The Official Representative of the BRICS International Alliance of Strategic Projects and the Interregional Public Charitable Organization for the Promotion of Persons with Disabilities «Sail of Hope» took part in the 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference, which was held on August 26-28, 2019 in Salt Lake - City of Utah United States of America.
There is currently an alarming decline in attention and respect for international understanding at the multilateral level. The 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference provided international communication in many areas of civil society development, becoming the first UN conference since the 1945 Conference in San Francisco, which was not organized at United Nations headquarters.

Utah is the first city in the United States to host an annual conference outside of United Nations Headquarters in New York, reflecting the city's leadership and commitment to sustainability.

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupsky said: "I cannot imagine a better time or place than Salt Lake City so the Organization can find its vision, mission and values."

Alison Smale, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, said: "When I visited Salt Lake City, I was surprised by the rapid growth of innovation."

Maruksa Kardama, Chairperson of the 68th United Nations Conference on Civil Society and Secretary General of the Partnership for Rational Low Carbon Transport (SLOCAT), explained: "The Sustainable Development Goals are a global framework for collaboration to address the critical challenges of our time. Cities grow so fast that it is imperative that we build them consciously and make extra efforts so that not a single person or group is left out of the process. Our outcome document will reflect what civil society requires from governments and corporations, but most importantly, what we ourselves can do specifically as empowered citizens to ensure that our societies are inclusive and sustainable."

A co-organizer of civil society, the Executive Committee of NGOs / DPI, is based in New York and represents more than 1,500 civil society organizations that are officially affiliated with the United Nations Department of Global Communications. As Bruce Knotts, Chairperson of the Committee, said: "This conference is of great importance to NGOs and civil society organizations around the world, because the United Nations does not just invite us to share our views, but we are equal partners who form a dialogue and make significant changes into strategic planning to achieve sustainable development goals."

Thousands of people took part in the Conference, representatives of various organizations with an active position in the fields of achieving sustainable development goals, health workers representing leading new treatment methods around the world.

At the Conference, issues related to the topic "Sustainable and inclusive cities and settlements" were discussed. It was possible to bring together a number of elements that reflect the special significance of the Conference, which focuses simultaneously on two aspects: adapting the international political framework to local conditions and cultivating a multilateral approach to the realities of the 21st century in the interests of people and people of the world.

Cities and towns are living labs, where all the challenges and opportunities that are at the forefront of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change are tangible. In cities and towns, not only various trials and shocks are concentrated on an appropriate scale, but also many opportunities, so if we want to translate the global human development agenda into positive actions at the local level aimed at improving living conditions and protecting our planet , we have to find a balance between the one and the other. Of course, we must strive to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 regarding sustainable cities and human settlements. But, of course, this topic is much wider than one specific goal: it includes the remaining 16 SDGs of the 2030 Agenda, as well as the tasks formulated in the Paris Agreement.

Today, we have only ten years left to achieve our goals - eradicating poverty, ensuring equal access to social and economic benefits, establishing justice standards in environmental matters, and implementing effective measures to combat climate change. All these tasks are envisaged by the goals in the field of sustainable development, and their solution should form a new norm for the existence of any prosperous society anywhere in the world. Nowadays, no one dares to deny the fact that in the struggle for a decent life on our planet, the activity of active individuals with civil rights and civil society is just as important as decisive measures taken by governments and private sector leaders.

Cities account for 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions, but at the same time 80% of global gross domestic product is generated in cities.

One of the main trends in demographic development in the 21st century was urbanization; the processes associated with it have acquired unprecedented proportions in the global South, where most of the youth of the Earth live.

According to United Nations statistics, one in seven people in the world — a total of almost a billion people — lives in slums and unofficial settlements. Cities account for 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions, but at the same time 80% of global gross domestic product is generated in cities. In addition, by 2050, it is expected that 68% of the world's population will live in an urban environment, with 88% moving from village to city, according to forecasts, to be residents of Africa and Asia. In this context, many scientific and multilateral sources argue that in the next twenty years or so we will have to build an urban infrastructure that surpasses in its scope everything that was built over the previous twenty centuries. The unprecedented scale of urbanization offers us unprecedented opportunities in the field of correcting the socio-economic and environmental mistakes of the past and correcting our individual and collective decisions and omissions. To maximize the transformative potential of these opportunities in the era of urbanization, it is necessary to strengthen the activities carried out at the level of individuals and civil society.

The Conference Planning and Conducting Committees decided to divide the general theme of the conference "Sustainable and Inclusive Cities and Human Settlements" into several related topics that were discussed at thematic sessions, namely: inclusive cities and human settlements; changing of the climate; peaceful societies; opportunities and economic successes of youth; infrastructure and use of natural resources; latest technology and innovation; investing in socially significant projects; education in inclusive communities; civil society participation in the achievement of SDG 11, monitoring of activities in this area and the formation of relevant reporting; United Nations reforms aimed at optimizing its work for the benefit of the people.

