Raise your voices on climate change – Ban Ki-moon, urges African Youth

ABUJA – 25 AUGUST 2015: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has charged the youth of Nigeria to be ambassadors and champions in advocating for climate change issues. Speaking during a twitter chat as part of his visit to Nigeria, the UN Secretary-General urged Nigerian and African youth to play their part in preserving the climate. “Youth should say this is our world, this is where we live and we should preserve it”; he stated. Mr. Ki-moon who was in Nigeria to promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) added that, “arguments on whether climate change is important or not is over.”

The social media event which was held in Abuja was convened by the United Nations Millennium Campaign on behalf of the United Nations System in Nigeria and attended by youth leaders and young entrepreneurs working in the field of sustainable development. The event provided opportunity for the UN Chief to explain the SDGs, its prospects and the key roles African youth would play in the implementation of the new global agenda. It featured question and answer sessions from youth representatives and was followed by millions of twitter audience worldwide.

In his opening statement, the United Nations Secretary-General stated that youth issues were amongst the top five priorities of his second term. He regretted that despite their potentials, millions of youth worldwide are jobless, hence the importance of putting youth at the centre of the SDGs.

On their role in addressing climate change, the UN Secretary-General charged young people, saying “raise your voices on climate change and hold your governments accountable.” Continuing, he called on the entire humanity to recognise the importance of protecting the planet; stating: “we have a duty to nurture our nature. We should not fight our nature. We cannot defeat nature.” He called for a change of attitude to renewable energy and the reduction of greenhouse emission. He added that Nigeria being the largest country in Africa with lots of natural resources, should lead by example. He called for the West African nation to invest in sustainable and renewable energy.

He stated that through the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the foundation for global commitments to eradicating poverty, diseases and ensuring environmental sustainability was laid. He commended Nigeria for the progress made in saving human lives from unnecessary deaths and preventable diseases such as HIV/AIDS. He said that the death rates occasioned by HIV/AIDS has been reduced by more than 50% since 2013. The UN Chief praised Nigeria for not recording any new incidence of polio for a year and announced that the World Health Organization (WHO) is embarking on processes aimed at declaring Nigeria polio free.

The Secretary-General acknowledged that scorecards for the MDGs are uneven globally. “Some countries are doing well and have achieved the goals, others have some goals unachieved. We are carrying over most of the goals into the SDGs with 17 goals which cover all spectrums of our lives;” he stated. While calling for support for the SDGs, the UN scribe stated: “the sooner we engage in sustainable path the better for our world”.

For further information, contact:
Hilary Ogbonna
Acting Regional Coordinator, Africa
United National Millennium Campaign
+2348095555557; hilary.ogbonna@undp.org

Visually explore and understand MY World with Popily

Humans of the world can now visually explore the data from the MY World global survey in new ways. Popily – a data science and visualization company — has uploaded the open data from the survey onto their site, allowing users to further investigate, discuss and understand the survey via thousands of data visualizations. The site allows for easy social sharing, allowing users to collect, comment and share the data. Popily will also partner with the UN Millennium Campaign to analyze and curate this data, providing new insight ahead of the UN General Assembly in September 2015. See Popily site

MY World is the UN Global Survey for a better world, conducted between 2013 and 2015 across the globe. The 7.7 million responses have been collected mostly from person to person paper based methods, as well as online and through SMS. Although this data is all open source, the current data visualizations allow for disaggregation by country, age, gender, income level and method of collection. Popily will now allow people to further explore the data with new ways of comparison, diving deeper into the database. Each visualization is a potential insight into the priorities, needs, and voices of the citizens that have spoken up to help guide the new UN development agenda.

