World Bank

During the COP22 negotiations, a global video competition, Film4Climate, gathered cinema lovers to discuss the effects of climate change on people’s lives all over the world and granted awards to directors and students who spread the message about the need to protect the environment.

Film4Climate jury and winners
Film4Climate jury and winners

How to use the big screen to spread a global message about climate change and its effects? In 2016, during the preparations for the COP22 in Marrakesh, the World Bank launched a film competition for Young directions. The result was Film4Climate, a side event of the COP which received over 860 subscriptions from 155 countries.

Before the award ceremony, the event offered a special screening of “Before the Flood”, a film presented and produced by Leonardo di Caprio, and “Years of living dangerously”, with Gisele Bundchen and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Both movies were pungent and provoked passionate discussions among the participating panelists. Personalities and intellectuals including Brazilian film-maker Fernando Meirelles, actor Christopher Lambert, and Columbia professor Jeffrey Sacks defended the role of cinema as a tool for change for the better. “We need to get actors, media, youth and audiences together around this battle. People who can reach, inspire and educate, so we will be able to promote change now”, said professor Sacks.

“Before the Flood”, a didactic and yet emotional film, portrayed Leonardo di Caprio’s personal story and his early connection with “The garden of Earthly Delights”, a triptych painted by the Dutch Hieronymus Bosch that shows three stages of the world: “paradise” as created by God, earth being dominated by greed and pleasures, and “final damnation”, depicting destruction and chaos. “I had the painting hanged over my bed. That is maybe the reason I became fascinated by species disappearing”, says Leonardo. In the movie, he travels the world showing the social and environmental effects of climate change, in an effort to take people to action – the core message of COP22. Leonardo interviews personalities like Pope Francis, Barack Obama and Ban ki Moon to show that spiritual and political leaders are engaged in the cause.

In “Years of Living Dangerously”, Gisele Bundchen shows the extent of deforestation in Brazil and its intrinsic connections with cattle farming, while Arnold Schwarzenegger discusses the American military efforts to develop clean energy facilities on a global scale, and the challenges they have to face with the Congress. The message of the movie was clear: we, as citizens, can make the world a better place, either through our vote and citizenship, or by other simple actions like changing our consuming habits.

The screenings were followed by panel discussions with invited speakers, notably Hakima El Haite, Delegate Minister of Environment in Morocco and High Level Champion of UNFCCC. “Today, we are facing the most challenging crisis for humanity, and we are asking people to change everything: the way they consume, produce and build. That’s why we need to touch the hearts of people, so we create a revolution of the brain”, she said, stressing that media and cinema are “keys” for this revolution.

The Short Film prize went to “Three Seconds”, from Spencer Sharp, a clip-like video narrated on hip hop rhythms about the effects of human presence on Earth. “We need public policies to change the world. But politicians are elected by people, and we can engage voters with emotions, with our films”, said director Fernando Meirelles, a member of the jury.

Film4Climate is a global campaign of Connect4Climate and World Bank which aims to develop a concrete plan to raise awareness about climate change through cinema, while mitigating the environmental impact of film. The winning entries were awarded cash prizes of USD$8,000, $5,000, and $2,000 for first, second and third, in each of two categories: an under one-minute Public Service Advertisement (PSA) or a Short Film up to five minutes.

Written by Vívian Soares

The motto of the World Humanitarian Summit, which took place on May 23rd and 24th was #Share Humanity. More than 9,000 participants from 173 States, including 55 Heads of State and Government were gathered in Istanbul, Turkey, to debate about the Humanitarian challenge in times of natural disasters, conflicts and refugee crisis.

World Humanitarian Summit opening ceremony
World Humanitarian Summit opening ceremony

“Standing up for humanity: committing to action” was the call for all stakeholders present at the World Humanitatian Summit, promoting the idea that non-profit organizations, civil society, public and private sectors should be united for the defense of human rights. “The Summit has brought to the forefront of global attention the scale of the changes required if we are to address the magnitude of the challenges before us”, stated the Chair’s Summary of the event. The document highlighted the desperate situation of more than 130 million people – affected by conflicts, poverty and climate change, and are amongst the most vulnerable populations in the world.

Global leaders are aware of the importance of the political will to prevent and end conflicts. Nevertheless, their actions can only be effective with the support of all social stakeholders and the use of diverse tools – preventive diplomacy, sustainable development, commitment to climate change policies and building of more inclusive and respectful societies. The leaders present at the Summit pledged to increase their investments and teams dedicated to conflict prevention and also to engage and empower youth, communities and women over the process.

Global leaders gathered during the World Humanitarian Summit
Global leaders gathered during the World Humanitarian Summit

Legal Framework

In order to safeguard humanity and to enhance the protection of civilians in armed conflict regions, heads of State and humanitarian leaders stressed the importance of creating and developing a legal framework. During the summit, global leaders announced commitments to enhance compliance with international humanitarian and human rights law by ratifying international treaties, adopting local legislation, improving monitoring and reporting of violations. Participants also pledged to promote protection of universities, schools and journalists in armed conflict regions by setting guidelines and plans of action. Since many hospital and medical facilities have been attacked in many of these regions, leaders also discussed how to raise awareness and build trust for health care teams.

Leave no one behind

The international community has demonstrated a commitment to promote sustainable development for all, including the 60 million people displaced and victims of crisis who deserve global attention, life, dignity and opportunities to thrive! The leadership of the many countries that welcomed refugees was praised and global leaders agreed on sharing responsibilities to address the current crisis. Governments and private organizations will enhance education and living conditions of displaced people, as well as tailor-made financial services.

