The UN, SDGs and Human Values:  An Evolving Process

1 janvier 2017

Vita de Waal addressed the World Goodwill Seminar at UN Headquarters in Geneva, October 28, 2016. Vita de Waal is Executive Director, Foundation for Gaia, and a UN representative for The Global Eco-Village Network and Planetary Asociation for Clean Energy.

Today we are living in a reality where wars and conflicts are increasing and escalating into regional conflicts. We do not even need to believe in reincarnation to state that today we are reaping the consequences of past and present wrong-doings that require individual as well as collective solutions. With images of horror and of suffering flooding into our living rooms, it is important that our love, our compassion is not stemmed by the hold that fear has over people, a fear that restricts and isolates. We often forget in these difficult times that we are responsible for our choices. Do we choose to allow love or fear to rule our lives? Are we being terrorized by our own fears and is the Security Council merely reflecting this? In our moments of silence we might want to reflect where we battle with our own fears and observe without judging where the struggles of power lie within our own being. For in truth, is not the world out there but a mere reflection of our inner world?

It is sad to realise that the Security Council, which had been conceived as an arena of cooperation, has evolved into an arena of confrontation and ideology with an outdated governance structure reflecting a mentality of 'victors' wielding all the power.



Dag Hammarskjöld– Ethics in International Cooperation

6 décembre 2016

Marco Toscano-Rivalta addressed the World Goodwill Seminar at UN Headquarters in Geneva, October 28, 2016. A UN staff member, he was speaking in his personal capacity and not as a representative of the organization. 

The United Nations was conceived to be an agent of change, endowed with the necessary agency. Not the cause of the change, which indeed rests with the growing consciousness of humanity. Rather the United Nations is “a focal point for efforts so to guide the difficult and delicate development that this progress may be achieved in peace and become a means to reinforce peace”.

Being an agent of change implies to be a model of change, and this needs to be reflected in an ongoing adjustment of how the Organization is used, including its working methods. This is a fundamental point, which far from being purely academic, has very practical implications.

Hammarskjöld invested a lot of time in articulating, explaining, and practicing the potential of the precepts contained in the UN Charter on the role of the United Nations and the Secretariat, and how the existing rules offered a strong basis and could be interpreted to address the ever emerging new issues and serve the peoples’ needs.

A legitimate question is whether he and his colleagues at that time unveiled everything under the Charter or there is something else to pursue. Even today, Hammarskjöld is of help.


Good Will, Ethical Responsibility & the Sustainable Development Goals: the Challenge of this Century

29 novembre 2016

Director of Lucis Trust & World Goodwill in Geneva, Mintze van der Velde, opens the World Goodwill Seminar at UN Headquarters in Geneva, October 28, 2016

Goodwill is one of the most basic spiritual qualities of the human being and the great untapped resource at the heart of every human community. This energy is potentially a powerful force for social change – yet its power remains largely unrecognized and underutilized. World Goodwill fosters understanding of this energy and the role it is playing in the development of a new humanity.

It is the thoughtful, planned action of networks of goodwill that is driving the response to all the problems of our age: from poverty, poisoned race relations, migration and refugees and environmental destruction through to sentimental spirituality, despair in thinking about the future, and the crises of materialism and selfishness. People of goodwill from all cultures, faiths and professions are creating, through their words and actions, a new world where sharing, cooperation and right relations are taking root and spreading. Never before in the history of the planet has goodwill been so active.

To bring in the new day and the human well-being which is our birth-right, we need a deeper sense of reality based on spiritual values, and a new perception of humanity as a unit of divine life within an ordered and purposive universe. It is difficult for modern man to conceive of a time when there will be no racial, national or separative religious consciousness present in human thinking.  It was equally difficult for prehistoric man to conceive of a time when there would be national thinking and this is a good thing for us to bear in mind.  The time when humanity will be able to think in universal terms still lies far ahead but the fact that we can speak of it, desire it and plan for it is surely the guarantee that it is not impossible.  Humanity has always progressed from stage to stage of enlightenment and from glory to glory.  We are today on our way to a far better civilisation than the world has ever known and towards conditions which will ensure a much happier humanity and which will see the end of national differences, of class distinctions (whether based on  ancestry or financial status) and which will ensure a fuller and richer life for everyone.


Amidst Chaos, Seeds Of Hope: United Nations, the Sustainable Development Goals, And World Goodwill

28 novembre 2016

Huffington Post Blogger,Alex Ratcliffe, reviews World Goodwill's Seminar at the United Nations in Geneva.

Just days before the election, on 28 October 2016, I attended a seminar amidst the salubrious surroundings of the Palais des Nations, Geneva, “the capital of peace and freedom”. The topic of the seminar, which attracted 150 people from a wide range of backgrounds, professions and nationalities, was: “World Good Will, Ethical Responsibility and the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations”.

The keynote of the seminar in Geneva was that we can make development sustainable, but it requires global cooperation and global accountability, the partnership of governments, private sector, civil society and citizens alike to recognize the urgency and put plans in place with an eye to future generations. But, it was emphasized, this action implies the need for social and political will, and behind that is, and must be, a willingness for the greater good as opposed to individual agendas. ...


Habitat III and the New Urban Agenda

9 novembre 2016

For three days, from October 17 – 20, over 30,000 people from around the planet gathered in the Peruvian city of Quito to envision future possibilities for the cities of the world. Ten thousand people including national politicians, urban planners and thinkers, and representatives of business and peoples’ movements came from outside of Peru. Around 400 city mayors attended the ‘Cities Olympics’.

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