In an unprecedented show of support for UN Secretary-General's initiative on Sustainable Energy for All, hundreds of delegates from civil society, non-governmental organizations and social entrepreneurs have confirmed their participation for the first annual sustainable energy for all forum taking place at UN Headquarters in New York.
During the three day annual forum, participants will review progress on tens of billions of dollars in commitments made and share innovative and practical solutions needed to bring energy access to those who need it. Participants will also humanize energy as it relates to socio-economic and sustainable development.
Speaking ahead of the global forum, Kandeh Yumkella, the initiative's CEO and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All, said "what we have succeeded in doing over the last three years is to change the narrative about energy. Often times when energy is on the table for discussions, governments take sides because they have vested interests." On SEforALL's narrative, "it's all energy for human development and its numerous dimensions and suddenly governments understand and support our work," he underscored.
Participants at the Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Day including leaders from the broader civil society community will be joined by several Heads of State, over 30 ministers and relevant portfolios, heads of UN system agencies, development banks and other international organizations, policy makers, CEOs from the private sector including from the research, innovation and investment communities as well as women's and youth groups actively engaged in energy issues.
Kevin Sara, CEO of Nur Energie, noted SEforALL's unique position in bringing all the players together to the United Nations. "The UN is a highly appropriate forum for finding solutions to global energy challenges which require the full cooperation of nations." As a multi-technology solar power plant developer in the Mediterranean, Nur Energie incorporates "technology from the USA and China, engineering from Tunisia and Italy, commercial customers in the United Kingdom and Switzerland, and financing from the African Development Bank," emphasized Sara.
"What we do at SEforALL is to create the enabling conditions for partnerships among, public, private and civil society to work together ensuring that significant commitments are converted into actions and investments are made to bring about sustainable energy for all, "said Mohinder Gulati, the initiative's Chief Operating Officer.
The Sustainable Energy for All Initiative will also use the gathering to launch a two-year campaign on energy for women and children's health.