A WLCU delegation headed by WP Alejandro Kuri Pheres, participated at the 65th
DPI/NGO Conference at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. The
Conference, titled “2015 And Beyond – Action Agenda” started on August 27th and
Lasted for three days. Over four thousand people and seven hundred NGO’s
registered to the conference. The Workshops and Roundtables evolved around the
Millennium Development Goals of the UN (MDG’s), mainly “Poverty Eradication”,
“Sustainable Development”, “Human Rights” and “Climate Change”.
In addition to WP Kuri, the WLCU delegation included the Chief Executive of the DPI-Ecosoc
Committee, former WP Anise Garabet, judge George Khouri from Canada, Bearta
Al-Chakar Powell from North Carolina, John Couri Hanna from California, DPI
representatives Sid Chidiak and Antoinette Atie and ECOSOC representatives Mara
Hanna and Dr Rabih Nemr.
Opening session started by a welcoming word from Maher Nasser, Head of the DPI,
Jeffrey Huffines, the conference Chair and Bradford Billet, acting Commissioner
for New York City’s Mayor office for International Affairs.
H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General, addressed the United Nations remarks:
“I depend on NGOs to push world leaders along the right path. You understand that
sovereignty carries responsibility. You know that political power is a sacred duty. And you
have grassroots influence that can make history.” He said that the UN is now poised to make
“monumental decisions for our world,” noting that the MDGs have achieved unprecedented success,
lifting more families out of poverty, putting more children in school and preventing more disease
than any campaign ever.
Ms. Suzana Malcora, the UN Chef de Cabinet to the Executive Office
of the Secretary General, told the gathering that the conference is both crucial and timely as it
comes while Member States are negotiating the post-2015 development agenda. They were
followed by Dr Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of the UN Population Fund,
H.E. Mr. John Ashe, President of the General Assembly and the keynote Speaker
H.E Ms. Samantha Power, the permanent representative of The United States of America to the UN.
The WLCU message
Mr. Garabet addressed the conference reflecting the constituency’s concerns: “We
represent the World Lebanese Cultural Union, our constituencies are active in
over 300 entities throughout 34 countries. We believe that when dealing with the MDG’s
we cannot turn our back to the ever growing Syrian refugees crisis which has profoundly
impacted the receiving countries and specifically produced devastating consequences in the
neighboring Lebanon. The declaration needs to address some innovative and urgent solutions,
calling on Civil Society to continue promoting democracy while enriching the culture of peace.”
The WLCU message was greatly applauded by the participants and met a very positive reaction
from the conference Declaration panel.
The closing ceremony included reading and adoption of the conference Declaration.
The Declaration asserted justice and peace as it touched upon the refugees issue,
the same way the WLCU framed it :
” We declare that our vision for the post-2015 Development Agenda is that of
an equitable, inclusive, and sustainable world where every person is safe, resilient,
lives well, and enjoys their human rights, and where political and economic systems
deliver well-being for all people within the limits of our planet’s resources.
Consequently, it is a world where all human rights are realized, inequalities
have been properly addressed and thus, poverty has been eradicated;
natural resources and the environment are treasured and safeguarded; where
there is social justice, and where peace, safety and human security are a reality
for all including refugees and people displaced by human induced and natural disasters.