By Ntiokam Divine, Global Youth Digital Advocate Post 2015 and MY World 2015 and Bernice Atabong from CRTV South Region
“The marginalized grassroots are crying that nothing is being done to ameliorate their living conditions,” Father Jude Thaddeus laments as the MY World survey team visits his school to tell him about the survey project. Father Thaddeus is the director of the Pere Monti Centre in Ebolowa, Cameroon.
The center has a boarding primary school which educates children with disabilities. Recently, the MY World volunteers went to this school of 89 pupils, in an effort to get the children to vote for their priorities and contributing to sustainable development goals.
By Benjamin Buyemere, Youthfim Program Coordinator.
With a profound desire to allow participation and also to make the global campaign “MY World” well known for a large group people, youth gathered in the Youth Forum on ICPD and MDGs, “YOUTHFIM” have set the target of reaching more disadvantaged people, by meeting them in public markets, in the streets, students in Universities and others that are not in contact with information, raising their awareness about the process that is undertook by the UN Millennium Campaign, aiming to gather the voices of all categories of people, in order to contribute to the MY World global survey in the context of the world we want.
The United Nations Association of Boulder County participated in the Boulder Creek Festival 2014 during Memorial Day weekend, May 24-26. 2014. For over a quarter century, the Boulder Creek Festival has been the unofficial kickoff to summer in Boulder. Widely considered Boulder County’s favorite event, the Festival attracts an anticipated half a million people for three days of festivities, featuring a large variety of events, activities, food and entertainment unique to the Boulder community. The concluding day of the festival, Memorial Day at Boulder begins with America’s all time best 10K race “BolderBOULDER”.
The Festival is free to the public and features something for everyone: 9 separate event
areas with 500 vendors showcase everything from community arts and crafts to health
alternatives and technology while 4 performance stages feature a spectrum of music and dance. The Festival also features carnival rides, food and beverage vendors, and the signature event: a rubber duck race down the creek!
The City of Boulder requires all events within city limits to be Zero Waste events. The
goal at a Zero Waste event is to plan ahead and only distribute materials that are
recyclable, compostable or reusable (i.e. no materials that have to be landfilled).
United Nations Association of Boulder County reserved a booth at the Boulder Creek
Festival; our volunteers included members from Model United Nations club at Boulder
High School & University of Colorado and members from the UNICEF Campus
Initiative at University of Colorado.
The Vice President of the Dominican Republic, Dr. Margarita Cedeño de Fernández has launched an initiative to collect 50,000 votes for MY World. She called upon her citizens to join her in voting in what she considers is a transformative human development initiative for the country and the world.
“Today I want to make the promise with the UN Dominican Republic that we will collect 50,000 votes at a national level. In order to do so, we are putting are making all of the computers in all of the Techonological Community Centers available to the UN, so that people can vote” she added. There will be 94 Techonological Community Center and 4 Centers for Community Solidarity (Prosoli) available for the general public to vote so that they can establish the country’s priorities in the elaboration of the United Nations Development Group’s Post-2015 Agenda.
The Vice President considered that the agenda should have as a goal a more equitable world, where prosperity is shared and we leave behind human catastrophies that violate the fundamental rights of millions of people in the whole planet.
She also manifested that poverty, hunger, malnutrition, infant and maternal mortality, environmental destrucion and the systematic violation of women’s rights are realities that weigh heavily over the Post-2015 agenda.
She indicated that the new challenges are digital gaps, the productive use of technology, food security, access to clean water, the development of ethical science, and the strengthening of world peace amongst other themes, which should weigh over this new agenda.
Over 300 young Pakistani youth representatives from all over Pakistan gathered on Tuesday at a youth forum to meet and launch the My World Survey with the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi.
Young boys and girls from different social backgrounds interacted with the Youth Envoy and shared their views and perspectives about their challenges and aims with regards to access to education, skill development, employment, sexual and reproductive health and to their participation in policy making and peace building in the country.
Chairman of Youth Revolution Clan, Rizwan Anwar noted that “Pakistan’s biggest asset is its youth; we are becoming a youth partner in the development agenda and we are committing to raise more than one million votes for the MY World Survey with as many people as possible: citizens of all ages, genders and backgrounds, and particularly the world’s poor and marginalized communities.” He continued “with more than 2000 youth ambassadors, Youth Revolution Clan will be working with civil societies, youth organizations, universities, colleges and government sectors to mark the difference.” He specially thanked Mr. Ravi Karkara, UN Global Advisor on youth & children for his continuous guidance, support and motivation to launch the campaign in Pakistan that has been in planning for the last nine months.
