A two day program it scheduled and planned for September 16 and 17 – the first day is a mobilization day featuring mostly NGO’s and the second is an Acceleration Day with the foucs on High Impact Initiatives. The full 24 page program is available HERE The proposed program is vast and complex and always demands choices – difficult choices. How does one choose between ‘A Rights-Centered Gender-Transformative Economy, including a New International Fiancial Archecture’ and ‘Breaking Down the Barriers to Leave No One Behind’ and ‘Torchbearers for the SDG’s Meaningful Youth Engagement & the 2030 Agenda.’ Other aspects of the day focus on ‘Catalyzing Transformative Change: Science, Academia and the Journey to 2030;’ ‘Local & Regional Governments Forum: Action and Leadership from the Ground Up; Towards the Rescue Plan for People and the Planet;’ ‘Enhacing Advocacy, Financing and Acountability: Key Messages from Civil Society to the SDG Summit and Beyond;’ and ‘Unlocking the Potential of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMES): Meeting the Finaincing Gap.’
The SDG Acceleration Day (17 September, 2023) will propel stakeholders from ambition to action by highlighting how the High Impact Initiatives, multigenerational campaigns such as Generation Equality, and cross-SDG impact catalyzers such as SDG Digital can accelerate collective achievement. See pages 11 to 21 of the program
These programs, presentations, approaches surely indicate a tumultous desire for a new future – one of equity, prosperity and wellbeing for every person and for the planet. It is a privilege to be part of, a participatant in, and a contributer to such activities. While attending and moving throught the varous fora inside and outside of the United Nation, the unmistakable ask, advocacy moment, is and will be one of peace, good will and prosperity for all. I, as your representative at the United Nations hold this desire for you, your ministry and your country at this time. The Congregations is surely part of a groundswell seeking full implementation of the Sustaiable Development Goals, gender justice, climate justice and the upholding of the rights of every person especially those of girls, women, and children in all their diversity and mother earth.
While all this is happening we are in the Season of Creation …
and will observe UN International Peace Day on September 21 which is linked with ambition to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Take Action and contribute to implementation of the SDGs See the Action Guide for helpful suggestions
Season of Creation starts on September 1 with a Global Ecumenical Online Prayer Service. Faith leaders from around the globe will lead this time of prayer and reflection as we celebrate the start of the Season of Creation, on this year’s theme, “Let Justice and Peace Flow”. Below is a flavour of the season
Register on Zoom or join directly on YouTube. Other opportunities at Taize on September 30th and on October 4 when the season ends.
On Wednesday, October 4, as we celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi and remember the first anniversary of the release of the film The Letter, we will close the Season of Creation with an online ecumenical prayer service. Join us through our YouTube channel. See more
LATAM Symposium for the care of our common home. LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN ON THE ROAD TO “ACCELERATING THE JUST ENERGY TRANSITION” IN TERMS OF INTEGRAL ECOLOGY. See More and register to attend HERE September 7 from 9.00 – 12.00 Bogota time
Concluding lines from the message of Pope Francis is my wish and prayer “In this Season of Creation, as followers of Christ on our shared synodal journey, let us live, work and pray that our common home will teem with life once again. May the Holy Spirit once more hover over the waters and guide our efforts to “renew the face of the earth” (cf. Ps 104:30).”
The July edition of VOICE a monthly newsletter from UN DESA (Department of Economic and Social Affairs is filled with information about the upcoming High-Level Political Forum. The first article is about turbocharging the SDGs. This is followed by how action for climate change and the SDGs create synergies that reinforce each other.
In my last posting, I did not mention anything about the call of the Secretary-General for an SDG stimulus. There is a section in Voice entitled 5 things you need to know about the SDG Stimulus to deliver the 2030 Agenda. In February 2023 the Secretary-General called for the G20 to deliver US $ 500 billion annually to Sustainable Development. The crunch will be on September 18 and 19 when the SDG Summit is taking place – will the call be answered? Will the money be provided? If one does a tour of the UN one sees the amount spent on military expenditure – currently at 5 Billion a day. This is a steep increase from November of 2022 when 1 Billion a day was recorded.
The Sustainable Development Goals Report will launch on July 10 at 12.30 EST. You can watch live on UN WebTV
As I write this piece I am reminded of the working document or ‘instrumentum laboris,’ towards the Synod released at the end of June. The document outlines the current reality as characterized by too many wars, the threat represented by climate change, the cry to oppose an economic system that produces exploitation, inequality, and a throw-away culture, the desire to resist the homogenizing pressures of cultural colonialism that crushes minorities, persecution to the point of martyrdom, and emigration that progressively hollows out communities. This is the current reality that is at the heart of the High-Level Political Forum and the global framework outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals. This desire for implementation is often thwarted by counter-systems that are war-mongering, that demand to invest in militarism and fossil fuels.
These counter-systems uphold neo-liberal capitalism, maintain inequality – including gender inequality, profit from the exploitation of child labour, migrant labour, bonded labour and human trafficking, maintain a throw-away culture, crush minorities, harass women leaders, to the point of murdering women’s human rights defenders and others calling for change. The Global NGO presence and voice at the United Nations call for, propose and witness to an alternative reality – a reality informed by dignity and human rights, inclusion and respect for all people and our common home opposing and resisting the dominant narrative. Read More