The 68th Annual United Nations Civil Society Conference concluded on August 28th with a clear outcome statement that affirms:
The importance of inclusivity and respect for the dignity and human rights of all. Thus, sustainable cities and communities must foster opportunities regardless of age; gender; race; nation of origin; sexual orientation; religion; socio-economic status; disability; language; universal, societal, and individual traditions and values; or political opinion.
“[The] family-related provisions of the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits and their follow-up processes [that] continue to provide policy guidance on ways to strengthen family-centered components of policies and programs as part of an integrated comprehensive approach to development.”[]
The need for immediate and effective action in response to the climate crisis. It poses a grave threat today, not only to the sustainability of human society, but to life itself, especially in coastal communities and other vulnerable places. Furthermore, the window for effective action is closing rapidly.
The need to recognize peace as a fundamental component of sustainable societies, defining it not just as the absence of war and civil strife, but as the active presence of justice, security, social stability, inclusivity, accessibility, and lives lived in harmony with one’s neighbors and the earth’s ecosystems. We specifically recognize the need to address forced migration and its impact on both migrants and communities of origin, transit, and destination.
The engagement of all members of civil society in global and local governance. Good and accountable governance, free of corruption, is key to the achievement of the SDGs, rule of law, and justice for all.
The significance and potential of youth. More broadly, we affirm the need to empower all generations with education, skills, and opportunities. These will allow youth to sustain themselves; contribute to the health, well-being, prosperity, and resilience of society; and thereby enable all generations to thrive.
The need for adequate, affordable, accessible housing, public services, infrastructure, mobility, and land management. These will reduce poverty, homelessness, and hunger while sustaining connectedness, human and environmental health, and community-led development.
The potential for the ethical use and development of technology to address critical challenges faced by communities, harness opportunities, meet the needs of our planet, and re-envision the way we live.
The need for community-relevant, goal-oriented private and public investment at all levels of society.
The pivotal importance of education, including technological literacy; it is key to raising awareness of the SDGs and to our capacity to achieve them, especially Goal 11.
The central role of local governments in the localization of the 2030 Agenda, its 17 SDGs, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the New Urban Agenda. These global agendas are only as good as the positive transformation they trigger for people, planet, prosperity, and partnerships. Read more here.
At the conference, the Parliament joined interfaith colleagues Bruce Knotts from the Unitarian Universalist Association, Debra Boudreaux from the Tzu Chi Foundation, and Martha Gallahue from United Religions Initiative as part of the program “The Power of Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation for Inclusive, Safe Communities.”
As we reported last week (see here) the Parliament was represented by our Chair, Audrey Kitagawa, as part of the Parliament's mission to engage guiding institutions to achieve a more just, peaceful and sustainable world. Enjoy the Parliament's presentation in the video below.