The Director of the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation, Juan Carlos Moreno, affirmed that the course Perspectives and Challenges of the 2030 Agenda: Equality, Sustainable Communities and Strong Institutions for Development, Peace and the Achievement of SDGs “has enabled us to outline the intended improvement, the final destination of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and realise that there is no other possibility than to attain a universal world ruled by respect for the dignity of all people, and where human rights may be acknowledged”.

Moreno, who has spoken at the closing of the abovementioned course today in Guadalupe, has shared the data provided by Intermon-Oxfam, which include devastating figures, such as the fact that a handful of people -less than seventy- are wealthier than half of Humanity: 3.500 million people; 800 million people starve in the world.

He has spoken about countries, such as USA, Russia, China, and India, which allow an unfair distribution of wealth without a public social protection system, the accrual of unimaginable fortunes in the hands of a few and the existence of millions of inhabitants in extreme poverty, respectively.

Moreno asked himself whether the Charter of the United Nations, which is has already reached 74 years of age, has achieved anything and affirmed that “we are far from preserving everyone’s dignity because every victim of barbarity sullies humankind, and the further the origin of a victim, the more indifferent we remain”.

In his opinion, the Charter of the United Nations remains a mere declaration of intent as “neither social progress has been promoted nor has the standard of living improved within a wider concept of liberty”.

He claimed that “respect for human rights, as a goal we aim at and as the essence of the SDGs, implies a cohesive society within diversity, respectful with discrepancy, integrating with disability and firm in the preservation of the values that should be common to everyone: democracy, liberty, equality, and solidarity”.

In order to achieve this, Moreno pointed out that “strong ethic convictions, many and expensive resources and commitments geared towards a global common good, are required”.

In spite of all these arguments that may seem somewhat pessimistic, Moreno was optimistic as he strongly believes that all men and women, “whichever their race, creed, religion or belief, are equally deserving”, but in order for this to be a reality “we should remember every day that the future has yet to be forged”.

At this point in his speech, he recalled the Argentinian writer, Ernesto Sábato`s expression: “there is a way to contribute to the protection of Humanity: not to give up” and he asked students and teachers to reclaim their role as agents of this necessary change in order to make the agenda a reality.

40 granted students and 5 unregistered students from countries such as, Italy, Cuba, Argentina, Portugal, Spain, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Brazil have attended the course. They are enrolled in the following universities: the University of Seville; the Rey Juan Carlos University; the Manchester Metropolitan University, the Complutense University of Madrid; the Castilla-La Mancha University; the University of Salamanca; the University of Almeria; the University of Extremadura; the University of Alcalá de Henares; the University of Cantabria; the Carlos III University of Madrid; the University of Bologna; the University of Paris 3- Sorbonne Nouvelle; the University of Santiago de Compostela; the University of Bordeaux, and the Atlántico Medio University of Las Palmas.

The encounter, which was organised by the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation and the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB), and sponsored by the Agency for International Development Cooperation (AEXCID), was directed by Manuela Mesa Peinado, Co-director of the DEMOSPAZ-UAM University Institute on Human Rights, Democracy, Culture of Peace and Non-violence, at the Autonomous University of Madrid and Juan Manuel Rodriguez Barrigón, Professor of Public International Law and International Relations at the University of Extremadura.

In addition to this, the City Council of Guadalupe, the University of Extremadura and the Royal Monastery of Santa María of Guadalupe collaborated in this activity.