Nigeria’s Owolabi Isaiah who doubles as the Project Director and Cofounder, HACEY Health Initiative on Wednesday shared the same stage with the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres and five others at the #UN75 Dialogue speaking extensively on their ambitious visions for a future where international cooperation is prioritized and everyone’s voice is heard.
The United Nations-anniversary dialogue is held under the theme “The Future We Want, The UN We Need: Reaffirming Our Collective Commitment To Multilateralism”. The series of dialogues aim to a global partnership to realise the UN’s shared aspirations for a just, peaceful and sustainable future.
During his session, Isaiah identified technology as a major obstacle which needs to be tackled in order to achieve Gender equality and also eradicate poverty across the globe.
“And if we also look at climate change, it’s something that the world should be very, very concerned about because it has the capacity to negatively impact generations across different sectors, and it has also the capacity to cause chaos beyond what we can imagine”, he added.
“So even when we are making the biggest of plans and we are deploying the biggest of technology tools, we should be very wary of the threats posed by climate change.”
In line with this, he charged governance actors across the globe to focus efforts on accelerating impact of interventions aimed at ending inequality as it has the power to amplify violence, increase poverty, and jeopardize the ability of billions of people from living to their full potential.
Owolabi who was among the panellists for the #UN75 Dialogue with the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres was joined by five other panellists, Natalia Herbst (Argentina), Cristina Petcu (Romania), Jahan Rifai (Jordan), Amit Joshi (Nepal) and Eleonore Pauwels (Belgium) at the ECOSOC Chamber, UN headquarters in New York.
The Obama Foundation Scholar and a consultant on corporate sustainability, research and development initiatives spoke on issues such as the climate crisis, poverty and inequality, protracted conflict, migration and displacement, and the rapid changes in demography and technology.
According to him, ”these are all issues that are dear to us at HACEY Health Initiative and as Nigerians. These are all topics that require effective cooperation across borders, sectors and generations to collect diverse perspectives and creative ideas on what is needed to address emerging risks and opportunities. Aside the dialogue, we also hope to adopt solutions to all of these issues which are threatening to stifle the growth of humanity.”
As the Project Director and Co-founder of HACEY Health Initiative, Owolabi has leveraged a multisectoral, multi-pronged, and inter-generational approach to significantly improve the life outcomes of women and girls. He has also acquired experience designing, planning, implementing, monitoring, evaluating and reporting programs funded by the US government, the Australian government, Bill and Melinda Gates Institute and other donors focused on improving HIV/AIDS, maternal health, sexual and reproductive health and economic empowerment programs in Africa.
Also on the panel was Natalia Herbst, a scholar at Columbia University Natalia and served as the Director for Community Organizations at the National Youth Institute of Argentina said the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) already provide a roadmap for a more just future, but only if everyone gets on board.
“The ongoing resistance from many power holders to adhere to a very basic fact-based consensus which is relevant to climate change and to reproductive rights is becoming very challenging to fulfil the SDG agenda by 2030, which would be a very promising step towards a better 2045”, she disclosed.