The goal of challenge #28:
- Join the inaugural presentation of the UN International Day of Conscience
- Supporting a wide selection of the Sustainable Development Goals; particularly SDGs 3, 4, 10 & 16.
- Listen to and actively use my conscience more often in decision-making to find better, more sustainable alternatives, rather than doing what I am used to always doing or what is considered the norm in our society today.
The part of your mind that tells you whether your actions are right or wrong
1.5 hour presentation - 2 weeks of thinking time!
Challenge #28 happened to coincide with the very first ‘International Day of Conscience’ (IDC) initiated by the United Nations (UN). As the UN leads the Sustainable Development Goal initiatives, the presentation on, and the concept of, the International Day of Conscience ties in with several of the SDGs.
Whilst the task of watching an hour and a half presentation was simple, I decided to take a while to collect my thoughts on the matter, and in this post I am going to share just a few snippets that particularly resonated with me.
You can watch the full presentation yourself on YouTube by clicking on the image here. I personally found the exaggerated praise towards the leadership of Bahrain questionable, but hey thats politics. As for Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, I have a great deal of interest in his work. I also found the sections by four of the speakers really thought provoking and inspiring so that is what I highlight in quote form below.
Introducing the International Day of Conscience
The text below was written by the organisers. As you can imagine, given the launch of this day took place in the throws of a pandemic, the topic of the COVID-19 virus was a key theme in the messages being portrayed.
‘The International Day of Conscience (IDC) is inspired by article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states, “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, are endowed with reason and conscience, and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” It aims to promote a culture of peace based on a set of values, attitudes and behaviors inspired by the principles of freedom, justice, democracy, human rights, tolerance, and solidarity.’
‘We are part of a human family, connected and bound by something far more powerful and significant than what divides us. This is the core foundation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the driving force of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).’
My Speaker Highlights
H.E. Maria Fernanda Espinosa
Former President UN General Assembly
Video recording minutes 6:44 – 13:40
‘We should acknowledge that we (all citizens of the world) are radically interdependent’
Video time-stamp 8:20
‘The IDC should remind us that each one of us has a role to play, that we all matter and that this crisis is an opportunity to fight indifference, selfishness and greed. It is a golden opportunity to build a new common-sense, a new social-contract that will work for all, leaving no one behind.
Video time-stamp 13:20
UN Messenger of Peace, Actor & Producer
Video recording minutes 39:13 – 44:43
(Comments regarding the fight again COVID-19)
‘It is a war that cannot be won by all the worlds armies, despite the nearly 2 trillion dollars spent on their weapons last year.’ … ‘we may be socially distance, but we are all feeling a common sense of vulnerability. Anyone tuned to the voice of conscience can recognise that what binds us together far exceeds any issues that should lead us to violence’
Video time-stamp 41:00
Dr. Alaa Murabit
SDG Advocate, UN High-Level Commissioner on Health, Employment & Economic Growth
Video recording minutes 45:18 – 49:00
‘How is this (COVID-19 crisis) going to impact us in the future, and what needs to change to make this (healthcare) system more accessible, tangible and supportive for all people, not only a select few.’
Video time-stamp 46:00
‘Healthcare is not resourced as war is, at all!’ …. ‘If we say we are about fundamental human-rights … what does our current healthcare system and economic model say about the value of human life.’
Video time-stamp 48:25
Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE
Founder – The Jane Goodall Institute, UN Messenger of Peace.
Video recording minutes 1:11:47 – 1:16:20 & 1:20:28 – 1:22:30
My personal recommendation, if you are to watch only one of the speakers, let it be Dame Jane Goodall. I could have written her whole speech as quotes, she is truly authentic and inspiring with her words 😍 … although I may have struggled with the chimpanzee talk 😄
‘During my 85 years on planet earth I have witnessed the horrific harm we have inflicted on the environment, and the terrible cruelty on each other…. I have seen how wealthy countries have raped poorer countries for their natural resources, often leading to corrupt leaders becoming wealthy whilst vast numbers of the population fall ever deeper into poverty & desperation.’
Video time-stamp 1:13:24
‘On this first International Day of Conscience let us realise that we are not the only sentient beings on the planet … animals too feel pain, joy, fear & grief.’
Video time-stamp 1:14:00
(Following COVID-19 and the confinements to our houses)
‘We should no longer take our freedom and health for granted and we should have more respect for the natural world. We shall then be better people, with more understanding, more compassion, more respectful of each other and the other animals we share the planet with’… ‘let (the first IDC) be a wake-up call so that every day of every year we try to find ways to address inequality and make ethical choices, in what we buy and eat and wear. We must allow that small voice of consciousness to sound louder and louder’
Video time-stamp 1:21:00
My take-away for the week…
We are all born with conscience, yet in todays Western society, we have been conditioned in ways that too often support greed and individual gain – at the detrimental cost of others and our plant. If each of us would listen more acutely to our inner conscience and hold ourselves more accountable for our actions the future would look a lot brighter.
If you are interested in finding out more about the SDGs and the work of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), I recommend taking a look at the below link and possibly signing up to their live webinar for Earth Day on the 22nd April.
Thanks for reading
Your Better Me Greener