“The UN is actively promoting a data revolution to increase transparency through open data and innovative data visualizations. The service Popily provides is different because it gives people – even those without any background in data science or analytics – the ability to directly examine the results of the MY World survey at an even deeper level and to debate and share their perspectives openly.” said Mitchell Toomey, Director of the UN Millennium Campaign

Popily will lend its expertise in data science to the UN Millennium Campaign by extracting key data cuts and identifying new facts by cultivating different data sets into Notebooks, the technique Popily organizes these infographics, and in interpreting this data in shareable messages for social media and bloggin. This data will be extremely useful to UN Country Offices as they begin the process of implementation for the new UN Global Sustainable Development Agenda, to be ratified in September 2015.


“Making it easy for people find and tell their own stories with data, giving people from all walks of life the opportunity to hear directly from the rest of the world, using data to spur honest dialogue from diverse perspectives “ said Jonathon Morgan, CEO of Popily, “these values are at the heart of our technology and our company.”

Finally, Popily has been able to extract qualitative data from Facebook from the Humans of MY World photo series, which tells the human stories behind the voters on MY World. This exercise has allowed the UN Millennium Campaign to understand the wealth of content such as the amount of people choosing each priority and how many likes each priority receives.


“When we had our first look at the Humans Of MY World data, we were blown away — honored at the opportunity to provide a way for people interact directly with the data, to share their stories with and around the data. Our hope is that these visualizations will spur new conversations, foster open dialogue amongst the world’s citizens, and help people tell meaningful stories with data” said Vidya Spandana, Chief Growth Officer of Popily.

The MY World data analysis will continue over the next few months via blog.nyworld2015.org and social media channels in collaboration with the UNMC and the Popily team.

August 2015: “We the Peoples” exhibit in Cartagena, Colombia

“We the Peoples” is now open to the public at the Spanish Cooperation Agency in Cartagena, Colombia (Centro de Formación de la Cooperación Española), it will be on display throughout the month of August.

More than 7.7 million people from 194 countries have participated in the MY World survey, making it the largest survey ever undertaken by the United Nations. Behind every vote, there’s a personal story that deserves to be told. This exhibition features Humans of MY World, a photo-narrative project which features the human stories behind the world’s toughest issues.

The exhibit is organized by the United Nations Millennium Campaign, MY World, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Colombia and the Centro de Formación de la Cooperación Española in Cartagena.

This exhibit is part of the Center’s August theme dedicated to sustainable development within the post-2015 development agenda.

Similar exhibits have already been featured in countries such as China, Denmark, France, Indonesia, Korea, Kuwait, Norway, The Philippines, Switzerland, Spain, Thailand, and the USA.

The exhibit is open to the public from Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; and Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays from 9:00 a.m. to  7:00 p.m at the Center: Cra 36 N° 2-74, Plaza Santo Domingo / Tel: (57 5) 6640904 / info@aecidcf.org.co

Consensus Reached on New Sustainable Development Agenda to be adopted by World Leaders in September

Ambitious new agenda would end poverty by 2030 and universally promote economic prosperity, social development and environmental protection

2 August, New York
—The 193 Member States of the United Nations reached agreement today on the draft outcome document that will constitute the new sustainable development agenda that will be adopted this September by world leaders at the Sustainable Development Summit in New York.

Concluding a negotiating process that has spanned more than two years and has featured the unprecedented participation of civil society, countries agreed to an ambitious agenda that features 17 new sustainable development goals that aim to end poverty, promote prosperity and people’s well-being while protecting the environment by 2030.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the agreement, saying it “encompasses a universal, transformative and integrated agenda that heralds an historic turning point for our world.”

“This is the People’s Agenda, a plan of action for ending poverty in all its dimensions, irreversibly, everywhere, and leaving no one behind. It seeks to ensure peace and prosperity, and forge partnerships with people and planet at the core. The integrated, interlinked and indivisible 17 Sustainable Development Goals are the people’s goals and demonstrate the scale, universality and ambition of this new Agenda.”

Mr. Ban said the September Summit, where the new agenda will be adopted, “will chart a new era of Sustainable Development in which poverty will be eradicated, prosperity shared and the core drivers of climate change tackled.”

