Mr. Alfredo Sfeir-Younis is an economist graduate of the University of Chile, with a Master and a Doctorate from the University of Wisconsin and the University of Rhode Island, USA. As an economist, he started his career as an assistant professor at the University of Chile, the Catholic University of Santiago and the Catholic University of Valparaiso. He taught probability statistics, macroeconomic theory and policy, and international trade and development.
As a macroeconomist, he worked in the Research Department of the Central Bank of Chile, where he was in charge of setting interest rates ceilings and supervising credit allocations into the private sector. His Commercial Engineering Degree was awarded after a thesis on “Concentration of Credit and Capital in the Chilean Private Sector: The Decade of the Sixties”. His Doctorate was in environment and natural resource economics, with a minor field in international trade and finance. His doctoral dissertation on “Multi Objective Evaluation Techniques for Project and Programs” focused on mainstreaming environmental concerns into macroeconomic policy decisions.
During his studies and career in Chile, Alfredo Sfeir-Younis held the positions of president of his high school, vice-president, and later on, president of the School of Economics. Then, he became elected Regent and Academic Senator of the Catholic University of Valparaiso, and held the position of Chairman of the Budget.
Presently, Mr. Sfeir-Younis works at the World Bank, where he as spent nearly 27 years of his life. Now, as the Director of the World Bank Office in Switzerland, he is The Special Representative to the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. Just before this assignment, he was the Special Representative at the United Nations in New York.
While at the World Bank, he has held several positions in the areas of environment and sustainable development, ex-post evaluation of projects and programs, agriculture and rural development in the West Africa Region and human rights. He has led a number of operational missions and has been the principal author of policy papers and statements of the Bank in such areas as forestry, fisheries, water management and irrigation, desertification and biodiversity.
Mr. Sfeir-Younis has also made contributions in the areas of poverty eradication, financing of development, gender and women issues, trade and development, role of indigenous peoples, human rights and right to development, culture in sustainable development, and many other important topics.
Today, Mr. Sfeir-Younis is the World Bank Institutional Focal Point on human rights and related matters. He regularly participate at the Commission of Human Rights as well as many international meetings and gatherings.
But Mr. Sfeir-Younis’ interests go far beyond traditional
The Spiritual Imperatives Of This Millennium:
A new state of human betterment will only come about as a mirror image of a new human consciousness. It will be the unfolding of this new consciousness the process through which we are going to heal ourselves of so many problems and complex realities beyond material illnesses. These include, for example, environmental destruction, war and conflict, racism and discrimination, poverty and social injustices, and more. Alternative medicine is deeply rooted in our spiritual realities and invariably responds to our level of understanding of life in its sacred realm. The material expressions of alternative medicine (e.g., acupuncture) and the impacts these will have on the health of people, are just one out of many other aspects we need to mainstream in public policy making to have a truly health, holy and happy population. Alternative medicine is seated at the vortex where our material and non-material life converge as one, to bring unity in purpose and to guide diversity in practice. No aspect of human activity can escape from addressing the challenge of healing humanity.
Thus, economics, as a major source of diseases and unhappiness must be challenged accordingly. Economic values and economic decisions permeate almost all we do in this global society and, as a consequence, we see major dysfunctionalities at all levels. The presentation will be devoted mainly to how economics and economic development are to become an integral part of a human healing experience. This healing experience will come about when societies are able to reconcile economics with spirituality. In order to do so, we must all move towards ³The 200% Society²; that society where people are both materially and spiritually rich. A self-realized society.