Saturday, October 6, 2018

Notations From the Grid (Special W-End Edition): Some #RandomThoughts

It has been an interesting first week of October as we have been assessing our World.  We wanted to look back at #UNGA73 with this courtesy of the team at DEVEX:

Greetings from D.C., 

The U.N. General Assembly has ended, and we sincerely hope you've had a moment to recover. 

By most accounts, the 73rd UNGA was a mixed bag. The week kicked off with lots of momentum — but ended with comparatively few outcomes for key global health issues such as tuberculosis and noncommunicable diseases. Trump's mention of the foreign aid review left some in the development community with more questions than answers. On the upside, major commitments toward climate action and education left many with reasons for hope. 

We've distilled the key takeaways from all of the buzz and fanfare below. This will be the last Devex @ UNGA newsletter (until next year anyway) — but you can sign up here to receive other special edition newsletters. We'll be coming to you next week from the World Bank meetings in Indonesia. 

Wishing you all the best in the meantime.
 

— Team Devex 
(Amy LiebermanMichael IgoeAdva SaldingerCatherine Cheney, and Kate Midden)
 
https://www.jnj.com/caring
 

THE 5 BIG STORIES

1. Progress on NCDs and TB is TBD. Various U.N. leaders and government ministers echoed the need to confront TB and NCDs — but concrete, collective action to do so never fully materialized. Still, some experts pointed out the sustained focus on TB and NCDs throughout the week could, in and of itself, be a step in the right direction to prompt new research efforts and advocacy campaigns. 

2. Commitments to education. Education was high on the UNGA agenda and the focus of a number of high-level events. The week kicked off with the launch of the International Finance Facility for Education then Canada, France, and the United Kingdom hosted a session underscoring their commitment to give girls across the globe 12 years of free schooling, calling on others to pledge the same. That same day, 29 organizations gathered at the High-Level Meeting on Action for Refugee Education. Reporter Sophie Edwards has the full round-up of education news from UNGA

3. A harsh humanitarian reality. A few humanitarian and funding crises quietly played out at the U.N. headquarters, including a funding shortfall for the deteriorating situation in Yemen and a flurry of government pledges to the Palestinian relief agency after the recent U.S. decision to cut all funding.

4. Private finance gets a (bigger) seat at the table. More than in years past, private financial companies had a bigger footprint in discussions both inside and outside the U.N. But it remains to be seen whether their presence was symbolic, rather than a sign of willingness to change current practices and mobilize new capital to fund sustainable development.

5. Technology and the SDGs. Major tech conversations around blockchain, the Famine Action Mechanism — a new initiative charged with harnessing data to predict and help prevent famine — and what constitutes "good digital identity" dotted agendas and sideline conversations throughout the week.
 
 
As our quarter is in full swing, We wanted to be a bit upbeat as we captured a number of #RandomThoughts courtesy of the team at the Mission along with Values.Com--what Lee Iacocca noted especially struck a cord with us: 




...as Our Journey continues taking our queue from Fred Flinston: 


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