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Fourth CoNGO Global Thematic Webinar on Peace, Human Security and Sustainability for People and the Planet

7 September 2023 @ 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM UTC-5


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Register here for online participation.

The webinar will be conducted in English, Spanish, French and Arabic.


  1. The Civil Society Summit on Substantive Issues, “Shaping the Future: The UN We Need for the World We Want,”  by CoNGO on 8 October 2021, highlighted global justice among all humanity’s significant global critical concerns. The Summit brought together over 1,000 participants worldwide to contribute experience and competencies, share doubts about our current world, and collectively articulate aspirations and proposals we must achieve for the world we want. The Civil Society Summit was rich in outlining concepts and actions needed to shape the future.


  1. As a direct outcome, the CoNGO General Assembly resolved to use the outcome of the Summit—the Synthesis Report—as a substantive basis for CoNGO’s programmatic direction, especially highlighting it in 2023, CoNGO’s 75th  anniversary year. The assembly agreed to convene a series of six high-level global thematic webinars throughout 2023 to highlight and engage a global constituency on the critical themes articulated at the Summit and to elaborate on the agenda, responses, and actions necessary to implement the anniversary theme: “defining the present, shaping the future, and making the change now.”


  1. The first webinar (March 2, 2023) focused on social justice, particularly migration, racial, and health justice. The second webinar (June 5, 2023) focused on pursuing global justice and solidarity, particularly realizing Agenda 2030, sustainable development and humanitarian action. The third iteration of the webinar series (August 31, 2023) will focus on gender justice, youth and intra- and intergenerational justice and solidarity for future generations. This fourth webinar will focus on peace, human security and the threats to the security and sustainability of people and the planet. Other webinars will focus on UN-NGO relations in revitalizing multilateralism and addressing the erosion and shrinking of civil spaces for democratic discourse.


  1. This fourth webinar will continue what previous webinars explored—engaging CoNGO’s constituency into a deeper dive into the UN Secretary-General António Guterres’s  “Our Common Agenda,” including the proposed convening in 2024 of a Summit of the Future, which is projected to offer what is being called  the “Pact for the Future.” The webinar will also examine the UN SG’s Policy Brief on A New Agenda for Peace. The policy brief included recommendations “to achieve more “effective multilateral action for peace and security, based on international law, for a world in transition.” The policy brief also outlines “an extensive and ambitious set of recommendations that recognize the inter-linked nature of many of the challenges we face. A New Agenda for Peace is framed around the core principles of trust, solidarity, and universality that are the foundations of the Charter and of a stable world. It presents twelve concrete sets of proposals for action in five priority areas.”


  1. The CoNGO Civil Society Summit of October 2021 made the following recommendations that have only gained importance in the interval. “Peace is the basis of all, be it the inner peace of the person, her outer peace with her surroundings, peace among nations, and peace with our environment – our surroundings such as plants, animals, climate. If peace is missing, progress on all the other SDGs is immediately lost…No country, item, or other Goal is as fundamental, as paramount, as peace…All SDGs are interwoven: we must start with peace.” World Academy of Art and Science understands that a growing sense of insecurity pervades the lives of people around the world. Peace is an essential precondition for human security, but it is no longer a sufficient standard for governing international relations. People everywhere aspire for security at the personal level and the national security that addresses the needs and aspirations of every individual. The concept of Human Security affirmed by the UN General Assembly Resolution includes food, health, economic, political, ecological, community and individual. It is a people-centered approach that unites all 17 SDGs and the cross-cutting theme that links the peace, security, health and well-being of humanity with the stability and health of the planet.


  1. The Webinar on September 7 will take place some ten days before the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development under the auspices of the UN General Assembly (also known as the SDG Summit). The Webinar discussions will address the Political Declaration to be adopted by the Summit and contribute to any final emphases. The following are relevant considerations. Paragraph 20 of the draft Political Declaration states, “Sustainable development cannot be realized without peace and security, and peace and security will be at risk without sustainable development. We reaffirm the need to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies that provide equal access to justice and that are based on respect for human rights (including the right to development), on effective rule of law and good governance at all levels and on transparent, effective and accountable institutions.” Paragraph 26 of the draft Political Declaration states, “In many parts of the world, armed conflicts and instability have persisted or intensified, causing untold human suffering and undermining the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals. Our efforts to prevent and resolve conflicts and foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies have often been fragmented, insufficient, and hindered in the current global context.”


