Expert Speak Energy News Monitor
Published on Jul 24, 2019
SDGs recognise that achieving our shared goals demands coordinated action: Terri Chapman Co-Chair of the Kigali Global Dialogue, Terri Chapman, delivered the welcome remarks. Following is the text of her speech.

Excellency the Foreign Minister of Rwanda, Richard Seizibera, President Mohammed Nasheed, President Tadich, Dignitaries, Ministers, Ambassadors, friends and colleagues. On behalf of the Observer Research Foundation and the entire Team Kigali we are delighted to welcome you to the inaugural edition of the Kigali Global Dialogue.

This dialogue has been a long standing ambition of ORF and indeed of many in India. It signifies the emergence of a new conversation, one between dynamic geographies, between old friends and among those who will script the future.

A warm welcome to you all and wish you three wonderful days rich with conversations on questions and posers that we need to respond to collectively to achieve sustainable growth, inclusive development and shared prosperity.

The sustainable development goals are representative of our collective recognition that human progress demands change. And they recognise that achieving our shared goals demands coordinated action.

Most of us in this room seek to achieve this progress together – despite our differences, and indeed because of our resolve to celebrate diversity.

The SDGs are far from perfect. But they express a shared desire for human progress. And they provide a framework for countries to chart-out and manage their own ambitions, while simultaneously defining new ways of coordinating their priorities and action towards challenges that transcend borders and implicate all of us.

The road to 2030 will be a story of the emerging and developing world discovering answers, preparing the next generation of leaders and propagating inclusivity and gender-led design for a new order in the 21st century.

The Kigali Global Dialogue is designed to assist this new narrative by helping incubate new communities, strengthen indigenous and local solutions and create a platform that is universal and inclusive. The diversity in the room this morning is a proof of concept.

We are bringing together over 300 people from 55 countries. And will be hosting over 50 conversations over the next three days. We have with us 140 speakers who will share their views, and experiences. Most Importantly, well over half of these voices will be those of women.

We have participation from diverse sectors including technology, media, finance, the public sector, and NGO’s.

What unites us in this room is that we all believe in progress. We all believe in the benefits of sharing our experiences from diverse contexts. We believe that development is not a zero-sum game, but that we all gain from other’s success.

There are no silver bullets on offer here or indeed anywhere, and there are no single trajectories for development. Rather we will find impactful experiences and stories of hope and transformation that shape our collective purpose and understanding.

We seek to mainstream diversity, and create space for new narratives, new policy ideas, and new development pathways. And as the world contends with a multiplicity of uncertainties, instability, and the current geopolitical churn, what remains and must remain constant are our strides towards social progress.

We at ORF are investing in research and are committed to producing high-quality, evidence-based analysis and engaging with the wider public on important policy issues.

Even as we curate global conversations, such conversations are only sustained through thought-provoking research. And this combined research and public engagement is critical for countering post-truth discourse, and the disconnect between policy and people.

The promise and perils around the SDG’s are real. Rwanda is leading the continent in its commitment to discovering transitions and solutions that will help itself, its region, continent and the global community in achieving our collective ambitions.

Rwanda is discovering solutions and we want this to be available to others.

I thank you all for being here and personally, I look forward to engaging with all of you in the coming days.

The views expressed above belong to the author(s). ORF research and analyses now available on Telegram! Click here to access our curated content — blogs, longforms and interviews.