Lukas Martini (20) is participating in the HOPE XXL Global Summit which takes place from 27 – 30 January at the University for Peace in Costa Rica. He’s writing about the dialogues taking place at the event. “Being with different people makes this conference very inspiring. The discussions provide new perspectives on the future.”
Below is Lukas’s blog on content of the first two conference days!
Day 1: Tuesday 27 January
“A list made by young people that includes the human rights doctrine newly formulated with a vision.” This was how one of the participants of the HOPE XXL Global Summit at the University for Peace in Costa Rica formulated his view on the Liemers List during the welcoming. Followed by the introduction to the conference, the HOPE XXL group members laid down the origin and idea behind the vision of the Liemers List.
It all started with brainstorm sessions 5 years ago, with the ultimate goal that one day everyone on earth can grade their life as good. This was implemented in the premises of the Liemers List. In order to assure that goal, the List was developed during four previous conferences. The creation is based on dialogue principles such as taking multiple perspectives into consideration and having a positive attitude to achieve goals.
The Global Summit is the last step in finalizing the List, before presenting it to the United Nations. Apart from the HOPE XXL members, the conference consists of students from the United World College Costa Rica and students from UPEACE. They can share new ideas and opinions about the Liemers List with the initial founders to complete and to achieve international support for it.
Moreover, in the afternoon, professor of Philosophy, Thomas Mertens form Nijmegen University addressed the issue that we have to give attention to the underlying principles of the Liemers List. He was pointing out that the United Nations is the best institution to present the Liemers list to, but one has to keep in mind that it does not have the same underlying principles. The Liemers List focuses on the “common good, duties and sustainability”, however he regards the United Nations principles as “Peace, self-determination and Human Rights”. Although they seem similar, Human Rights are often seen as rights that can be claimed by a single person to ensure their individual self-determination. In comparison, the Liemers List stresses duties and the aim towards a functioning and happy community, so a collective self-determination.
The first day was ended with the young ministers of Costa Rica, who joined us for dinner. At tables with small groups we learned about the different departments the politicians are appointed to and discussed global issues such as the effects of climate change and the young people’s vision of solving the problem.
Day 2: Wednesday 28 January
The second conference day of the HOPE XXL Global Summit started with a lecture about the Millennium Development Goals that will end this year. These consist of 8 international development goals that all UN member states agreed on to achieve within 15 years. Although progress has been made, many goals were not achieved in full. In order to find a succeeding agreement to handle the outstanding issues, the Sustainable Development Goals will be adopted by the UN in 2015.
At the same time, the Global Liemers List is being finalized in 2015, with the clear aim that everyone on earth can grade their life as “good”. During this year of change at the United Nations, Yama Akbari from HOPE XXL will present the Liemers List to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum 2015. He hopes that with the help of the UN, young people’s vision on the future formulated in the Liemers List will be implemented on a global level.
Thomas Pogge from Yale University was invited to give a lecture at the conference. One of the main critique points about the Millennium Development Goals he expressed is that the countries were not assigned concrete tasks and responsibilities they have to pursue. Therefore all the countries work for themselves to achieve the goals, but some do not have the means to reach the objectives on their own. In addition, he criticises that measurement methods were changed throughout the time, but still measuring the same goal.
Afterwards, the first interactive sessions of the day were held. During these meetings the parts about economic sustainability and environmental sustainability of the Liemers List were discussed and if necessary, adjusted. For example, the group reviewing the economic sustainability section was exchanging in article 44 the “after-tax Gini coefficient” for the Palma ration, because this is a more accurate measurement method.
Following, the participants of the United World College were giving a presentation about educating children in a globalized world to be a global citizen. In their opinion it is necessary to prepare the future generations to live in an interconnected world and solving global issues on a global level. Then the NGO “TECHO” from South America was presenting their work. Their aim is to eradicate poverty by building for people in slums homes and promoting community development in poor areas. Furthermore they try to raise awareness of the difficult conditions many people are living in, promote social action and try to impact policy making in South American countries in favour of the people in need. After this they encouraged us to start something that you believe can make the world a better place.
Directly after, Neha, the winner of the International Children’s Peace Prize 2014 gave a speech via Skype. She explained the work of her foundation “Empower Orphans” and how she started off her fundraising campaign by raising money door-to-door. She will also be present at the ECOSOC Youth Forum 2015 and points out how important it is to ensure that she and HOPE XXL will get commitment at the conference to be successful.
After the conversation, the second conference day of the Global Summit ended with the interactive session on the premises and the session on social sustainability, which were taking place at the same time in different rooms. During the meeting on the latter, intensive discussions about several articles were taking place. The last meeting of an interactive day!