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Update on Cosmology/Eco Justice at Mercy Global Action at the UN – June 2017

June 15, 2017

Following the MIRP Review, MGA at the UN has adopted the term ‘Degradation of Earth’ as the name of one of our two priority areas.

The UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PFII) – 16th Session (24th April to May 5th)

The special theme for this year’s forum was ‘ Tenth Anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: measures taken to implement the Declaration’.

The MGA office at the UN acknowledged that many issues facing Indigenous Peoples relate to land and water rights as well as sovereignty and self-determination.

Our participation at the PFII involved observing the formal dialogues of the 16th session, attending side events and listening intently to the needs and concerns of indigenous people as well as attending informal meetings with indigenous representatives from across the globe.

United Nations Ocean Conference 5-9 June 2017

The first Oceans Conference at UN headquarters, New York took place from June 5th – 9th. Key aims were to discuss imperative themes in order to reverse the decline of our world's oceans. The final draft "Call for Action" was published on May 26th and outlines state obligations and commitments for implementing SDG 14 on Oceans.

Numerous videos that were featured at the oceans conference can be accessed on the UN website through this link

It was indeed a privilege to be present at this world oceans conference. It was also very challenging in terms of our responsibility and obligations in relation to the World’s Oceans.

MGA at the UN Water and Ocean Reflection Series

MGA at the UN produced a 12 week Water and Ocean Reflection Series. This was largely written by Bridget Crisp RSM and Colleen Cloonan (MGA UN intern) was instrumental in its final production. This series was written in order to highlight the issues surrounding our planet’s seas and oceans. The 12 week reflection began on UN World Water Day (22nd March) and ended on UN World Ocean Day. (8th June). This series can be accessed at Mercy World at this link.

Significant Publications

I would like to draw your attention to the recently launched publication ‘Water and Sanitation – A Peoples Guide to SDG 6’. Mercy Global Action at the UN played a significant role in its development. It is an extremely well researched publication and provides an in depth analysis to the issues of water and sanitation. I highly recommend it.

I would also like to alert you to Maude Barlows recent publication, ‘ Water for Sale’. Once again, I recommend this publication to you as it is a key resource. It highlights issues surrounding the Global Water Crisis and explores the issues of water as a commodity and trade the protects water and people. It can be accessed at this link.

MGA at the UN and the UN NGO Mining Working Group

Mercy Global Action at the UN has been actively involved in the workings of the NGO Mining Working Group for the past five years. The NGO Mining Working Group acts as a coalition of NGO's working in collaboration with affected local communities. With advocacy at and through the United Nations, members address unjust and unsustainable practices of environmental and human rights as it pertains to extractive industries and other environmental degradation. In addition, they promote the usage of transparent international policies, national laws that heed international standards and obligations, as well as intervention as a means of addressing such injustices and violations. This past month, the NGO Mining Working Group enhanced its strategic plan and will continue to focus on key issues such as the human right to water and sanitation, SDG implementation and monitoring, fracking, corporate accountability, and the gendered impact of environmental issues.

MGA at the UN continue to lobby on the issue of water and have been in dialogue with the UN Water Panel set up by the former Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon.

Messages to: Angela Reed rsm - MGA Coordinator at the UN