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Friday, November 3, 2017

DKG NGO Representative Reflects on the 2017 International Day of Families at the United Nations

The United Nations Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD), in partnership with the Department of Public Information Non-Governmental Organizations (DPI NGO of which DKG is a member), hosted a briefing at United Nations Headquarters in New York City earlier this year. 

The briefings began in the morning with an observance of the International Day of Families. At the “Families, Education and Well-Being” event, the focus was on Sustainable Development Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning. The topics included early childhood education, work-life balance, parental education and impact of media on children’s development. 

During the round-table talk, Eduardo Rolland, who is an Early Childhood Development ECD-Specialist with UNICEF, discussed the importance of nurturing and brain development in very early childhood. Patricia Debeljuh, from IAE Business School, Austral University (Pilar, Argentina) talked about a study, “Work-Family Balance,” and Diego Barroso of International Federation for Family Development (IFFD; Madrid, Spain) talked about “Parental Education and Family Well-being.” Michael Robb of Common Sense Media (U.S. NGO) shared how media (even being on in the background) can affect young children negatively and that multi-tasking can result in more errors and even loss of memory. 

The afternoon offering at the UN proved to be “the best.” A young gentleman sat beside me and we chatted about the upcoming talk and the significance of family on the wellbeing of children. He spoke highly of his wife, who worked for an NGO, and when I asked about children, he proudly shared photos and videos of his young teenage sons. Then we were joined by a young woman who was completing doctoral studies in education a long way from home and missing her family. 

I was pleased to be attending a UN event with a representative from Iran and a West African student. I realized that right in our row was the very essence of our greater human family. There are “no ready-made formulas” for well-being, said one presenter; we are all sharing one planet with the same needs for ourselves and our future.

This UN event included an online discussion. The archived webcast is available at:

The UN Sustainable Development Goals: 17 Goals to Transform our World are designed to guide individuals and states to a better world. You can learn more about the SD Goals at 

Please follow the DKG@UN newsletter for reports on other UN events.

 Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning

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