Stephen Lewis will draw on his extensive international experience to illustrate the power of advocacy in the fight for social justice, global health, and gender equality.
In 1988, Stephen Lewis chaired the first international conference on Climate Change, which drafted the first comprehensive policy on global warming. Almost three decades have passed since the political leaders, ambassadors, scientists, and environmental activists joined Mr. Lewis in declaring what remains one of the best, though starkest, pronouncements about global warming: “Humanity is conducting an unintended, uncontrolled, globally pervasive experiment whose ultimate consequences could be second only to a global nuclear war.” From his unique historical and global perspective, Stephen Lewis will talk about those consequences, focusing on the interconnection of health, social justice, and poverty in the context of global climate change.
Mr. Lewis, using the themes of the conference, will explore the way in which education, throughout the world, transforms the lives children lead and is perhaps the greatest, unacknowledged instrument we have for dramatic social change.
Mr. Lewis believes that the single most important struggle on the planet is the struggle for gender equality. It is the centrepiece of human rights. In that context, he will examine the way the world responds to violations of human rights in every sphere of human behaviour.
Mr. Lewis will examine escalating economic and financial inequality within countries, and among countries, in the developed and developing worlds. He contends that poverty is a fatal blight that destroys the prospect of human progress and fosters the worst dimensions of injustice at home and abroad.
The adoption of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in September 2015 was historic and not just because the goals were adopted by the largest-ever gathering of world leaders. The SDGs break new ground: they marry the global development and environmental agendas, and they establish benchmarks—most especially the benchmark of gender equality—that challenge all signatories. How do we translate the vision of the SDGs into reality? What is Canada’s role at home and abroad? Drawing on decades of experience in domestic politics and international cooperation, Stephen Lewis weighs in on what it will take for Canada to lead in the implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
In this presentation, Mr. Lewis will examine Canada’s potential for leadership in ending poverty, subduing communicable diseases, fighting for gender equality, confronting climate change and achieving the triumph of human rights for everyone from LGBT people to indigenous populations and beyond.[/nsb]