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The adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, with its core set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are the UN’s blueprint for achieving a happier and healthier world by 2030. But how do we all manifest these goals in our own lives? The Be the Change Initiative provides an opportunity for all of us to better “walk the talk” when it comes to the SDGs. This initiative guides and encourages us to live more sustainable in work and at home by changing our consumption patterns, using active transport such as cycling, and buying local foods.

News & Analysis

In Memoriam Kofi Annan (1938-2018)

UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Kofi Annan:
"A voice for the voiceless." Protected "the most vulnerable."
FORMER UN SECRETARY-GENERAL 1997 to 2006.
 https://www.indepthnews.net/index.php/global-governance/kofi-annan

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UN Chief Pleads For 'Making Migration Work for All'

By António Guterres

Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ remarks at the launch of the report 'Making Migration Work for All', in New York on 11 January. – The Editor

UNITED NATIONS (IDN-INPS) – I am very pleased to be with all of you to present the report “Making Migration Work for All”. This serves as my principal input to the zero draft of the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration. The adoption of this compact stands as one of our most important collective priorities for 2018.

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Landmark Vatican Conference on Nuclear Disarmament Brings a Breeze of Expectation

By Ramesh Jaura

The following article is based on an interview with Hirotsugu Terasaki, the Director General of Peace and Global Issues of the lay Buddhist organization Soka Gakkai International (SGI), in Tokyo, Japan. SGI was the sole Buddhist organization that participated in the Vatican Conference on nuclear disarmament on November 10-11, 2017.

BERLIN | ROME (IDN) – There was an air of surprise when religious leaders and representatives of civil society, officials of State and international organizations, eminent academics, Nobel Laureates, and students, gathered in the Vatican City against the backdrop of an escalating face-off between the U.S. and North Korea.

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Message for President Daisaku Ikeda On His 90th Birthday

From Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury

Following is the text of the message Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, former Under-Secretary-General and High Representative of the United Nations and Founder of the Global Movement for the Culture of Peace, sent on the occasion of the 90h birthday of Daisaku Ikeda, peacebuilder, Buddhist philosopher, educator, author and poet, and President of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI), based in Tokyo.

NEW YORK - My life partner Mariam and I have immense pleasure and deep honor in sending to President Daisaku Ikeda our joyous felicitations and fondly respectful greetings on the occasion of his very auspicious and uniquely significant 90th birth anniversary on 2 January 2018.

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Sowing the Seeds of the Culture of Peace

By Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury

Following are extensive excerpts from the keynote address by Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, former Under-Secretary-General and High Representative of the United Nations at the Gala Culminating Event of the year-round Celebration of the 50th anniversary of the International House (IH) of the University of Sydney on 2 December 2017.*

SYDNEY - It is a distinct honor to be invited as the keynote speaker of the gala culminating event of the year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the International House of the prestigious University of Sydney. I am particularly delighted as this International House – and for that matter all I-Houses in other universities – is a place where students can learn to relate to other people from other parts of the world, respectfully debate differences in values and cultures, learn more about world issues, and really begin to become true global citizens. It is wonderful for me to stand in front of all these flags decorating the podium – looks like the mini-United Nations – there, of course, are 193 flags of countries.

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Promoting Sustainable Development in Southeast Asia

By Fumiyasu Akegawa

Fumiyasu Akegawa is founder and president of DEVNET Japan.

TOKYO (IDN) – Since DEVNET Japan participated in August 2015 in Expo 2015 hosted by the Italian city of Milan, the organization set up in March 2013 to promote Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly in Southeast Asia has made considerable strides.

It was one of the notable non-official participants of the universal exhibition. Then known as DEVNET Tokyo Foundation, we availed of Milan Expo 2015 to throw light on our agenda focused on promoting seven themes: poverty alleviation; food security; humanitarian support; environmental protection; advanced technology and energy saving; support of women entrepreneurs and improvement of women's status; and the establishment of sustainable developing society.

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From Arizona to Bangkok, Determined to Help Thailand

By Jutta Wolf

BERLIN | BANGKOK (IDN) - There is something exceptional about Dr. Thanawan Bhookphan who was born in Min Buri, one of the 50 districts of Bangkok, the capital city of Bangkok, and spent over 30 years in the United States.

He received Mechanical Engineering Degree from the University of Arizona, and Master’s Degree and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the Faculty of Industrial Engineering – and gained expertise in several fields of engineering and international business management.

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UNDP Supporting Eco-friendly Development in Laos

By Devinder Kumar

VIENTIANE (IDN) – Laos is a landlinked country bordering Myanmar, Cambodia, China, Thailand, and Vietnam. About 6.8 million people live in its 18 provinces, with most people – 68 percent – still living in rural areas. However, urbanisation is occurring at a rate of 4.9 percent each year. The country is largely mountainous, with the most fertile land found along the Mekong plains. The river flows from north to south, forming the border with Thailand for more than 60 percent of its length.

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Sri Lanka Clears Major Hurdle For China’s Silk Route Project

By Kalinga Seneviratne

COLOMBO (IDN) - The signing of a deal between the Sri Lankan government and a Chinese company, basically transferring the ownership on a 99-year lease of the strategically located Chinese-built Hambantota Port and 5,000 acres of land surrounding it for an industrial park in southern Sri Lanka has cleared a major hurdle for China’s ambitious Maritime Silk Route project while at the same time raising concerns about security and sovereignty issues.

The government-owned Sri Lankan Port Authority has signed a 1.1 billion dollar deal agreeing to sell a 70 percent stake in the Hambantota port to China’s state-run conglomerate China Merchants Port Holdings. The Cabinet approved the deal on July 25 and the government signed it at a ceremony opened to the media on July 29.

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Global Development Through China's New 'Silk Routes'

Analysis by Kalinga Seneviratne

BANGKOK (IDN) - When China hosted a two-day conference in May to help revive the ancient trade routes from Asia to Europe and Africa it was greeted with scepticism by most of the western media. But in much of Asia the mood was more of optimism and opportunity.

CNN reported that “some countries raised concerns over the project seen as boosting Beijing's global clout on trade and geopolitics” – a reoccurring theme in many of the western media reports. While pointing out that the U.S., Japan, India and most of the European leaders had boycotted the meeting BBC described it as a Chinese bid for global leadership. Australia’s ABC said that China wants its ‘new Silk Routes’ to dominate world trade.

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