Renowned writer and social activist from Manipur, Binalakshmi Nepram spoke at Plenary Session on August 1 2017 at United Nations Headquarters in New York on Inter-generational Dialogue on Sustainable Development Goals. Governments and people & NGOs from different walks of life numbering over 500 gathered at this important event held at UN HQ. Addressing the gathering Nepram covered Manipur’s history and its ongoing violence and explained to the audience how Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network was set up to help empower lives of women survivors of violence in true spirit of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
She said, ‘Manipur and Northeast India is home to 45 million people belonging to 272 ethnic groups and speaking over 400 languages. The need to include indigenous peoples everywhere in world, women human rights defenders and ensure women in decision making and those who work on peace and disarmament to be a part of the process. $1 trillion is spent on the armament industry and if 10 percent of that military spending can be used to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.’
In a statement issued, Nepram states, ‘We are living in times of violence not just in Manipur, or Northeast India but in the entire world. This has huge humanitarian consequences especially on the lives of women and children.’ She also despondently shared how violence destroys lives, communities, and our future. During her speech, she mentioned her gratitude to the United Nations and reminded everyone with a powerful note that the SDG’s cannot be a 9 to 5 job but a movement.
Purpose of Inter-generational dialogue
The purpose of the United Nations Inter-generational Dialogue on Sustainable Development Goals was to raise awareness of the high value that youth and older persons can bring to implementation of the SDGs, and foster a shift in the perception of youth and older persons from beneficiaries of social policy to agents of social change. Building on existing efforts, the event was an important opportunity to mobilize civil society with the objective of leaving no one behind.
She received a standing ovation for her speech at UN which lasted almost 7 minutes. Other panelists who also spoke at plenary includes President of UN General Assembly and Youth Envoy to United Nations.