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United Nations Civil Society Conference

September 7, 2019

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The Rationale: UN SDG

United Nations Global Goals Week

September 26, 2017

The Global Goals Week took place in New York from September 16th to September 23rd, 2017. The Global Goals Week involved several participants from the UN , the public sector, the private sector, the civil society, and academia. It highlighted important topics, especially regarding the Global Compact and the 2030 Agenda (SDGs), within high-level forums and conferences.

 

9/18 and 19→2017 Concordia Annual Summit at Grand Hyatt Hotel in NYC:

 

The first day at the 2017 Concordia Annual Summit started with the issue related to the commitments to address the migration and refugee crisis. Our first role as civil society, within this context of action, is to bring refugees as entrepreneurs, good customers from a macro trend. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi precised during the panel, that the current refugees crisis brought hostility to welcoming countries not only in the North (case of Jordan towards Syria), as 80% of the refugees worldwide are found in welcoming countries in the Southern hemisphere. He emphasized that investing in education and employment are the most important aspects to provide to refugees, and praised as well the effective role of CSOs.

 

Following the panel, a partnership announcement between Pepfar and Mastercard was unveiled, as it will join efforts to control the HIV/AIDS epidemic and improve sustainable healthcare. After that, Mr.David Cohen (Comcast/NBC Universal) spoke about tools of navigating the digital divide and harnessing partnerships for equality, insisting that the internet created a societal divide between the rich and the poor worldwide. Two important panels took place after that, the first was about the influence and leadership of Global First Ladies, with Former FLOTUS Laura Bush, who insisted on the crucial rule of children's education, and the First Ladies of Namibia and Panama. The second panel spoke about the consequences of Partisanship, and involved Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who gave his synthesis about the 2016 U.S. Election, and stressed on action to rekindle the politics of optimism.

 

After that, a very important topic for us was in debate regarding Economic Development and Prosperity in the Western Hemisphere. The panel focused in the Americas, mentioning cases in the Merconorte region, Colombia (that had a 3.2% increase during the last 20 years) and Venezuela (that needs restructuring from the International Monetary Fund).

 

Then the panel regarding Freedoms, Diplomacy and Human Rights (focus in the Middle East region) spoke about the atrocious situation in Egypt, in term of censorship and lack of freedom of speech, despite the country having the strongest base of civil society in the area. In this context, I suggest that we move in the near future towards analyzing by containment rather than from the root causes.

Politico hosted as well a debate about political strategy in the age of information overload during the 2017 Concordia Annual Summit on September 18th, followed by a playbook conversation the next morning.

 

Always during day 1 of the summit (afternoon plenary sessions), the topic of counterterrorism  in Syria was discussed. Concluding the day was the panel featuring U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, covering partnership for transportation in the United States. Secretary Chao stated that the private sector, not being able to operate in some states on transportation, remains an issue for the administration as of 2017, and that it is very critical to have the government being able to work with the private sector.

Among the most important topics discussed at the 2017 Concordia Annual Summit on September 19th, was the Public-Private Collaboration in the United States, in a panel featuring U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. Discussed also on day 2, the Role of U.S. Philanthropy in International Development through Maximizing the Global Impact. The Rockefeller Foundation stated that Philanthropy can't by itself finance the 17 SDGs. 

 

The topic of Democracy in West Africa and what lies ahead was the theme of the following conversation with Former President of Nigeria H.E. Olesegun Obasanjo, who spoke about determinant factors that are still framing Nigeria in particular , and West Africa in general.The 2017 Concordia Annual Summit concluded with Dr.Oz's Prescription for the Nation, and a debate about meeting the challenges through the rule of partnerships on addressing global humanitarian crises.

 

 

9/19→The role of innovation in reaching the Education Commission's goals, organized by Brookings Center for Universal Education:

 

The Brookings Center for Universal Education (CUE) organized on the margins of the 72nd Session of the UNGA, an event in NYC highlighting Sustainable Goal 4 progress, through a report discussing leapfrogging possibilities as a potential of education innovations to rapidly accelerate progress.

The conference covered the reasons why we need to leapfrog, based on the persistent Prussian model, and the twin problems of skills inequality and skills uncertainty. Then, a proposal was discussed on how the civil society can proceed  within this context of action, that I summarize on the cheers for the Industrial Era's model of schooling, and the pillars contributing to transforming Education, and what and how students learn ?

 

The importance of innovation as a toolkit to help Education leapfrog was mentioned during the panel discussion, covering an overview of the leapfrog pathway and the global catalog of Education innovations, as well as the core elements increasingly student-centered and individualized, and the support elements increasingly diverse and results oriented. In addition, the synthesis, brought up the role of government amid expanding options.

The potential to leapfrogging must be assessed from our civil society standpoint from scope and scale angles, while analyzing the pathway and public available data, and how innovations are implemented within Education innovations communities.   

 

9/21→Public-Private Partnership for Sustainable Development, organized by the U.S.Council for International Business (USCIB): 

 

The USCIB organized on the margins of the 72nd Session of the UNGA, an event in NYC highlighting the rule of the Public-Private Partnership or Sustainable Development, an event that covered the Global Compact and the SDGs from the UN standpoint, but that invoked also the critical impact that this would have on the U.S. economy through the actions and proposals of the U.S. Department of State and USAID.The hybrid character of the USCIB makes it an organisation that could work and be involved with the UN route, and the federal route in the United States.

 

Hence, the executive meeting insisted on the concept of the SDGs as BDGs, as discussed during the SDG Business Forum at the UNHQs last july within the High Level Political Forum (HLPF), and that business can make it happen, through going further with a shared, responsibilizing, impact. 

The private sector sees the problems of the public sector as opportunities, which has created the business of diplomacy in the example of the United States' private sector. Driven by hard data, the objective of the Global Compact is to make the Public-Private partnership bigger within the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs contexts of action. That will also require changing processes and business models based on several aspects (i.e. environmental footprints).

 

 

By Youssef Bahammi

The Halsten Enterprise, New Nork

 

 

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