Board Meeting October 5th, 2018

President’s Statement – Board Meeting, October 5, 2018

The start of the fall season is a busy time, refreshing our contacts, striving to take new paths in our work, and expanding contacts.

For this past week alone let me share with you some of what I am referring to:

On Monday I called on the newly appointed Costa Rican Ambassador, Rodrigo Cardozo.  The highlight of the meeting was that he has agreed to serve on our board, this following the most compatible meeting of minds with his predecessor, Juan Carlos Mendoza Garcia.  As you are aware, Costa Rica is the only country in the world to run on 100% renewables for months at a time.

Yesterday 1st Vice President Harriet and I called on the newly arrived economics minister of Germany, Karin Goebel.  Following the footsteps of her predecessor I proposed a joint sponsorship for a program in the spring on plastics.

Then we proceeded to the Secretariat building to meet with the newest Acting Chief of the UN NGO Branch of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Marc Andre Dorel.  Our discussion centered on the continuing shrinkage of movement and access of NGOs in the UN building and at meetings. The other point of discussion was the system of major groups as as carry over from the 1992 Commission on Sustainable Development to the Millenium Development Goals to the High Level Political Forum.  I hope to have a meeting with all diplomatic representatives on the board to discuss the dissolution of the system of Major Groups to a much more open and democratic means of including NGOs in the work of the UN.

As we look towards a four year review of the High Level Political Forum at the 2019 General Assembly we are now at a point where there is global agreement on the road to dealing with Climate Change, Member states have adopted national measures to deal with their implementation of the agreement, and now we should be taking stock of how we can make this agreement more of a reality.  As I see the challenge it is that of reaching the individual in terms of each of us taking responsibility for the future of our planet.

May I quote the title of a recent article in the New York Times, “What kind of Planet Do
We Want?” “‘planetary boundaries” are being exceeded leading inevitably to collapse.  Only if humanity heeds the science, reverses course and lives within earth’s natural limits can disaster be avoided.”