The UN and our Common Future

Tuesday 3rd March, 2009
The Dorchester , London

Renu Mehta and fortunate friends saluted the work of the United Nations, the UN Foundation and some of their most passionate and inspiring advocates. ‘Making a profound difference to the lives of others is the expression that unites philanthropists, and it is the very spirit that Unites Nations; for all of our human diversity, the UN represents the global, the local and the truly indispensable’, said Renu.

Ban Ki-Moon
, Secretary General of the United Nations delivered a special video message to Ted Turner and congratulated him on his historic $1b gift ten years ago ‘Ted has delivered beyond anyone’s best hopes’, he continued ‘Let’s keep working together for a more peaceful, prosperous and just world’.

Ted Turner
was the Summit’s guest of honour, in conversation with UK’s most prolific female TV presenter, Carol Vorderman. Ted said ‘Making the $1 billion investment in the UN was making an investment in our humanity and it was the smartest thing I’d ever done’. Ted referred to the wealth of the guests in attendance with regard to the economic downturn; ‘Give it away while you still have it! The world is hurting right now – millions more are being driven into poverty, diseases continue to spread, our population keeps expanding – but we can do something about it by supporting the UN and its life-saving work.”

Best Selling Author and UN Me ssenger of Peace, Paulo Coelho and Fortune Forum’s Senior Advisor, Jonathan Granoff were in dialogue to explore our inner journey and its relationship to generosity and giving. Paulo who has created his own foundation in Brazil said ‘Initially, I didn’t want to try and change the World or even Brazil but the journey began with changing our street and that is exactly where I started’. Jonathan questioned Paulo about his constantly used expression ‘fight the good fight’ which Paulo puts down to provocations, tests, self inquiry and the fundamental importance of love and sharing. Jonathan’s quest explained his quest to ‘unpack the truth’ and he urged us to constantly ask why and how in that order to make sure we do not pursue improved means to unimproved ends. 

Two Nobel laureate economists; Fortune Forum’s Policy Advisor, Sir James Mirrlees and Prof. Amartya Sen discussed development economics and the public-private partnerships necessary to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals in this uncertain economy. Amartya and James implored international solidarity towards meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals, which Amartya referred to as ‘representing the true starkness of the world’. They discussed the Mehta/Mirrlees (MM) Proposal for donations and how it could free the needs of the poor.  James said ‘Donors could get a better price for development; achieve more for their money and greater monitoring on the delivery on the goals that they choose to support. He concluded that ‘These aspects would make the scheme more attractive to investors’.

Actress, supermodel and L’Oreal spokesperson, Milla Jovavich introduced the finale; a special and fabulous performance by Grammy Award winning artist Joss Stone. Joss spoke of her ambition of being the first artist to ever bring true meaning to the term “World Tour” by playing concerts in everyone of the countries that comprise the United Nations and beyond mid 2010 and the London Olympics in 2012.

United Nations Foundation is an advocate for the UN and a platform for connecting people, resources, and ideas to help the UN solve global problems.  Established with Ted Turner’s historic and precedent-setting $1 billion gift, the United Nations Foundation is an advocate for the UN and a platform for connecting people, ideas and resources to help the UN solve global problems. 

The Fortune Forum would like to thank the UN Foundation and Amir Dossal, Executive Director of the United Nations Office for Partnerships (UNOP) with whom Fortune Forum works closely with together with the UN Millennium Campaign Office in support of meeting the UN MDGs.