An Honest and Responsive Government – the Role of Citizen Voice

Blog by Caya Johnson, Global Youth Advocate

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“Throughout history, progress has always been driven by citizens, who have the courage to raise their voices” – US President Barack Obama, Open Government Partnership Side-Event, 24 Sept. 2014

By empowering people around the world to have their priorities heard at the UN, the MY World 2015 Global survey has enabled a more transparent and accountable international development process – so perhaps it is unsurprising that these people have a similar aspiration for the openness and accountability of their own governments.  Out of the 16 MY World priorities, “An Honest and Responsive Government” is the 4th most voted for worldwide.

Disaggregated MY World Results on “An Honest and Responsive Governance”
Low HDI Governance

Furthermore, the MY World survey indicates that in low-HDI countries people feel that governance has a very real impact on their lives.  In these countries an honest and responsive government is the 2nd most voted for priority on average, indicating that governance and poverty are indeed linked. This linkage is backed up by research carried out by Transparency International showing a clear connection between poor governance and poverty.

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MY Green World Open Consultation

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On September 21st, the largest climate change mobilization in history took place; over 750,000 people around the world – including a staggering 400,000 in New York – marched for action on climate change. The march served as a platform to showcase the high level of activism from global citizens on this issue ahead of the Secretary-General’s Climate Summit.
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The Climate Summit, a special conference ahead of the 69th General Assembly, gathered world leaders to announce ambitious climate change actions and goals on behalf of the governments they represented. Also in attendance were leaders from the private sector. “We are not here to talk. We are here to make history,” announced Mr. Ban Ki-moon in the opening ceremony. Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner from the Marshall Islands spoke soon after on behalf of civil society about the threats facing people worldwide. She was selected from a pool of 544 people from 115 countries through an open process effort by the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service.  Her moving and riveting poem caused everyone in attendance to give a standing ovation.

The weeks following these events have left many to ponder: “What is next?” Many citizens are working at the national level to influence countries to make ambitious commitments towards a new legally binding global climate change agreement, to be reached in late 2015 in Paris.
 
Climate change has been acknowledged as a key cross-cutting issue which links with almost all other development issues. The MY World Survey with over 5 million voters shows that major development challenges impacted by climate change –  A Better Education, Better Health Care and Better Job Opportunities – are all top priorities for people international. 
A MY World Survey inspiration called MY Green World is currently in development in order to engage citizens in climate change solutions at the local, national and global levels. As Corinne Woods, Director of the UN Millennium Campaign described recently in an Opinion Piece published in the Huffington Post Climate Change series, “our goal is to speak to as many people as we can, because when people get together and speak their minds, they can make a difference. They can influence leaders to make bold moves.”
 
To ensure an inclusive and transparent approach to the survey, an open online consultation was launched through the World We Want 2015 platform. Corinne Woods emphasized the goal of MY Green World in her Op-Ed noting the survey’s goal to “focus minds on possibilities, suggest solutions and give a sense of what could be achieved.”
In the pursuit of a comprehensive and effective post-2015 agenda and a global climate change agreement, the first round of consultations to support the building of MY Green World–a MYWorld spin-off survey aimed to gather citizen perceptions of climate change solutions and popular support for government-led initiatives.  The goal is to provide governments and world leaders with perceptions data to support their negotiations on climate change solutions from the Climate Summit on through COP 21, Paris.
 
Additional information regarding MY Green World’s open consultation can be found in recent ISSD news. Concerned citizens are urged to join the consultation and share their voices ahead of its launch at COP 20 in Peru, December 2014.
 

Vote and volunteer: VIO Network Engages Kenyan youth

Youth Engaged in a Discussion while Filling Out the My World Paper Ballo...KENYA

The VIO Network Kenya, which gathers nearly 20 volunteer organizations across the country, actively rolled out the MY World survey during the International Youth Day (IYD) 2014. Member organizations took part in the celebrations at the United Nations Office and Kenyatta International Conference Center in Nairobi, where they were involved in discussions on volunteerism for development and in particular on the inclusion of youth priorities in the post-2015 agenda.

