Six representatives of the Sri Swami Madhavananda World Peace Council (SSMWPC) and Yoga in Daily Life (YIDL) attended the United Nations General Assembly’s Summit 'Building Sustainable Peace for All: Synergies between the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustaining Peace' in the UN headquarters in New York City, on January 24, 2017.
During the high-level event, it was stressed repeatedly that there can be no sustainable peace without sustainable development, and vice versa. Challenges to both include: conflicts, poverty, shortage of resources, and government institutions with other priorities.
The program emphasized the need to integrate the provision of basic services through humanitarian and development activities with other goals—protecting human rights, building effective and accountable institutions, empowering women and youth, and protecting natural resources. The need to prevent conflicts before they start by addressing root causes, was a common theme.
The importance of the summit was demonstrated by the participation of the highest officials of the UN: the Secretary General and presidents of the General Assembly, Security Council, and Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
“We need a global response that addresses the root causes of conflict, and integrates peace, sustainable development and human rights in a holistic way – from conception to execution,” UN Secretary General His Excellency António Guterres told the assembly. "Investing in sustaining peace means investing in basic services, bringing humanitarian and development agencies together, building more effective and accountable institutions, protecting human rights, promoting social cohesion and diversity, ensuring the meaningful participation of women and girls in all areas of society, and moving to sustainable energy."
The representatives of SSMWPC and YIDL travelled from Slovenia, Washington DC and New York, and attended workshops on subjects such as: empowering women, girls and youth; managing natural resources; and strengthening institutions – all necessary to achieving both peace and sustainable development.
In response to the event, SSMWPC founder Vishwaguru Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda noted that the Yoga in Daily Life International Fellowship and Sri Swami Madhavananda World Peace Council, as international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC*, will continue to actively support the UN Sustainable Development Goals, through their humanitarian activities and peace summits.
These humanitarian activities include: providing education, health care, animal protection and tree planting in numerous countries around the world; and all of these plus rainwater harvesting and emergency services in rural India. The SSMWPC also convenes high-level events worldwide that bring together spiritual and cultural leaders to discuss and promote best practices for achieving peace.
* ECOSOC is the United Nations Economic and Social Council.