The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
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Week ending 16 June 2018

This weekly digest is intended to aggregate and distill key content from a broad spectrum of practice domains and organization types including key agencies/IGOs, NGOs, governments, academic and research institutions, consortia and collaborations, foundations, and commercial organizations. We also monitor a spectrum of peer-reviewed journals and general media channels. The Sentinel’s geographic scope is global/regional but selected country-level content is included. We recognize that this spectrum/scope yields an indicative and not an exhaustive product. Comments and suggestions should be directed to:

David R. Curry
Editor
GE2P2 Global Foundation – Governance, Evidence, Ethics, Policy, Practice
david.r.curry@ge2p2center.net

PDF: The Sentinel_ period ending 16 Jun 2018

Contents
:: Week in Review  [See selected posts just below]
:: Key Agency/IGO/Governments Watch – Selected Updates from 30+ entities
:: INGO/Consortia/Joint Initiatives Watch – Media Releases, Major Initiatives, Research:: Foundation/Major Donor Watch -Selected Updates
:: Journal Watch – Key articles and abstracts from 100+ peer-reviewed journals

General Assembly Adopts Resolution on Protecting Palestinian Civilians

General Assembly Adopts Resolution on Protecting Palestinian Civilians Following Rejection of United States Amendment to Condemn Hamas Rocket Fire
13 June 2018
GA/12028
In an emergency meeting, the General Assembly today adopted a resolution deploring the use of excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and particularly the Gaza Strip.

By the text titled “Protection of the Palestinian civilian population” — adopted by a vote of 120 in favour to 8 against with 45 abstentions — the Assembly demanded that Israel refrain from such actions and fully abide by its legal obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention relating to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949.

It also deplored the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israeli civilian areas — and any actions that could endanger civilian lives — and called for urgent steps to ensure an immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire, as well as for the exercise of maximum restraint by all parties. It requested the Secretary-General to submit a report in no later than 60 days, outlining proposals on ways and means for ensuring the safety of Palestinian civilians, including on an international protection mechanism.

The resolution was adopted following the Assembly’s rejection of a United States-sponsored amendment — by a vote of 78 against to 59 in favour, with 26 abstentions — which would have condemned Hamas for repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and inciting violence along the boundary fence. It would have demanded that Hamas cease all violent activity and expressed grave concern over the destruction of the Kerem Shalom crossing by actors in Gaza…

Joint INGO Statement in the Event of an Escalation on Hodeidah [Yemen]

Yemen

Joint INGO Statement in the Event of an Escalation on Hodeidah
14th Jun 2018
International aid groups working in Yemen today expressed outrage at the loss of human life that has resulted from a military assault on Hodeidah city and its port and accused the attackers of a total disregard for human suffering. The consequences of this attack will be nothing but catastrophic for the people of Hodeidah, as well as for the rest of the population across the country who rely on Hodeidah’s port for food, fuel and commercial goods, including life-saving supplies of medicines. Two-thirds of Yemen’s population are directly served by the port.

The current military intervention in Hodeidah is leaving hundreds of thousands of women, men and children stranded without any support or access to humanitarian aid. We are extremely worried about not being able to reach people in need as the warring parties advance, leaving civilians caught in the middle. We reiterate in the strongest possible terms that there is no military solution to this conflict. The only solution is to return to a viable peace process.

We also call on the international community to exert pressure on the warring parties to immediately halt the violence and return to meaningful dialogue.
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Signatories:
CARE International
International Rescue Committee
Mercy Corps
Danish Refugee Council
Oxfam
International Training and Development Center
Global Communities
Save the Children
ZOA
Norwegian Refugee Council
SAFERWORLD
ACTED
Relief International
ADRA: Adventist Development and Relief Agency International
Action Against Hunger
Medecins Du Monde
INTERSOS

At least 2.5 million migrants smuggled worldwide in 2016 – UNODC study

Migrant Smuggling

At least 2.5 million migrants smuggled worldwide in 2016, says UNODC study
Press Release
Vienna, 13 June 2018 – At least 2.5 million migrants were smuggled in 2016, according to the first Global Study on Smuggling of Migrants released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) today. Migrant smuggling occurred in all regions of the world and generated an income for smugglers of up to US$7 billion, equivalent to what the United States or the European Union countries spent on global humanitarian aid in 2016.

