needs of the many. A cardinal principle should be prioritizing people and the planet over profit.” ”Climate change is a crucial driver of poverty and an inhibitor of sustainable development, exacerbating population displacement and conflicts. Action today, not promises today, are what the world needs.” The report stated that ”the UN and Civil Society must also work more closely together on disaster risk reduction, strengthening community resilience, livelihoods” As a critical element to enable progress the Synthesis report stressed that ”The budgets of the United Nations System are minuscule in relation to the tasks assigned to it in the UN Charter and by governments. Member States must substantially increase unrestricted funding for the UN, especially its core budget, on a predictable and timely basis.”

Emphases of the Second Webinar

13. At this CoNGO webinar, we will be able to highlight and discuss the following:
a. Review of the UN and expert conclusions on the implementation of agreed goals and the severity of the current climate, environment and development crises and discussing how better to make people around the world informed on the realities of the crises which require action for their existence, and that of future generations.

b. Reaffirmation of the fundamental UN development principles of global solidarity, right to development, peace and security, and common but different responsibilities, including strengthening “the global architecture for peace, security and finance; for ensuring more equity and fairness in global decision-making; for placing gender equality at the heart of a reinvigorated multilateral architecture; for rebuilding trust in multilateralism through inclusion and accountability” as recommended by the High-Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism (HLAB).

c. Reiteration of the treaty obligations on social and economic rights and the critical role of and strengthening of the public sector for their implementation and building social protection systems, health, education and other social services to co-design preventative and responsive support systems that fulfill the rights and meet the needs of people and adequately integrate human rights obligations and standards into budgetary decisions.

d. Recognition that present and future water scarcity is and will be at the basis of increasing conflict, the webinar (in the context of SDG 6) will touch upon equitable water rights and community leadership. Moreover (in the context of SDG 11), the webinar will explore the centrality of achieving sustainable cities, including safe, adequate, affordable food, housing, water and energy services, health services, sustainable transportation, and decent work and a living wage.

e. Emphasis on SDG Goal 10, called an Orphan goal by the ECOSOC President at the CoNGO Assembly in 2021, while deepening inequality remains a key obstacle to achieving globally agreed ambitions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the promise to leave no one behind.

f. Underlining of the UN Charter, which mandates the specialized agencies and related international organizations like the World Bank and IMF within the UN System to be under UN policy guidance and to review broadly supported reform proposals to enhance UN policy guidance and democratize those institutions, and strengthen the role of developing countries in the international financial institutions. It can be recalled that the NGO Millennium Forum at the UN in 2000 made strong calls for such reforms.

g. Recognition of the critical role of current financing for development processes and financing commitments within the climate change negotiations, but also acknowledging that the global needs call for enormous, far larger, many trillions more of dollars, financial resources to be raised and the need for a broad global public mobilization to generate such funds, which possibly could include convening a UN world conference.

h. Awareness-raising on the complexity of the current humanitarian crises caused by disasters and conflicts, including the increasing concern by humanitarian and faith-based bodies over suffering caused by sanctions and unilateral coercive measures.

i. Further stress on the need for a global information campaign to support drastically increased and total funding for the United Nations to fulfill its Charter role and implement its agreed programmes.

14. A webinar outcome document will reflect the strong points raised in the presentations and discussions. Among others, it will address concerns raised in the CoNGO Civil Society Summit of Substantive Issues (2021) and issues raised in the Secretary-General’s Advisory Report on Effective Multilateralism, which is that “our global governance system be redesigned around equitable access to global public goods, allowing all people, everywhere to benefit from our collective resources, knowledge, and security.”

15. The Outcome Document must reflect the urgency of ensuring the human species’ viability and the planet’s sustainability. This can only happen with radically new financial resources, profuse political courage at all levels of governance, and abundant political will among all people. Such resources must ensure the total funding of the core budget of the UN, including all internationally agreed development goals. To reach the Agenda 2030 and the SDGs, including reducing inequality within and among countries, an unprecedented mobilization of resources is imperative, reflecting the just and equal distribution of common global public goods. It must also reflect our resolve to address global economic governance based on principles of the UN Charter—so that the UN we need steps up to the demands of the world we want.

Background Information
a) CoNGO Civil Society Summit on Substantive Issues.
b) Synthesis Report of the CoNGO Civil Society Summit on Substantive Issues.
c) CoNGO Declaration on the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations.
d) High-Level Political Forum 2023
e) Our Common Agenda (UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s vision for the future of global cooperation)
f) The SDG Summit (Sept. 18-19, 2023)
g) Summit of the Future (Sept. 22-23, 2024)
h) Invitation to the 75th Anniversary Celebrations of CoNGO in 2023


Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO)
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