Civil Society Convenes at UN to Open up a World of Sustainability
The 65th Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference officially kicked off with an opening session on August 27th, 2014. This year’s conference, themed “2015 and Beyond: Our Action Agenda” is designed to plan for the post 2015 agenda of the “Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)”, which were set to be achieved by the year 2015. 2015 is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make a transformational change for the globe because it is the deadline of MDGs and also the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the UN.
A short video of Ban Ki-moon, current Secretary-General of United Nations, presented a speech to everyone at the opening conference. Ban emphasized the long history of collaborations between the United Nations and civil society. He urged the civil society to continue participating in events like this and to advocate for the support from the world leaders to tackle global issues.
Roundtables and workshops of various issues took place at difference times of the day. Vibrant youth representatives, non-governmental organizations, and United Nations’ representatives convened together to discuss and come up with ways to address urgent issues of the world, including poverty eradication; sustainability; climate justice; human rights; and partnerships and accountability frameworks.
The coordinators from one of the workshops invited youth volunteers to perform the “An Era of Conscience” song in hope to remind the participants that conscience is vital for world’s sustainable development. Nevertheless, many participants voiced their full support of the movement of An Era of Conscience and understood that conscience is the enabler of love and peace and sustainable future.
Today’s conference also featured a distinguished guest, Samantha Power. The United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, lauded the United Nations’ efforts to relieve 600 million people across the world from extreme poverty over the course of 15 years. She confidently voiced her full support for civil society’s continuous engagement and cooperation.
Hoping to bring some entertainment to the conference room, the coordinators of the conference invited Lee Seung Chul, a South Korean singer, to the stage and perform a song “The Bridge to the World” in hope to connect everyone in the world in the times of uncertainty and crisis. Although the song was sang in the Korean language, it was nevertheless a heartfelt joy and warmth for the audience.