During the 2014 JCI Area Conferences, JCI members took action to engage young active citizens and surrounding community members in the MY World campaign during each of these unique events in Medellin, Colombia (April 23-26), Lome, Togo (May 21-24), Yamagata, Japan (June 4-7) and St. Julian’s, Malta (June 11-14). JCI adopted the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2004 as a way for young active citizens to take targeted action in their communities to create a global impact. The MY World Campaign presents a unique opportunity to continue the commitment and engagement for setting the next set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the post-2015 process.
Over 1.7 million people around the world have already had their say at the United Nations. Now, in the Global Week of Action (May 5-11, 2014), we’re aiming for an additional 500,000 votes.
Together we can make it happen! WEBINAR: Join next week’s webinar onTuesday, 22nd of April 2014, 9:00 – 10:00AM EDT to learn more about the strategy and the exciting new MY World toolkit. Register [here]
If you can’t make the webinar, see a previous recording [here]
WHAT IS THE GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION?
May 5-11: Take community action and mobilize networks OFFLINE to ensure everyone has the opportunity to vote
May 8: The global vote day to mobilize networks ONLINE by joining and sharing the digital campaign
The event began with a presentation on interesting findings regarding girls and young women from the MY World Survey by María Faré Garcia, Project Manager of MY World. The survey, already answered by 1.5 million people in 194 countries, is available on website, by SMS and by paper and pen ballot with the help of over 700 partners. Respondants are asked to choose six out of 16 priorities which would help them and their families live in a better world. Globally, the gender divide in voting is equal except in SMS voting, which is 70% male. Almost 30% of MY world respondents are girls and young women. “Equality between men and women” ranks eighth with females aged 16-30, and 13th with males of same age. This data is available at data.myworld2015.org.
Emmeline Versoza, Executive Director of the Philippine Commission on Women, spoke of the amazing progress that the Phillipines has made on MDGs by prioritizing women in their development agenda. She emphasized the need for a standalone goal on the empowerment of women and girls in the post-2015 agenda.
“All over the world, 800 women a day still die from complications in childbirth” said Nanette Braun, Advocacy and Communications Specialist from UN Women. “MDG progress for women and girls has been much too slow,” she continued, revealing the new post-2015 Beijing initiative to be launched in the coming months which will focus on accelerating progress.She advocated for more focus on violence against women, access to education and empowerment for leadership skills in girls, and for women in leadership.
The most touching moment of the event occurred when Beatrice Omweri, a Girl Guide in Kenya, told about her every day reality. She delcared that “I am here today to say no to violence and to see a world where equality is a reality.” She spoke about how climate change affects her life as a young African woman, especially in fetching water for her family. “Is it a crime to be born a woman?” she wondered aloud through tears. Girl guiding has given her hope, and helped her own empowerment and those of the girls around her.
Moved by the speakers before him, Gerardo Porteny from Young Men 4 Gender Equality began, “being surrounded by so many woman leaders inspires me to fight for gender equality.” He spoke about how his organization and the various campaigns related to it promote gender equality and the fact that true masculinity is championing the women around you: “Equality leads to a better and more loving relationship.”
The event rounded out with a general call to promote equality between men and women, the promotion of a standalone goal on gender, and praise of WAGGGS in their efforts in promoting MY World and serving as advocates and leaders for women and girls everywhere.
NEW YORK (5 Mar 2014)- The United Nations Post-2015 One Secretariat highlighted progress and emerging findings from the UN Millennium Development Campaign’s newest platforms to capture citizen’s voices, priorities and views to inform the post-2015 agenda: The MY World survey, and The World We Want, during a side session of the Ninth Session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals on 4 March 2014 . Representatives from the the President of the General Assembly’s Office, Permanent Missions to the UN, UN Agencies and its affiliates, Civil Societies, Youth Organizations, and Students and Professors participated in the session.
The event was moderated by Olav Kjørven, Special Advisor to the UNDP Administrator on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Mr. Kjørven delivered country reports to the various attending member state delegates, showing them the results of both platforms.
