InterAction Forum is the annual meeting of international development and humanitarian professionals. This year over 1,000 attendees representing NGOs, governments, the philanthropic community, corporations, and civil society are attending. Besides this, few world leaders are also part of the forum including former president of USA, Bill Clinton; Mary Robinson the former president of Ireland; ET Joyce Banda, former president of the Republic of Malawi, and Kristalina Georgieva, the chief executive officer of the World Bank. This year, the theme of the forum is “United We Stand”, which clearly depicts the prevailing concerns of civil society in the context of current administration’s policies towards the environment, foreign funding and worldwide development.
The forum began with the very strong message from Bill Clinton based on the Clinton Foundation work in the rehabilitation of Aceh province, Sumatra, Indonesia after the devastating Tsunami of 2004. Clinton reiterated that the world is currently facing numerous challenges which are not limited to 800 million people live in extreme poverty, over 65 million has been forced to leave their homes, 11 million Syrian refugees, and one-third of the world’s population don’t have proper sanitation. Moreover, the pace of climate change is increasing and spreading over unequal opportunities worldwide based on gender. His message for future sustainable development and the prosperous world was very much resonating with the Global Goals.
He further stated that to better leave off generations you need to focus on building the local and international capacity of the population by promoting human rights based assistance by empowering people without any discrimination to their race, religion, and color. Technological and social media development has increased our interdependence, therefore, we share the future whether we like it or not but we have to maximize the benefit over the shared disadvantages. We have to protect the endangered species due to the rapid proceeding climate change ever before and destruction of natural resources.
Worldwide nations are much more focused on the planet earth sustainability and he was of the view that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Global Goals have the impressive positive impact on the sustainable development; where MDGs had derived the nations from striving for common goals. Its results are very encouraging, where youth has more opportunities, and it has promoted the economic opportunities to the marginalized communities in the developing world. We exceeded in the few targets and made encouraging progress on others. In short, the aggregate results of MDGs is worth appreciating and positive. Subsequently, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have offered all the nations and regions an opportunity to work collectively towards meeting these goals by 2030. It is a fact that we all are passing through this world and we have to secure its future by doing some good work to hand over sustainable living to the next generations.
Clinton strongly endorsed diversity and stated that “it is helping us”. Further, he stated that we have to encourage positive forces and ignore the negative. It is proved fact historically that immigrants in the US have low crime rate than the home-grown population; new immigrants generations are likely to start a business twice than the long run residents; the murder rate of Muslims is less than one-third of the general population and diverse groups make better decisions than the homogeneous groups. On social inclusion, he endorsed to broaden the circle of opportunities, by sharing responsibilities, feeling the common sense of humanity, respecting and embracing our diverse identities.
Besides Clinton strong political legacy and role in international stability, Clinton Foundation initiative is a great effort towards the sustainable world. It contributes to the global health, the opportunity for marginalized groups, creating economic opportunity and growth, scaling up antiviral treatment of HIV/AIDS in the world and helping communities to address the effects of climate change. His message at the InterAction forum depicts his unwavering support to the worldwide civil society’s efforts for the sustainable world. His message is very explicit and strong in the context of current administrative policies of the United State that irrespective of our political, ideological, and cultural differences, we have become ever interdependent, facing rapidly changing the climate and socio-economic challenges. Therefore, we have to embrace collectively the world’s challenges because we share the future.