The study describes 30 major smuggling routes worldwide and finds that demand for smuggling services is particularly high among refugees who, for lack of other means, may need to use smugglers to reach a safe destination fleeing their origin countries. Data suggests that many smuggling flows include unaccompanied or separated children, who might be particularly vulnerable to deception and abuse by smugglers and others. In 2016, nearly 34,000 unaccompanied and separated children arrived in Europe (in Greece, Italy, Bulgaria and Spain).

“This transnational crime preys on the most vulnerable of the vulnerable,” said Jean-Luc Lemahieu, UNODC Director of Policy Analysis and Public Affairs. “It’s a global crime that requires global action, including improved regional and international cooperation and national criminal justice responses.”…

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2018 Global Study on Smuggling of Migrants
UNODC
June 2018 – 170 pages
PDF: http://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/glosom/GLOSOM_2018_web_small.pdf
Overview
This is the first Global Study on Smuggling of Migrants from UNODC. In line with UNODC’s mandate as the guardian of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, and its supplementing Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, the research represents a start towards developing a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the criminal aspect of migrant smuggling. Complementing UNODC’s existing support to Member States, it highlights potential avenues for strengthening measures against migrant smuggling, and can help to inform effective criminal justice responses. It is also meant to contribute to continuing efforts towards the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, the first intergovernmentally negotiated agreement prepared under the auspices of the UN, to cover all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner.

Policy implications [p.12; Excerpt]
:: This first UNODC Global Study on Smuggling of Migrants presents a wealth of information on the different manifestations of this crime and its harm to migrants and states. While many information gaps remain, the knowledge compiled in this Study has important implications for policies and programmes.

:: The study shows that smuggling of migrants is a transnational crime which generates significant economic returns. Among its consequences are thousands of migrants who are killed, tortured and exploited every year. The United Nations Protocol against the Smuggling
of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, is the only internationally agreed legal instrument designed to prevent and combat smuggling of migrants. The Protocol also reiterates the importance of protecting migrants’ rights. Ratifying or acceding to the Smuggling of Migrants Protocol, and ensuring full
implementation, including the defining element of “financial and other material benefit” are vital first steps to effectively address the crime and protect migrants.

:: The increasing numbers of unaccompanied and separated children among smuggled migrants on some routes pose great challenges to children’s rights and wellbeing. Institutions providing assistance to migrants as well as law enforcement and migration authorities need to be equipped and trained to address the particular vulnerabilities among children who are smuggled and to guarantee the best interest of the child…

Global Migration Can Be a Potent Tool in the Fight to End Poverty Across the World—New Report

Development – Global Migration

Global Migration Can Be a Potent Tool in the Fight to End Poverty Across the World—New Report
High-income destination countries could realize even bigger gains with efficient labor market policies
WASHINGTON, June 14, 2018 – Global migration has lifted millions out of poverty and boosted economic growth, a new World Bank report finds. But destination countries risk losing out in the global competition for talent and leaving large gaps in their labor markets by failing to implement policies that address labor market forces and manage short-run economic tensions.
Large and persistent differences in wages across the globe are the main drivers of economic migration from low- to high-income countries, according to Moving for Prosperity: Global Migration and Labor Markets. Migrants often triple their wages after moving to a new country, helping millions of migrants and their relatives at home escape poverty. Destination countries often benefit as migrants fill critical roles, from advancing the technological frontier in Silicon Valley to building skyscrapers in the Middle East.

Despite the lure of higher wages, rates of migrants as a share of the global population have remained mostly unchanged for more than five decades, even as global trade and investment flows have expanded exponentially during this time. Between 1960 and 2015, the share of migrants in the global population has fluctuated narrowly between 2.5 and 3.5 percent, with national borders, distance, culture, and language acting as strong deterrents.

Highlights of key findings from the report include:
:: Migration flows are highly concentrated by location and occupation. Currently, the top 10 destination countries account for 60 percent of around 250 million international migrants in the world.
:: Surprisingly, concentration levels increase with skill levels. The United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia are home to almost two-thirds of migrants with tertiary education. At the very peak of talent, an astonishing 85 percent of all immigrant Nobel Science Prize winners are in the United States.
:: Education levels of women are rapidly increasing, especially in developing countries, but opportunities for career growth remain limited. As a result, college educated women from low and middle-income countries are the fastest growing group among immigrants to high-income countries.

