United Nations Commmission
ABOUTThe purpose of the World Leisure Organization's (WLO) United Nations Commission (i.e., the Commission) is to align and link the efforts of WLO to affirm, complement and support the work/activities of the United Nations System (UN), particularly the internationally agreed Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Post-2015 agenda with a focus on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Post-2015 Agenda refers to a global process led by the UN system that aims to define the future global development framework that will succeed the MDGs, which are slated to expire in 2015.
The Commission aims to reach out to different segment of the world’s organizations, including different entities within the UN system such as UNICEF, UNESCO, UN-Habitat, UNHCR, Human Right Commission, and UN-NGO Committees in Europe and New York, and others – all of which work on different aspect of social, cultural, and economic development issues. The Commission’s focus is to bring leisure to the forefront of the global policy making forums, at UN sessions, to actively engage global policy makers into discussion about the role of leisure in improving the human condition and quality of life.
The Commission’s long-term priority is to have leisure and its components included in UN development policies and programs, particularly in the area of cultural, social and economic development, environmental protection, and global public health.
PURPOSE, GOALS AND OBJECTIVES• Awareness-raising/Advocacy – engage in awareness-raising on the contributions of leisure to human development, particularly in social, economic, health, and cultural developments.
• Research – Focus on the relationship between leisure and social, economic, and cultural development, especially on the contribution/role of leisure to achieve the internationally-agreed Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals.
• Information dissemination – Inform and educate WLO members on the organization’s work with the UN system through the Newsletter, the Commission’s website, publications in the World Leisure Journal, and verbal reports at WLO’s annual meetings.
PROJECTSFor the 2013/2014 period, the following activities have been undertaken by the Commission:
2014 World Leisure Congress (Mobile, Alabama, USA): Presented a paper entitled, “Leisure and Tourism: The United Nations Development Goals.” This presentation focused on the potential contribution of leisure and its related industries, in particular, tourism, towards the achievement of the MDGs as well as WLO’s potential role in the UN’s Post-2015 Agenda.
Quadrennial Report (2010 – 2013): Submitted WLO’s quadrennial report to the UN Economic and Social Council, which was submitted in compliance with the organization’s consultative-status. The report is due every four years and outlines. A review of the report will assist in the UN decision to offer WLO its continuing consultative-status.
58th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women: Attended this this annual gathering of Member States addressed critical issues related to gender equality and women’s rights — focused on the priority theme: “Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls”. Member States, UN entities and accredited NGOs from around the world took stock of the progress and remaining challenges towards meeting the MDGs. Participants acknowledged the serious challenges facing girls and women to include violence against women, child marriage, female genital mutilation, lack of access to reproductive services, and education. As such, there is a need to accelerate the achievement of this goal. Participation in this session is among WLO’s involvement in the MDGs project, in this case towards gender equality.
High-Level Event: Contributions of Women, the Young and Civil Society to the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Participation in the UN High-Level Event, convened by the General Assembly, was undertaken. The event addressed a number of cross‐cutting rights‐based issues relevant to women and young people, across differing national circumstances and developmental stages such as violence against women and girls; access to quality education, skills and training; health; decent work; social protection; and financial and economic inclusion, including women’s access to and control over productive resources. High-level UN officials participated in the event, including the President of the General Assembly, UN Secretary-General, and the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth as well as representatives of NGOs/Civil Society Organizations.
Participated in the Interactive Briefing between the President of the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly and Civil Society that was organized by the Office of the President of the General Assembly, in collaboration with the NGO Branch, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service and NGO Relations, Department of Public Information. The President of the General Assembly, H.E. John W. Ashe, held an interactive briefing with representatives of civil society and other relevant stakeholders. President Ashe encourages NGO contributions to the elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda. This interactive event provided an opportunity for NGO representatives to focus their interventions on the key issues that they would like to see reflected in the framework of the president’s events. It serves as a guide for WLO’s effort toward the MDGs and the Post-2015 Agenda.
2013 Global NGO Survey administered by the UN-NGO Liaison Office. It is an independent research project on understanding current developments in competition and financing, strategic options of cooperation and best practices in the NGO sector. The Commission’s participation in this survey provides an opportunity for WLO to share its experience and undertakings with UN agencies as well as the NGO community.
My World Global Survey for a Better World: A participation with the UN was undertaken. The MY World is a global survey asking civil society organizations/NGOs and individuals to choose priorities for a better world. Results will be shared with world leaders in setting the next global development agenda. This platform provided WLO with the opportunity to make it voice heard, including the organization’s priorities and views, so that global leaders can be informed as they begin the process of defining the new development agenda for the world (i.e., the Post-2015 Agenda).
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs):Published a paper on the contribution of leisure to the MDGs in the World Leisure Journal.
2013 LARASA Congress: Participated in the 2nd annual LARASA congress held in Durban, South Africa. The commission submitted a manuscript that focused on the interlinkages between leisure in African and within the UN system, in particular toward youth empowerment and the MDGs.
Task Force of Post-2015 Development Agenda: Participation with this UN Task Team was undertaken. The theme was focused on “A Future We Want for All.” With three years left to the target date of the MDGs, it is time to accelerate preparations for a global development agenda beyond 2015 that can build on the progress of the MDGs and meet the new challenges facing the world.
The United Nations Youth E-Forum: Participated in the Google+ Hangout session entitled, “Uniting for Youth.” Discussions focused on working with and for young people. This e-forum discusses the variable issues affecting youth around the world as well as on active participation of young people in social and political spheres of influence, including the UN system.
Participated in the Prevention and Elimination of All Forms of Violence against Women and Girls session. This forum was convened by the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, co-sponsored by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Population Fund, and the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women). This panel emphasized the need to incorporate gender equality in the forthcoming SDGs, which are going to replace the MDGs after 2015.
African Permanent Missions at the UN: Mr. Jalloh, the Commission’s Chair, met and established formal contacts with 10 African Permanent Missions at the UN (Sierra Leone, Liberia, South Sudan, Botswana, Nigeria, Guinea, Republic of Congo, Kenya, Senegal, and The African Union Observer Mission at the UN). These meetings initiated formal contacts for potential working relationship on WLO’s work in Africa. Specifically, empowering African youth through leisure and serving as consultant to African governments regarding leisure related initiatives/policies/programs. The African missions expressed their appreciation of WLO’s efforts in pushing the African youth agenda. Several of the African missions will continue their conversation with Mr. Jalloh.
Informed/Educated WLO Members on the Link between WLO and the UN system. The Commission informed/educated WLO members on the working relationship between the UN system and WLO, including the links between leisure and the work of the UN. This resulted in published articles dedicated to WLO and its relationship with the UN appearing in the World Leisure Journal.
African Youth: An ongoing effort was established by the World Leisure Secretariat, previously located in Iowa (USA), to focus on youth development and empowerment in Africa as one of its strategic initiatives in the continent. Formal contacts was made with the Sierra Leone Youth Commission and the Director of the National Council for Technical and Vocational Training under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
CONTACTChair: Abbubakar Jalloh