Inclusiveness and Sustainability by UN Secretary General Candidate Vesna Pusic

Total Croatia News

We are delighted to welcome one of Croatia’s most seasoned politicians to the TCN team. Until recently Croatia’s Foreign Minister and now a candidate for the next UN Secretary General, Vesna Pusic on inclusiveness and sustainability at the United Nations in New York on April 25, 2016.

The second week in April has been exciting and unusual at the UN in New York. For the first time in the 70-year history of the organization, the General Assembly has opened up part of the selection process for the Secretary-General to the general public. Of all the different reforms that have been suggested and are being discussed, this seemed the least dramatic. So, everybody agreed and the «hearings» or the «informal dialogues» as they are officially called, could begin. Nine candidates in front of 193 potential employers, i.e. member states of the UN. In the end it was more exciting and it attracted more attention around the world than anybody expected. Member states were interested, NGOs and the civil society were interested, university students were interested, think-tanks were interested. It also stirred a renewed interest in the UN and, it seems to me, it created certain expectations.

It is going to be the task of the next Secretary-General to try to meet at least some of these expectations of renewed energy, renewed agility and political imagination. In a world of increasing uncertainty to promote peace and stability; amid growing narrow-mindedness and selfishness to promote inclusion and solidarity; against the economy of the 1% to promote global development. Not an easy task by any standards.

Global development has been at the top of the UN agenda for a long time. It is an instrument for fighting poverty, but also essential in conflict prevention and in stabilizing peace. In the Fall of 2015 the UN General Assembly approved and accepted its Agenda for Sustainable Development until 2030. In its carefully chosen and well-presented 17 Sustainable Development Goals, it covers all important aspects of a successful progress of the World in the next 15 years. The goals create a synergy without overlapping or repeating themselves. There are only two concepts that are consistently appearing in practically all the 17 SDGs: inclusiveness and sustainability. Whatever will be achieved, should be achieved “for all” and should be inclusive; whatever will be attained should be sustainable – should last.

Of all the difficult and demanding objectives defined in the SDGs, those two are the simplest, the hardest and the most important. It is always possible in every country to end poverty, provide clean water, access to clean energy or economic prosperity for some. But to make it attainable for all requires a qualitative leap. And with the governments changing over time in different countries, there is a good chance that some will be able to achieve some of these goals. But to make these achievements sustainable, to make them permanent, requires an institution that will provide a stable context of values against which each country can measure itself. In fulfilling the 2030 SDGs Agenda those two objectives will be the key task of the UN.


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