“The number of international migrants continues to remain fairly modest, but migrants often arrive in waves and cluster around the same locations and types of jobs,” said Shantayanan Devarajan, World Bank Senior Director for Development Economics and acting Chief Economist. “Better policies can manage these transitions in a way that guarantees long-term benefits for both citizens and migrants.”

The report recommends various policy measures to ensure the benefits of migration are shared by host and immigrant communities for generations to come. Key among them:
:: Effective migration policies must work with rather than against labor market forces. For example, where there is large unmet demand for seasonal work, temporary migration programs, like those in Canada or Australia, could address labor market shortages while discouraging permanent undocumented migration.
:: Quotas should be replaced with market based mechanisms to manage migration flows. Such tools can pay for the cost of government assistance to support dislocated workers. In addition, the most pressing needs of the labor market can be met by matching migrant workers with employers that need them the most.
:: Creating a pathway to permanent residency for migrants with higher-skills and permanent jobs creates incentives for them to fully integrate in the labor markets and make economic and social contributions to the destination country…

Governance – Global : G7 Meeting, 8-9 June 2018, Charlevoix, Canada

Governance – Global : G7 Meeting, 8-9 June 2018, Charlevoix, Canada

Prime Minister concludes successful G7 Summit focused on creating economic growth that benefits everyone
10 June 2018
…This week, G7 leaders met in the Charlevoix region of Quebec to find real, concrete solutions to pressing global challenges—the type of solutions that will make a real difference in the lives of people in our countries and around the world.
At the Summit, G7 leaders talked about investing in economic growth that works for everyone and preparing people for the jobs of the future. They reaffirmed their commitment to advance gender equality, defend their democracies against foreign threats, and build a more peaceful and secure world. They also discussed climate change, oceans, and clean energy.
Yesterday, Canada, along with the European Union, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the World Bank, announced an investment of nearly $3.8 billion CAD to support quality education for women and girls living in crisis, conflict-affected and fragile states. This funding represents the single largest investment of its kind in history. In the fight for greater equality, education is key—it gives women and girls the tools they need to make their own decisions about their future and live the life they want for themselves.
Throughout the Summit, leaders discussed the future of the economy and their shared responsibility to create sustainable economic growth that works for everyone, particularly those at risk of being left behind. They endorsed the Charlevoix Commitment on Equality and Economic Growth, which reinforces a common commitment to fight poverty, achieve gender equality, reduce income inequality, and ensure better access to financial resources so that everyone has a chance to earn a decent living. They also committed to build a common vision for the future of artificial intelligence and to champion innovative financing that supports international development and reinforces gender equality and women’s empowerment….

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Key Commitment Instruments/Announcements/Communique
:: Charlevoix Commitment on Equality and Economic Growth

:: Charlevoix Commitment on Innovative Financing for Development

:: Charlevoix Common Vision for the Future of Artificial Intelligence

:: Charlevoix Declaration on Quality Education for Girls, Adolescent Girls and Women in Developing Countries

:: Charlevoix Commitment to End Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, Abuse and Harassment in Digital Contexts

:: Charlevoix Commitment on Defending Democracy from Foreign Threats

:: Charlevoix Blueprint for Healthy Oceans, Seas and Resilient Coastal Communities

:: Canada and partners announce historic investment in education for women and girls in crisis and conflict situations

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The Charlevoix G7 Summit Communique
[Editor’s text bolding]
1. We, the Leaders of the G7, have come together in Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada on June 8–9, 2018, guided by our shared values of freedom, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights and our commitment to promote a rules-based international order. As advanced economies and leading democracies, we share a fundamental commitment to investing in our citizens and meeting their needs and to responding to global challenges. We collectively affirm our strong determination to achieve a clean environment, clean air and clean water. We are resolved to work together in creating a healthy, prosperous, sustainable and fair future for all.

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Investing in Growth that Works for Everyone
2. We share the responsibility of working together to stimulate sustainable economic growth that benefits everyone and, in particular, those most at risk of being left behind. We welcome the contribution of technological change and global integration to global economic recovery and increased job creation. The global economic outlook continues to improve, but too few citizens have benefited from that economic growth. While resilience against risk has improved among emerging market economies, recent market movements remind us of potential vulnerabilities. We will continue monitoring market developments and using all policy tools to support strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth that generates widespread prosperity. We reaffirm our existing exchange rate commitments. We commit to promoting smart, sustainable and high-quality investments, such as in infrastructure, to boost growth and productivity and create quality jobs. Economic growth is fundamental to raising living standards. We also recognize that economic output alone is insufficient for measuring success and acknowledge the importance of monitoring other societal and economic indicators that measure prosperity and well-being. We are committed to removing the barriers that keep our citizens, including women and marginalized individuals, from participating fully in the global economy. We endorse the Charlevoix Commitment on Equality and Economic Growth, which reinforces our commitment to eradicate poverty, advance gender equality, foster income equality, ensure better access to financial resources and create decent work and quality of life for all.

