29 Jan Solving the World’s Problems
Solving the World’s Problems
If you were asked, “What are the most pressing problems that the world faces?” what would be your response? Then this question: “How would you recommend solving those problems?”
Those are exactly the questions that are before the diplomats of the Economic and Social Division of the United Nations. Hundreds of diplomats from the 193 UN member state countries have been engaged in a dialogue to create what are known as the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs.
As you might imagine, it is a very contentious and passionate debate with many factions and advocacy groups recognizing that, for the next 15 years, a lot of money – as well as international attention and focus – will be directed to the issues that are identified in the SDGs. So what should take priority: clean water? adequate food and nutrition? universal education? child mortality? maternal mortality? stopping HIV/AIDs?
We can tell you that a significant part of the dialogue and debate is being directed – or shall we say “hijacked” – toward pushing for SRHR. That’s sexual and reproductive health and rights – code phrase for abortion, LGBT rights, and other sexual-related agendas.
United Families International has had representatives there through much of the process to prevent these radical ideologies from seeping into the SDGs. We are also there to intercede for the family and to encourage diplomats to not underestimate nor neglect the role of the family or parents in achieving important world goals.
- How will the child mortality rate go down without parents and families focused on improving the well-being of their child?
- How will universal education be accomplished without the facilitating actions of parents and families?
- Can high rates of maternal mortality be reduced or HIV/AIDS be eradicated without the day-to-day involvement, support and contributions of family?
These are the types of questions we at United Families continue to bring to the forefront as this process moves toward completion. The final document will be presented to the heads of state in September 2015. It will include four parts: (1) a declaration, (2) the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with their targets and indicators, (3) the means of implementation (MOI), which includes a new Global Partnership for Development and (4) a framework for follow-up and review of implementation.
We are happy to report that early last week we were thrilled to hear a diplomat from the country of Belarus, Valentin Rybakov, speak on behalf of 17 countries as he delivered a message from the “Friends of the Family” group to the diplomats preparing the SDGs. It is so inspiring and invigorating to know that we are not alone in this effort; there are those in the UN system who value Family. The message was so beautiful and powerful that we wanted to share it with you. Enjoy!
President, United Families International
Belarus, Deputy Foreign Minister, speaking on behalf of the group of “Friends of the Family.”
(January 19, 2015)
Distinguished co-chairs, I have the honor to make this statement on the need for mainstreaming the family across the United Nations post 2015 development agenda on behalf of Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Turkmenistan, Yemen, Zimbabwe, and also on behalf of my own country, Belarus.
We reaffirm that the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the state.
We believe that genuine and sustainable development may not be achieved without the family.
We stress the importance of development and support of national family-oriented policies, programmes and initiatives that harness the unique strengths and contributions of the family to common good of societies.
We are convinced that the human rights of women and men, children and older persons, and persons with disabilities could be best promoted and protected within the family environment.
We are also convinced that the family, as the fundamental unit of society, and the natural environment for the growth and well-being of all its members, and particularly children, should be afforded the necessary protection.
We call for systematic mainstreaming of the family across the post-2015 development agenda. The importance of the family in the post-2015 development agenda was clearly expressed by many delegations.
We believe that the documents and the decisions of the SDG Summit of 2015, that will define key elements of the new development framework, should include, as a matter of priority, promotion of the family as a contributor and beneficiary of the development process.
By highlighting this important linkage of the family and sustainable development in the documents and decisions of the SDG Summit of 2015, we can gain an invaluable tool to ensure the strengthening and proliferation of the family-friendly and family -supportive environment, both at the national level and globally.
Therefore, we urge member states to join us in efforts to ensure the inclusion of the family and family-oriented policies, as an important element of the post-2015 development agenda.
I was also just informed that the Sultanate of Oman also joins this statement.