Nothing else mattersPublished: 2019-11-20 01:20
I look out and I see the United Nations headquarters, 193 flags slowly waving in the wind. The flags each representing one of the member states that is a part of the UN. They are arranged in alphabetical order from North to South, starting with Afghanistan and ending with Zimbabwe. All countries with their own challenges and opportunities.
I am in New York City with my company Essity to convene the UN Foundation Global Dialogue focused on the sustainable development goals. The aim is to discuss progress and commit to continuing to push for even greater progress in support of the UN and the SDGs.
This year’s agenda focus on three areas: Defending Planetary Health and Biodiversity, Health Access for All, and Ensuring the Empowerment of Women and Girls. The third will be featuring Essity. We need to talk, but we also need to walk the talk, and act. One recent example is the Essity partnership with UNICEF in Mexico to empower school girls and boys through education on menstrual hygiene management and hand hygiene as well as improving the hygiene of school toilets. What we take for granted in one country can look completely different in another.
I am really happy to work for a company that is breaking barriers to well-being. The fact that the whole nature of our business is focused on well-being and that it is so closely related to the Sustainable Development Goals gives me hope and reassurance that, together with others, impact will be made.
As I walk up the street, I pass a Unicef office, windows expressing that they are “for every child”. I turn the corner in my search for coffee and one after the other I pass big corporations. All expressing what they do to make the world a better place. This feels reassuring.
It is so evident that we all have a role to play. It starts with you and me and each and every (small and big) decision we make on a daily basis – nothing else matters.
Meanwhile in Sweden, my 14-year old is organizing a whole series of events in order to take his little sister to the dentist because “in case she wants a hand to hold”, he will be there. I am proud to have raised two little people that care about each other and the people around them!