3. In order to ensure that everyone pays their fair share, we will exchange approaches and support international efforts to deliver fair, progressive, effective and efficient tax systems. We will continue to fight tax evasion and avoidance by promoting the global implementation of international standards and addressing base erosion and profit shifting. The impacts of the digitalization of the economy on the international tax system remain key outstanding issues. We welcome the OECD interim report analyzing the impact of digitalization of the economy on the international tax system. We are committed to work together to seek a consensus-based solution by 2020.

4. We acknowledge that free, fair and mutually beneficial trade and investment, while creating reciprocal benefits, are key engines for growth and job creation. We recommit to the conclusions on trade of the Hamburg G20 Summit, in particular, we underline the crucial role of a rules-based international trading system and continue to fight protectionism. We note the importance of bilateral, regional and plurilateral agreements being open, transparent, inclusive and WTO-consistent, and commit to working to ensure they complement the multilateral trade agreements. We commit to modernize the WTO to make it more fair as soon as possible. We strive to reduce tariff barriers, non-tariff barriers and subsidies.

5. We will work together to enforce existing international rules and develop new rules where needed to foster a truly level playing field, addressing in particular non-market oriented policies and practices, and inadequate protection of intellectual property rights, such as forced technology transfer or cyber-enabled theft. We call for the start of negotiations – this year – to develop stronger international rules on market-distorting industrial subsidies and trade-distorting actions by state-owned enterprises. We also call on all members of the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity to fully and promptly implement its recommendations. We stress the urgent need to avoid excess capacity in other sectors such as aluminum and high technology. We call on the International Working Group on Export Credits to develop a new set of guidelines for government-supported export credits, as soon as possible in 2019

6. To support growth and equal participation that benefits everyone, and ensure our citizens lead healthy and productive lives, we commit to supporting strong, sustainable health systems that promote access to quality and affordable healthcare and to bringing greater attention to mental health. We support efforts to promote and protect women’s and adolescents’ health and well-being through evidence-based healthcare and health information. We recognize the World Health Organization’s vital role in health emergencies, including through the Contingency Fund for Emergencies and the World Bank’s Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility, and emphasize their need for further development and continued and sustainable financing. We recommit to support our 76 partners to strengthen their implementation of the International Health Regulations, including through their development of costed national action plans and the use of diverse sources of financing and multi-stakeholder resources. We will prioritize and coordinate our global efforts to fight against antimicrobial resistance, in a “one health” approach. We will accelerate our efforts to end tuberculosis, and its resistant forms. We reconfirm our resolve to work with partners to eradicate polio and effectively manage the post-polio transition. We affirm our support for a successful replenishment of the Global Fund in 2019.

7. Public finance, including official development assistance and domestic resource mobilization, is necessary to work towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda, but alone is insufficient to support the economic growth and sustainable development necessary to lift all populations from poverty. As a result, we have committed to the Charlevoix Commitment on Innovative Financing for Development to promote economic growth in developing economies and foster greater equality of opportunity within and between countries. We will continue to invest in quality infrastructure with open access. Given rising debt levels in low income countries and the importance of debt sustainability, we call for greater debt transparency not only from low income debtor countries, but also emerging sovereign lenders and private creditors. We support the ongoing work of the Paris Club, as the principal international forum for restructuring official bilateral debt, towards the broader inclusion of emerging creditors. We recognize the value in development and humanitarian assistance that promotes greater equality of opportunity, and gender equality, and prioritizes the most vulnerable, and will continue to work to develop innovative financing models to ensure that no one is left behind.

Preparing for Jobs of the Future
8. We are resolved to ensure that all workers have access to the skills and education necessary to adapt and prosper in the new world of work brought by innovation through emerging technologies. We will promote innovation through a culture of lifelong learning among current and future generations of workers. We will expand market-driven training and education, particularly for girls and women in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. We recognize the need to remove barriers to women’s leadership and equal opportunity to participate in all aspects of the labour market, including by eliminating violence, discrimination and harassment within and beyond the workplace. We will explore innovative new approaches to apprenticeship and vocational learning, as well as opportunities to engage employers and improve access to workplace training.

