Thursday 28th of May, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon received an honorary degree from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. The degree represented a way to acknowledge and recognise, not only the work of the secretary general, but of all the United Nations. The ceremony was significant as 2015 marked the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, while the first man to become President of the United Nations General Assembly, Paul-Henri Spaak, was from Belgium.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon then congratulated the country of Belgium and its political actors for the efforts, accomplishments and participation in terms of development. Indeed Belgium's dedication to development has been remarkable and recently promised more personnel to peacekeeping and political missions. Ban Ki Moon then took the opportunity to promote the campaign #Action2015. As he explained, the development enterprise has made great progress over the last 15 years, under the Millennium Development Goals (MDG's) project. But it is not over just yet, and unfortunately, poverty is not history for everyone, gender inequality still affect scores of women around the world and so on. 2015 is the year where the international community has taken it upon itself to take global actions in order to finish the job, with the hope, one day, to end poverty once and for all. The campaign wants to call for the involvement of as many people as possible around the world. Numbers of individuals have already answered this call by taking actions which contribute to development, sharing pictures and videos on social networks using the hashtag #Action2015.
The United Nations too, have taken up the challenge, and this year alone will see the organising of three major events, with the potential to shape development for ever. In July, all majors actors of development will meet in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in order to finalise agreements on financing framework to adopt in support of sustainable development.
Again, New York in September, probably the most important conference on development since 2000, the global community will set a sustainable development agenda. It is already highly anticipated that the SDG's (sustainable development goals) will replace the MDG's. As emphasised by the secretary general, the goal is to finish the job, build effective institutions, create stable societies and achieve the vision of lives of dignity for all.
Thirdly, in December, Paris will host the United Nations Climate Change Conference. Environmentally high profile, the event will mark 20 years of UN negotiations, and seek to achieve a successful transition to low-carbon. The implementation of measures such as legal binding on all GHG emitters is expected to be discussed.
While 2015 is set to be a very busy year in terms of challenges and development, we must also keep in mind that it is all happening during one of the most difficult time of human history. 50 millions people have been displaced and made refugees by the latest conflicts in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere, amplifying further issues of poverty, health, education and more. But it is hoped above all that these global actions will prove effective. As the Secretary-General stated, we are "the last generation that can stop climate change before it is too late and the first with a real chance to end poverty". #Society