Helen Clark spoke about ‘Human Progress in a Diverse World’ last night in Sydney for The University of Sydney.
Most people will know Helen from her service as Prime Minister of New Zealand across three successive terms 1999-2008. She is now appointed as the Administrator for the United Nations Development Programme since 2009, and so has a close if not intimate role in managing the United Nations Millennium Development Goals which are due to be achieved in 2015.
Her talk was excellent. She spoke about the challenges of the past and the future, and importantly this in the context of leading a large institution that is dependant on the participation of a wide variety of stakeholders in an environment with many competing interests.
She was able to describe how Syria and sustainability are both buzz-words, but important to address within the same framework. Not a choice of either/or.
Towards the end of her talk, she turned her attention to the post-2015 agenda, the post-Millennium Development Goals agenda, and called for a transformative approach relying upon paradigm shift in how policy, ideas and innovation can be shared successfully.
It is this post-2015 agenda that the 10 City Bridge Run is seeking to contribute towards.
There are five key points framing how the United Nations will tackle this post-2015 agenda. The first of these is ‘Leave Nobody Behind’.
What this means is that for all of the progress made in lifting half of the world’s population out of extreme poverty, there will still be the other half still caught in the unenviable and almost inescapable plight of extreme poverty. This must be understood in more ways than simply trying to eat food purchased on less than $2 per day. Actually, their lot is incomprehensible to our reality. More than 6.4 million children under the age of five dying every year. It is just wrong. And so we must help if we are able.
Helping does not necessarily mean throwing more money at the problem, or finding a charity to whom to donate. Those might be good thing, and I am not suggesting that they should be stopped. But on their own, they do not solve the problems of extreme poverty.
To ensure no one is left behind, it will need all of us to work together to find the best ideas and then how to implement them. This is what the 10 City Bridge Run seeks to do. I have been leading this initiative, and not everything has been perfect, in fact far from it. But it has been a learning experience.
We are taking that learning and ReLaunching on 24 October at The Lansdowne Hotel in Sydney. I hope you can join us. Adam Spencer has kindly agreed to help us kick this off by emceeing for the night. More information here.
Collaboration can produce powerful results. Please get involved and help us build a better bridge for the future so that no one is left behind.