David Nicholas / United Nations Day Concert at the UN Headquarters in New York.
In commemoration of United Nations Day, celebrated on Tuesday, 24 October, the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Tonga hosted the UN Day Concert organized by PVBLIC Foundation featuring the Environmental Symphony: The Movement, and world renowned cellist Michael Fitzpatrick in the General Assembly Hall on the theme of "The Frontlines of Climate Action."
Presented by the UN Secretary-General, this remarkable event highlighted the principles of the UN Charter on its 78th anniversary while it also mobilized the diplomatic community around climate action in the lead up to the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 28) in Dubai, and the 4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States in Antigua and Barbuda in 2024.
Prior to the concert, PVBLIC Foundation’s program Family Offices for Sustainable Development (FOSD) and the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Tonga to the United Nations hosted a high-level reception that included the attendance of and remarks from representatives such as H.E. Viliami Vainga Tōnē, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Tonga to the United Nations; Sergio Fernandez de Cordova, Executive Chairman for PVBLIC Foundation; H.E. Fatumanava Dr. Pa’olelei Luteru, Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS); H.E. Aubrey Webson, Permanent Mission of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations and Matt Tranchin, Executive Director for Family Offices for Sustainable Development. The goal was to amplify support for the strategic tripartite agreement signed by PVBLIC Foundation, AOSIS, and Antigua and Barbuda during the United Nations General Assembly which will lead to the creation of a SIDS Global Data Hub.
Sergio Fernandez de Cordova, Executive Chairman of PVBLIC Foundation, championed the reception’s theme in his remarks.
“Data is a human right, an asset class and the frontlines of climate action. And it is what the world’s most vulnerable countries rely on to combat the climate crisis and achieve resilience and prosperity. So as we unite with leaders from every island nation in the world to join the SDG Data Alliance and build country-led data hubs, we ask you to help us build the foundation for a World Data Alliance that empowers every government across the globe to achieve their climate goals before it is too late.
David Nicholas / Sergio Fernández de Córdova, Executive Chairman for PVBLIC Foundation at the United Nations Day Concert Reception at the Delegates Dining Room - UN Headquarters.
The ceremony officially kicked off with opening remarks from Melissa Fleming, Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, who made a call for ‘’climate justice’’, claiming that small islands developing states like the Kingdom of Tonga are just responsible for 0.2% of global carbon emissions, and yet they bear the heaviest burden of the current climate crisis. Likewise, Fleming also raised her voice on behalf of the protection of island nations and accelerated progress towards the preservation of our ecosystems and a greener world for all.
David Nicholas / Melissa Fleming, Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications at the United Nations Day Concert.
Afterwards, the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, and the President of the 78th Session of the General Assembly, Dennis Francis, gave their respective remarks. During this opportunity they reaffirmed the purposes and principles of the UN Charter that have guided us for the past 78 years, also highlighting the ongoing challenges that the world is facing, climate change being one of the most urgent. In this regard, both leaders emphasized the imperativeness to ‘’push for more action, more delivery and more support’’.
David Nicholas / UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, at the United Nations Day Concert.
David Nicholas / President of the 78th Session of the General Assembly, Dennis Francis, at the United Nations Day Concert.
During the closing remarks, the Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Tonga to the United Nations, H.E. Viliami Vainga Tōnē, reinforced the urgency to support the small islands developing states in the midst of natural disasters and the outcomes of climate change. At the same time, the Permanent Representative extended his gratitude to all his counterparts and collaborators for this year’s UN Day concert, including Sergio Fernandez de Cordova, Executive Chairman for PVBLIC Foundation. The Ambassador also flagged the importance of the SDG Data Alliance in the race towards achieving the 2030 Sustainable Agenda, since Tonga has been one of the first nations to join the Alliance.
Later, the Mana Academy Scholars took over the stage and left the audience breathless with an inspiring message and call to take care of our oceans and the greatness of island nations around the world.
David Nicholas / Mana Academy Scholars at the United Nations Day Concert.
Finally the talents of Michael Fitzpatrick and the Environmental Symphony: The Movement mesmerized us with their performances, touching hearts and igniting a sense of shared purpose. Their artistry transcended boundaries and served as a powerful reminder of the universal language of harmony.
David Nicholas / Cellist Michael Fitzpatrick at the United Nations Day Concert.
David Nicholas / The Environmental Symphony: The Movement, at the United Nations Day Concert.
PVBLIC Foundation is deeply grateful for the dedication of our partners, the Kingdom of Tonga, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), Antigua and Barbuda and the United Arab Emirates, whose tireless efforts contributed to the seamless execution of this grand celebration. Their unwavering support has paved the way for a brighter, more inclusive future for all. We also extend our gratitude to the Environmental Symphony: The Movement and their entire team. We are so grateful for the talents of Michael Fitzpatrick and the youth scholars from Mana Academy.
The UN Day Concert stands as a powerful testament to the strength of unity and collaboration. Through the language of music, we reaffirmed our commitment to the UN's mission and goals, fostering global solidarity and awareness. Your unwavering support has further emboldened our collective drive to advocate for meaningful change worldwide.
Together, we can amplify our impact and create a world that is more just, equitable, and sustainable for generations to come.