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New Village Development To counter Involuntary Migration and the Smuggling of Migrants

New Village Development - To counter Involuntary Migration and the Smuggling of Migrants

30. Commission of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice-CCPCJ/ UN Vienna

Side Event – virtual, 17. May, 2021


WELCOME: Dr. Maria Riehl, PhD Director of WFWP UN-Office –Vienna, Vice Chair of NGO Committee on Peace-Vie.Director. Dr. Maria Riehl welcomed the panellists and international participants including several from Africa and the Philippines to the event organised by `Women’s Federation for World Peace International` in cooperation with `Earth Foundation` and supported by government representatives from Kenya and Philippines.

She mentioned the significance given by the Kyoto conference to cooperation between civil society (through NGOs) and governments to achieve the SDGs by 2030 and support healthy families, peace and prosperity globally. Referring to the problem of involuntary migration and related crime caused by poverty, poor education and unemployment for women and youth in particular, she emphasised the need to find solutions through technical advancements and cooperation within and between communities.

Dr Riehl concluded by introducing three panellists who demonstrated their projects as examples of best practices for the enhancement of rural living standards, thus minimising the need for migration.

Dr. Riehl initiated WFWP – Austria, which has been officially registered in Dec. 1992., Dr. Riehl has been its first president. She is born and raised in Kosice/ East Slovakia. In spring 1968, she visited Vienna, Austria to work and learn the language, when the military intervention on 21st of August, 1968 of the former Warsaw- pact troops into Tschechoslovakia, ending the so called “Prague Spring”, changed her life completely.

She continued her studies in Austria and has been a general practitioner for 37 yrs. Dr. Riehl is married, mother to 5 adult children and grandmother of 10 ***************************************************************************************************************************OPENING REMARCKS:

HE. Stella MOKAYA ORINA, Deputy Permanent

Representative, Embassy of the Republic of Kenya H.E. Stella Mokaya Orina welcomed everyone to the event and thanked the distinguished speakers for their attendance. She explained to the audience that people usually settle in areas with access to electricity – a factor that can greatly influence immigration. Electricity is essential for the daily lives of the population for a range of activities, such as reading, cooking, charging phones, etc. Kenya already has several projects in place, including programmes generating green energy, to help supply electric power to people’s homes. Due to Kenya’s privileged location in the world, it is not difficult to produce solar energy. Therefore, the government is currently making great strides towards providing adequate lighting to homes, businesses, institutions and irrigations. This project is being implemented in 12 counties, the majority of which are in rural areas. Solar powered street lighting systems are already in place in many towns and cities. Ms. Orina is convinced that green energy is the future and that through partnerships with WFWP and other institutions it will be made widely available. She concluded her speech by thanking the organization and wishing everyone else a good session.

AMB. STELLA K. MOKAYA ORINA, Deputy Head of Mission, Kenya Embassy, Vienna

o Holder of a Master’s Degree in Arts International Studies from the University of Nairobi (2004 - 2005):

o In addition to serving in Kenya Missions abroad, has been part of various delegations to international meetings and conferences representing Kenya locally and abroad.

o Has undertaken numerous short courses and trainings locally and abroad. A member of the Law Society of Kenya, Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Kenya Chapter and Alumni, National Defence College, Kenya (NDC (K)).


HE. Ms. DEENA JOY D. AMATONG, Chargé d'Affairs of the Philippine Embassy:

commenced her remarks by greeting everyone and thanking WFWP for the invitation to listen to reports on ‘New village development projects to counter involuntary migration’.

She emphasized the importance of this topic for the Philippines and their willingness to engage with partners active in the field. Government data for 2019 revealed that 2.2 million Filipinos were working overseas, over half of whom were women working primarily in elementary occupations and in sales and service industries. Those who went overseas through smuggling or human trafficking were not included in the data.

The Philippine government is aware that domestic economic development dimensions need to be considered to ensure that migration becomes a choice rather than a need and that involuntary migration fuels human trafficking. Thus, wide-ranging efforts from government to private sector are needed. Ms Amatong mentioned medium and long-term plans of the Philippine government leading up to 2040, which are designed to ensure a stable and secure life for Filipinos as well as counteract the need for involuntary migration. She concluded her remarks by expressing interest in the village development projects.

HE. DEENA JOY D. AMATONGM, Charge d’Affairs of Embassy of the Philippines, is a Philippine career foreign service officer now serving as Chargé d׳Affaires, a.i. in the Embassy and Permanent Mission of the Philippines in Vienna, Austria. P

Ms. Amatong was assigned as Third Secretary and Vice Consul in the Philippine Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Brussels, Belgium, and as Minister and Consul General in the Philippine Embassy in Paris, France. ***************************************************************************************************************************

Ms. Merly BARLAAN, International Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, Deputy Director, Offices for UN Relations, Women’s Federation for World Peace International thanked everyone involved in the webinar. Briefly describing her childhood in the beautiful nature of the Philippine countryside, she referred to limited access to education, information and empowerment, causing involuntary migration. Thus, the project – Permaculture Peace Garden - as part of ‘Hope for the Philippines’ has evolved.

