President Michael D. Higgins has formally opened GOAL’s annual Senior Leaders Conference with an important message of hope and resilience at a time of enduring challenges for the global community.
By Caroline Lavelle
COVID-19, displacement, malnutrition and hunger were among the crises highlighted by President Higgins in his virtual address to the meeting attended by GOAL’s Regional and Country Directors and senior management.
As well as a stark reminder of the current challenges facing the global community, President Higgins expressed a sense of gratitude for and faith in GOAL’s long history of working with the most vulnerable communities worldwide, helping them to deal with conflict, poverty and food insecurity.
He said: “GOAL participates in vital humanitarian work across the globe, work that is aimed at achieving an enduring, peaceful and fulfilling balance between the needs of peoples, sustainable economy and a responsible care for the planet’s ecological capacity.”
President Higgins said while COVID-19 is a global threat, the most vulnerable communities, wherever they are, are most at risk.
With the pandemic exacerbating hunger, threatening livelihoods and increasing global inequality, the President spoke of the need for a co-ordinated and integrated international response to these crises.
He concluded with a hopeful message, speaking of the shift in debate which he believes could lead to a new moment in which eco-social policies can come to the fore, and a new sense of global co-operation can be achieved.
He thanked GOAL for its determination and commitment to “not only reducing extreme poverty, but in achieving the empathetic policies our vulnerable planet needs to survive.”
You can listen to the full address below: