The NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns-NY celebrates the 75th Anniversary of the Founding of the United Nations on October 24, 2020. The United Nations rose to heal and preserve a world full of devastation and destruction after World War II. With its light the UN Charter gave hope and resilience to all of humanity during the challenging period of re-building after the war. The momentum of every accomplishment since its inception, towards the peace, security and well-being of the world continues to propel us to leave no one behind as we work towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Unexpectedly, seventy-five years later, the world is facing another momentous crossroads as Covid 19 has torn through our planet, leaving in it’s wake, the death of hundreds of thousands and revealing deeply unattended issues such as racism, intolerance, inequality, climate change, poverty, hunger, and corruption. It has been a year of dramatic disruption, not only evidenced in the rise of the COVID 19, but also evidenced in the areas of geopolitics and world economy including family, communities, cities and nations.
Instead of trying to overlook the newly exposed challenges, we need to accept and address those challenges. We need to drink the deep waters of spirit and strength and infuse the same spirit of hope and resilience as at the time of the UN Founding. We need a moral conscience, which means that we are acting responsibly toward the people we serve, and that we are including the virtues of wholistic respect that the people of the world deserve. We must take a stand to build a sustainable and inclusive society.
While there are reasons for despair, there is a great potential for a wide range of opportunities to emerge, a new way of envisioning our common life together as one global community, with innovative ideas that enhance and accelerate human development. The pandemic has taught us the fragility of life and the fact that we are not separate from each other, and that only together can we face the many threats we face today as the human race. The Charter is in peril because we have not taken to heart the people-centered approach of including peace, justice, human rights and inclusive development in our processes.
It is a time of opportunity to re-evaluate our ways of relations, challenge old habits and focus on what is truly essential in life. We must take a pause and look into what is right. We are concerned with our goals, but COVID 19 has exposed already-existing disparities and we must close the gap by a people-centered approach and a commitment to morality.
Let us make the commitment to build back better and work for the welfare of “the people left behind” in order to uphold the vision and resolve reflected in the UN Charter. These times call for a spirit of Stewardship, of the environment, of people and of resources.