Nivela Director Monica Araya participated in BBC Debate at the UN

This is the first time the BBC World Service records a program at the UN during the delegates discussions. Monica Araya talked about clean energy and citizen engagement in Costa Rica.

Photo BBC jpeg

This July, the BBC World Service aired a radio programme presenting a debate recorded during a sitting session of the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on the theme “Implementing the 2030 Agenda through policy innovation and integration”. The debate, titled “My Perfect Country UN debate” and hosted at the UN headquarters in New York, had the participation of Nivela Director Monica Araya as a representative of Costa Rica, along with three other representatives from India, Uganda and Estonia.

The BBC World Service programme, My Perfect Country. seeks to discuss the elements that would be part of an ideal country so it travels around the world to find these elements. A previous program, for example, had discussed Costa Rica and Araya had already been interviewed (as well as other panelists). Recording this world service radio program at the UN headquarters was an innovation. For the first time the UN, asked the BBC program toconduct a live program in front of the delegates of the Economic and Social Council.

The debate focused on how far the countries have managed to implement the Sustainable Development Goals and was introduced by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who noted the importance of learning from each other’s experiences and innovations “so we can all grow closer into the dreams of a perfect country and, indeed, a better world”. Throughout the discussion, relevant topics such as access to justice, digital policies, clean transportation and access to sanitation were examined.


  • Gerald Abila, Founder and Director, Barefoot Law (Uganda).
  • Hannes Astok, Director for Development and Strategy, Member of the Management Board, Head of Local e-Government Domain, e-Governance Academy (Estonia).
  • Monica Araya, Founder and Executive Director of Costa Rica Limpia and Nivela (Costa Rica).
  • Garima Sahai, Co-founder, Svadha, Sanitation Social Business (India).


  • Fi Glover, Award-winning Broadcaster, Journalist and Writer, BBC World Service.
  • Henrietta Moore, Professor and Director of the Institute for Global Prosperity, University College London.
“An agenda around public transportation that is attractive and that makes people want to be together is very important from a social perspective, not just for environmental reasons”, she said.

During the debate, Nivela Director Monica Araya discussed the significance of using informative platforms to find innovative ways to engage with citizens and promote their participation in the implementation of the SDGs. For example, Costa Rica Limpia – which Araya founded and directs – allows citizens to be more engaged on clean energy and electric transportation issues, not only for local matters but also those of international significance, such as the ratification of the Paris Agreement.

Araya also emphasized her vision to build a fossil-fuel-free Costa Rica with a clean and effective transportation network.

For a full recording of this BBC debate, please visit this link.

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