10th Annual 2016 Spirit of the United Nations Award Ceremony
25 October 2016 – 1 pm to 3 pm
UN Church Center, 777 UN Plaza, NY, NY
Week of Spirituality 2016 – “SDG Success – The Spiritual Indicators”
“There are moments in history when our humanity fills us with hope and courage; when we discover our common spirituality and values, and build a shared vision of where the future must lead. We are at such a moment today – and we must seize it.”
– UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (9/24/15)
There is a growing recognition of the potency of coupling spirituality with the practical means of ensuring human beings’ basic needs. The NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns-NY (CSVGC-NY) affirms the creation of a culture in which spirituality and adherence to universal principles are recognized as key factors and essential components in the implementation and accomplishment of the Sustainable Development Goals, as a means to creating peace and well-being on our planet.
Spirituality is a common foundation of human oneness that supersedes the world of beliefs and practices, illuminating a path towards cohesive, unifying values and ethics. An essential foundation for life that resides in the heart, it has the potential to motivate all beings to work together harmoniously and dynamically to work towards this shared vision, right now.
In a new economic paradigm, spirituality serves as a force for change towards a world that is one community, interconnected and interdependent, with shared ethical and spiritual values that will create the transition to a sustainable way of life. The spiritual indicators of sustainability include social well-being and ecological integrity, and reflect the values underlying the individual and collective choices and behavior necessary to achieve sustainability.
Among those factors are sustainable lifestyles practices, modeled by many cultures who for centuries have passed down the knowledge, skills and values which support healthy consumption and production, placing value on people and the ecosystem, “leaving no one behind”. Other factors promote inclusive and peaceful societies, providing access to justice for all, resolving some of the factors that contribute to conflict and instability, which impede sustainability. Spirituality nurtures a spirit of resilience, strength and hope that leads to great optimism in the face of challenges and hardships.
CSVGC-NY urges that we find the “common spirituality and values” that Ban Ki-moon refers to, and in our international processes, build upon them a vision of the future that we are all proud of, a future that includes a healthy world for our children and generations to come. The Sustainable Development Goals are the means, but through our commitments and actions, we must show the way. Let us seize the moment together.