On June 18, 2015, nearly 120 participants from civil society, academia, government and community groups joined us for our Annual General Meeting & Symposium 2015, PEOPLE & THE PLANET: UNIVERSALITY MATTERS. This years’ event was an important opportunity for participants to convene at Artscape Wychwood Barns – a century-old former Toronto streetcar repair facility that now houses a dynamic mix of arts, culture, food security, urban agriculture, environmental and other community activities and initiatives – to root ourselves as a community in understanding the implications of and possibilities within a new, universal and transformative global agenda for sustainable development.
The day kicked off with our Annual General Meeting, at which we invited all members to meet, ratify and formally welcome new Organizational and Associate Members, elect new 2015-2016 Board of Directors, and recognize the many contributors that have brought the Council to life this year. Members voted to approve changes to OCIC’s Membership Fee Structure and Fees, amongst other governance matters.
OCIC’s PEOPLE & THE PLANET: UNIVERSALITY MATTERS Symposium 2015 helped to increase our collective understanding of the final processes leading up to the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the implications of and possibilities within them, as a new, universal and transformative global agenda. Through plenary and breakout sessions intended to help catalyze learning on issues of Inequality and Human Rights, Climate Change and the Environment, and Women’s Rights and Gender Equality as universally applicable issues, participants had opportunity to reflect on ways to take individual, organizational and increased collective action.
Why is This Important?
Within Canada there is tremendous opportunity and space for rigorous dialogue and reflection on the ways we can use this moment to do better in our domestic context and globally. 2015 is a critical year for this, for at least 4 significant reasons:
1) The new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will challenge the world to do better on urgent global issues.
2) World leaders will forge a universal, legally-binding climate deal that must be strong enough to avert global environmental catastrophe.
3) On its 20th birthday, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action on Women’s Rights will be reviewed and governments will be called upon to recommit to its full implementation.
4) Canadians will go to the polls in a crucial federal election.
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