Brief Summation of the 2019 UN Global Engagement Summit

By: Arayael Eloha Brandner

The 2019 Global Engagement Summit at The United Nations was a remarkable touchstone going into the new year. The SDGs that were brought forth in 2012, by the world body, were touched upon and made a prominent reason as to why we were revisiting the sustainable development goals and empowering attendees to continue in their work towards making our world a better place.

The Secretary General, Mr. Antonio Gueterres, from Portugal, addressed a congregation of summit attendees in the UN general assembly hall informing us of the top priorities that they are focusing on. The Sustainable Development Goals will remain a center point for the UN; however, there has been an acknowledgment of the importance in regards to the indigenous culture preservation and encouraging us to listen to our indigenous communities in regards to climate change. Climate action needs to be made a top priority for each nation because we are in crisis and the leaders of the world are recognizing this irreversible reality we have found ourselves in the 21st century.

Attendees from all over the world were gathered at the summit from Africa to the Middle East, to Australia, to the Americas, ranging in ages from middle school to senior citizens.  Breakout sessions were held on empowering young women #LeaveNoGirlBehind, climate action, conflict resolution in Yemen, nuclear proliferation, and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals locally. One of the impactful takeaways came from the session on empowering women and that this is the time to place a global focus on educating and advocating for gender equality. It is the recognition of the feminine and how important the presence women hold is throughout the various cultures and religions. The other main point I found insightful was the one on climate action. Timothy Weiskel, Research Director of the Cambridge Climate Research Associates, boldly stated on the panel that climate change is happening, there is no going back! We are in desperate need for solutions – “Our planet will be here, but will we?” We know that sea levels are rising and the need for sustainable agriculture to sustain food sources is needed around the world.

As a member of the Academy for Future Science, I acknowledge the responsibilities that each of us are charged with in fulfilling, through love and service to humanity, the higher Plan of Creation, here on Earth. My passion, my calling, is to advocate, educate, and empower the youth of the world, inspiring them to plant seeds of hope and vision for a positive and sustainable future, because this summit charged us to bring forth peace on Earth and to implement the sustainable development goals throughout our communities.