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On March 21, an international forum was held at the United Nations-mandated University for Peace (UPEACE) in San José, Costa Rica, to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the launch of the Earth Charter. The Earth Charter is an ethical framework for building a just, sustainable and peaceful global society in the twenty-first century.
The forum was co-organized by Earth Charter International and UPEACE in collaboration with UNESCO, UNEP and UNDP and brought together some 70 people including individuals from the Earth Charter network, and representatives of governments and the public sector. SGI was represented by Hiro Sakurai of the SGI UN Liaison Office in New York.
The forum was titled “Finding Synergies, Building Bridges: Reorienting Education towards Sustainable Development, Sustainable Consumption and Global Citizenship.” At the morning session, speakers from the UN agencies introduced educational initiatives which have been promoted and developed in recent years. In sessions which followed, participants also discussed how to synergize those initiatives in light of the ongoing process of creating the Sustainable Development Goals.
related article Buddhism in Action: Promoting Ecological Sustainability by Joan Anderson Joan Anderson describes how Buddhism inspires those SGI members who are engaged in environmental activism across the world. In one of the sessions, Mr. Sakurai spoke on strengthening partnerships across the global education initiatives and shared SGI’s efforts to facilitate collaboration across issues. Examples of such efforts are an interdisciplinary roundtable on education and learning held at the Rio+20 sustainable development conference and an interactive workshop on education for global citizenship at the annual conference for NGOs associated with the UN Department of Public Information.
Mr. Sakurai particularly highlighted the need for partnership in going forward with the Post-2015 Development Agenda to be adopted in September and emphasized dialogue and cooperation as keys to success. He concluded his remarks by highlighting the Earth Charter and those who have been engaged in its work as a beautiful model for successful dialogue and cooperation.
Adapted from an article in the April 2, 2015, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan, and a report from the SGI UN Liaison Office in New York, USA; photo courtesy of Douglas F. Williamson, Earth Charter International.
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