The world at a crossroads: making the right choices

03 September 2013 | News story

IUCN Director General Julia Marton-Lefèvre is among leading figures in international politics, science, business and civil society taking part in the 2013 Earth Dialogues being held today as part of the 20th anniversary celebrations of Green Cross International, the environmental organisation founded by former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

The Earth Dialogues event, Pathways into the Future - Triggers of Change, taking place at the United Nations building, comes at a time of deep crisis in multilateralism and a lack of coordinated international action in responding to ecological breakdown, globalization and a growing divide between rich and poor.

The conference aims to show how multilateralism can – and must – be recalibrated to meet these challenges. The event will provide a launch pad for initiatives to bolster effective multilateral action, with Geneva, the cradle for international modern consensus and cooperation, as an ideal platform.

Marton-Lefèvre took part in the panel session Building a Peaceful and Sustainable World which explores current top international priorities as well as new threats that are emerging.

Since 1993, Green Cross has responded to the combined challenges of security, poverty and environmental degradation. Its mission is to ensure a sustainable and secure future for all, seeking solutions through dialogue, mediation and cooperation.

"The root causes of the crises we are witnessing rest on outmoded theoretical concepts, values and institutions,” says Mikhail Gorbachev. “The time has come for change, not incremental fixes. Conferences, like our Earth Dialogues, can build a bridge to the change we need. The perspectives and experiences of modern leaders, political veterans, experts, youth and the non-governmental community can stimulate a revival of robust multilateralism and high-level government decision-making."