This event – significant in the unification of decision makers, policy influencers and advocates — highlighted the results of MY World and the World We Want. To date 1.5 million votes have been captured since the survey originally became available online, by SMS, and by paper ballot in early 2013, and since it was officially launched in September 2013 by the UN Secretary General. In tandem, the World We Want hosts the 88 national and 11 thematic consultations that have taken place to capture the voice of civil societies. Both of these platforms have been gathering people’s voices to better inform the decision making process for the post-2015 development agenda, the major negotiations of which are ongoing through September 2014. The survey will be available until December 2015.
The survey takes special care to ensure that even the most vulnerable groups have access to the vote. “We found that many people did not have access to the website and that SMS was primarily used by men,” began Mr. Sering Falu Njie, Deputy Director, UN Millennium Campaign. “The most wonderful part of this survey is not only that it is available online, but that we have amazing support from over 700 partners at country level who are going out with paper and pen and making sure that even grandmothers, or young children in remote villages can vote. In addition, we are incorporating civil society led consultations side by side with the UNDG led consultations and sustainable development solution databases. This consolidates the various inputs on the World We Want platform, making it a one-stop-shop for the post-2015 sustainable development conversation.”
Another important contribution of these different platforms is the way the data can be disaggregated by region, gender, age, and education level –a proxy for income. “We can easily compare the vote of poor young women in Bulgaria to those in Britain and Benin,” said Mr. Paul Ladd, Head of the team on the UNDP Post 2015 Development Agenda. “We can also track tweets about the different priorities to see what people are talking about in social media and compare whether they are in line.”
“MY World is the one of the most useful inputs we have had in a UN process,” emphasized Csaba Kőrösi, Permanent Representative Permanent Mission of Hungary to the UN. “This is sending an important message to member states by its citizens; and we are listening.”
Mr. Nicolas Pron gave remarks on behalf of The President of the 68th General Assembly, Ambassador John Ashe, who was unable to attend. “As we shape the contours of this new framework, I think it is fair to say that the openness, transparency and inclusiveness of this process have been unprecedented. People around the world have joined in this global conversation and are sharing their hopes and aspirations for the world they want. Through online and offline consultations, The World We Want platform has given voice to over a million people who have come forth with their concerns and priorities and I am looking forward to hearing more about your findings this evening. ”
Following the short speeches, members of the UN Millennium Campaign assisted visitors in accessing the data on the various TV screens located around the exhibit. It is currently in the UNICEF Danny Kaye Visitors Center lobby.
The “Mark A Difference” volunteers in Jordan reiterated their commitment to the Post-2015 cause and to the dissemination of the MY World survey in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah. As a member of UN Secretary General’s High-level Panel (HLP), formed to advise on the global development agenda beyond 2015, Queen Rania met with these very active and enthusiastic youth to discuss the roll out and the outcomes of the “Mark A Difference” campaign in Jordan.
Since the launch of the campaign by the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in May 2013, the volunteers have been a valuable asset in spreading the survey across the Kingdom. Aged between 13 and 25 years old, this young crew comes from the different governorates of Jordan and is determined to give a voice to people in their local communities, and the opportunity to tell global leaders what is the future they want.
During the meeting, HM Queen Rania asserted the important role young Jordanians played in promoting the survey across the Kingdom, thus contributing in identifying priorities and challenges that will help shape the post-2015 agenda. The Queen noted that the volunteers’ participation in promoting the survey is a valuable experience, allowing them to get to know, firsthand, the priorities of their country and find ways that can help overcome the challenges of the development agenda.
Volunteers shared with the Queen their experiences from working in the field, noting that the people they encountered showed great interest in participating in the survey and were delighted to voice their opinions and share their thoughts on national development priorities. “It is really fulfilling to see children in schools reading the survey carefully and discussing what they want to vote for” – said Doha, a volunteer from Amman.
Preliminary results from the MY World survey show that the first priorities for Jordan are better job opportunities and better education, followed by better healthcare and honest and responsive government. In this regard, Ali –a volunteer from Irbid- stressed that the first two priorities are closely linked: “If students do not get a proper education, an education that gives them the necessary knowledge and skills to work, then no company will be interested in hiring them”.
Her Majesty added that it is crucial to publish the results of the survey so far so that decision makers and stakeholders can benefit from them. The words of HM Queen Rania strongly motivated the volunteers who are ready to expand their network and continue their efforts in disseminating the survey and the results across the country.
Young representatives also attended the meeting from various local organizations, including Irbid Youth Volunteers, Family Kitchen and X Feer.