Sustainable Development

Launch of AfricaConnect at Friars Club in NYC

Launch of AfricaConnect Online & Award Ceremony & Celebration of the Sustainable Development Goals
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DATE:  Friday, 18 September 2015
TIME:  6:30 - 9:30 p.m.
PLACE:  Friars Club, 57 East 55 Street (bet. Park/Madison Ave.)

14 September 2015 New York: Heads of state of countries around the world are arriving in New York for the Summit about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be held 25 to 27 September 2015 at United Nations headquarters.  At this meeting, the 193 governments of the world will formally vote on adoption of the 17 Goals and 169 targets that define the global agenda for the years 2015-2030.

To celebrate these goals, is hosting an event on Friday, 18 September 2015, at the prestigious Friars Club in midtown Manhattan, on East 55th Street between Madison and Park Avenues, from 6:30-9-30 pm. The event includes an awards ceremony honoring UN dignitaries who have been instrumental in crafting and approving the SDSs. They will receive the First “AfricaConnectOnline Award for Global Achievement.

These include the co-facilitators of the negotiations about the SDGs, H.E. Macharia Kamau, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Mission of the Republic of Kenya to the United Nations; H.E. David Donoghue, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Mission of Ireland; and H.E. Csaba Kőrösi, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Mission of Hungary. Also receiving the award are Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, Special Adviser to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Post-2015 Development; Thomas Gass, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs in UN DESA; H.E. Sam Kahamba Kutesa, Ugandan politician and lawyer, President of the UN General Assembly sixty-ninth session; and Nikhil Seth, Secretariat, Director of the Division for Sustainable Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).

Speakers are H.E. Ambassador Tete Antonio, Permanent Representative of the African Union to the United Nations; H.E. Ambassador Henry L. MacDonald, Permanent Representative of the Mission of the Republic of Suriname to the United Nations; and Omon Okor, Founder/CEO,

The evening’s host is Dr. Judy Kuriansky, international psychologist, award-winning journalist, humanitarian and Chair of the Psychology Coalition of NGOs at the United Nations, who led a successful campaign for mental health and well-being to be included in the SDGs.

The event serves as a launch of AfricaConnect Online, a new internet based information network that has positioned itself to play a key role in promoting the main proceedings that are happening at the United Nations Headquarters and its many agencies, programs and funds with a focus on Africa and the African diaspora all over the world.

“We intend to play a key role promoting what is happening at the United Nations so everyone in the African world and beyond can see that this is a transformational time in when we will truly make a difference to improve people’s lives,” says Omon Dede, CEO of AfricaConnect Online.  “Coming from a poor background in Nigeria, I know what it’s like to suffer, so I want to help people know that many others are working to help them have a better life, adding to their own efforts.”

The SDG agenda was formally drafted over past sessions of government negotiations, with input from experts, NGOs, civil society and other stakeholders. It is built on 5 P’s: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership, based on the principle of “leaving no one behind.” Ambitious and transformational in nature, the goals include to eliminate poverty and hunger, ensure education, gender equality, peaceful societies, physical and mental health and well-being, sustainable consumption, protection of the environment, and taking urgent action about climate change. Communicating about these goals to the public is among the major missions of AfricaConnectOnline, a new internet-based information network.

In addition to high-level events and major political developments which already receive substantial media coverage, AfricaConnectOnline will highlight events and projects that are under-reported but of major importance to Africa’s development.  Stories will help Africans connect to their roots through authentic African culture, arts, entertainment, and interviews with African movers and shakers, providing a “voice” mainly to be heard on two continents, Africa and the Americas (as well as the Caribbean).

The project adviser, H.E. Henry L. MacDonald, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Suriname to the United Nations, is the spokesperson for the HeForShe UN Ambassadors campaign advancing women in education, healthcare and decision-making positions, and preventing gender-based violence. He is also instrumental in the “Young Men Initiative” that encourages males to change negative stereotypes about females.

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