He added that the UN System stands ready to support the implementation of the new agenda, which builds on the successful outcome of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, and which, he said, will also contribute to achieve a meaningful agreement in the COP21 in Paris in December.

More than 150 world leaders are expected to attend the Sustainable Development Summit at the UN headquarters in New York between 25 to 27 September to formally adopt the outcome document of the new sustainable agenda.

The new sustainable development agenda builds on the success of the Millennium Development Goals, which helped more than 700 million people escape poverty.  The eight Millennium Development Goals, adopted in 2000, aimed at an array of issues that included slashing poverty, hunger, disease, gender inequality, and access to water and sanitation by 2015.

The new sustainable development goals, and the broader sustainability agenda, go much further, addressing the root causes of poverty and the universal need for development that works for all people.

The preamble of the 29-page text, “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” states, “We are resolved to free the human race within this generation from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal  and  secure our planet for the present and  for  future  generations.” It continues, “We  are  determined  to  take  the  bold  and transformative  steps  which  are  urgently  needed  to  shift  the  world  onto  a  sustainable  and  resilient  path.  As we embark on this collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind.”

Rio+20 and the intergovernmental process

At the Rio+20 Conference of 2012, Member States agreed to launch a process to develop a set of sustainable development goals, which will build upon the Millennium Development Goals. The Millennium Development Goals have proven that goal-setting can lift millions out of poverty, improve well-being and provide vast new opportunities for better lives. It was agreed that the new goals would be global in nature and universally applicable to all countries while taking into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities.

The negotiations were co-facilitated by the UN Permanent Representative of Ireland, Ambassador David Donohue, and the UN Permanent Representative of Kenya, Ambassador Macharia Kamau, over two years.  The inclusive and transparent consultations by Member States, with the strong engagement of civil society and other stakeholders, have served as a basis for the conclusion of the intergovernmental negotiations on the emerging universal and people-centred agenda.

Core elements of the draft outcome document

The outcome document highlights poverty eradication as the overarching goal of the new development agenda and has at its core the integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.  The emerging development agenda is unique in that it calls for action by all countries, poor, rich and middle-income.  Member States pledge that as they embark on this collective journey, no one will be left behind. The ‘five Ps’—people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership—capture the broad scope of the agenda.

The 17 sustainable goals and 169 targets aim at tackling key systemic barriers to sustainable development such as inequality, unsustainable consumption and production patterns, inadequate infrastructure and lack of decent jobs. The environmental dimension of sustainable development is covered in the goals on oceans and marine resources and on ecosystems and biodiversity, bringing core issues into the goal and target framework.

The means of implementation outlined in the outcome document match its ambitious goals and focus on finance, technology and capacity development.  In addition to a stand-alone goal on the means of implementation for the new agenda, specific means are tailored to each of the sustainable development goals.

Member States stressed that the desired transformations will require a departure from “business as usual” and that intensified international cooperation on many fronts will be required. The agenda calls for a revitalized, global partnership for sustainable development, including for multi-stakeholder partnerships. The agenda also calls for increased capacity-building and better data and statistics to measure sustainable development.

An effective follow-up and review architecture – a core element of the outcome document – will be critical to support the implementation of the new agenda. The High Level Political Forum on sustainable development, set up after the Rio+20 Conference, will serve as the apex forum for follow up and review and will thus play a central role.  The General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and specialized agencies will also be engaged in reviewing progress in specific areas.

Based on the outcome document, the agenda will include a Technology Facilitation Mechanism to support the new goals, based on multi-stakeholder collaboration between Member States, civil society, business, the scientific community, and the UN system of agencies. The Mechanism, which was agreed at the Addis Conference in July, will have an inter-agency task team, a forum on science, technology and innovation, and an on-line platform for collaboration.

The successful outcome of the Addis Conference gave important positive momentum to the last stretch of negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda.  It is expected that the consensus reached on the outcome document will provide momentum for the negotiations on a new binding climate change treaty to culminate at the Climate Change Conference in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015.

