UNGA President Announces Updates on Thematic Debates
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Stakeholders discussed ways of engaging in three upcoming high-level thematic debates of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and their preparations, at a briefing organized by UNGA President Mogens Lykketoft.

Lykketoft will convene events on: implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on climate change (21 April); peace and security (2 May); and human rights (12-13 July).

unga9 February 2016: Stakeholders discussed ways of engaging in three upcoming high-level thematic debates of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and their preparations during a briefing organized by UNGA President Mogens Lykketoft. Lykketoft will convene events on: implementing commitments on sustainable development, climate change, and financing for development (21 April); peace and security (10-11 May); and human rights (12-13 July).

At the briefing on 9 February 2016, Lykketoft said the high-level debates and their preparation processes will be as inclusive and participatory as possible. Dan Thomas, Spokesperson of the UNGA President, highlighted the role of stakeholders in the communications effort to make the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) understood and drive action for implementation.

Tomas Anker Christensen, Chef de Cabinet of the UNGA President, provided details about the thematic debates. He said the event on Implementing and Achieving the SDGs will focus on “how” to implement, and “who” needs to take action for things to happen, including in the areas of finance, technology and data, to partnerships. It has been scheduled for 21 April, one day ahead of the signing of the Paris Agreement on climate change, to ensure the highest possible level of participation.

The Peace and Security event will focus on three UN high-level reviews, on: peace operations; peacebuilding architecture; and the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. It will aim to bring these processes “out of the membership space to the global space,” so civil society and others can bring inputs. A summary of discussions held by a wide range of stakeholders around the world will be presented at the meeting.

The event on Human Rights aims to tackle: discrimination of women; patterns of inequality; participation of citizens and human rights defenders in society; and access to justice, among other issues. Christensen said it will possibly include a segment on the humanitarian crisis, to act as a bridge with the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) taking place in May 2016.

With regard to stakeholders’ participation, Christensen said: registration will take place online; the meetings will be webcast; the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) are conducing the speakers’ selection process; and a survey on the UNGA President’s webpage will gather input from stakeholders around the world. Dan Thomas also drew attention to an online conversation with civil society called #ASKthePGA.

Participants inquired about ways of engaging business in the events, and highlighted the need for inclusiveness and transparency, and including the aging population in the process and discussions. [Remarks of the UNGA President] [Remarks of Chef de Cabinet] [Meeting Webcast] [Survey for Stakeholders Inputs] [#ASKthePGA] [IISD RS Sources]


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