UNDP host Social Good Summit in Beirut 2015Oct 1, 2015
Social Good Summit 2015 held for the past four years is the place where global leaders, NGO representatives, journalists, bloggers, activists, representatives of political parties and a large number of youngsters, meet to discuss big ideas and find solutions for our greatest challenges.
This year, in New York, seventeen "Sustainable Development Goals" (SDG) were adopted by the leaders of 193 countries and which should be achieved by 2030. These Sustainability Goals (SDGs) are replacing the eight millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted by the General Assembly of the UN in 2000 and which consisted in reducing extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promote gender equality / women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat diseases, ensure sustainable human environment and establish a partnership for development.
UNDP Lebanon participated in the global conversation through organizing a meet up group where 120 participants from different cultural and educational background met in Metro al Madina in Hamra, on 29 September 2015.
The topics were chosen based on what are the most related goals to Lebanon among the new 17 goals. The first topic addressed Accountability and Inclusiveness with the focus on Transparency and access to Information, the second topic focused Sustainable Environment and Solid Waste Management, with the last topic highlighting Networking and Lobbying in Social Media outlets within that the representation of Syrians and Palestinians in use media coverage.
UNDP Country Director Luca Renda welcomed the participants and explained the aim of this discussion and highlighted the transition from “MDGs” to “SDGs”. "The importance of these goals is that they have been selected by the base, citizens, to be adopted by the leaders. As the millennium goals, they were adopted unanimously in the General Assembly of the UN. Different countries must therefore make every effort to achieve them. The approach and priorities certainly change depending on the situation of these countries, particularly with regard to poverty, the environment or peace, "he notes. Finally, he thanked the attendees and encouraged the listeners to work together on erasing all signs of apathy and demand change.
The event moderator Mr. Ziad Abdel Samad, Executive Director, Arab NGO for Development, gave a briefing on the achievements of the “MDGs” and what are the new goals of “SDGs” that for the first included governance, transparency etc… Afterwards a short movie on the better world by 2030 post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) that showed what has been achieved from the MDGs and what are the new SDGs.
The first topic was presented by Dr. Hassan Krayem, Governance Program Manager at UNDP, talked about Governance, the standards of good governance, and the characteristics of bad governance. He then talked about the Lebanese governmental situation during the past years and what is needed to be done to have good governance as he said “the problem in the Lebanese system is mainly due to the non-application of the laws, so it’s primary a political problem.”
A discussion was held later on where the participants believed the problem is in the Lebanese system and the solution needed to improve the political life.
An environmental video on World Environment Day started the second topic on Sustainable Environment and Solid Waste Management, Environmental Awareness and Role of local authorities. Maitre Pierre Issa, Head of Arc en Ciel, presented the experience of the organization in the field of dangerous waste such as hospital wastes and in solid waste management. He also gave his point of view on the way the Lebanese Government, social and economic activist must tackle the recent waste issue on both the short and long term to reduce the cost of waste management and insure a better environmental future in Lebanon. He said "Lebanese do not know the real value of their environment, especially in light of the desert that surrounds us, but they are now starting to follow environmental rules, which is visible now with the start of a large number of people adhere to the principle sorting from the source."
Regarding the waste management plan, participants expressed their views on the importance of having a modern waste sorting and recycling plan.
The third topic discussed by Khodor Salameh, Social Media activist, highlighted Networking and Lobbying in Social Media outlets and Layers of development in networking (Individual, groups and political coordination among society groups). He presented statistics and studies on the relation between the Lebanese and the internet, mainly social media platforms, the positives and negatives of social media interaction. He later talked about the situation of the Civil Activity in Lebanon, its strength and weakness and how it should work on lobbying.
A short movie done by Maharat in collaboration with UNDP was then broadcasted showing the representation of Syrians and Palestinians in use media coverage study, followed by a brief presentation from Mr. Tony Mikhael, media expert at Maharat on how media is currently dealing with the Syrian and Palestinian refugees and how it should improve its coverage.
At the end, UNDP asked the question “What world do you want to live in by 2030?” and placed a “BlackBox” where participants took “pictures” holding messages (props) showcasing the relevant goals in the new SDGs and what world we need by 2030.