The youth participating in the events, mostly enrolled in university programs, but also young volunteers and members of youth organizations such as the Organization for African Youth and Youth Agenda, were invited to vote for MY World offline by filling the paper ballot. Around 100 young people voted and all have taken the survey willingly. For us, it was very encouraging to see them discussing amongst each other what was most important for them in the future.

The situation also allowed youth to ask many questions about the possibilities for volunteering and where to find information. As a result, numerous young people showed up to support a clean-up and tree planting activity in a Nairobi neighborhood organized by the county government of Nairobi with our collaboration during the International Youth Week 2014.

Starting from its own country, VIO Kenya will continue to engage governments, partners and other stakeholders in efforts aimed at ensuring universal access to quality services. We are doing this through the promotion of volunteerism, and MY World helps us engaging people in identifying priorities and act on them.

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MY World reaches 5 MILLION votes – The Celebration!

September 25, 2014, NEW YORK

Blog by Caya Johnson, Global Youth Advocate

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THANKS A (FIVE) MILLION TO ALL MY WORLD PARTNERS!

If you were unable to attend, please enjoy the web-stream and picture album of the celebration

_MG_6890The evening of 25th of September during the UN General Assembly week brought together MY World friends from far and near, in person and via live web-stream – and these MY World friends had 5 million reasons to celebrate!

The hard work of dedicated MY World partners brought the voices of 5 MILLION PEOPLE from 194 countries into the United Nations.  MY World has had very extensive support from a range of partners, over 700 organizations, including NGOs, heads of state, faith groups and youth movements who are still currently participating in its roll out and this collective achievement provides the perfect backdrop for a MY World Partner Recognition Event and MY World Award Ceremony which took place in New York during the UN General Assembly week.

This global survey, thanks to the dedication and enthusiasm of all is now the largest survey of its kind ever undertaken.

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68th President of General Assembly’s High-Level Stock-taking Event – a participatory approach

Panel“Our work must remain open and transparent so that we hear the voices of all”

            -Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General

September 11, 2014, NEW YORK

Blog by Caya Johnson, Global Youth Advocate

The President of the General Assembly’s High-Level Stock-Taking event on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, held on the 11th and 12th of September in New York, emphasized the need for a participatory, inclusive, and open approach to formulating the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The proceedings of the Stock-Taking event, which marked the end of President of the General Assembly John Ashe’s term, will be incorporated into the Secretary General’s Synthesis Report at the end of November.  The Stock-Taking event also served as a way to pass the post-2015 agenda into the hands of the incoming President of the General Assembly, Sam Kutesa.

Over the course of the event, panelists, civil society guests, and country representatives stressed the importance of openness, transparency, and citizen involvement in the formulation and adoption of the SDGs.  Secretary General Ban Ki-moon noted that “the ongoing UN system consultations, including MY World, have sought the voices of…millions and millions of people around the world.”

Helen Clark praised the “unprecedented consultation around the world and online” which has allowed people to have their say in the post-2015 development agenda – she noted that “the global MY World Survey enabled many people to be involved.”

Helen Clark Ban Ki-moon

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Celebrating 5 million votes on MY World- the largest survey ever!

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THANKS A (FIVE) MILLION!

Thanks to everybody’s outstanding efforts- MY World has hit the 5 million votes mark!

This is a historic achievement which means that millions of people – many for the first time – now can have a say in defining a better world for themselves and their families.

MY World will continue to inform the negotiations about the future development agenda into 2015, and we will continue to ensure everyone´s voice is heard.

