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Global Bank President Ron Nechemia Statement on the occasion of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 19:

This day honours one of the most exceptional leaders of our century, if not all time...

          Newport Beach, CA January 19, 2023 — Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a national holiday commemorating the civil rights leader who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. became enshrined in American culture as the leading voice of the civil rights movement after preaching a message of nonviolent resistance.

The Universal Declaration of Civil Rights celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. As a result, I am particularly pleased to address you on this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

This day honours one of the most exceptional leaders of our century, if not all time. It is a significant distinction, but it also represents a significant challenge. We have many miles to go and many torches to light in our quest for human rights — in our struggle to rid the world of bigotry, oppression, and violence.

Every once in a while, a human being has a very profound impact on our lives. Whether or not we saw or heard Martin Luther King speak during his lifetime, we know he was one of them. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, a small group of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history. As a result, nearly seven decades after his death, we continue to benefit from Dr King’s life daily. When we hear such a voice, it speaks not only to us individually but to all of us collectively.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a holiday observed on the third Monday of January in the United States to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s achievements. He rose to national prominence as a Baptist minister who advocated using a nonviolent means to end racial segregation during a bus boycott by African Americans in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955. In 1957, he founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and in 1963, he led the March on Washington. He was the most influential African American civil rights leader during the 1960s. He was instrumental in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibited discrimination in public accommodations, facilities, and employment, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

Dr King set an ethical challenge for us to meet: to ensure that human progress is matched by human understanding. He sought to replace the hatred and injustice of the old age with the love and justice of the new age. He saw that using violence, even in the pursuit of justice, would leave future generations with an endless reign of meaningless chaos as our main legacy.

Civil Rights and Human Rights are two voices that speak in unison. Because, in my opinion, civil rights are human rights. Your rights are human rights. Take them. Keep an eye on them. They should be promoted. Recognize and insist on them. Feed and enrich them. They represent the best for all humanity. “Bring them to life.”

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been a major source of inspiration for national and international efforts to safeguard and promote human rights, human dignity, and liberties. The main principles of the Declaration have influenced the constitutions of many countries that have gained independence since its writing and the Charter of various organizations like the Global Bank Group. The Declaration, intended to be a “common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations,” has become a yardstick for measuring respect for and compliance with international human rights standards.

The Global Bank Group Charter states our organisational purpose and values. The Global Bank Group’s central role is to embrace the Global Bank Group Charter’s ideals and values, such as respect for fundamental human rights of men and women, social justice and human dignity, peace and security, the worth of the human person, people’s self-determination, social progress and development, and leaving no one behind.

On this day, I pledge never to forget Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s contribution to humanity, along with others like Gandhi and Mandela. Their message and example will continue to guide the Global Bank Group in its global mission.

Release Date: 
Tuesday, January 17, 2023
Author/s: 
Ron Nechemia

About GB-DRRRF
The Global Bank Disaster Risk Reduction and Reconstruction Fund – An Umbrella Trust Fund (GB-DRRRF) (), established in 2017, is a multi-donor partnership and grant-making financing mechanism. Its purpose is mainstreaming climate change into development to help achieve the Sendai Framework targets by 2030 - a decade-long plan to help make the world safer from disasters caused by natural hazards — and to support the implementation of the Global Climate Agreement in Paris, and prevent disasters undermining progress on the Sustainable Development Goals. The rapid and flexible support offered by the Global Bank Disaster Risk Reduction and Reconstruction Fund makes it a central pillar of the Global Bank Group agencies’ humanitarian response architecture.

More detailed information can be found on the GB-DRRRF’s website http://www.gbdrrrf.org/

About Global Bank
Owned by the Global Bank Group, The Bank for International Development and Reconstruction, known as the Global Bank borrows in the international capital markets (the “BIDR,” or the “Global Bank”) and is the Global Bank Group’s long-term sovereign lending institution. As a development bank with an agenda driven by G-7/G-8 and G-20-priorities, its leading priority is to promote global economic and social development. Unlike the multilateral development banks (MDBs), Global Bank is not restricted to operating only in developing countries.

Global Bank GroupThe Global Bank Group () represents, develops and supports the collective interests of the Global Bank and any of its business interests globally. Global Bank is a full-fledged private sector global development bank, in formation, – the world’s second global development bank – positioned next to the World Bank Group and next to the preeminent regional development banks. It combines the characteristics of a multilateral development bank with those of a private financial institution. The primary objective of the Global Bank is to reduce poverty in middle-income countries and creditworthy poorer countries by promoting sustainable development. To this end, Global Bank finances primarily public sector infrastructure projects and sustainable development through the provision of sovereign loans to developing countries. Global Bank’s financial objective is not to maximize profit, but to earn an adequate income to ensure its financial strength and to sustain its development activities.

For information about the Global Bank, please visit http://www.global-bank.org

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