The draft agreement can be found at https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015

For further information, please contact Sharon Birch, UN Department of Public Information.
1 212 963-0564, e: birchs@un.org and Francyne Harrigan, 1 917 367-5414 e: harriganf@un.org

UN Millennium Campaign screens second Virtual Reality film about Ebola survival and recovery in Liberia

10 July 2015 – New York The United Nations Millennium Campaign screened a Virtual Reality film today at the United Nations. Waves of Grace follows a young woman’s struggle for life amid the Ebola epidemic.  Its premier is planned in conjunction with the United Nations Secretary-General’s International Ebola Recovery Conference, hosted to ensure affected countries receive the support they need to end the epidemic and continue countries on the path to recovery.

The movie is the result of collaboration between the UN Millennium Campaign, VRSE.works and Vice Media, and was created to call attention to the obstacles faced by Ebola survivors.  The movie transports viewers to West Point, Liberia and follows the experience of Decontee Davis, an Ebola survivor who uses her immunity to help others affected by the disease.  The VR experience captures the Liberian tragedy from illness to recovery, mourning to perseverance.  It is part of a larger initiative of the United Nations Millennium Campaign to fight donor fatigue on the world’s most pressing challenges.


“Development achievements can be quickly reversed due to crises such as the Ebola epidemic” said Mitchell Toomey, Director of the UN Millennium Campaign. “If the world does not focus on helping the most vulnerable and building resiliency in recovering communities, development goals and targets will not be met. Thus it is hoped that this film may aid the United Nations’ efforts to draw attention to the lasting impact of the Ebola crisis, as well as the need for continued support for those affected by the disease.”

Since the outbreak began, roughly 27,500 confirmed, probable and suspected cases of Ebola have been reported in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone (figures from July 2015). The fatality rate for those affected is just under 50%. The health epidemic has had the strongest impact on women and children, with 50.8% of deaths female, and an estimated 30,000 orphaned by the disease.

Although Liberia was declared Ebola free in May 2015 new cases continue from unknown sources as the virus is still active in the region.

“The Ebola crisis has captivated the world in its devastating effects over the last year and a half. However, the individual stories behind the numbers are often not told.  Decontee’s story captures the strife and spirit of the communities across West Africa in the wake of the Ebola epidemic. It is hoped that this second VR experience will promote greater understanding of the socio-economic impact of the disease and empathy for those who continue to overcome it.” said Gabo Arora, co-creator of the film and Senior Advisor for the UN Millennium Campaign.

Waves of Grace follows the successful launch of the virtual reality experience Clouds Over Sidra about the Syrian refugee crisis. That movie was screened at the Third International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria in Kuwait, and helped raise $3.8 billion in support of the humanitarian response.  The UN hopes to build on the success of that movie and continue to close the gap between decision-makers and the issues they govern on.


Waves of Grace can be viewed either on iOS or Android Mobile Platforms with or without google cardboard (https://www.google.com/get/cardboard/) by downloading the VRSE app (http://vrse.com/); or on Samsung phones with the Samsung Gear VR (http://www.samsung.com/global/microsite/gearvr/).

For more information please visit:  http://blog.myworld2015.org/virtualreality/
To sign up to receive the latest information on future projects please visit: www.vr4dev.org


Media Contact:

Kristin Gutekunst - UN Millennium Campaign – kristin.gutekunst@undp.org  +1.914.330.3774

MDG success springboard for new sustainable development agenda: Final MDGs report

6 July 2015: The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have produced the most successful anti-poverty movement in history and will serve as the jumping off point for the new sustainable development agenda to be adopted this year, according to the final MDG report launched today by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.