The multisectoral, multinational and multicultural composition of participants # UNCSC2019 provided an extremely valuable opportunity to identify and discuss common problems and scalable solutions for organizing good governance, as well as institutional, political and financial mechanisms that enable individuals and civil society to carry out transformative activities. In addition, as part of the struggle for the so-called "localization" of international mechanisms, the Conference was the first United Nations civil society conference officially formulated from an institutional point of view by the joint efforts of the United Nations and the host Government. The vertical integration of actions between different state spheres and the access provided by the local government to the appropriate institutional and financial resources are a prerequisite for the full realization of the potential of cities and settlements in solving global problems that are relevant and visible at the local level. In addition, the Youth Declaration, created as part of the highly inspirational thematic vector of the Conference focused on youth leadership, included elements of the fight against climate change in the context of building sustainable and inclusive cities and towns.

The outcome of the Conference was presented to Ms. Maria Fernande Espinoza Garces, President of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly at the Salt Lake City event, which was yet another unprecedented event in the history of United Nations civil society conferences and made this conference the first of its kind. This will make it possible to officially bring the results of the Conference to the attention of the General Assembly the same year that the President of the GA decided to concentrate on enhancing the role of the United Nations in the lives of all people and establishing global leadership and shared responsibility in the interest of building a peaceful, fair and self-sufficient society. In addition, Fabrizio Hochschild, Special Advisor to the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, attended the event. He attended a thematic session on United Nations reform.

In the context of the ongoing preparations for the tenth session of the World Urban Forum, to be held in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) in February 2020, participants noted the possibility of a partnership with the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat ) leading the forum and the United Nations systemic focal point for SDG 11. The World Urban Forums are a technical non-legislative global forum chi, which are conducted every two years since 2002. The General Assembly recognizes the World Urban Forum as the main arena for dialogue among policy makers, non-governmental organizations, experts and practitioners on topics related to sustainable urban development.

The conference opened up wide opportunities for all who are interested in the constructive participation of civil society in creating sustainable and inclusive cities and towns. In addition, it is a unique chance to preserve a place and space for the constructive and dynamic participation of civil society in the activities of the United Nations.

The past conference is the only United Nations conference on civil society. This is a space defined and shaped by representatives of civil society.

The draft final document of the Conference:

On September 23, when United Nations Secretary-General António Gutteris gathered leaders from the public and private sectors, as well as civil society, at the 2019 Climate Change Summit in New York, the outcome document, as a legacy from the Conference, helps define our personal areas of action in the cities and towns where we live, complementing the set of practical recommendations based on the use of collective resources such as social networks and the community of the delegate Comrade Conference. [1]

Representatives of the Global Civil Society accept the outcome: "Youth Climate Agreement". At the Conference, the world adopted a final document, which sets out a global vision for inclusive and sustainable cities and communities by 2030, and youth are developing and adopting a separate climate agreement.

Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces (Ecuador), President of the General Assembly, told the participants at the closing plenary: "In our increasingly interdependent world, where shocks in one country can affect the lives and livelihoods of people around the world, it becomes obvious that we more cooperation is needed, not less. " She stated: "It is a great honor for me to be the first President of the General Assembly to receive the outcome document of the UN Civil Society Conference. And you can count on me supporting him. "

The Sixty-eighth United Nations Conference on Civil Society was a turning point when new momentum could be given on the eve of the Secretary-General's Summit on Climate and the General Assembly High Level Week in September, when the status of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals was achieved.

Maruksa Kardama, Chairperson of the 68th United Nations Conference on Civil Society and Secretary General of the Partnership for Rational Low Carbon Transport (SLOCAT), added: "Safe and sustainable cities and communities are not a dream, we are fully in our hands if we work together as a global community and empower civil society. She added that there is no contradiction between the adoption of global goals to promote prosperity for all and protect our planet and preserve local traditions and national sovereignty. The results of this Conference demonstrate the determination of civil society around the world to play an active role in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 11 in their vision of government and private sector accountability and concrete proposals for individual actions."

The theme of the Sixty-eighth United Nations Civil Society Conference "Creating inclusive and sustainable cities and communities" reflects the fact that more than half of the world's population, about 55 percent, currently lives in urban areas, and this figure is expected to be by 2050 the rate will increase to 68 percent. The success of the Conference was served by the reputation of Salt Lake City in the field of integration and sustainability, as well as experience in hosting international events.

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupsky added: "Salt Lake City has an undeniable track record in protecting human rights, responding to the global climate emergency, and protecting our people's health and the environment." She added that she thanks for the fact that the whole world came to Salt Lake City for this important conversation, and for being honored with the opportunity to highlight the achievements of the city in the international arena. "As mayor, I offer you my unwavering commitment to the ongoing work of our vibrant civil society and to the inspiring youth who play a central role in mitigating climate change and building sustainable peace."

Fanny Moonlin, chairman of the NGO Executive Committee, said: "Now civil society must bring our words to life and show results. We have another 10 years to achieve the SDGs, and partnerships that give NGOs the right to vote are critical to success. "

Youth representatives played a leading role in the planning process of the Conference, the development of a key thematic session on youth employment opportunities, the development of a special youth center and the organization of public events, among other initiatives. About 40 percent of the conference participants were 32 years old or younger. Caitlin Grano and Mario Organista, co-chairs of the Youth Planning Committee, said: "We are grateful to the United Nations for recognizing our role as partners, giving us the opportunity to demonstrate our leadership and providing us with a platform to enhance our collective voice on issues that define our present as well as our future." [2]



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