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Article

Reassessing Sustainability in the Hyper-Connected, Peri-COVID World

July 7, 2021
By Seulah Han

Among many lessons COVID-19 has taught us is how we define ‘global’ as a market, a planet and most importantly, a community. For over a year now, many countries have been staying ‘socially distanced’ while being tested to overcome new kinds of hurdles and challenges on their own. Yet, the call for world leaders and businesses to come together as an international society to address social, environmental, financial and healthcare issues has finally gotten the attention it deserves.

Convening the Thought Leaders

In this context, FleishmanHillard Korea saw the need to support some of the world’s most prestigious think tanks and institutions as they worked to better communicate their mission and vision to foster global collaboration and support the United Nations’ 2030 Goals for Sustainable Development (UN SDGs). As part of our FH4Inclusion pro-bono and volunteer initiative, FleishmanHillard Korea sponsored the third annual Global Engagement & Empowerment Forum on Sustainable Development (GEEF). The event was co-hosted by Yonsei University and its Institute for Global Engagement & Empowerment (IGEE), as well as the Ban Ki-moon Foundation for a Better Future and the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens (which is led by the eighth Secretary-General of the UN himself).

The Feb. 4-5, 2021 virtual event was live streamed on YouTube and focused on the theme of “3Ps Beyond Security: Peace, Prosperity, and Partnership,” reimagining global partnership in the post-COVID-19 era and the path forward to accelerate the achievement of the UN SDGs.

More than 60 international leaders and influencers led or participated in sessions that reached 3,500 viewers worldwide. Former South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, 12th President of the World Bank Jim Yong Kim and Deputy Secretary-General of the UN Amina J. Mohammed discussed reshaping the global order and building partnerships to overcome the COVID-19 crisis.

The seventh Director-General of WHO Margaret Chan, Columbia University Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Foreign Minister of Bangladesh A.K. Abdul Momen and others offered insights on multilateral cooperation. In featured sessions, panel speakers discussed the progress and prospects of SDGs across the areas of higher education, healthcare, technology and more.

FleishmanHillard Korea sponsored the Global Engagement & Empowerment Forum on Sustainable Development hosted by Yonsei University.

Addressing the Forgotten

A highlight of the forum was the conversation between Secretary-General and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Special Envoy Angelina Jolie, who passionately advocated for the global community to lend a helping hand to address the needs of the world’s refugees, children and women who have often been marginalized in the response to the pandemic.

In the session titled “Leaving No One Behind in a Post-Pandemic World,” Jolie urged businesses and organizations to not only help but invest in populations who are frequently left behind. “The strength of being so strong in value, in humanity, and helping to reach out and balance and work with the peoples of the world, is the strongest way forward. […] There is no better investment. Yes, it is the humane thing to do. It is also smart thing to do,” said Jolie.

Ban Ki-Moon, the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Angelina Jolie, an UN High Commissioner for Refugees Special Envoy, hosted a special conversation titled “Leaving No One Behind in a Post-Pandemic World.”

Shedding a Light on Inclusiveness

FleishmanHillard in Korea’s support for the Forum is an extension of the team’s collaborative relationship with a network of thought leaders and think tanks in the country, the APAC region and beyond.

Yvonne Park, president and senior partner of FleishmanHillard Korea, is a true believer in learning from the lessons that are borne out of challenging times. “The global pandemic has given us another chance to reflect on what sustainable development requires. We have an important opportunity to be truly inclusive and reconvene as the citizens of the world, wherever we are. Under the agency-wide commitment to FH4Inclusion we stay 75 years young in making a difference and being a positive influence in Korea and beyond.”