See the MY World results by country, gender, level of education and Human Development Index

Thank you!
United Nations Millennium Campaign team

On Thursday, September 25th at 18:30-19:30 EST, watch the MY World Partner Recognition Event and Award Ceremony livestreamed here

Data for Sustainable Development in Small Island Developing States

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The Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) took place this month from 1 – 4 September, in Apui, Samoa. The overarching theme of the conference was ‘The sustainable development of small island developing States through genuine and durable partnerships’. Six multi-stakeholder partnership dialogues were held in parallel to the plenary meetings. The overall objective of the conference was to assess progress to date, seek renewed political commitment for action, identify new emerging challenges and opportunities for the sustainable development of SIDS, and identify priorities for the sustainable development of SIDS to be considered in the elaboration of the post-2015 UN development agenda. In this context, MY World has published a report with a focus on data from SIDS, including MY World survey data and regional consultation data sets reposited on the World We Want website: worldwewant2015.org/reports

Please feel free to read our report by following this link.

SIDS Priorities

SIDS Priorities

People Driven Accountability Side Panel Event During 65th Annual DPI-NGO Conference

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“An agenda that is built on the priorities of people will be a better agenda – it will respond more to their needs, to their aspirations, and how they want to live their lives.”

– Paul Ladd, People Driven Accountability Workshop, DPI-NGO Conference

New York City – August 28, 2014

The United Nations Millennium Campaign (UNMC) and the World We Want 2015 Policy Strategy Group presented the People’s Voices Workshop on August 28, 2014 during the 65th Annual DPI-NGO Conference. The workshop, titled ‘People Driven Accountability’ presented examples of the UN Millennium Campaign’s strategy for ensuring the millions of voices, hopes and dreams of people from around the world are heard by world leaders as they negotiate the post-2015 development agenda.

Ms. Rosa Lizarde, Co-chair of the World We Want 2015 Policy Strategy Group, moderated the workshop, and the keynote address was given by Mr. Nicholas Pron, Special Advisor to the President of the United Nations General Assembly. Panelists included Paul Ladd, UNDP Post-2015 Team Lead, Ghazala Mehmood, Policy Strategy Group Member representing Barakat Incorporation, Niels Caszo, President of AIESEC US representing youth-led organizations, and Mohan Sunkara, the CEO of Azri Data Engineering. Ravi Karkara, UNMC Post-2015 Strategic Partnerships Advisor and Co-chair of the World We Want 2015 Policy Strategy Group offered the closing remark for the workshop.

The workshop focused on how MY World 2015 and the World We Want 2015 are tools which allow people to have a say in UN Processes. The MY World Survey has so far accumulated the voices of over 4 million people from 194 countries.  The World We Want 2015 platform  steers discussions on the post-2015 agenda and enhances civil society’s participation to ensure that people’s voices are taken into consideration when drafting the new development agenda. The results of the MY World Survey are hosted in the World We Want 2015 Trends page and they complement the global consultative exercises by UNDG and by civil society organizations worldwide in light of building an inclusive future development agenda after the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) end in 2015.  All of this open data is available for anyone to access, so “everyone can use this data to make a strong case and point and to hold governments to account,” as Ravi Karkara pointed out during the workshop.

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MY Green World 2015 is launched at DPI NGO

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The 65th UN Department of Public Information (DPI) NGO Conference convened thousands of representatives from 1,300 NGO organizations around the theme “2015 and Beyond: Our Action Agenda”. During the Roundtable Discussion on Climate Justice in Practice, Daniel Thomas of the Secretariat General’s Climate Change Support Team announced the MY Green World Survey on behalf of UNMC. Dan announced that the launch of the voting platform would take place during the Climate Summit with support from the Secretariat General’s Climate Support Team, D

Throughout the meeting, Dan showcased the importance of voices from civil society mobilization leading up to the Climate summit and on the road to COP 21 in Paris, 2015. The Permanent Representative of Palau, Dr. Caleb Otto, sat beside Dan Thomas.  The impact of climate change on vulnerable communities was echoed through Dan’s presentation.

The presentation can be found here at 29:00 – http://webtv.un.org/meetings-events/watch/climate-justice-in-practice-roundtable-2-65th-un-dpingo-conference/3756322211001#full-text

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