Eliezer Batista, patron of the International Year of Global Understanding, passed away on June 18 at the Samaritano Hospital in Rio de Janeiro.

From the very beginning of the IYGU process, Eliezer Batista was a very supportive patron of the International Year, especially in the Latin American context, but also beyond.

Besides serving several Brazilian governments as Minister of Mines and Energy, as well as Minister of Strategic Affairs, Eliezer Batista’s merits included being one of the key initiators of the Rio 1992 Earth Summit and co-founder of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). At the UN Rio+20 Earth Summit, he promoted the IYGU at the top international policy level. He was the recipient of more than 12 countries’ highest awards and an honorary member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

At numerous important events he highlighted that the “IYGU emphasizes culturally different paths to global sustainability and that only changing individual actions will lead to a change in collective action, whose result will be the improvement of the system’s global scope.” This conviction will certainly remain one of the important legacies for the IYGU’s present and future potencies around the globe.

Our thoughts are with Eliezer’s wife Inguelore and the family. We will remember him as a wonderful, brilliant, generous, and humorous person, always ready to help and support the implementation of the IYGU.

Benno Werlen

Executive Director of the International Year of Global Understanding (IYGU)