9:00 AM Anniversary Greetings by CoNGO 75th-Anniversary Honorary Co-Chairs

  • Gillian Sorensen (Former UN Assistant Secretary-General for External Relations | USA)
  • Patrick Rea (Grand Master Emeritus, Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem, OSMTH | USA)

9:04 AM Opening Remarks

  • Liberato Bautista (President of CoNGO | Fellow, World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS) | Assistant General Secretary for United Nations and International Affairs, General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church | Philippines and USA)
  • Garry Jacobs (President and CEO of World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS) |Executive Chair of HS4A Campaign | USA and India)

9:18 AM Keynote Speeches:

Moderator: Alberto Zucconi (President, Person Centered Approach Institute, Italy | Chair, Board of Trustees, World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS) | Secretary General, World University Consortium | Italy )

  • Ivan Šimonović (Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Croatia to the United Nations in New York | Croatia)
  • Usha Rao-Monari (Former UN Under-Secretary-General and UNDP Associate Administrator | India)
  • Lilia Solano (Vice Minister for Dialogue, Equality, and Human Rights, Republic of Colombia | Colombia) 

Rapporteurs: Cyril Ritchie (First Vice President, CoNGO | Switzerland) and Janani Ramanathan (Secretary General, World Academy of Art and Science | Senior Research Analyst, The Mother’s Service Society | Director, World University Consortium | India)

9:55 AM Panel 1:  Human Security

Moderator:  Isabella D. Bunn (Research Fellow in Governance and Global Ethics, University of Oxford | United Kingdom)


  • Phoebe Koundouri  (Professor, Economics and Director of ReSEES Laboratory,  School of Economics, Athens University
    of Economics and Business | Director, Sustainable Development Research Unit,  ATHENA Information
    Technology Research Center | Co-chair, SDSN Europe | Greece)
  • Donato Kiniger-Passigli  (Vice President, World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS) | Co-Chair of HS4A Campaign | Italy)
  • Ketan Patel (Chairman, Force for Good | CEO, Founder, Greater Pacific Capital | Formerly Managing Director,
    Head of Strategic Group, Goldman Sachs | Formerly Partner, KPMG
     | United Kingdom)

Rapporteur: Hiro Sakurai (Soka Gakkai International | Japan and USA)

10:30 AM  Q&A

10:40 AM Panel 2: Sustainable Peace

Moderator: Alyn Ware (Peace educator and nuclear disarmament consultant | Co-Founder of UNFOLD ZERO | Aotearoa-New Zealand and Czech Republic)


  • Saber Hossain Chowdhury (Special Envoy to Honorable Prime Minister on Environment and Climate Change | Chairman,
    Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change | 28th President, Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) | Bangladesh)
  • Rebecca A. Shoot (Executive Director, Citizens for Global Solutions | USA)
  • Jonathan Granoff (President, Global Security Institute; Permanent Observer to the UN, International Anti-Corruption Academy | USA)
  • Dora Damjanovic (Ambassador for HS4A Campaign | Junior WAAS Fellow | Croatia)


  • Helga Kerschbaum (Second Vice Chair, NGO Committee on Peace Vienna | Pax Romana | International Catholic Movement for Intellectual and Cultural Affairs and International Movement of Catholic Students | Austria)

11:12 AM  Q&A

11:22 AM Panel 3: Sustainability of People and the Planet

Moderator: Christopher Ferguson (International Visiting Professor at the Universidad Reformada, Barranquilla, Colombia | Canada)


  • Amanda Ellis (Senior Director Global Partnerships, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory | Executive Director, Asia-Pacific, Arizona State University Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation | WAAS Fellow | New Zealand | USA)
  • Alexandra M. Goossens-Ishii  (Programme Coordinator for environment, climate change and biodiversity | Soka Gakkai International | SGI | Switzerland)
  • Beatriz Schulthess (Founder and President of Indigenous Peoples Ancestral Spiritual Council | Member of Indigenous Qulla/Kolla Nation | Honorary President of Religions for Peace | Costa Rica)
  • Luisa Romero Muñoz (Kofi Annan Changemaker | Kofi Annan Foundation | Colombia)


  • Lucy Sant’Anna Takagi (Affiliate UN Representative,  Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues | SPSSI | USA)
  • Maria Riehl (Chair, NGO Committee on Peace, Vienna | Women’s Federation for World Peace International | Austria)

12:02 AM  Q&A

12:12 PM Report of the Chief Rapporteurs: 

  • Cyril Ritchie (CoNGO) and Janani Ramanathan (WAAS)

12:22 PM Closing Remarks

Liberato Bautista and Garry Jacobs


7 September 2023
9:00 AM - 12:30 PM UTC-5
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