A Blog by Stacy Ciulik.
“The fifty-seventh session of the Commission for Social Development (CSocD57) took place from 11 to 21 February 2019, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
Stacy attended the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Committee Orientation on Sunday 10 February and the High-Level Panel Discussion on Monday 11 February, on the priority theme ‘Addressing Inequalities and Challenges to Social Inclusion through Fiscal, Wage and Social Protection Policies’.
The NGO Committee for Social Development is dedicated to working towards people-centered social change and development. Representatives from many non-governmental organisations attended the orientation including those from Soroptimist International, Baha’i Faith International, School Sisters of Notre Dame, Unanima International, Sisters of Mercy, Zonta International and UN Women.
During the NGO Committee Orientation, the history and evolution of the United Nations (UN) was discussed: It is supported by NGO’s, who may be considered the conscience of the UN. The first World Summit for Social Development was held in 1995 in Copenhagen, often referred to simply as “Copenhagen”. The Orientation discussion additionally highlighted that Civil Society space is reducing internationally and yet, is often seen to be a threat by certain governments. The emphasis then moved to the importance of using the correct tone and language when making a statement (“raising and praising”).
It was exciting to attend the High-Level Panel on Monday which introduced the Priority Theme for 2019: ‘Addressing inequalities and challenges to social inclusion through fiscal, wage and social protection policies.’ This was followed by speeches given by those seated on the high-level panel, which were informative on many levels. Keynote speaker, Lucas Chancel, Lead coordinator of World Inequality Report 2018, spoke on the importance of international financial transparency and sound data. He explained that this information should be shared and used by all and that the UN has a crucial role in allowing this to happen. https://www.un.org/esa/socdev/csocd/2019/Chancel2019CSD.pdf
Ms. Manuela Tomei, Director of WORKQUALITY, ILO Geneva spoke on addressing inequality through wage policy. She explained that if minimum wages are evidence based, adjusted and enforced, they can reduce the gender pay gap without a negative effect on employment. She called for more efforts to be made to enforce equal pay and confront the undervaluation of women’s work. https://www.un.org/development/desa/dspd/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/02/Tomei-New-York-Wage-Policy-CSocD-Tomei-Feb-2019.pdf
Only after attending several more sessions did I begin to understand the complex, diplomatic presentational mode. It is so very different than the technical meetings I attend for the telecommunications firm I am working for!”.
More information from this event can be found on the website of the 57th Commission for Social Development: https://www.un.org/development/desa/dspd/united-nations-commission-for-social-development-csocd-social-policy-and-development-division/csocd57.html