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Is the World United in Crisis

Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary General (UN photo by UN News)

Remi Erikson (photo - for education only)

Amina Mohammed 21-September 2020- at the opening on 75th UN General Assembly virtual session (UN-Photo by Rick Bajornas)

Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary General (UN photo by UN News)

Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary General (UN photo by UN News)

WebPublicaPress (United Nations) – New York - The COVID-19 pandemic is testing us all, saidUN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed delivered in a sobering speech at  G20 Interfaith Forum which brought together religious and faith-based leaders. addressing this issue, mid ongoing global pandemic – health, economic and social crisis.

“Our social fabric is being stretched as the threads begin to fray in every corner of the globe. Inequalities are growing.  Divisions are widening. Livelihoods are being lost in the millions. Climate change is not on pause.,”  she said in a timely discussion on sustainability of the UN and world’s effort to coup with the spectrum of problems – originated from the COVID-19 pandemic.

A more resilient World

Ms. Mohammed encouraged all the participants to utilize this Forum to leverage their strength in diversity. “You have joined together from many faiths to reaffirm our shared faith in humanity.In shaping hearts and minds, you are also shaping the better world we need,” she said: “A world that is more inclusive, resilient and sustainable for all.”

While witnessing, as she said – ever-rising assaults on cultural diversity, religious pluralism and human rights around the world, including the resurgence of anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim bigotry, hate speech, racism, xenophobia, and other forms of discrimination –  ”the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development charts a way for a response and recovery that can overcome these challenges.

Mohammad said the Agenda 2030 is “a blueprint for people and planet”, since it provides “a framing for a health response and tackles the socio-economic impact.”

Is 2030 Agenda enough

And she said UN came to realization – while putting forward 2030 Agenda and ensuring a global response to COVID-19 takes commitment and courage, suggesting – it is not enough for the post pandemic world.

Obviously, it takes more than plans or bureaucratic lists of the ideal set of circumstances. The world is not yet perfect, however, in order to fully respond to the wise and moral calls of smart people, of whom there are many in the UN  - we need to listen first to those smart voices. In particular, businesses find it difficult to fit into such a vision of a united world based on moral and thus – in fact pragmatic principles.

Remi Erikson (photo - for education only)

Remi Erikson (photo – for education only)

The recent UN study shows business and some other sectors lag behind proclaimed (UN) goals or announcements that they will adequately fit into the development agenda.  “The scale and pace of change, to date, to deliver SDGs has not been big enough or fast enough”, said Remi Erikson, who led the team that drafted the report, Uniting Business in the Decade of Action, which shows that just 39 per cent of companies surveyed believe they have targets that are sufficiently ambitious to meet the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, as reported by UN News in July 2020.

Mr. Erikson, who is the CEO of risk management company, and Global Compact participant, went to say “only 46% of businesses surveyed are embedding the SDGs in their core business,”  adding “less than a third of businesses believe their industry is moving fast enough to deliver the SDGs by 2030.”

“Incremental change by individual companies will not deliver the business contribution needed to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”, said Mr. Erikson. “Companies and the systems they are part of are moving broadly in the same direction, but not in a concerted effort. Achieving the needed change requires a ramping up of ambition among all companies, whether they operate within the energy, healthcare, food, finance, transport or other systems,” according to the UN News.

Unity in diversity is the key 

Recognizing the challenges Ms. Mohammed said  ”it takes understanding that in order to solve big challenges, we need to come together.  There is strength in diversity and we need solidarity now. ”

“All of you represent that understanding — and the values that are so deeply rooted in all faith,” UN Deputy Secretary said. And she pointed out to values such are:  inclusion and social justice are crucial in adopting the goal that no-one should be left behind.

“From my own faith of Islam, I draw strength from a Hadith by the Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon him) that speaks to our times, ” Mohammad said, mentioning the Hadith that includes a reflection of seeing believers “showing love among themselves and being kind, resembling one body, so that, if any part of the body is not well then the whole body shares the sleeplessness and fever with it.”

And she said the COVID-19 pandemic “has demonstrated our inter-connections and also our fragilities.”

But, as Deputy Secretary General Mohammed pointed “our world is like one body.  As long as one part is affected by this virus, we all are affected.”

Some lessons and experience 

Antonio Guterres  UN Secretary General (12 December 2016 photo by Erol Avdovic Webpublicapress)

Antonio Guterres UN Secretary General (12 December 2016 photo by Erol Avdovic Webpublicapress)

Among the organizers of the forum were G20 Interfaith Forum Association, the National Committee for Interfaith and Intercultural Dialogue of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the International Dialogue Center, and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.

Addressing the esteemed gathering, Mohammed thanked religious leaders for wholeheartedly supporting UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres ’initiative for a comprehensive ceasefire in all of the world’s war hotspots.

While UN Deputy Secretary General Mohammed didn’t talk about that explicitly – some of us are reminiscent of some UN successes and failures. In addition to timely appeals, the world does not seem to listen to the appeals of the UN’s first man, even in these heavy pandemic times. Not to mention the disrespect of the lessons learned from the past and some bad experience in which the UN did not cope well.

Unfortunately, different interests and political aspirations, including those for domination, continue to unscrupulously break this single body, observers say. One thing are precise words and the other are uncompleted deeds. One would agree though that in any case, such UN initiatives are welcomed.


(Prepared and commented by Erol Avdovic)

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