the day before day 0 at CSD-18

I know, bit of  a strange title, but yesterday was my day of being the tourist in New York, before today’s (day 0) of preparatory meetings and tomorrow’s start (day 1) of the 18th session of the UN’s Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-18). So, together with my brother and Katinka (Dutch Baha’i), we explored the southern part of Manhatttan, took the free ferry to Staten Island to take photos of the Statute of Liberty on the way, and went to the Guggenheim museum (I liked the building but was disappointed by the exhibitions). Weary feet in the evening and a brain tired from jetlag meant that my plan to do some background reading was delayed to early Sunday morning (i.e. now!).

Hoping to do the same as last year and writing this blog every day, using it as a way to reflect on yesterday’s events. It is fab to be here again, not so much New York (can’t say I’m a big fan of it), but mainly the working together with friends (Baha’is and others) to support a concept I passionately believe in. I’m very excited by the statement released by the Baha’i International Community (BIC) during CSD-18 to support the discussion on Sustainable Consumption & Production. The BIC’s statement  is called “Rethinking Prosperity: Forging Alternatives to a Culture of Consumerism” and I will reflect on it more later. Let me just give you its opening paragraph:

Against the backdrop of climate change, environmental degradation, and the crippling extremes of wealth and poverty, the transformation from a culture of unfettered consumerism to a culture of sustainability has gained momentum in large part through the efforts of civil society organizations and governmental agencies worldwide. Beyond informed policies and ‘greener technologies’ it is a transformation that will require an earnest examination of our understanding of human nature and of the cultural frameworks driving institutions of government, business, education, and media around the world. Questions of what is natural and just will need to be critically re-examined. The issue of sustainable consumption and production, under consideration by this Commission, will need to be considered in the broader context of an ailing social order—one characterized by competition, violence, conflict and insecurity—of which it is a part.

And this first paragraph is followed by 7 more pages of insights and reflections…much food for thought and sharing.


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