In a massive effort to gather leaders and the community to create awareness and drive the nation towards the achievement of the 17 United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), Sunway Education Group partnered UN Malaysia to stage ‘Shine a Light on Sustainability: Rock the Goals 2019’ in conjunction with the Global Week to #Act4SDGs (September 20-30) and to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the UN SDGs.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, and provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At the core are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership, acknowledging that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.
“The successful sustainable development agenda can only be achieved with continuous and coordinated partnerships involving governments, private sectors, civil service and individuals. I urge everyone to play a more active role for delivering sustainable change within the community. Together, we can create impact”, said His Royal Highness Tengku Amir Shah ibni Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Al-Haj, Crown Prince of Selangor.
Dr Elizabeth Lee, Chief Executive Officer of the Sunway Education Group hoped the ‘Shine a Light on Sustainability: Rock the Goals 2019’ will further inspire the Sunway community and their guests to work together towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. “The vision for sustainable development can only be achieved if everyone works together. We need to understand that we are interdependent on each other, and with all life on earth, it is a symbiotic relationship. Only by understanding this, will we be able to work towards sustainable solutions for many of the issues in the world today”, she said.
The evening started with a welcome address by UN Resident Coordinator in Malaysia Stefan Priesner who addressed the crowd of almost 2,000 who had gathered at the Jeffrey Cheah Hall at Sunway College. “The SDGs are about balanced development between economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection (and repair) based on strong institutions. The SDGs are endorsed by all UN member states and unprecedented – the most ambitious and powerful development agenda in the history of mankind.” said Priesner.
“The Government alone cannot achieve them, private sector and civil society needs to do its part. All 19 agencies of the UN family working in Malaysia contribute to the SDGs and events like this allow all of us to commit ourselves to the SDGs, because the SDGs will also need behavioural change” he explained. Priesner’s address was followed with a performance by the Sunway University 24 Festive Drums troupe.
17 dignitaries were invited to address one of the UNSDGs each, they were: HE Jesper Vahr, Ambassador of Denmark to Malaysia for Goal 1: No Poverty; Anis Nabilah, celebrity chef and media personality, Goal 2: Zero Hunger; David Ng, Managing Director, International SOS (M) Sdn Bhd and Co-Deputy Chairman, British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce Berhad, Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing; Dr Elizabeth Lee, Chief Executive Officer, Sunway Education Group, Goal 4: Quality Education; Dato’ Hamidah Naziadin, Group Chief People Officer, CIMB, Goal 5: Gender Equality; Michelle Lee, TV Personality and Premier League Football presenter, Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation; HE Visam Ali, Ambassador of the Republic of Maldives in Malaysia, Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy; Law King Kiew, Vice President of the Malaysia Paralympic Council, Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth; Arsalaan (Oz) Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Amanah Malaysia Bhd, Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; YB Michelle Ng, State Assemblywoman of Subang Jaya, Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities; Sarena Cheah, Executive Director, Sunway Group, Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities; Dato’ Gan Ah Tee, Regional Senior Partner (ASEAN) and Managing Partner, BDO, Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production; HE Petri Puhakka, Ambassador of Finland to Malaysia, Goal 13: Climate Action; Alex Yoong, first Malaysian to race in Formula One, Goal 14: Life Below Water; Patrina Tamang, recipient of the Sunway Mercy Nepal Relief Scholarship, Goal 15: Life on Land; YAM Tunku Zain Al-’Abidin ibni Tuanku Muhriz, Trustee, Jeffrey Cheah Foundation, Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions; and His Royal Highness Tengku Amir Shah ibni Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Al-Haj, Crown Prince of Selangor, Goal 17: Partnership for the Goals.
The crowd was entertained by Zimi J, Malaysian all-autistic band; the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra with a special performance of “ROCKestra” featuring Deja Voodoo Spells; and Malaysian act, Muzza and Arjuna. The event ended with a finale piece ‘We Will Rock You’, one of legendary British rock band Queen’s biggest hits.
The Sunway Education Group is dedicated to championing sustainability within and around its campus. In its continuous effort to make the world a better and greener place, the Group strives to instil sustainable practices into various aspects of students’ education experience, and to nurture a community of socially and ecologically responsible global citizens of the future.
Other event partners for the ‘Shine a Light on Sustainability: Rock The Goals 2019’ were Sunway University, International SOS and MD Events. Sunway Pyramid sponsored metal straw sets for event in a move to help reduce and eliminate single-use plastic straws. Other sponsors for the event include BDO, HSBC, Sunway Property, CIMB, and Hitachi. Food and beverage sponsors include Marigold Peel Fresh, Marigold Peel Fresh, Sunway Lagoon Catering, Unilever-Walls, Advance Campus, Rajan’s Corner, Left and Right, Dong Soo Won, Tomyam Kitchen, Madeleine Café, Kafe Keris Mas, Sushi Tsen, San Yuaan Vegetarian, Daun Daun, Taspers Cafaeyen and The LunchBox.