UNDP Lebanon hold meet up to support the Social Good Summit 2016Sep 21, 2016
The Social Good Summit is an annual event where activists, university students, journalists, NGO representatives & bloggers meet up to discuss big ideas and find solutions for a sustainable world. Just like last year, the 2016 Social Good Summit focused on the work that needs to be done to achieve the 17 Sustainable Goals in the next 15 years. This meeting is an international initiative where more than 60 meetings are taking place in different cities around the world.
UNDP Lebanon participated in the global conversation through organizing a meet up group where more than 200 participants met in Teatro Verdun, on September 19, 2016. We started the event by displaying the hip hop song about the 17 goals, and showing the back drop, roll up banners, props and flag of SDGs.
Mr. Luca Renda, UNDP Country Director in Lebanon Kicked off the event praising the role of the Social Good Summit in addressing humanitarian issues stating that “very few are the events that describe how the world works nowadays”. Mr. Renda informed the participants that “This year marks the first anniversary of the adaptation of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals SDGs by the leaders of 193 countries and which should be achieved by 2030”. He continued that those goals include ending extreme poverty, taking action against climate change & increased hunger, fighting inequality, corruption & injustice not to mention promoting peaceful societies”.
Mr. Ziad Abdel Samad, Director of Arab NGO Network for Development stressed on the importance of achieving the goals to secure our societies, pointing out that the obstacles that are preventing us from achieving the goals are either personal or related to the structure of the existing world order. He then called on the activists in the civil society to work hard on the achievements of the SDGs and participate in all related dialogues praising on their ability to influence their surroundings. Ziad continued as the event moderator.
Karima El Korri from Escwa, explained that the SDGs were implemented so “No one is left behind”. She stated that those goals focus on the dignity of the human being and how we shall not wait for peace and settlement to achieve them. El Korri was very positive on the effectiveness of the SDGs, pointing out that the partnership between the countries on the realization of the goals by 2030 is enough to predict the victory, for peaceful cooperation is the key to all successes.
“A letter for peace”, is how Liliane Andraos, Senior Journalist at Radio Liban, began her speech. She emphasized on the fact that without peace, how can we achieve the sustainable goals? She also added: “People are brainwashed by drugs, crimes, corruption… why don’t we brainwash them with peace?” Backed by scientific evidence, Andraos stated that the human brain can receive more positive vibes than negatives and called out the media in particular to promote the good in the world, not focusing on what can disturb our peace”.
From an ex-fighter to a promoter of peace, Ziad Saab from “Fighters For Peace “NGO moved the audience by his testimony on how “Violence is not the answer!” He also emphasized on how important is introducing a culture of peace to the Lebanese society so the next generation can avoid wars and conflicts at all costs. “Weapons lead to nothing but corruption. "It is 2016, and things got even much worse than 1975".
Mr. Arkan El Seblani, Chief Technical Advisor on Anti-Corruptionand Integrity at UNDP Arab States, heated up the atmosphere with a light presentation on what is “accountability”, how well does the state and society in Lebanon adhere to its principles and practices? He said that “Politicians do not see the light, they feel the heat” and _ we should create laws concerning elections. He added “why do we have to complain about a politician or minister every time and we are the ones electing them?”
Ms. Manar Zaiter, Lawyer for Women Lebanese Democratic Gathering Discrimination NGO, with a determined and staid tone, addressed the attendees on the violence and discrimination women are facing till this very day, stating that violence towards women impedes the achieving of the goals. Zaiter also emphasized on the necessity to improve Lebanese laws and adopt new policies in order to empower women, eliminate discrimination and alleviate social challenges against them and consider their unresolved issues from passing their nationality to their children, marital abuse and many more…
A small video named “Hiya” Arabic هيّا aka “Her” was broadcasted after Manar’s words, showcasing the misery, suppressions and sufferings controlling the lives of the women in refugee camps every single day.
Patricia Khoder, Senior journalist at L'Orient-Le Jour, Nadine Mazloum, Newsroom Nomad blogger and Farah Al-Saati, Senior Social Media Trainer at Think Media Labs wrapped up the Social Good Summit by discussing Individual and collective rights: how media makes it or breaks it, advising people not to post misleading news on personal social media platforms to avoid harmful consequences.