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‘Finding global solutions for global problems’ focus of UN-civil society forum
UN Photo/Loey Felipe

‘Finding global solutions for global problems’ focus of UN-civil society forum

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 23 Aug 2018, 03:06 am

New York, Aug 23 (IBNS): The 67th United Nations Department of Public Information/Non-Governmental Organization (DPI/NGO) Conference kicked off today at UN Headquarters in New York, with speeches affirming the importance of multilateralism, closer partnerships between the UN and civil society, and the role that young people have to play.

The two-day conference is an international forum, where around 2,000 representatives from over 300 NGOs meet with UN officials, leading influencers, members of academia and media to discuss issues of global concern.

This theme of this year’s edition is the value of multilateralism, at a time of rising scepticism about the role of the UN in solving some of the world’s greatest challenges. There is also a focus on opportunities for closer partnership between the UN and civil society, and working together to promote the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, otherwise known as the 2030 Agenda.

Opening the conference, Alison Smale, Under Secretary-General for Global Communications, and head of the UN Department of Public Information, said that stronger links to civil society provide the greatest chance for dealing with global problems that no one country can solve.

Ms. Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International and conference Chair, described the event as “a ground-breaking moment for civil society to advocate together for people-centered multilateralism that can tackle economic inequality, gender injustice and threats to rights-based governance.”

Highlighting the UN’s efforts to make the organization more relevant to young people, the conference recorded nearly 44 per cent youth registrants. Madison Ross, Co-chair of the Youth Sub-Committee, and a speaker at the opening plenary session, expressed her hope that the conference will serve “as an opportunity for youth to be heard and not undermined, benefiting all generations and all other sectors in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

Speaking on behalf of the General Assembly, Her Excellency Mrs. Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee, Vice-President of the General Assembly and Permanent Representative of Ghana to the United Nations, underlined the crucial importance of civil society participation in ensuring the success of the UN and multilateralism, pointing out that the current session of the General Assembly has seen the first-ever “one-on-one” briefing between the President of the General Assembly and civil society representatives.

The conference will assess how effectively the 2030 Agenda is being promoted and enacted, and explore global attitudes towards the UN. It will conclude with the presentation of the Official Outcome Document, drafted by civil society, for adoption at the closing plenary session. This will include a Youth Declaration, detailing the commitments made by young people to contribute towards the UN efforts in achieving the 2030 Agenda.

 

 

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again; UNESCO regrets #HagiaSophia, #Turkey, #Istanbul, #HagiaSophiaMosqueAgain Istanbul/IBNS: Hagia Sophia, Turkey's iconic monument, a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the central attractions of its capital Istanbul, is no longer a museum. It has been turned back as a mosque though some 1500 years ago it was built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman time in 1453 while under Ataturk it was turned into a museum in 1935. The decision comes amid a growing rise of the Islamists in Turkey who had been demanding that it be restored as a mosque though Opposition leaders with secular credentials had been against the move. A top court in Turkey ruled that turning it into a museum in 1935 by modern Turkey's secular architect Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was illegal, paving the way for present Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare it as a mosque again and to open it for Muslim prayers. Erdogan made the announcement an hour after the court ruled the conversion to museum in 1935 as illegal and scrapped its status. "May it be beneficial," posted Erdogan on Twitter, sharing an official document on the change with his signature. UNESCO regrets In an immediate reaction, UNESCO said it "deeply regrets" the decision. UNESCO said it was "regrettable that the Turkish decision was not the subject of dialog nor notification beforehand". "UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialog without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session," the United Nation's cultural body said in a statement. Istanbul icon of beauty and wonderment According to Turkey's official tourism website, Hagia Sophia is a remarkable achievement in the history of architecture. and a living proof of mankind's revolt against the laws of physics and it calls it a monument whose importance transcends borders. It is one of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites attracting millions of visitors across the world with its majestic grandeur

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again 11 Jul 2020, 01:37 pm