Full MDG 2015 report
MDG 2015 Progress Chart
MDG 2015 Executive Summary

The Millennium Development Goals Report 2015 found that the 15-year effort to achieve the eight aspirational goals set out in the Millennium Declaration in 2000 was largely successful across the globe, while acknowledging shortfalls that remain. The data and analysis presented in the report show that, with targeted interventions, sound strategies, adequate resources and political will, even the poorest can make progress.

“Following profound and consistent gains, we now know that extreme poverty can be eradicated within one more generation,” said Ban Ki-moon. “The MDGs have greatly contributed to this progress, and have taught us how governments, business, and civil society can work together to achieve transformational breakthroughs.”

The MDG report confirms that goal-setting can lift millions of people out of poverty, empower women and girls, improve health and well-being, and provide vast new opportunities for better lives.

Only two short decades ago, nearly half of the developing world lived in extreme poverty. The number of people now living in extreme poverty has declined by more than half, falling from 1.9 billion in 1990 to 836 million in 2015.

The world has also witnessed dramatic improvement in gender equality in schooling since the MDGs, and gender parity in primary school has been achieved in the majority of countries.

More girls are now in school and women have gained ground in parliamentary representation in nearly 90 per cent of the 174 countries with data over the past 20 years. The average proportion of women in parliament has nearly doubled during the same period. The rate of children dying before their fifth birthday has declined by more than half, dropping from 90 to 43 deaths per 1,000 live births since 1990. Figures for maternal mortality show a decline of 45 per cent worldwide, with most of the reduction occurring since 2000.

Targeted investments in fighting diseases, such as HIV/AIDs and malaria, have brought unprecedented results. Over 6.2 million malaria deaths were averted between 2000 and 2015, while tuberculosis prevention, diagnosis and treatment interventions saved an estimated 37 million lives between 2000 and 2013.

Worldwide, 2.1 billion have gained access to improved sanitation and the proportion of people practicing open defecation has fallen almost by half since 1990. Official development assistance from developed countries saw an increase of 66 per cent in real terms from 2000 and 2014, reaching $135.2 billion.

The report highlighted that significant gains have been made for many of the MDG targets worldwide, but progress has been uneven across regions and countries, leaving significant gaps. Conflicts remain the biggest threat to human development, with fragile and conflict-affected countries typically experiencing the highest poverty rates.

Gender inequality persists in spite of more representation of women in parliament and more girls going to school. Women continue to face discrimination in access to work, economic assets and participation in private and public decision-making.

Despite enormous progress driven by the MDGs, about 800 million people still live in extreme poverty and suffer from hunger. Children from the poorest 20 per cent of households are more than twice as likely to be stunted as those from the wealthiest 20 per cent and are also four times as likely to be out of school. In countries affected by conflict, the proportion of out-of-school children increased from 30 per cent in 1999 to 36 per cent in 2012.

In the context of the environment, global emissions of carbon dioxide have increased over 50 per cent since 1990 and water scarcity now affects 40 per cent of people in the world and is projected to increase.

World leaders have called for an ambitious long-term sustainability agenda to succeed the MDGs. Building on the success and momentum of the MDGs, new global goals will break fresh ground with ambition on inequalities, economic growth, decent jobs, cities and human settlements, industrialization, energy, climate change, sustainable consumption and production, peace and justice.

“The emerging post-2015 development agenda, including the set of Sustainable Development Goals, strives to build on our successes and put all countries, together, firmly on track towards a more prosperous, sustainable and equitable world,” concluded Ban Ki-moon.

The Millennium Development Goals Report, an annual assessment of global and regional progress towards the Goals, reflects the most comprehensive, up-to-date data compiled by over 28 UN and international agencies and is produced by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. A complete set of the data used to prepare the report is available at mdgs.un.org.  For more information, press materials and an inter-agency media contact list, see www.un.org/millenniumgoals.

