Women Meet with Guterres at UN Townhall Meeting

21 marzo 2017

World Goodwill attended a Townhall Meeting at UN Headquarters in NY on Friday, 17 March. Large numbers of women from around the world are currently at UN HQ for the annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) which includes official UN meetings together with numerous side events for NGO representatives. The Townhall provided an opportunity for women’s Civil Society Organizations to meet with United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. 

It was a productive gathering, clearly setting the  intention for a continual dialogue and constructive working relationship between women’s civil society and the Office of the Secretary General.  

"You are all very kind to come," said Guterres, "Let's spend the time we have together with me listening to your insights.  We want gender parity, 50-50, by 2030.  How do you see it happening?"

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UN Deputy Secretary-General Speaks of a Once-in-a-Generation Opportunity

6 marzo 2017

In an inspiring address to the UN Economic and Social Council in New York, new UN Deputy Secretary-General, Ms Amina J. Mohammed, spoke of the transformational vision at the heart of the SDG's as a 'once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver a better future for all'. She acknowledged that:

  • The prosperity and benefits of globalization have not been equitably shared. 
  • Half the planet’s wealth is controlled by a handful of rich men.
  • Some 200 million people are still jobless.
  • Many more are underemployed, working several jobs to make ends meet, or toiling under abusive conditions.
  • Gender discrimination continues to limit the opportunities and potential of our women and girls in all countries.
  • Anxiety is mounting as societies cope with climate change, urbanization, population growth, water scarcity and massive movements of people.
  • Fear and mistrust are increasingly driving political discourse. 

In this context she affirmed the Secretary-General's commitment to fast-track transformation ... The 2030 Agenda requires that we reinvent ourselves to better service Member States.

Ms Amina J. Mohammed was,until recently, Minister of Environment in the Nigerian Government, and prior to this Special Adviser to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Post-2015 Development Planning.

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Will António Guterres be the UN’s Best Ever Secretary General?

6 febrero 2017

When António Guterres resigned halfway through his second term as Portuguese prime minister in 2002 because his minority government was floundering, he did something unusual for a man who had seen the highest reaches of power.

Several times a week, he went to slum neighbourhoods on the edge of Lisbon to give free maths tuition to children.

“He never allowed a journalist to go with him or let himself be filmed or photographed, and he never let journalists talk to any of his students,” said Ricardo Costa, editor-in-chief of the Portuguese SIC News, who covered Guterres’s political career. The former prime minister told his surprised students that what he was doing was personal and not for show.

The Portuguese socialist, who [is now] UN secretary general, is an intellectual who grew up under Portugal’s dictatorship and came of age with the 1974 revolution that ended 48 years of authoritarian rule.

From the Guardian
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The United Nations:  Reflecting the World, Reflecting Ourselves

30 enero 2017

Judith Hegedus addressed the World Goodwill Seminar, The Ethical Responsibility of the Sustainable Development Goals,  at UN Headquarters in Geneva, October 28, 2016. Judith Hegedus is Executive Director of the College Board International Office. College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students around the world to college success and opportunity.

Any process to implement an idea is a complex one. How do we get from thought to action? There isn’t actually that much time left before 2030. How do we ensure effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda or the Sustainable Development Goals? It is commendable that these Goals have been formulated, and this is an example of the recognition of our global interconnectedness as one humanity. It is not an easy task to implement something like this, but we can do it by creating a vertical alignment between the thoughts, the words, and the actions of individuals as well as governments. We also need a horizontal and focused alignment between individual citizens’ efforts, national governments, and the United Nations. This is a task for every member of the human family, and for all responsible national governments. The United Nations is uniquely qualified as the organization leading the way for the SDG implementation and inspiring humanity. We have the thoughts and the words already in the form of the published 2030 Agenda – we just need to make sure that the proper actions follow, aligned with the thoughts and words. What roles do individual citizens, governments and the UN itself have in an effective implementation? 

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La ONU, los ODS y los Valores Humanos, un Proceso en Evolución

1 enero 2017

Conferencia de Vita de Waal en el Fórum de Buena Voluntad Mundial, en la Sede de la ONU en Ginebra, el 28 de Octubre de 2016. Vita de Waal es Directora Ejecutiva de la Fundación Gaia y representante de la ONU para la Red Global Eco-Village y la Asociación Planetaria para la Energía Limpia.

Hoy en día vivimos una realidad en la que las guerras y los conflictos van en aumento y se convierten en conflictos regionales. Ni siquiera necesitamos creer en la reencarnación para afirmar que actualmente estamos cosechando las consecuencias de las malas acciones pasadas y presentes, que requieren soluciones tanto individuales como colectivas. Con las imágenes de horror y sufrimiento inundando nuestras salas de estar, es importante que nuestro amor, nuestra compasión, no sean detenidos por el agarre que sobre la gente tiene el miedo, un miedo que restringe y aísla. A menudo, en estos tiempos difíciles olvidamos que somos responsables de nuestras elecciones. ¿Permitimos que el amor o el miedo gobierne nuestras vidas? ¿Estamos siendo aterrorizados por nuestros propios temores y el Consejo de Seguridad es meramente un reflejo de esto? En nuestros momentos de silencio quizá queramos reflexionar dónde batallamos con nuestros propios miedos y observar, sin juzgar, dónde las luchas de poder mienten dentro de nuestro propio ser. Porque en realidad, ¿no es el mundo exterior, sino un mero reflejo de nuestro mundo interior?

Es triste darse cuenta que el Consejo de Seguridad, que fue concebido como un espacio de cooperación,  se  ha  convertido  en  una  arena  de  confrontación  e  ideologías,  con  una estructura de gobierno anticuada que refleja una mentalidad de 'vencedores' manifestando todo su poder.

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