The day kicked off with the first plenary, on the environment, opened by Senator John Kerry via video link. It was great to see the world’s youth uniting behind a resolution – but we’ve made little progress in terms of how we’re going to get there. Kofi Annan encouraged us to lobby within our communities and businesses which, of course, will be a positive start, but what else can we do?
Interfaith dialogue was the topic of the second plenary – again, we united behind a resolution. This time progress was suggested in the form of a gathering of world faith leaders to promote further dialogue, but we need to do more. Personally, I would’ve liked to have seen a little more discussion between the Counsellors. There were Christians, Muslims and an Athiest on stage – we still don’t know what they think. Perhaps we could have debated with them?
The third plenary was all about global business and how we can turn around businesses to make them more responsible. I stood up and talked about the excellent corporate responsibility programme in the company I work for, and how volunteering can have a positive effect on businesses as well as on local communities. Overall, we agreed that global business is a good thing as long as it is responsible.
So much to think about… I can’t wait for day two.