Wilkes welcomes United Nations Rep. Charles Chauvel to campus


The Beacon/Maddie Davis

Charles Chauvel was a member of the House of Representatives in New Zealand before joining the United Nations Development Programme.

Maddie Davis, Asst. News Editor

On Feb. 13, Wilkes University and the Humpty Dumpty Institute hosted Charles Chauvel as a part of the United Nations Lecture Series.

Wilkes has partnered with the Humpty Dumpty Institute since the 2011-2012 academic year, and has since brought 27 speakers, Chauvel being their 28th.

According to its website, the Humpty Dumpty Institute “is a unique non-profit organization dedicated to tackling difficult global and domestic issues by establishing innovative and strategic public/private partnerships that provide sensible solutions to serious problems.”

Chauvel began working for the United Nations Development Programme, or UNDP, in 2013, after his diverse background of being a member of the House of Representatives in the Parliament of New Zealand, where he held many prestigious positions such as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Attorney General. He also founded the New Zealand Chapter of the Global Organisation of Parliamentarians Against Corruption.

Through the UNDP, Chauvel is in charge of the Inclusive Political Processes team, where his team hopes to reach societal goals like civic engagement, political participation of women, as well as the eradication of poverty, and much more.

During the lecture, Chauvel focused on the Sustainable Development Goal 16, and expressed the goal of the U.N. and the framework behind it: to promote better government around the world. He hoped through this that the governments will be more inclusive and promote more freedoms to rid the world of corrupt governments.

Chauvel took the audience step by step through the history of the U.N.’s former goals, to establish a blueprint for all countries to base their agendas off of, the first being the eight Millennium Development Goals leading to the 2030 Agenda, to modern day struggles with the enforcement of the goals to make countries more representative and inclusive.

“This was the first time, back in 1990, that there was this political conveining of a large number of countries of the United Nations to have a discussion of what the priorities in the system should be,” said Chauvel.

Through these goals, and the joining together of the countries, the enforcement of these goals resulted in a decrease in poverty in some countries. Countries now could report back to the U.N. about their progress so the U.N. could gather again and learn from the lessons and obstacles that were faced with the eight goals, later creating a new goal agenda: the 2030 Agenda.

“The prime goal of the sustainable development goals of the Agenda 2030 was leaving no one behind,” said Chauvel, which is how it differed from the eight Millenium Development Goals.

“You have to concentrate on those who are most vulnerable, most marginalized, and most discriminated against; those are the first targets if you want to make progress,” said Chauvel.

He then focused on the three pillars of the new 17 Sustainable Development Goals: economic growth, social development and justice, and environmental protection.

Chauvel emphasized one of the 17 goals of the 2030 Agenda — Goal 16, which led to new goals of the UN in 2015.

“We call it the breakthrough goal because in its fullest text it talks about promoting peaceful and inclusive societies,” said Chauvel.

Chauvel wanted to push this notion and development of social development, justice for all, and freedom from discrimination in all countries under the U.N. Through this, Chauvel dove further into the issue of the UN’s inability to make rules and enforcing them on country to help push the agenda and goals for those countries who were unwilling to cooperate and who were corrupt themselves; as well as funding issues.

The obstacles faced by the 2030 Agenda resulted in a new agenda and initiative in 2015 to establish an online survey, through the platform The World We Want, available to all countries who profoundly answered that they wanted free government and trust in the institutions.

Their overall goal, as expressed by Chauvel, is to get “the world we want: honest and effective government.” To get this Chauvel is hoping to make government more inclusive, more gender friendly for more representation in the countries that are now more corrupt and less inclusive.

Chauver went into further detail about how the UNDP, which he was apart of, supports the countries through developing policy guidance to help these countries reach the desired goals of the UN.

Through examples like India, Chauvel showed the audience that the history of sustainable goals drafted by different countries apart of the UN are helping the world become more inclusive and less discriminatory and selective.

Sophomore Psychology major, Amanda Imbalzano, enjoyed Chauver’s talk, finding the overall mission of the UN most interesting.

“I think he did a really good job speaking overall especially bringing up important topics like what the UN stands for,” said Imbalzano.

“The 17 goals were very interesting; just trying to bring everyone [around the world] together, goal 16 being the most important which included peace and justice,” said Imbalzano, “I think that really shows that we all need to come together as countries.”

Joe Teeple, Senior Psychology major enjoyed the presentation as a whole as well as the many others apart of the United Nations Lecture Series.

“I thought he did a very good job,” said Teeple, “I thought he was concise but also detailed enough where you could get a picture of the work the UN is doing.”

“The whole moving things from the ground up struck a chord with me really well; I like that the UN is moving in that direction and I like that they are bringing that to us so we can go out and do that.”

“I like the UN lecture series as a whole,” said Teeple,  “I think the people they are bringing in are interesting and then they’re exposing us to sort of the global perspective and the UN’s perspective on problems that are pervasive here, but more severe in other area.”