. The project was initiated seven years ago to counter forced migration and create holistic communities for a healthy planet.

  • Vision: establish income-generating food forest to reduce the social cost of migration

  • Mission: provide holistic and experiential education with long-term investment and practical training

  • Strategy: share their goals and work towards interdependence and mutual prosperity

Sustainability will be realised through practising the universal value of stewardship leading to peaceful co-existence between people and planet. Citing Bill Mollison, she defined permaculture as a method of land management with the principles of regenerating agriculture, rewilding and community resilience and working in tune with nature. It can counter the cost of migration, but the project’s success depends on investment by partners to generate local employment and reduce the need for a working parent abroad. Eight international youth service leadership training programmes have been held in what is dubbed the UN – University of Nature. Their goal is to train 10.000 youth leaders by 2030 to manage communal food forest as permaculture clubs where families can be educated in regenerative farming and managing income- generating gardens. A new multipurpose training centre is currently under construction. She concluded by welcoming all of us to her project in Bohol.

Mrs. Barlaan is a peace advocate with a special focus on women, youth, family and community development. She has played an active role in the United Nations NGO community for the past twenty four years. As a wife, mother to 5 children and a peace advocate, Mrs. Barlaan travels extensively between USA and the Asia Pacific region serving as a lecturer, mentor, and coach. She promotes peace leadership education, strengthening families, empowering women, and raising the youth to become global leaders of heart and character. Contact: Merly BARLAAN: , ************************************************************************************************

Mrs Susan Kone, borne in Kenya

with a background of Social Work and community development.

She started by greeting everyone present on this side event and saying how much of a pleasure it was to be speaking. In her view, electricity does not only light up villages and homes but empowers women as well. She shared her passion for this project that was sponsored by WFWP International admitting it spoke close to her heart, given that she was born in a rural area of Kenya as well. With this project, the type of home is not important because the panels can be installed anywhere, and a few of the advantages include: its renewability, how it can reduce the cost of electricity as a whole, and unlike other systems it does not require a lot of maintenance. This helps a lot of families that lived in 2 or 4 room houses with only one light that they had to share with all family members. Moreover this prompts children to further their education and parents to work more at home, because if there is light they can do homework, study or cook in the evenings and for longer periods of time. She is open to partnerships to extend this project and make the world a better place.

Mrs Susan Kone is a Kenyan –born Lady with a background of Social Work and Community development.

She is the Chairperson of the Women`s Federation for World Peace -Kenya Chapter, She is also the WFWP-International Vice President for Africa and coordinator of the International Association for First Ladies for Peace in Africa.

Currently she is working on a Green Solar Energy for the African Villages pilot project in rural Kenya.

She has a passion in Women Empowerment projects and is an advocate of Women rights and gender equality.

CALL FOR PARTNERSHIP: ADOPT- A -HOUSE HOLD INITIATIVE: “BE THE LIGHT, BY DONATING A LAMP” For more information: Contact us :, Tel: +254-712 359 993/ +254 781 404 991


Mag. Franz NAHRADA: Founder and member of the Earth Society Foundation "New Village development to support SDG Nr. 1 (no poverty), 4, 11, 12, 13, 15 (life on land)", founded in 1970 in UN NY under SG Sithu U Thant.

Mag. Nahrada, is an advocate for a reversal of the current trend towards “urbanisation” in the direction of “ruralisation” i.e., life in villages and rural areas.

Both developing countries and the Western world are experiencing an exodus of young people and families from villages to cities, leaving villages with a proportionally high elderly population. The cause of village depopulation frequently lies in the lack of educational opportunities. Mr. Nahrada highlights the need for the “Village University” through partnership with universities in the cities. He referred to an unforeseen benefit of the COVID crisis, which is the growth and development of distance learning, already widespread in Austria.

The second point emphasised by Mr. Nahrada was the extremely careless and thoughtless manner in which humankind has exploited nature. He believes this will greatly diminish the sustainability of natural systems. In his opinion, our human responsibility is to contribute to the earth’s restitution and not rely on the its own self-regeneration. He highlighted one example from China called “Loesch Plateau”, an area of equal size to France; the former almost desert like area has been completely reforested.

e encouraged us to reflect on the possibility of another type of world than we have now. He concluded by thanking WFWP for the invitation and offered his data to contribute to further discussion.