The humanitarian action should also be backed by women inclusion and empowerment and promotion of gender equality worldwide – the lack of female leaders and decision makers is a global challenge that helps to increase inequality. New financial support programs were announced during the Summit, as well as commitments on sexual and reproductive health care.

Launching of Education Cannot Wait
Launching of Education Cannot Wait

Education can’t wait

A Fund for education in emergencies, Education Can’t Wait, was launched at the Summit, in order to support quality education to all children in crisis situations by 2030. “Education Cannot Wait galvanized an initial commitment of $90 million from donors and the private sector, with greater commitments expected in the lead up to the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly. The Global Business Coalition for Education announced its intentions to mobilize $100 million for this Fund in financial and in-kind contributions”, says the Chair Summary.

Change people’s lives

By engaging all social stakeholders, the Summit is sending a message that humanitarian emergencies can’t be viewed as isolated from sustainable development efforts. With the conjoint work of all actors, including the direct affected populations, better solutions and outcomes will be reached. “People affected by crises need to not only be informed and consulted, but put at the centre of the decision-making processes”, states the Summary.

Overview of World Humanitarian Summit
Overview of World Humanitarian Summit

Alliances

• The Summit launched the Regional Organisations Humanitarian Action Network, in order to strengthen collaboration amongst regional organisations.

• A Global Preparedness Partnership was launched by Finance Ministers of the most 20 vulnerable countries, with the support of the UN and World Bank, setting a goal to reach a minimum level of readiness to future shocks by 2020.

• The Global Alliance for Urban Crisis was launched to develop precarious urban settings, in partnership with local municipal communities and governments, while the Global Alliance for Humanitarian Innovation intends to improve humanitarian action through innovative processes, approached and tools.

• The private sector must be also involved! The Connecting Business Initiative brings together 11 national private sector networks. Some industries like satellite and mobile launched plans to increase connectivity for affected populations.

Invest in Humanity

It’s a capitalist world – and the role of financing is key for sustainable development. Over 130 million worldwide need to have access not only to humanitarian assistance but to rebuild their lives. There was broad support from Member States to increase the Central Emergency Response Fund to $1 billion. This included a 25% increase by one country, a pledge to provide $149 million over 5 years, as well as an initiative to use risk financing to establish an innovative financing mechanism linked to risk insurance”, states the Summary.

In an effort to generate more data and solutions to promote economic resilience in fragile states, the World Bank and the European Investment Bank also announced the Global Financing Response Platform.

Closing ceremony with Ban Ki Moon
Closing ceremony with Ban Ki Moon

Way forward

The World Humanitarian Summit is a start, a call to action. By uniting voices and creating momentum, it starts a global conversation that should never stop – countries must honor their agreements and keep collaborating to share better times to come. The individual and joint commitments will be published in a Commitment to Action platform, which will be publicly accessible. Based on this document, next steps and recommendations will follow up. Horyou blog will follow all its steps, not only as a witness, but as an actor. By promoting communities empowerment, economic inclusion and network opportunity, we also #ShareHumanity.

Written by Vívian Soares

World Government Summit in Dubai
World Government Summit in Dubai

From the 8th to the 10th of February, leaders from Government, industry and social enterprise gathered together in the gulf of Dubai. It was an interesting setting from more than one aspect.

The city was not so long ago a baron desert, it has literally been built from dreams of what could be and is now home to hundreds of industries and some of the most spectacular feats of engineering and architecture on the planet. One couldn’t think of a more suitable backdrop, considering the agenda of what was to be discussed at the World Government Summit.

It began with a very matter-of-fact address from CEO of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab who, referring to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, stated that “the future is here” and that it is time to mobilize and capture the opportunity that it brings.

The Forth Industrial Revolution covers a multitude of different paradigms, but the narrative of this event was one based firmly on Horyou values: sustainable business.

We have been part of a world up to now that has revolved around the principles of a money making market system whereby lives are sustained on the basis of trade, whether you are trading beans as a farmer in remote Africa or multi-millions in a global hedge fund.

Schwab
Klaus Schwab, Director of World Economic Forum addressing the audience

Since the global financial crisis of 2008, principles have changed, from global industry down to citizen level.

We are now slowly adapting a more conscious way of living across the board. We are conscious of our impact on the environment, conscious that our patterns of consumption are keeping laborers working like machines and conscious that the payoffs that we deem important are driving policy decisions that feed inequality.

The need to address this balance of cause and effect regarding capitalism was highlighted. Former Prime Minister of France Dominique De Villepin stated that “We need to remember that business exists to enhance society, not create a division among have and have nots”. Alluded to his time in Government where he created a network in France to connect businesses with students and policy makers, he made his position clear on the importance of people connecting for social good.

This was echoed by World Bank president Jim Yong Kim who affirmed that “we all have a stake and the creativity and innovation of youth are our greatest strength.”

cathy
Cathy Kalvin, President of the UN Foundation

Then came a passionate speech by President and CEO of the UN Foundation Cathy Kalvin. The UN Foundation and Horyou are aligned on development goals and how to get there. They also share a special connection after spending two days contributing to discussions at Earth to Paris in December. Cathy made a plea for us to harness the potential of a purpose driven society serving the citizens of tomorrow. “We must place a special emphasis on youth. Moving from poverty to prosperity depends on us realizing what they have to offer,” she declared.

It was a stage where we realised the negative impact of our past behaviours, but also a place where real opportunities were highlighted.

Overall, the ethos and real need for Horyou as a platform for social good was reinforced. The success of the Sustainable Development Goals is multifaceted but connecting good hearts and minds is the starting point.

Written by Dearbhla Gavin

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