Christiana Figueres delivered the 2019 Dag Hammarskjöld Lecture, becoming the 20th honoree to do so since the lecture series was instituted more than two decades ago and the first to deliver it virtually. The title of the lecture is ‘Leadership for the decisive decade’.
Ms Figueres reflects in the lecture on Dag Hammarskjöld’s staunch humanist convictions within the context of the current climate change challenge. She argues that the entry into the era of the Anthropocene makes it necessary for humans to assume the responsibility that they have engendered as unparalleled agents of change. She notes that unlike any previous period in the evolution of mankind, humans are holding the pen on the present and, above all, on the future.
Ms Figueres also provides examples of how, in addressing climate change, we begin to take individual and collective responsibility to mend the damage we have wrought on ourselves and on other sentient beings on the planet. She notes that we are also beginning to show solidarity with one another and to strengthen our collaboration capacity; we are donning Hammarskjöld’s humanist conviction, which is the only route to address the greatest challenge that humanity has ever faced.