9. We highlight the importance of working towards making social protection more effective and efficient and creating quality work environments for workers, including those in non-standard forms of work. Expanding communication and collaboration between governments and businesses, social partners, educational institutions and other relevant stakeholders will be essential for preparing workers to adapt and thrive in the new world of work. To realize the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI), we endorse the Charlevoix Common Vision for the Future of Artificial Intelligence. We recognize that a human-centric approach to AI has the potential to introduce new sources of economic growth, bring significant benefits to our societies and help address some of our most pressing challenges.

Advancing Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment
10. We recognize that gender equality is fundamental for the fulfillment of human rights and is a social and economic imperative. However, gender inequality persists despite decades of international commitments to eliminate these differences. We will continue to work to remove barriers to women’s participation and decision-making in social, economic and political spheres as well as increase the opportunities for all to participate equally in all aspects of the labour market. Our path forward will promote women’s full economic participation through working to reduce the gender wage gap, supporting women business leaders and entrepreneurs and recognizing the value of unpaid care work.

11. Equal access to quality education is vital to achieve the empowerment and equal opportunity of girls and women, especially in developing contexts and countries struggling with conflict. Through the Charlevoix Declaration on Quality Education for Girls, Adolescent Girls and Women in Developing Countries, we demonstrate our commitment to increase opportunities for at least 12 years of safe and quality education for all and to dismantle the barriers to girls’ and women’s quality education, particularly in emergencies and in conflict-affected and fragile states. We recognize that marginalized girls, such as those with a disability, face additional barriers in attaining access to education.

12. Advancing gender equality and ending violence against girls and women benefits all and is a shared responsibility in which everyone, including men and boys, has a critical role to play. We endorse the Charlevoix Commitment to End Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, Abuse and Harassment in Digital Contexts, and are resolved to end all forms of sexual and gender-based violence. We strive for a future where individuals’ human rights are equally protected both offline and online; and where everyone has equal opportunity to participate in political, social, economic and cultural endeavors.

Building a More Peaceful and Secure World
13. We share a responsibility to build a more peaceful and secure world, recognizing that respect for human rights, the rule of law and equality of opportunity are necessary for lasting security and to enable economic growth that works for everyone. The global security threats we face are complex and evolving and we commit to working together to counter terrorism. We welcome the outcome of the international conference on the fight against terrorist financing, held in Paris April 25-26, 2018. Foreign terrorist fighters must be held accountable for their actions. We are committed to addressing the use of the internet for terrorist purposes, including as a tool for recruitment, training, propaganda and financing, and by working with partners such as the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism. We underscore the importance of taking concrete measures to eradicate trafficking in persons, forced labour, child labour and all forms of slavery, including modern slavery.

14. Recognizing that countries that are more equal are also more stable, more peaceful and more democratic, we are resolved to strengthen the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. Gender-sensitive measures that include women’s participation and perspectives to prevent and eradicate terrorism are vital to effective and sustainable results, protection from sexual and gender-based violence, and preventing other human rights abuses and violations.

15. We commit to take concerted action in responding to foreign actors who seek to undermine our democratic societies and institutions, our electoral processes, our sovereignty and our security as outlined in the Charlevoix Commitment on Defending Democracy from Foreign Threats. We recognize that such threats, particularly those originating from state actors, are not just threats to G7 nations, but to international peace and security and the rules-based international order. We call on others to join us in addressing these growing threats by increasing the resilience and security of our institutions, economies and societies, and by taking concerted action to identify and hold to account those who would do us harm.

16. We continue to call on North Korea to completely, verifiably and irreversibly dismantle all of its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and ballistic missiles as well as its related programs and facilities. We acknowledge recent developments, including North Korea’s announcement of a moratorium on nuclear testing and ballistic missile launches, a commitment to denuclearization made in the April 27 Panmunjom Declaration – assuming full implementation – and the apparent closure of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site on May 24; but we reiterate the importance of full denuclearization. The dismantlement of all of its WMD and ballistic missiles will lead to a more positive future for all people on the Korean Peninsula and a chance of prosperity for the people of North Korea, who have suffered for too long. However, more must be done and we call on all states to maintain strong pressure, including through the full implementation of relevant UNSCRs, to urge North Korea to change its course and take decisive and irreversible steps. In this context, we once again call upon North Korea to respect the human rights of its people and resolve the abductions issue immediately

