By August 16, 2017 Read More →

Intergenerational Dialogues

Tuesday, August 1, 2107   UNHQ, NY

The United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) Intergenerational Dialogues event was held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, 1 August, 2017. The event entitled “Intergenerational Dialogues on the Sustainable Development Goals” was co-hosted by DPI and NGO/DPI Executive Committee.

This one day event was designed to raise awareness on the inter-generational dependency in implementing the SDG’s. Youth and the old are an asset and are valuable to making the commitment of UN “leave no one behind” a reality. Both groups are at risk and hence this was an opportunity to listen to the voices of the young and the elderly, and actively participate. A BK delegation of three, BK Juan Miller, BK Kinnari Murthy, and BK Sabita Geer, participated in a number of the dialogues, targeting various SDGs:

BK Delegation Intergenerational

Open Plenary for Inter-generational Dialogue on SDG’s

The opening plenary was chaired by many dignitaries; each one emphasizing the wisdom the aging generation and the zeal the younger generation hold. They all agree that its important that both the generations have to work together for social development. It’s a crucial to have inter generational dialogue and build bridges which empowers relationships. Ms. Jayatham Wickramanayake, Youth Envoy for the Secretary General, shared that it’s important to move the elderly from social exclusion to integration and participation. She went on to say that this will foster solidarity between generations and promote social inclusion creating a society of all ages. Generations do not operate as binary, that is younger generation vs older, as two exclusive groups.  I realized that it’s key to integrate programs in social development and work force where the ageing population will work with the younger population and foster success.

Ms. Binalakshmi Nepram, Founder, Manipur Women Gun Survivor Network, touched everyone with her stories of courage in achieving justice due to gender-based violence.

Aug 1, 2017

 

Dialogue 1 Breaking the Intergenerational Cycle of Poverty

This dialogue included conversations from various SDG’s – no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality and peace & justice. We are aware that those who spend their youth in poverty are more likely to spend their older years in poverty as well, transcending the cycle into the next generation. Organizing these kinds of dialogues, where sharing of positive experiences and listening to the challenges youth and older persons openly take place, allows for exploration of ways to break the cycle. In this dialogue, the role of individuals, families, communities, government and other institutions was discussed. The dialogue was moderated by Christopher Dekki. Patricia Talisse one of the speakers shared that it’s important to make people the center of attention. She emphasized on sharing of material resources. Former NAACP President Cornell Brooks said that the gap is widening between the old and the young, and to break this he suggested – participation, protection and empowerment. H.E. Hahn Choong-He, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations, said that we can be the first generation in ending poverty and last ones who can save our planet. Walking out of the dialogue we felt that harmonious relationship between the young and old will be a big step in tackling poverty.

Dialogue 1

Dialogue 2: Gender Equality: Opening the door to full inclusion

A healthy and vibrant discussion took place around two main areas of interest: importance and necessity of including women in conversations that concern women, and understanding and embracing those with LGBTQ issues. It was noted that parents model how boys and girls see life and this can pose more confusion in the minds of young people. Open and honest conversation is vital in resolving this.

Dialogue 4: Sharing Responsibility for the Planet  

On this broad dialogue several SDG’s were discussed such as climate action, life below water, responsible consumption, renewable energy and partnerships.  There were different pledges, ideas, and observations from small like not using plastic bottles at the UN rather utilizing cups or doing little things in our communities and big ones like using wasteful materials to produce clean energy. It was clear that people in the room share the common idea that individuals and single actions can create social movements and partnerships that can help implement the SDG’s and make sustainability more appealing. The comment that I loved the most was a quote from a delegate who shared that we are not saving the planet but rather renewing it.

Dialogue 5: Intergenerational Innovation

A few strong innovative tools surfaced which hopefully take root in the activities of those present. It was mentioned that the ‘power of touch’ can work wonders on healing relationships and bringing people closer. Capacity building through education is a bedrock to taking people beyond the poverty line, even though challenges of learning language are still present. Cultural innovation – working with culture and religious institutions – play a main role in fostering the ‘young/old’ gap.

All in all, it’s about people coming together to create. Not young or old, just people coming together. This is the greatest innovation!!

Closing of the Intergenerational Dialogues on the SDG’s

During the closing plenary session, acknowledgements were made about the impact of the dialogues on building partnerships and commitments towards the implementation of the SDG’s. Among the different people that took the stage the one that struck everyone was a monologue-poem that emphasized on hope and the value of cooperation between generations. During the final part delegates were invited to share in the plenary their personal commitments for the success of SDG’s. BK Juan shared his personal committed by continuing to work on the direct link between the consciousness and peace as a viable way to enhance actions towards a sustainable future. Click here to watch

Juan Miller sharing his commitment

Comments are closed.