Tuesday 17 February 2015

Global Integrators--3

GI-People for the SDGs
We think that the time is coming for a diversity of colleagues to come together intentionally, visibly, and practically on behalf of global integration (GI). GI put simply is how we skillfully integrate our lives and values on behalf of the issues facing humanity. Likewise we think that the time is coming for colleagues to carefully reflect and act on what it means to be good global learners-practitioners--to seriously consider what it means to be what we are calling global integrators (GI-People).

The world community via the United Nations continues its effort's to formulate the Post 2015 Development Agenda. This effort currently includes and is conceptually organised around six overlapping "essential elements" (dignity, justice, people, planet, prosperity, and partnerships--see above diagram, taken taken form the December 2104 synthesis report on sustainable development by the UN Secretary General, December 2014, paragraph 66). These essential elements in turn reflect the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) proposed in the UN Open Working Group's outcome document for SDGs  (July 2014). These goals are:

Goal 1
End poverty in all its forms everywhere
Goal 2
End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
Goal 3
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Goal 4
Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Goal 5
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Goal 6
Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Goal 7
Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Goal 8
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Goal 9
Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Goal 10
Reduce inequality within and among countries
Goal 11
Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Goal 12
Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Goal 13
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*
Goal 14
Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
Goal 15
Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
Goal 16
Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Goal 17
Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

We firmly believe that global integration (GI), as an emerging set of perspectives, processes, and practices, has a key role to play in sustainable development. Through GI (defined simply as 'integrating our lives on behalf of humanity and in view of our core values') we are intentionally building "the future we want" a rallying phrase which is the title and theme of the Rio +20 outcome document on sustainable development (June 2012). And from a GI perspective, which emphasizes character and competencies,  we must become “the people we want to be.”
GI practitioners at all levels of involvement can play key roles in leveraging their skills, interests, and indeed passions in order to connect more meaningfully across sectors on behalf of the wellbeing of both humans and our planet.  Consider carefully the words of the UN Secretary General in his synthesis report on sustainable development (December 2014). They are as inspirational as they are challenging, and addressed to "governments and people everywhere" (paragraph 25).
"1. The year 2015 offers a unique opportunity for global leaders and people to end poverty and to transform the world to better meet human needs and the necessities of economic transformation, while protecting our environment, ensuring peace and realizing human rights. 2. We are at a historic crossroads, and the direction we take will determine whether we will succeed or fail in fulfilling our promises....4. Transformation is our watchword. At this moment in time, we are called upon to lead and act with courage. .... 11. Our globalized world is marked by extraordinary progress alongside unacceptable – and unsustainable – levels of want, fear, discrimination, exploitation, injustice and environmental folly at all levels….13. We have the know-how and the means to address these challenges, but we need urgent leadership and joint action now. 14. These are universal challenges. They demand new levels of multilateral action, based on evidence and built on shared values, principles and priorities for a common destiny. 15. Our global commitments under the [United Nations] Charter should compel us to act. Our sense of empathy and enlightened self-interest should compel us to act. Our responsibilities as stewards of the planet should equally compel us to act. None of today’s threats respect boundaries drawn by human beings, whether those boundaries are national borders or boundaries of class, ability, age, gender, geography, ethnicity or religion. ...25. The stars are aligned for the world to take historic action to transform lives and protect the planet. I urge Governments and people everywhere to fulfil their political and moral responsibilities. This is my call to dignity, and we must respond with all our vision and strength."
What to Do?
Here are five suggestions for getting updated and staying updated regarding the UN 's sustainable development efforts--starting right now! See the items in yellow highlights for the fast track.

1. Watch the "Post-2015 Intergovernmental Negotiations, 17-20 February 2015. This four-day meeting will be broadcast live from the United Nations New York on UN Web TV. It takes place from 10am--1pm and 3pm-6pm Eastern Time, all four days. Look over and save/print for reference, the two page summary "Elements Paper for Declaration Discussion" (pages 3-4).

2. Read (and reread!) the Secretary General's synthesis report on sustainable development, The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives, and Protecting the Planet (December 2014) (for a compelling rationale, see the opening 25 paragraphs--excerpted in the main quote above) Watch Ban Ki-moon's 13 minute launch of this report:
3. Have a look at and periodically check the United Nations Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform. One item to look at for a quick update and overview is the section "2015 Time for Global Action for People and Planet" (including the short overview of the SDG process on the landing page)

4. Read the previous two entries on Global Integrators on this weblog. Want more? then have a look at some of the materials o n global integration that we have done (webinars, powerpoints, papers, etc.).

5. Although not without its flaws and failures (like any human institution), the UN in my view continues to be crucial for promoting and protecting human security/peace, human rights/dignity, and social progress/better standards of life (as highlighted in the Charter of the United Nations'  Preamble, 1945). One way to catch a quick overview of how these aspirations are playing out is by watching the annual UN 2014 Year in Review (below).

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