On September 19, the Chairman and Editor in Chief of Forbes Media, Steve Forbes attended the FSUN Global Summit “SDG Convergence: Investments and Partnerships for the Global Goals” at the United Nations Headquarter. Mr. Forbes was invited by Foundation for The Support of The United Nations as a distinguished speaker to give an opening keynote speech. During his speech, Mr. Forbes alerted the audience that there have been a remarkable progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and more effort is needed to maintain that progress.
As he addressed the large number of ambassadors and business leaders at the UN ECOSOC Chamber, Mr. Steve Forbes had an optimistic tone that directed everyone’s attention to the advancement made towards the realization of the 2030 Agenda. “The foundation for progress is there and it is becoming more muscular and it is growing,” said Mr. Forbes. He also added that the real wealth of society that accelerates the pace of development is not physical things, but the human minds, the human imagination and the human determination.” These words served as a reminder that money or capital alone is not the solution to move forward. The solution is the human minds who direct these resources and are capable of imagining and making change.
Mr. Forbes highlighted several examples that indicate the growing progress to find solutions and end the challenging problems of our world today. He mentioned that “in the last 20 years the proportion of the world population living in extreme poverty is down by 50% .. it is a movement in the right direction.” He also referred to the growing understanding and use of renewable technology. He stated: “Global spending on renewable energy is outpacing investment on electricity, coal, natural gas, and nuclear power plants.” In terms of investment, Mr. Forbes declared that there are a growing awareness and an increasing use of impact investing in the United States and around the world, which is a good sign that investors and the private sector are moving in the right direction to contribute to and achieve the 2030 Agenda.
With his sense of humor, Steve Forbes also criticized the arguments concerning the fear of the growing use of technology and robots. He disagreed with the claims that robots can replace the human workforce and insisted that they are tools to help humans work in simpler and more efficient ways. “We don’t refer to cars as artificial horses, we don’t refer to airplanes as artificial birds. These are instruments for us and sometimes because things are called robots, we don’t realize what they are.”
Mr. Steve Forbes indicated in his speech that economic stability and fewer trade barriers are essential to building a good environment for sustainable development. He acknowledged that the Sustainable Development Goals are ambitions, but he insisted that they are realizable. “Even though there is some pessimism about the 2030’s Agenda for the SDGs, the truth is those are not utopian goals”. The speech of Mr. Steve Forbes during the “The Investments and Partnerships For the Global Goals” Summit is similar to the motivation call that a fighter needs in the middle of his battle for a noble cause. Mr. Steve Forbes reminded the audience that the fight to end the problems of our planet by achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals is successful and is moving in the right direction. All we need is the motivation to keep moving and the determination to maintain what we have achieved.
Translation: English to Chinese