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-Paul Ndukwe (Rev.) International Executive Director
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Link International Ministries
June 2019 Newsletter

During the 10th Annual Conference of the Geneva Institute for Leadership and Public Policy (GILPP), in collaboration with the United Nations Institute of Training and Research (UNITAR), delegates that included Politicians, Educators, Diplomats, Religious leaders, Community Developers, Public Policy and Decision Makers from over 40 nations met for 4 days from June 18 to 21, 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland, the topic discussed this year was National Transformation Through Poverty Alleviation, in order to dissect, diagnose, discuss and develop public policies that would stimulate the implementation the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The GILPP conference is a great platform for policy makers and legislators from all over the world to share knowledge and to network with other delegates working to alleviate poverty in their respective countries. As a professional committed to the fight against extreme poverty and to bring to fruition new ideas for economic growth and sustainable development, delegates gathered and were drilled by over 20 speakers that included Mr. Nikhil Seth, (UN Assistant Secretary General and the Executive Director of UNITAR), Mr. Alexander A. Mejia, (Director of the Division for People and Social Inclusion, UNITAR), Dr. Temo Waqanivalu, (Program Officer, World Health Organization (WHO) and myself. Through plenary, seminar and group discussion sessions, delegates were reminded that the world is changing so fast however, the presence of delegates from over 40 nations is a clear indication that "We can make a difference, nations would be transformed, and poverty would be alleviated."

United Nations High commission for Refugees (UNHCR) reported recently that wars and persecution have driven more people from their homes than at any time since UNHCR records began. Twenty-four people were forced to flee each minute in 2015, four times more than the decade earlier. FOOD SECURITY IS THREATENED. According to World Economic Forum, by 2050, the world must feed 9 billion people. Yet the demand for food will be 60% greater than it is today. We were reminded that we have 1.5 billion poorest today and 1.3 are in the rural areas.

The challenges enumerated in the above paragraph forces the delegates to create enabling Public Policy that focuses on rural people. Delegates were challenged to develop one million village visions, target the poorest, develop strategies that start with the poorest unengaged villages and develop goals that are achievable. Billions of dollars are not needed, just compassionate leaders. We were also challenged to develop private sector initiatives that include water and available food security, health for children, micro businesses, education for all boys and girls, implementation of local natural resources and collaborate with village leaders that are selfless and are transformed in their mindset and worldview. We need movement of grassroot communities, not programs. Dr. Temo Waqanivalu, amongst all he said, pointed out that the focus of World Health Organization is "not Poor Health Care but Primary Health Care".

Research studies indicate that in 10 years, the UN spends $100,000 per year per village with no transformation, but the presented million-village vision has spent $15,000 per year per village for 5 years with 120 villages engaged after 8 years.
"How Good Values Are Key to Transformation" was the topic I was asked to speak on this year. Delegates were presented with the thought that values are the fundamental beliefs of a person, organization or nation. They not only guide principles but they also dictate behavior. They are the central and primary rule/principle on which something is based. Principles are Universal and do NOT change. They direct our behavior.

Some positive values were highlighted. They included accountability, balance, compassion, excellence, education, freedom, good governance, health, integrity, love, respect, security and support. Some negative values presented included, anger, bitterness, condemnation, disinterest, greed, humiliation, jealousy, poverty, sadness and suspicion were also highlighted. Five behavioral types of expressing our values namely spiritual, moral, economical, political and social were mentioned. Each has positive and negative expressions.

Eight core values that are key to national transformation were articulated as follows:

1. A commitment to sustainability and to acting in an environmentally friendly way
2. A commitment to transparency, honesty and eradication of corruption
3. Commitment to building an environment where forgiveness thrives above hate and vengeance
4. A commitment to helping the less fortunate
5. A commitment to innovation and excellence
6. A commitment to building strong institutions (Educational and Health Care) with resources within the communities
7. A commitment to creating an environment of peace, respect for human rights and acceptance
8. A commitment to doing good for the whole regardless

The talk on values was concluded with the following questions:

  • Does your presence make a positive impact?
  • Do you contribute to the growth / development of the system?
  • Is there any unique contribution for which you are known?
  • Does your input inspire others in the group/community on the grass-root?
  • Are there any good attributes to learn from you?

The question WHY GENEVA? WHY NOW? Was answered

Delegates were once again reminded that four leaders came, collaborated and changed the then Western world. Speakers highlighted that Geneva was a place of common ground and peaceful interaction. It was a place dedicated to uniting nations in collaborating for the good of mankind. Geneva is a place that believes all men are created equal and will be treated as such. Every nation has a voice and a vote. Geneva is a place where shared experiences and practices provide real skill and knowledge to public servants. A place where each country sends their brightest and best to bring home good help and policies for their country. Delegates were challenged to adopt this model where four men with a common truth and a common goal launched a movement that changed their world. These men left legacies.

Delegates were challenged to go back to their nations and develop positive values such as integrity, good governance, primary health cares and quality education for all that would produce legacies that would speak after us. The Geneva model compelled delegates to create bilateral links in their areas of specialization and global platforms as networks for mutual cooperation.

Paul Ndukwe (Rev./Amb.)
(Executive Director)

(click photo for gallery)