FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 2016
Friday, April 15, 2016 – WFUNA partnered with the NYC Bar Association to co-host "An Evening with His Excellency United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon" on the evening of April 14th.
Welcome remarks were given by Ms. Debra Raskin, President of the NYC Bar Association and the Secretary-General was introduced by Mr. Michael Cooper, Chair of the United Nations Committee and Friends of WFUNA board member.
The theme of the evening was the United Nations' adoption of the landmark 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, supported by 17 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs represent a universal commitment to end poverty, achieve shared prosperity, build peace and secure a healthy planet for present and future generations. With the inclusion of Goal 16 – promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable institutions at all levels – the Agenda explicitly recognizes the inextricable link between peace, effective governance and sustainable development.
As his second term as Secretary-General of the United Nations comes to a close at the end of the year, Mr. Ban Ki-moon shared his thoughts on the role of the United Nations and the legal community in achieving Goal 16 over the next 15 years:
"World leaders recognized in Goal 16 that lasting progress demands the rule of law, access to justice and solid institutions. It requires legal frameworks that provide for equal access to land, property, financial services and other basic commodities."
He went on to call on lawyers and global citizens to hold thier governments and the UN accountable for "delivering on our promises for people, the planet and prosperity."
The Secretary-General also spoke of the important role WFUNA plays in the work of the United Nations:
"[WFUNA] connects the United Nations to the people – and now, more than ever before, engaged global citizens shape history."