The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said that prosperity, dignity and a healthy planet can best be achieved through the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as world’s blueprint.
Guterres made this known in a statement Tuesday issued by Mr Oluseyi Soremekun, National Information Officer, UN Information Centre (UNIC), Lagos.
According to the statement, Guterres spoke through Mr Ronald Kayanja, UNIC in Nigeria, in his message to the first Covenant International Model United Nations (CIMUN) Conference.
Soremekun said the conference was organised by Covenant University Ota, in collaboration with UNIC Nigeria with the theme, “Restructuring the future through innovative ideas”.
He quoted Guterres as saying: “Our world today enjoys remarkable opportunities to advance common progress.
“The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are our blueprint for dignity, prosperity and a healthy planet.
“Despite the remarkable opportunities, we the people also face many complex challenges: Armed conflicts have deepened, global anxieties about nuclear weapons are the highest since the Cold War.
“Climate change is moving faster than we are, inequality and nationalism are on the rise, while trust and solidarity are on the decline.
“These problems and challenges are increasingly global and increasingly grave.
“We need less hatred, more dialogue and deeper international cooperation, multilateralism is more important than ever, empowering the world’s young people is also an imperative.”
He explained that the achievement of Agenda 2030 and the SDGs required innovative ideas, adding that there is no better time to discuss the theme: “Restructuring the Future Through Innovative Ideas’’ than now.
He said that in Model United Nations (MUN) conferences, delegates were the ambassadors of their assigned countries to the UN.
“Let your presentations reflect the reality of the countries you are representing,” he said.
Prof. Aaron Atayero, Vice-Chancellor, Covenant University, said: “It is only by innovative ideas that we can restructure, own and control the future.”
Atayero acknowledged that the UN has either redefined humanity or changed the world through sustained programmes, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, environmental development programmes and erstwhile Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
He listed other programmes to include the current SDGs and several other innovative programmes and initiatives.
Atayero said that the trickle-down idea of simulated UN System through Model United Nations (MUN) which brings the vision, philosophy, goals and workings of the UN to the micro levels, should solidify the UN’s reach and consolidate its gains.
“Aside preparing the youths for leadership in future, it also inculcates in them the enduring traditions, disposition and skills of conflict management, peace-building and a new world order in the context of peace and stability.
“It is in light of this, that I commend and congratulate the United Nations and particularly appreciate the United Nations Information Centre in Nigeria for the cooperation, guidance and support,” Atayero said.
Soremokun said that the conference was attended by more 300 delegates from eight countries and 12 institutions at the opening of plenary held on January 16. (NAN)