Media contacts:

Francyne Harrigan, E: fharrigan@un.org / T: 1 (917)-367-5414
Sharon Birch, E: birchs@un.org / T: 1 (212)-963-0564


FFD Side Event: Multi-Stakeholders’ Positioning to Support Implementation & Monitoring on Financing for Development Post-Addis

UN Millennium Campaign side event co-sponsored by the Governments of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Uganda

In partnership with: The Association of European Parliamentarians with Africa (AWEPA), Ford Foundation, Women in Parliament Forum (WIP), UNDP Regional Service Center in Addis, UN Volunteers (UNV) and Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), and Southern Voices on Post-MDGs

Monday 13th July 2015, 3.30pm – 6pm at the Intercontinental Hotel, Addis Ababa
RSVP: nardos.hagos@undp.org


The UN Millennium Campaign’s (UNMC) input into and influence on the debate on how to finance the Post-2015 development has been wide-ranging and impactful. The Campaign was part of the push to get tax dodging and illicit financial flows on the African Union’s political agenda through collaborations with the UN Economic Commission on Africa (UNECA), the Pan African Parliament and other partners across the continent.

The Campaign has conducted outreach and research in Africa and Asia on means of financing structural transformation and the post-2015, both of which have contributed to the overall financing for development and Post-2015 processes.

As we move towards the Third International Financing for Development Conference to be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Campaign will continue to support stakeholders to define their roles in the implementation and monitoring of the outcomes of Addis conference within the context of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Campaign’s financing work in Africa

The UNMC was one of the first organisations in Africa to hold deliberations on how the Post-2015 agenda will be financed on the continent.

In November 2013, the Campaign held a series of deliberations which preceded the Global Thematic Consultation on Governance held at the Pan-Africa Parliament in Midrand, South Africa. The deliberations brought together African thinkers, parliamentarians, experts, academics and civil society. Some of the key recommendations that emerged included; at the international level; implementation of Beneficial Ownership and Automatic Exchange of Information, observation of Paris Principles of Aid Effectiveness, increased transparency of international tax systems, and, exploration of innovative sources of financing. At the continental/national level the recommendations looked at; domestic resources mobilisation, addressing the structural factors that create a domestic environment that is conducive to illicit financial flows, establishing/improving existing registry of company ownership, making tax systems more accountable to the people, and managing remittances.

The outcomes also highlighted some of the challenges in improving financing for development such as; maximising the benefits of natural resource rents, matching tax potential to revenue needs and raising taxes in a progressive way, curbing illicit financial flows, and transforming foreign direct investment into tax revenues.

The conference and subsequent reports formed the basis of participation in the Financing for Development discourse for several civil society organisations and coalitions in Africa who continue to be heavily engaged today with technical support from the Campaign.

The Campaign’s financing work in Asia

As a follow up to the work done in Africa, UNMC received a grant from the Government of the Republic of Korea to support a multi-stakeholder process to generate some ideas and lessons, from the Asia-Pacific Region, to contribute to the global dialogue on the financing and implementation of the post-2015 sustainable development goals being negotiated under the auspices of the UN system. The reflections to this effect should draw, from among others, the principles outlined in the 4th High Level Forum on aid Effectiveness: “The Busan Partnership on effective Development Cooperation” and the “Busan indicators”.

The overall objective of the Asia initiative was to generate voices from civil society, academics and other stakeholders as input into the discussion on formulation of the post 2015 agenda; in particular the financing question. Specifically the initiative:

  • Gathered voices from Asia on regional issues specific to the financing agenda that will contribute to the global debate on the post 2015 development agenda
  • Generated a common set of policy asks as a basis for advocacy on financing the sustainable development developed
  • Plans to conduct advocacy at national, regional and global levels to influence the process and content of the financing discussion

Multi-stakeholder voices and position: Financing for Development side event

Aims and Outputs

As part of the Campaign’s on-going process of supporting engagement of multiple stakeholders in financing for development, the side event will;

  • Further disseminate the results and findings of our work on financing in Africa and Asia;
  • Critically explore how these compare with the outcome document, currently called “The Addis Ababa Accord”.
  • Explore the roles of different stakeholders in (i) supporting the implementation of the outcomes, (ii) contribute to monitoring the outcomes within the context of both official and unofficial process.