Mag. phil. Franz Nahrada, Sociologist and Writer Vienna and Bad Radkersburg, Austria, member of the Earth Society Foundation, founded in 1970 in UN NY under SG Sithu U Thant

"For 30 years, Mr. Nahrada has dealt with the issue of migration from rural areas to cities.

For several years he served as president of ECOVAST (European Council of villages and small towns) in Austria and also as the convener of the Equinox Earth Day (Earth Society Foundation) at UN Vienna.

He also became a passionate facilitator of meetings and succeeded with the Vienna Global Village conferences (1993 - 2000) and the Cultural Heritage in the Global Village (CULTH) conferences (1998 and 2002) and others. Later he started to work directly with rural areas and to use the power of information technology to create "Village Innovation Talks" and eventually the "Village- University", a virtual educational networks that connects local communities with each other for direct knowledge exchange and with universities for co-operation on "reality labs".

Regreening the dessert in China SEQ Abbildung \* ARABIC 1LOESS- PATEAU in China Contact: Franz Nahrada ● Founder DorfUni – VirtualVillageVersity Austria ● Founder Global Villages Network ●



Mrs. Carolyn Handschin-Moser, Director of the WFWPI Office for United Nations Relations globally presented the audience with the closing remarks of this side event. She talked about how important partnerships are and how creating opportunities on the ground can appeal to local and national governments and decision-making leaders. Alongside that, the civil society can be taught how important these projects are, and through events learn the type of responsibility they have as well. If leading organizations and civil society members come together, with the resources, the ideas and the creativity, these types of projects can be even more fruitful and expansive. She also questions if civil society is being taken seriously not only on this end but on several others. And if not, what is the reason for that scepticism. The emphasis of her speech falls on what we could do if these type of relations were closer at a personal level and more acknowledged by the responsible entities, the possibilities would only multiply. She mentions how this specific session was greatly balanced, because the speakers and panellists both called on governments for support, and shared several ideas and programs that originated from the civil society.

Mrs. Carolyn Handschin-Moser, Director of the WFWPI Office for United Nations Relations globally, Coordinator for Europe & Middle East, International Association of First Ladies for Peace,

Carolyn is currently the President of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women at the United Nations in Geneva. She is Vice-President of Women’s Federation for World Peace, International, and has led their advocacy team at the United Nations in Geneva for 26 years. She guides the leadership and advocacy training of young women and men in the WFWPI-UN Internship Program in Geneva (2005-now) and remains active as Co-founder and program director of the “GIIA Model UN Interreligious Youth Council” Program (2009- now). ***************************************************************************************************************************Discussion contents: We had the honour of having both representatives of the embassies present during the discussion. The following question arose: How do HE. Ms. Mokaya ORINA and HE. Deena AMATONG feel about the cooperation between Governments and NGOs /Civil Society? HE. Ms. Mokaya ORINA responded that such cooperation is both valuable and necessary; governments cannot fulfil their goals by themselves (SDG’s). Cooperation is needed rather than competition; both sides are working for the same goal - to provide a better life for their citizens. HE ORINA pleaded pleaded with NGO to not give up in contacting governments and to keep knocking on their doors. ‘Keep knocking our doors’ she stated it might not work out immediately but will with time. Charge d’affaires Ms. AMATONG emphasised similar points. She also expressed a wish for open dialogue and respectful communication between NGOs and governments. She explained that governments often have different mandates and other aspects to consider which the other party needs to understand. Finally, she expressed her appreciation for the event and for the invitation to contribute.

Kyung in van de Ven, who volunteered to be the MC, shared briefly about her experience as a legal guardian for Minor Asylum Seekers in the Netherlands. She can testify to the enormous strain and pain experienced by those children and young people. They arrived in a foreign country alone because they lost their parents in one way or another. Ms. Van de Ven is also responsible for the reunification of the families whenever that is possible. Her personal work experience was a key motivating factor to support today’s event.

Mrs. Kyung In van de Ven Oliveira is born and raised in Amsterdam the Netherlands, and has been a youth representative of the WFWP Europe since 2011, and of the Dutch WFWP Chapter since 2014. She has recently joined the UN Intl. WFWP team in Vienna and is currently working as a legal guardian and child’s advocate of unaccompanied minor asylum seekers at the national guardian institution in the Netherlands.

Report written by Mary Hinterleitner, Carla Ferreira, Renate Amesbauer

More extensive reports and PPTs can be sent to you on request:

We thank everyone for the participation and input that made this event a success!

We wish that communication continues, and we help whatever ways we are able too.

This event had been viewed by over 400 persons (Via Zoom and via Facebook)

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