Five years ago, in 2015, the governments of the United Nations agreed on a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that we would need to attain by 2030 to make life better and more sustainable for future generations. Our governments had come to accept that we were rapidly overpopulating the planet, depleting our natural resources and destroying our environment. These goals cover the full range of socio-economic and environmental factors that our governments agreed were essential for our peace, wellbeing and prosperity. They called these goals our 2030 Agenda.
Since then, a wave of populist nationalism has swept much of the globe. Support for the multilateral approach, which has kept most of the world at peace since World War II, is in decline. Foreign aid, which governments agreed in 2015 would need to be boosted in order to help developing countries attain their SDGs, is down. And global hunger, exacerbated increasingly by climate shocks, is up, causing mounting numbers of desperate people to leave their homes where eking out a living is no longer sustainable.
Migration is not one of the Sustainable Development Goals. It is largely an outcome of inadequate progress towards attaining these goals. Orderly migration is essential to maintaining our economic wellbeing. Disorderly migration is not. Uncontrolled migration continues to end tragically for many refugees and those seeking a better life. In destination countries in Europe and the United States, it has become an emotive election issue. The UN’s Global Compact on Refugees and Migration that was designed to bring order to the chaos does not have universal support.
Speaker: Trevor Page
Trevor Page worked for the United Nations for 31 years. Most of his work was with the World Food Programme in Africa and Asia, but he was also seconded to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, the Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO, and the UN‘s Department of Special Political Questions, Regional Cooperation, Decolonization and Trusteeship. He has served as Head of Mission in major countries, including China and India, and at the headquarters of the World Food Programme in Rome, Italy, as the Director of emergency humanitarian relief, worldwide.
Some of Mr. Page’s most challenging assignments were as the chief troubleshooter for the UN’s relief operations during the Great Sahelian Drought; in the Sudan, at the height of the civil war in the south; as the first head of the UN in Eritrea at the end of its 30-year civil war with Ethiopia; in Uganda and Congo for the Rwanda crisis; and opening and managing the WFP office in North Korea when devastating floods on top of a collapsed economy caused the DPRK to appeal to the outside world for help.
Date: Thursday, January 16, 2020 Time: Doors open 11:30 am, presentation 12 noon, buffet lunch 12:30 pm, Q&A 1 – 1:30 pm Location: Royal Canadian Legion (please enter at north door) 324 Mayor Magrath Dr. S. Lethbridge Cost: $14 buffet lunch with dessert/coffee/tea/juice or $2 coffee/tea/juice. RSVP not required