Our past and our future....
Remembering Stockholm 72 — NIGH's Direct Connection
Advocating to achieve the UN SDGs directly connected to global environmental efforts for healthy people on a healthy planet. Credit >>>
NIGH's Co-Founder was there — making his difference in Stockholm 72 and beyond...
This recent laughing picture of Wayne Kines — at NIGH's office in Canada — features the original prototype Earth Day Flag gifted during his time as the Founding Director of Communications for the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
Photo Credit: Patricia Gueye.
As the world celebrates fifty years since the first ‘Human Environment’ Conference was convened in Stockholm in 1972, our team is also celebrating one of NIGH’s Co-Founders — Wayne Kines — as he played a pivotal role in the creation of this 1972 Conference and the Conference's outcomes. Across the years since, there is a direct connection between his work at and within the United Nations and the founding NIGH.
In the late 60s and early 70s, Wayne served as a Special Advisor at the United Nations Headquarters and for the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in New York City — in collaboration with Paul Hoffman, Founder of UNDP and Gibson Parker — the first Director of the UN Centre for Economic and Social Information (CESI).
With these two UN mentors, Wayne participated in establishing the UN CESI — where concerns for the environment were highlighted at this global level for the first time.
In this role, Wayne had the opportunity to nominate his lifelong friend Canadian Maurice Strong to work within the UN system. Just at that time, Gibson Parker and Wayne were collaborating with then Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme who offered to host the first Conference on the 'Human Environment' in Stockholm, Sweden in 1972.
”There is a direct connection between Wayne's work within the United Nations and founding NIGH. ”
With Prime Minister Palme’s enthusiastic endorsement, Mr. Strong was established as the Secretary General of Stockholm 72 and thus Wayne became one of Mr. Strong’s key collaborators. With Wayne’s encouragement, Mr. Strong added the word ‘Human’ to the name of the Conference to appreciate how people are essential to solving environmental concerns. With this, Mr. Strong also insisted that a human form be featured to the Stockholm 72 Logo — the first UN Logo to place a human figure in its centre. This logo rendition is from the International Institute for Sustainable Development IISD >>>
In 1972, Wayne Kines was seconded — as a Special Advisor — to coordinate the participation of all non-governmental organizations in the UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm. At that time, angry protesters from across the world converged on Stockholm — threatening to disrupt the Conference in a major way >>> To this challenge, Mr. Strong asked Wayne to solve the problem. Wayne's answer was to invite NGO and civil society participation — welcomed, for the first time — in the sessions previously restricted to official UN Conference delegates.
“Wayne's answer was to invite NGO and civil society participation — welcomed for the first time — into the sessions previously restricted to UN Conference delegates. ”
With Wayne at the helm of this effort, he pioneered the effective contribution of international NGOs directly to the plenary discussions and debates of that event. This advocacy resulted in unanimous adoption of all recommendations proposed for the Stockholm Conference. NGO participation was also then presented in tabloid newspaper formats to all governments, NGOs and mass media — prior to their adoption and implementation by the UN General Assembly in late 1972.
With this remarkable endeavor, Wayne continued his 50+ year career to focus on grassroots participation encouraged and empowered at global, national and regional levels. This, in turn, established the foundational values of the Nightingale Initiative for Global Health (NIGH) and our future work. As well, Wayne's model tabloid presentations — and global distribution — became the prototype for the UN's ‘Development Forum’ for the 15 years that followed. During this period, Wayne Kines also became the Founding Director of Communications for the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) — headquartered first in Geneva, than Nairobi — to disseminate the information and recommendations of global environmental problems and solutions.
You can learn much more about Wayne Kines and the values he has brought to his extraordinary career here >>>