Success of GLC 2011
Update from Global Leaders Congress 2011
From 11-14th September 2011, Rights and Humanity held a fantastic and successful Global Leaders Congress in Liverpool, UK.
In the current context of global food crises, water scarcity, climate injustice, wars, violence and health emergencies, a group of international and local leaders came together to share ideas for solutions to global problems over 4 days. With international participants and speakers from South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Germany, China and UK, the group came together for an incredible few days of talks, workshops and working groups to discuss and collaborate on global solutions to global problems.
The event was an amazing success with inspiring talks, engaging working group discussions and excellent workshops demonstrating best practice. Perhaps the most significant aspect of the Global Leaders Congress was the willingness of the participants and speakers to then commit to action.
The Congress began with a public commemoration event of 9/11 in Liverpool Cathedral considering the themes of lament, reconciliation and hope since the tragic terror attacks in New York, 2001. As global and local leaders, we realised the need to move forwards in peace, towards a sustainable reconciliation between people rather than a destructive violent response to events. The moving event gave people a sense of togetherness and hope for a peaceful future.
As the substantive part of the Congress began, participants and speakers joined together to develop new thinking and innovative practice. Our keynote speakers gave outstanding speeches; the Hon Justice Albie Sachs told his moving story of losing an arm and sight in one eye whilst working towards reconciliation during the time of apartheid in South Africa. He consequently reflected on reconciliation with his continued work with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; Felix Finkbeiner, aged only 13 and founder of Plant-for-the-Planet spoke boldly about climate change and the role of children as ambassadors of climate justice to start planting trees. His message was clear and impactful: Stop talking, Start planting.
The need for a new paradigm was raised as speakers called for a paradigm of justice and sustainability to replace the ‘old paradigm’ of inequality, injustice and environmental degradation. Some of the speakers in this panel included Dr David Wasdell, director of the Apollo-Gaia project, who spoke about the current environmental crisis, whilst Ms Shireen Said, Policy Advisor in Human Rights at UNDP, spoke about human rights being limited within the confines of the legal fraternity which is not necessarily equipped to manage reconciliation - and the potential to expand its base of solution providers. Further discussions were centred around human rights approaches to health; Professor Wilkinson, co-author of ‘The Spirit Level’ spoke about the negative effects and influence of unequal societies on the longevity of life.
The Congress then turned to partnerships for progress and strategies for action, looking at reform of economic, political and social structures and strategies for action. The Hon. Charity Kaluki Ngilu –Minister of Water and Irrigation, Kenya spoke about the need for political will to be mobilised for access to clean water for all. This was followed by a theme of raising consciousness – looking at equality levels and leading into an open conversation to ‘live simply that others might simply live’, strengthening good governance, transparency and accountability. One of our speakers talked about how new technology could be harnessed for global action before working groups broke out to consider the draft Call for Action and next steps.
Lastly, came the call for a commitment to action. Participants were asked to commit to doing something to contribute to building the new paradigm. These commitments were written down and put into self-addressed envelopes. The commitments made by participants will be sent back to them six weeks after the Congress date to remind them to act.
The final Call to Action and Recommendations will soon be made available.
For a full list of speakers, please see here.
Follow-up Meeting 9th December 2011
A follow-up meeting is currently being organised on 9th December 2011 for participants to discuss progress made and encourage new developments in our call to global concerted action: 10am-5pm, Royal Liver building, Liverpool, UK.
- build on the synergy created at the Global Leaders Congress
- review progress and build a deeper commitment to action
- pilot a virtual system of communication
- and create a pathway for building a global movement of likeminded individuals wishing to join us in developing and implementing the new paradigm.
Please contact us for more information on 0151 236 2426.