17. We urge Russia to cease its destabilizing behaviour to undermine democratic systems and its support of the Syrian regime. We condemn the attack using a military-grade nerve agent in Salisbury, United Kingdom. We share and agree with the United Kingdom’s assessment that it is highly likely that the Russian Federation was responsible for the attack, and that there is no plausible alternative explanation. We urge Russia to live up to its international obligations, as well as its responsibilities as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, to uphold international peace and security. Notwithstanding, we will continue to engage with Russia on addressing regional crises and global challenges, where it is in our interests. We reiterate our condemnation of the illegal annexation of Crimea and reaffirm our enduring support for Ukrainian sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity within its internationally-recognized borders. We maintain our commitment to assisting Ukraine in implementing its ambitious and necessary reform agenda. We recall that the continuation of sanctions is clearly linked to Russia’s failure to demonstrate complete implementation of its commitments in the Minsk Agreements and respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and we fully support the efforts within the Normandy Format and of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe for a solution to the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. Should its actions so require, we also stand ready to take further restrictive measures in order to increase costs on Russia. We remain committed to support Russian civil society and to engage and invest in people-to-people contact.

18. We strongly condemn the murderous brutality of Daesh and its oppression of civilian populations under its control. As an international community, we remain committed to the eradication of Daesh and its hateful ideology. In Syria, we also condemn the repeated and morally reprehensible use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime and by Daesh. We call on the supporters of the regime to ensure compliance with its obligation to declare and dismantle remaining chemical weapons. We deplore the fact that Syria assumed the presidency of the Conference on Disarmament in May, given its consistent and flagrant disregard of international non-proliferation norms and agreements. We reaffirm our collective commitment to the Chemical Weapons Convention and call on all states to support the upcoming Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Special Conference of States Parties and to work together to strengthen the ability of the OPCW to promote the implementation of the Convention. We call upon those who have yet to do so to join the International Partnership Against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons. We call for credible, inclusive and non-sectarian governance in Syria, facilitated by free and fair elections held to the highest international standards of transparency and accountability, with all Syrians, including members of the diaspora, eligible to participate.

19. We remain concerned about the situation in the East and South China Seas and reiterate our strong opposition to any unilateral actions that could escalate tensions and undermine regional stability and the international rules-based order. We urge all parties to pursue demilitarization of disputed features. We are committed to taking a strong stance against human rights abuse, human trafficking and corruption across the globe, especially as it impacts vulnerable populations, and we call upon the international community to take strong action against these abuses all over the world. We welcome the recent commitments made by Myanmar and we pledge to coordinate efforts to build lasting peace and support democratic transition in Myanmar, particularly in the context of the ongoing Rohingya crisis, to allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access and the safe, voluntary and dignified return of refugees and displaced people. We are deeply concerned about the lack of respect for human rights and basic democratic principles in Venezuela, as well as the spiraling economic crisis and its humanitarian repercussions. We express our concern at the continuous deterioration of the situation in Yemen and renew our call for all parties to fully comply with international humanitarian law and human rights law.

20. Recognizing the threat Iran’s ballistic missile program poses to international peace and security, we call upon Iran to refrain from launches of ballistic missiles and all other activities which are inconsistent with UNSCR 2231 – including all annexes – and destabilizing for the region, and cease proliferation of missile technology. We are committed to permanently ensuring that Iran’s nuclear program remains peaceful, in line with its international obligations and commitments to never seek, develop or acquire a nuclear weapon. We condemn all financial support of terrorism including terrorist groups sponsored by Iran. We also call upon Iran to play a constructive role by contributing to efforts to counter terrorism and achieve political solutions, reconciliation and peace in the region.

21. We remain concerned about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, especially in the light of recent events. We support the resumption without delay of substantive peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians aimed at achieving a negotiated solution that ensures the peace and security for both parties. We stress the importance of addressing as soon as possible the dire and deteriorating humanitarian and security situation in the Gaza strip.

