The eight-day journey of the train "UN 70 Belarus Express for SDGs" has been a creative approach to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The United Nations in Belarus partnered with government ministries, private and public sector actors, students and journalists to promote the Sustainable Development Goals all over the country, as a way to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations. From 23-30 October 2015, a train decorated with the 17 Global Goals toured the country to raise awareness about the new agenda, along with the role that each one can play in its implementation.
The UN70 Express attracted thousands of visitors and offered a rich programme of activities to bring the UN and the SDGs to the people in each of its city stops: Minsk, Hrodna, Baranovičy, Brest, Homiel, Mahilioŭ, and Viciebsk. On-board and on-site events included guided tours, lectures, workshops, debates, movie screenings, concerts, dance performances, talk shows, hackathons, flash mobs, culinary fests and activities for children and adults. About 250 activities were planned in the eight cities along the train’s route. Each Oblast (Region) Executive Committee Chairperson along the way signed a Declaration of Commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals.
The passengers included representatives of 19 UN agencies, the Belarusian government, parliament, embassies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), businesses, governors, students, journalists, celebrities, people living with HIV, refugees and people with disabilities. The UN70 Express served as a platform-on-wheels for rich dialogue on real life challenges that ordinary Belarusians face.
“Everyone’s voice is important. Everyone’s dream must be celebrated. Everyone’s fears must be addressed. Everyone’s vulnerability must be recognized. Everyone’s potential contribution must be counted,” said Sanaka Samarasinha, UN Resident Coordinator in Belarus.
In this video, the UN Information Centre in Belarus tried to capture the spirit of that historic journey:
If you want to know more about the train’s travel, you can visit UN Belarus website and follow the conversation on Twitter and Facebook #UN70Express.