From this, UNMC expects the side event to have two primary outputs;

(1) Develop and collect the building blocks of a multi-stakeholder strategy to support implementation and monitoring of the Financing for Development outcomes within the context of the Sustainable Development Goals. This will form the basis of the Campaign’s work and engagement with partners on financing for development going forward.

(2) A multi-stakeholder declaration on the (i) position and (ii) vision on financing the Post-2015 agenda. This will underpin and guide the strategy noted in point (1) above.

Organisation and Participation

The side event will be co-sponsored by the Governments of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Uganda, and led by the UN Millennium Campaign in partnerships with Ford Foundation, Women in Parliament Forum and UNDP Regional Service Center in Addis.

The Event will be attended by Delegations from member states as well as high level personnel including the SG’s Special Adviser on Post 2015 Ms Amina Mohammed, ASG Mr. Thomas Gass from UNDESA, Mr. Philippe Douste-Blazy, SG’s Special Adviser on Innovative Financing for Development and MDG Advocates, and representatives of the Economic Commission for Africa ECA. The. Participants from civil society and private sector will include the Africa civil society coalition on partnership for Development, Center for Policy Dialogue of Bangladesh, and founding members of IMPACT 2030. Parliamentary institutions participating will include the Network of African Parliaments on the MDGs, AWEPA and the Pan African Parliament. The Africa inter-faith initiative on Post 2015 will also be in attendance.


Cartagena Data Festival: The Data Revolution

On 21 April 2015 at the Cartagena Data Festival (Colombia), the UN Millennium Campaign, along with Datashift and GNDR will be hosting a side event on The Data Revolution. The event will showcase some of the most innovative ways to engage citizens in collecting data and share the benefits and challenges of participatory approaches in this field.

Some of the featured initiatives include:

  • MY World and the World We Want 2015 have served as a space for social engagement; cooperation and partnership; transparency; and as a knowledge management platform to host open data, documentation, media, and sophisticated data visualizations that help integrate and communicate the voices of millions of people on sustainable development. The results of the data collected can be access live at www.worldwewant2015/trends
  • MY World is a survey that that asks citizens all over the world to vote for the issues that would make the most difference to their lives and that of their families. Currently over 7 million people have responded to the MY World survey from all parts of the world through offline, online and through mobile phones.
  • The World We Want 2015 is a UN and civil society domain that amplifies peoples’ voices by curating the content coming from the global conversation on post-2015 discussions. It is a unique online space that applies innovative techniques to mine and visualize data, displaying it in a user friendly format. The WWW2015 platform hosts official UN and civil society offline and online consultations for post-2015, as well as a vast array of documentation from civil society, private sector, academia and UN.
  • U Report is a free SMS-based system that allows young people to speak out regarding what is happening in communities across the country, and to work together with other community leaders for positive change. It is led by UNICEF.
  • Frontline Data  gathers data on the various threats people face to analyze and visualize it using various tools and methodologies. During 2014 and 2015 the platform has been running 3 regional pilots and is led by Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction.
  • Datashift is a multi-stakeholder, demand-driven initiative that builds the capacity and confidence of civil society organisations to generate and use citizen-generated data and leverage technology to monitor development progress, demand accountability and campaign for transformative change. An initiative of CIVICUS, the World Alliance for Civic Participation, the DataShift’s vision is a world where people-powered accountability drives progress on sustainable development.

Will you be at the Cartagena Data Festival? RSVP to our side event here

UN Agencies team up to bring voices of Syrian refugees to world leaders through Virtual Reality

30 March 2015, Kuwait – The United Nations is using virtual reality (VR) to transport top decision-makers to a Syrian refugee camp at a major donor conference.  Clouds Over Sidra is a VR experience designed to take viewers to the Za’atari camp in Jordan – home to 84,000 Syrian refugees.  World leaders will follow a 12-year-old girl as she invites them into her new home, her makeshift classroom and to share a meal with her family.  The goal is to connect donors with Syrians affected by the war and inspire leaders to make bold commitments.