22. Africa’s security, stability, and sustainable development are high priorities for us, and we reiterate our support for African-led initiatives, including at a regional level. We reiterate our commitment to work in partnership with the African continent, supporting the African Union Agenda 2063 in order to realize Africa’s potential. We will promote African capabilities to better prevent, respond to, and manage crisis and conflicts; and to strengthen democratic institutions. We reiterate our commitment to the stabilization, unity and democracy of Libya, which is key for the stability of the Mediterranean region and of Europe. We support the efforts of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General Salamé in pursuing an inclusive political process founded on his Action Plan and we encourage all Libyan and regional actors to uphold their constructive engagement as outlined in the June 6, 2018 statement of the President of the Security Council on Libya. We support the efforts of the Presidency Council for Libya and the Libyan Government of National Accord to consolidate State institutions.

Working Together on Climate Change, Oceans and Clean Energy
23. A healthy planet and sustainable economic growth are mutually beneficial, and therefore, we are pursuing global efforts towards a sustainable and resilient future that creates jobs for our citizens. We firmly support the broad participation and leadership of young people, girls and women in promoting sustainable development. We collectively affirm our strong determination to achieve a clean environment, clean air, clean water and healthy soil. We commit to ongoing action to strengthen our collective energy security and demonstrate leadership in ensuring that our energy systems continue to drive sustainable economic growth. We recognise that each country may chart its own path to achieving a low-emission future. We look forward to adopting a common set of guidelines at UNFCCC COP 24.

24. Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the European Union reaffirm their strong commitment to implement the Paris Agreement, through ambitious climate action; in particular through reducing emissions while stimulating innovation, enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening and financing resilience and reducing vulnerability; as well as ensuring a just transition, including increasing efforts to mobilize climate finance from a wide variety of sources. We discussed the key role of energy transitions through the development of market based clean energy technologies and the importance of carbon pricing, technology collaboration and innovation to continue advancing economic growth and protect the environment as part of sustainable, resilient and low-carbon energy systems; as well as financing adaptive capacity. We reaffirm the commitment that we have made to our citizens to reduce air and water pollution and our greenhouse gas emissions to reach a global carbon-neutral economy over the course of the second half of the century. We welcome the adoption by the UN General Assembly of a resolution titled Towards a Global Pact for the Environment and look forward to the presentation of a report by the Secretary General in the next General Assembly.

25. Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the European Union will promote the fight against climate change through collaborative partnerships and work with all relevant partners, in particular all levels of government; local, Indigenous, remote coastal and small island communities; as well as with the private sector, international organizations and civil society to identify and assess policy gaps, needs and best practices. We recognize the contribution of the One Planet conferences to this collective effort.

26. The United States believes sustainable economic growth and development depends on universal access to affordable and reliable energy resources. It commits to ongoing action to strengthen the world’s collective energy security, including through policies that facilitates open, diverse, transparent, liquid and secure global markets for all energy sources. The United States will continue to promote energy security and economic growth in a manner that improves the health of the world’s oceans and environment, while increasing public-private investments in energy infrastructure and technology that advances the ability of countries to produce, transport, and use all available energy sources based on each country’s national circumstances. The United States will endeavour to work closely with other countries to help them access and use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently and help deploy renewable and other clean energy sources, given the importance of energy access and security in their Nationally Determined Contributions. The United States believes in the key role of energy transitions through the development of market-based clean energy technologies and the importance of technology collaboration and innovation to continue advancing economic growth and protect the environment as part of sustainable, resilient, and clean energy systems. The United States reiterates its commitment to advancing sustainable economic growth, and underscores the importance of continued action to reduce air and water pollution.

27. Recognizing that healthy oceans and seas directly support the livelihoods, food security and economic prosperity of billions of people, we met with the heads of state or government of the Argentina, Bangladesh, Haiti, Jamaica, Kenya, Marshall Islands, Norway, Rwanda (Chair of the African Union), Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Vietnam, and the heads of the United Nations, the IMF, the World Bank and the OECD, to discuss concrete actions to protect the health of marine environments and ensure a sustainable use of marine resources as part of a renewed agenda to increase global biodiversity protection. We endorse the Charlevoix Blueprint for Healthy Oceans, Seas and Resilient Coastal Communities, and will improve oceans knowledge, promote sustainable oceans and fisheries, support resilient coasts and coastal communities and address ocean plastic waste and marine litter. Recognizing that plastics play an important role in our economy and daily lives but that the current approach to producing, using, managing and disposing of plastics and poses a significant threat to the marine environment, to livelihoods and potentially to human health, we the Leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the European Union endorse the Ocean Plastics Charter.

