A delegation of Soroptimists, including President-Elect, Sharon Fisher; Advocacy Director, Bev Bucur; SI Board Member, Dawn Marie Lemonds; Sue Riney, Advocacy Committee Member; Governor Rita Offret of Soroptimist International the Americas (SIA) Rocky Mountain Region and Soroptimists from SIA Northwestern, Rocky Mountain and Southern Regions, attended the 68th UN Civil Society Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA on 26-28 August 2019. The focus of the Conference was Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11, ‘to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable by 2030’, and explored the interlinkages between the 17 SDGs, including critical issues relating to gender.
Today 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas and that figure is expected to reach 68% by 2050. As the complexities of urban life grow, communities and local leaders are at the forefront of finding sustainable solutions to poverty and inadequate housing; hunger and health; clean water; energy; environmental degradation and climate change; infrastructure and transport; education; migration; violence, and gender equality. These and other challenges are interconnected with similar issues in rural areas and municipalities of all sizes, where activists and civil society organisations partner with governments and the private sector to ensure that communities are inclusive, equitable and sustainable.
The 17 SDGs are a blueprint for action, advocacy and partnership, and a compass to ensure that no one is left behind, including those who are poor and vulnerable. Women and young people are seizing opportunities to participate fully and prominently as leaders in these efforts, and there are numerous examples of local action contributing to achieving national frameworks and bringing about global impact. The SDGs were designed with direct participation from more than 10 million people globally over a three-year period and were launched in 2015, with the support of all 193 UN Member States. Civil society is key to promoting understanding of these ambitious Goals and achieving them by 2030.
Soroptimists present learned, networked and contributed to the discussion and outcome statement. Soroptimist International presented a workshop on the ‘Dream It Be It Program’ in collaboration with the SIA Rocky Mountain Region. Soroptimist also enjoyed the hospitality of Salt Lake City, enjoying local food and music, a premier ballet about the earth which included a reading by Robert Redford, a private concert by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and learned about their genealogy at the Family History Center. It was a conference we will not forget.”
Find out more about the 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference ‘Building Inclusive and Sustainable Cities and Communities’ HERE
A report from the Plenary Session by Dawn Marie Lemonds can be read HERE
A report from the breakout session focusing on the positive impact of the SIA Dream it Be it programme written by Sue Riney can be viewed HERE