By WDF and Maravi Post Reporter
The United Nations community, including members of civil society, converged at One UN Hotel to pay homage to former Suriname President Ambassador Henry MacDonald for his 10-year service to international cooperation, development and diplomacy.
Ambassador MacDonald, who came to New York in 2007, received a double honor when the founding President of the World Development Foundation, Dr. Xiangang Guo, relayed the mantel of power to the Ambassador in the capacity of President.
Ambassador MacDonald arrived at the United Nations in 2007 and served in several capacities, including vice president of the 65th General assembly, chairperson of the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee. Ambassador MacDonald has been noted for being a leading force for gender equality, being an early member and proponent of the HEFORSHE movement and pioneering the Barber Shop Conferences.
He also moderated the May 23 Conference endorsing public-private partnerships as common-sense approach in realization of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Such work connected him with the World Development Foundation, an organization that has brought together Globalization Dialogues based on creating “new public-private partnerships to help enact the Sustainable Development Goals.”
In receiving the presidency from Dr. Guo, Ambassador MacDonald called the guests to observe a minute of silence for three people that have passed this past year, including his son.
He then thanked the people that helped him during his work at the United Nations. Ambassador McDonald then painted a picture of his time in the United Nations, culminating in work stemming from his interest as a human rights lawyer in organizing the Barber Shop conferences where men join the discussions in gender based violence.
Both Dr. Guo and Ambassador MacDonald outlined the work of the World Development Foundation and future planned conferences that aim to the successful implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, using specifically Goal 17, 16 and 5 (namely partnerships, peace and strong institutions, and gender equality).
The planned 2018 Travel, Tourism, and Transformation conference, whose purpose is to “demonstrate ways in which eco- and cultural-tourism…promote worthwhile, sustainable development – through the global cooperation that is necessary for planet-beneficial tourism products to thrive.” All three producers of this conference, which will be led by the Missions of Suriname, and Guyana with involvement from the World Development Foundation, are Dr. Xiangang Guo, Ambassador Henry MacDonald and Patrick Sciarratta.
Speaking in her private capacity during the function, Maravi Post Senior Editor Janet Karim (who met Ambassador MacDonald when she served as diplomat in Third Committee at the Malawi Mission to the UN, 2007-2015), paid tribute as a person who established himself for getting things done and in a time-set manner, often pushing diplomats and UN Secretariat during his tenure as Third Committee Chairperson.
Karim congratulated the Ambassador for his new role in international development work and said she was confident he will be a positive player in the success of the Sustainable Development Goals.