On Sept 25, Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus addressed the exclusive side event to the UN General Assembly on the issue of “Geopolitics in the Age of Sustainable Development” at Harvard Club and organized by Kerry Kennedy, founder and CEO of Robert F. Kennedy: Ripples of Hope, a Human Rights Foundation . Thirty former Presidents and Prime ministers and Heads of international organizations attended the event. Among them were:
Amre Moussa, former Secretary General of Arab League,
Ian Fischer, former Prime minister of Czech Republic,
Ismail Serageldin, former Vice President of the World Bank,
Susan Elliot, President and CEO of National Committee on American Foreign Policy,
Ivo Josipovic, former President of Croatia,
Zlatko Lagyumdzija. Former Prime minister of Bosnia, and Herzegovina,
Yves Leterme, former Prime minister of Belgium,
George Papandreou, former Prime minister of Greece,
Rosen Plevneliev, former President of Bulgaria
Danilo Turk, former President of Slovenia and Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi.
special IOC dinner hosted by Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee. Guests included Laura Chinchilla, ex President of Costa Rica, Luis Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank, King Willem-Alexander Claus George Ferdinand, King of the Netherlands, Prince Albert of Monaco, Richard Carrión, Board of Verizon, former Director of FED New York, Anita DeFrantz, US Olympian and, Mamadou Diagna Ndiaye, President NOC Senegal.
during the week
Professor Yunus had a three hour pre-arranged meeting with Marina Silva, former Brazilian Minister for the Environment for President Lula’s government, an environmental activist and Goldman Prize winner, and her team. She also was a Presidential candidate in the last general election of Brazil. This meeting was requested by Marina Silva to discuss the threat to the global environment created by Amazon fire recently. She pointed out that fire in the Amazon forest is increasing without limit. There was an 83% increase in forest fires in the Amazon since last year. Yunus told her that two major events took place this year to bring the focus of the entire world to the environmental crisis irrespective of political orientation. First was the emergence of Greta Thunberg. She highlighted the issue of urgency of environmental action to the global public, particularly to the young people, even to those who did not pay any attention to environmental crisis. The second was the Amazon fire. It was on every TV screen in every country for days, moving everyone emotionally, making people feel the gravity of the situation and willingness to do something about it. While Greta continued to build up support for protecting environment across the globe, the memory of Amazon fire died away without producing a movement to protect the environment. Marina and Yunus agreed to build a movement not only to protect Amazon but to let it flourish. Marina Team later met with Yunus Team to work out the outline of the steps to be taken in the coming months in Brazil, and throughout the world. Yunus proposed some social businesses to transform the Amazon region.
Yunus attended as an SGD Advocate appointed by the UN Secretary General, the special UN SDG Advocate reception attended by the Secretary General Mr. António Guterres and Amina Jane Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations. Secretary General welcomed the new group of SDG Advocates and explained to them the importance of their role in taking these goals to both the youth and the general audience, to encourage them to design and implement their actions plans in order to achieve such goals effectively. New Advocates were introduced to the emeritus Advocates to pass on their experiences to the new Advocates.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach invited Professor Yunus to an exclusive dinner for a few friends and advisors at a restaurant to thank them for their support and discuss upcoming events and programmes of IOC. Besides Yunus, other guests were Laura Chinchilla, former President of Costa Rica, Willem-Alexander Claus George Ferdinand, His Majesty King of the Netherlands, Prince Albert of Monaco, Luis Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank, Richard Carrión, Board of Verizon, former Director of FED New York, IOC Member Anita DeFrantz, US Olympian, and IOC member Mamadou Diagna NDIAYE, and President National Olympic Committee of Senegal.
Professor Yunus was invited by Christophe Itier, French High Commissioner for the Social and Solidarity Economy and Social Innovation for Impact, addressed the meeting of global alliance for social and inclusive economy, which is an European initiative to form an Alliance of countries to promote social and inclusive economy. Yunus elaborated to the representatives of various governments which have joined the Alliance the importance of creating and expanding social businesses to address the social problems in a sustainable way. He underlined that every citizen can play an important role in solving social problems. Governments instead of giving the impression that they are solely responsible for solving social problems should facilitate each citizen to undertake his/her own initiatives. While governments are doing their best to solve the problems, they should play the role of cheer-leaders and facilitators for engaging their own citizens through creating innovative social businesses.
Caption for Photo 2: Professor Muhammad Yunus with Marina Silva, the renowned climate activist and former Brazilian Minister for Environment
Caption for Photo 3: Professor Yunus with critically acclaimed Icelandic/Danish artist and climate activist Olafur Eliasson, the newest UNDP Goodwill Ambassador for climate action and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)http://muhammadyunus.org/index.php/news-media/news/1851-present-wor...