Following successful screenings at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Sundance Film Festival, and TEDx, Clouds Over Sidra will be shown at the Third International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria in Kuwait.  By transporting viewers directly to a Syrian refugee camp, the UN hopes to add to the discourse and refocus the world’s attention to one of the world’s largest refugee crises.

“At the UN Millennium Campaign, we consistently strive to bring citizens’ perspectives into the decision making process any way possible” said Mitchell Toomey, Director of the UN Millennium Campaign. “By leveraging breakthrough technologies such as virtual reality, we can create solidarity with those who are normally excluded and overlooked, amplifying their voices and allowing them to explain their realities in their own words.”

The virtual reality film was created in collaboration between the UN Millennium Campaign, UNICEF Jordan, Samsung, Chris Milk and his production studio VRSE.works. It premiered at the United Nations Secretary-General’s MDG Advocacy Group event in Davos which called for partnerships to build resilience in vulnerable communities in the final year of the MDGs.

“I want to influence decision makers, first and foremost. I don’t think all of them truly know what [Sidra’s life] is like and, in giving them this experience, I’m hopeful they will be moved to weigh greater the consequences of their decisions,” said Gabo Arora, Senior Adviser to UN and Director of Clouds Over Sidra.

The number of countries in humanitarian crises is at an all-time high and it is estimated that the number of refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons exceeded the highest number since World War II, according to UNHCR. Fifty percent of these refugees are children. The latest UNICEF Education Sector analysis, carried out in partnership with the Syrian Ministry of Education, estimated that between 2.1 and 2.4 million children in Syria were out of school and/or not attending school regularly.

“The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has launched a campaign called #WhatDoesItTake to express our profound frustration watching the Syrian crisis continue year after year without a political solution,” said UN Humanitarian chief Valerie Amos. “At the same time, we express solidarity with the people who suffer: humanitarian programmes can help millions of people with life-saving and life-sustaining aid in Syria and the region. But the crisis is outpacing the resources available for the response – the funding gap is growing.  As we encourage donors to continue to give generously to Syria, innovative projects like this can bring new perspectives and a deeper understanding of what people are going through,” she added.

“Immersing oneself in the virtual world is massively different than passively watching it on a screen. Our goal was to create a powerful tool that will change the landscape for those working in peacekeeping, emergency response and development. It is our hope that this series will also be able to change the outcome for many people in vulnerable situations,” added Gabo Arora, Senior Adviser to UN and Director, Producer and Writer of Clouds Over Sidra.

To watch Clouds Over Sidra, download the VRSE app (http://vrse.com/) and watch either with google cardboard (https://www.google.com/get/cardboard/) on any smartphone, or with the new Samsung Gear VR (http://www.samsung.com/global/microsite/gearvr/).

For more information please visit:  http://blog.myworld2015.org/virtualreality/

Media Contacts:

Kristin Gutekunst - UN Millennium Campaign – kristin.gutekunst@undp
Charlotte Cans – UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) – Cans@un.org

Compete in the Peoples’ Voices Challenge!

Let’s work together to keep reminding world leaders and policymakers what’s at stake!

The Global Conversation on the Post-2015 has been led by the United Nations and has gathered more than 8 million citizen voices from 194 countries. People’s from all corners of the world have participated in national, regional and global multistakeholder consultations as well as in the MY World survey.

The results from the Global Conversation have already informed Member States and United Nations discussions about the future development agenda, including the proposed Sustainable Development Goals.

As we enter the last stretch in the post-2015 process, it is important that governments and negotiators do not forget the priorities of their people.

Compete in the Peoples’ Voices Challenge! Access and use the data collected from the Global Conversation, and take action!