Conclusion
28. We share the responsibility of working together to stimulate sustainable economic growth that benefits everyone, in particular, those most at risk of being left behind. We would like to thank our citizens, civil society, the Gender Equality Advisory Council, the Formal G7 Engagement Groups and other partners for their meaningful input to Canada’s presidency. We welcome the offer of the President of France to host our next Summit in 2019 and his pledge to continue G7 leadership on our common agenda.

Recommendations by UN Sustainable Development Goal’s Steering Committee for Education – UNESCO

Education – SDGs

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Recommendations by UN Sustainable Development Goal’s Steering Committee for Education
UNESCO – 31 May 2018
The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) – Education 2030 Steering Committee has issued recommendations focusing on financing education as a public good, strengthening national ownership and addressing data gaps as part of its work to steer progress towards meeting internationally agreed targets for education. The Committee has now released its recommendations, made during its fourth meeting, at UNESCO’s Headquarters from 28 February to 2 March.

Established in 2016, the Committee is the main consultation and coordination mechanisms for education in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Entrusted with providing strategic guidance on the advancement of SDG4(link is external), it numbers 38 members, a majority of whom represent Member States, alongside eight UN agencies, the Global Partnership for Education, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), regional organizations, teacher organizations, and civil society networks, in addition to representatives from the private sector, foundations, youth and student organizations.

“The commitments of SDG4 are ambitious – only a ‘collective intelligence’ focused on strategies that are sensitive to place, culture, socio-economic needs and environmental realities will make it possible to build education systems. A fundamental principle must guide our work: education is a public good, a collective responsibility,” explained UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay. “It is through the cooperation between all educational stakeholders that we will succeed in meeting the challenges of the 2030 Agenda for education.”

“We have an ambitious agenda and it calls for urgency,” said Dankert Vedeler, co-chair of the Steering Committee. “We must keep the banner of education high in the overall SDG framework through advocacy, policy guidance, and monitoring.”

“What is most important for us is to achieve an alignment, a convergence between multilateral organizations and the region,” said Roberto Iván Aguilar Gómez, Bolivia’s Minister of Education and a member of the Steering Committee. He explained that the Committee “sets the stage for the work that we should look at to provide quality education.” Ahead of the UN High Level Political Forum Review that will review progress towards SDG4 in 2019, consultations are foreseen in Kenya, Bolivia, Thailand, Tunisia and France this year, to be followed by the Global Education Meeting scheduled to take place from 3 to 5 December 2018 in Brussels (Belgium).

The Committee congratulated Argentina on its presidency of the G20 and commended the priority it gives to education focusing on skills for lifelong learning and financing of education.
Emphasizing that education is a right for which governments are accountable, the Committee endorsed a yearlong advocacy campaign bringing together civil society networks, UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report (GEM), UN agencies, regional organizations and countries. According to the GEM, only 55% of countries have national legal frameworks that allow citizens to challenge violations against the right to education in court. As stated by youth representative, Victoria Ibiwoye, “We must never forget that education is not a privilege. It is a human right.”

Recommendations
With regard to education funding, the Committee stressed the importance of a harmonized focus across three pillars, domestic financing, official development assistance and innovative financing. It called for:
:: all financing initiatives to respect education as a public good and be guided by the principles of equity, quality and inclusion, as well as 12 years of free publicly funded education;
:: governments to increase public revenue, including through a larger tax base, to increase allocation to education and prioritize spending on the most marginalized groups;
:: data collection to understand better the cost of basic education to households with a view to reducing the financial burden on families;
:: reinforced dialogue between innovative financing providers, donors and beneficiary States and communities;
:: private sector resource mobilization while ensuring effective regulatory mechanisms for transparency and accountability.

Data, monitoring and reporting
:: Advocates for increased investment to cover needs estimated at USD280 million a year and calls for the guaranteed financing of institutions with a UN mandate to collect data and monitor SDG4, while appealing on all partners to work in a coordinated way, building on agreed responsibilities and shared cost;
:: Encourages governments to strengthen and or develop holistic national evaluation systems and make plans to participate in regional or international learning assessments;
:: Urges governments to report publicly on progress towards national education policy goals so as to improve accountability.

In the area of strategic policy guidance, the Committee:
:: encourages Member States to identify better the many obstacles that undermine the right to education;
:: calls for strengthened national ownership of the 2030 Framework for Action through national and regional education consultations, and the mainstreaming of SDG4 targets in national education systems;
:: advises strengthening inter-sectoral coordination through mobilizing ministerial departments.