Side- Event on “Homelessness and Family” at the 58th session of the Commission for Social Development (CSocD58)

IOM New York participated in the fifty-eighth session of the Commission for Social Development (CSocD58), which took place from 10 to 19 February 2020 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The Commission is the advisory body responsible for the social development pillar of global development. The priority theme this year is “Affordable housing and social protection systems for all to address homelessness”.  The Commission for Social Development is one of the first Commissions held in the calendar year, and will be followed by the Commission on Statistics and the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in March and the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) in April.  

The session provided participants from Government, UN system, and INGO;s and private sector to identify successful policies and strategies to provide inclusive affordable housing and social protection at national level.  Present for the event was Minister for Women, Family and Childhood of Republic of Tunisia, Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations, Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the United Nations, and Head of Mission of the Arab League States to Italy, Vatican and UN Agencies in Italy. Participants mentioned that homelessness arises from conflict, climate disasters, loss of livelihoods, housing costs. Participants called for collective action to address issue.

IOM UN Office Director Mr. Ashraf El Nour spoke at spoke at the event “Homelessness and Family” organized by the World Family Organization, UNDESA with special participation of the Ministry of Women, Family and Childhood of Republic of Tunisia. Ashraf spoke on how homelessness impacts migrants. He underscored that migrants and refugees are still among the most excluded from basic coverage by social protection instruments & schemes. Furthermore, he touched on how conflict, fragility, disasters, and urban governance impact migrants.

The Permanent Representative of Egypt, Mr. Mohamed Fathi Afmed Edrees gave particular attention to people living in informal settlements/slums. The Ambassador warned that informal settlements in urban areas have negative impacts on the social stability of societies. Further noting how such establishments provide fertile soil for radicalization and crime.

The Minister for Women, Family and Childhood of Republic of Tunisia, Ms. Mme Naziha Labidi touched on the social protection issues in Tunisia. She noted that her country has made progress in addressing sexual based violence against women and children.  

Permanent Representative of Korea, Mr. Cho Hyun discussed the rising housing prices and lack of accessible affordable housing in Korea. He mentioned the vulnerabilities of young people face in society that can be violent. He stressed root causes is inequality and should be addressed.

The President, World Family Organization, Dr. Deisi Noeli Weber Kusztra stressed that family is an important element to fight poverty, hunger, and to bring about health, well-being, gender, equality and equity.  She emphasized the importance of paying attention to the local level. 

Ms. Amel Najjar, Founding Executive Director of Children of War Foundation stressed that homelessness should not be normalized.

Webcast of event is available here