UN-NGLS Releases Policy Briefs on Gender Equality, Oceans and Seas
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Based on consultations with civil society, the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) has produced two papers to inform the eighth session of the UN General Assembly's (UNGA) Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The issue briefs highlight recommendations from civil society members on oceans and seas, and gender equality and women's human rights, topics for discussion at OWG 8.

NGLS3 February 2013: Based on consultations with civil society, the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) has produced two papers to inform the eighth session of the UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The issue briefs highlight recommendations from civil society members on oceans and seas, and gender equality and women’s human rights, topics for discussion at OWG 8.

On gender equality, the brief stresses that most civil society contributors called for both a stand-alone SDG on gender equality, and mainstreaming the issue throughout the targets and indicators of the entire agenda. Specific calls were made for changes to the neo-liberal economic model, international financial institutions, and trade policies, with reference to how these systems disproportionately hurt women. Recommendations also call for the agenda to: promote women’s access to decent work and social protection, and address unpaid care work; eliminate gender-based violence and discrimination; ensure sexual and reproductive health and rights; ensure gender-equitable distribution and safe use of natural resources; and address the gendered nature of armed conflict, peace-making, and transitions to peace.

On oceans and seas, contributors called for a strong focus on these issues in the agenda, with some supporting the proposal by small island developing States (SIDS) for a stand-alone goal. Six objectives for the agenda were identified: establish holistic policies to protect, assess and support the health of the ocean and seas; ensure sustainable and just fisheries; improve global governance of the ocean and seas; establish safeguards for marine bio-prospecting and ensure equitable use of marine genetic resources; ensure strong regulation of seabed mining; and ensure support for SIDS to deal with consequences of climate change, including sea level rise.

The two policy papers and their recommendations were compiled by UN-NGLS based on previously conducted consultations, including the teleconferences that resulted in the September 2013 report ‘Advancing Regional Recommendations on the Post-2015 Agenda,’ and online consultations.

OWG 8 convenes from 3-7 February 2014, at UN Headquarters in New York, US. [Publication: Recommendations on the Oceans and Seas] [Publication: Recommendations on Women’s Human Rights and Gender Equality] [OWG 8 Website] [IISD RS Meeting Coverage]


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