Scaling up global efforts to invest in the Sustainable Development Goals and address world’s mounting crises at the heart of the SDG Moment

20 09 2022 | 11:56

SDGs are the world’s To-Do list for more inclusive, prosperous and peaceful societies

New York, 19 September – To urgently respond to the world’s interconnected crises, the SDG Moment held during the 77th UN General Assembly today reinvigorated global action for the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the roadmap for forging a more equal and resilient future for everyone, everywhere.
With time running out on the achievement of the Goals, and against the backdrop of calls for bold solutions to solve the world’s deepening challenges in this year’s UN General Debate, the UN Secretary-General convened the SDG Moment to urgently spur stronger commitments to ensure successful SDGs implementation. This included a call for the reform of the global financial system.
“We need a reformed financial architecture that benefits developing countries, providing critical financing and debt relief,” stated UN Secretary-General António Guterres at the SDG Moment. “This is the only sustainable pathway to address the obscene inequalities that exist in every country, while ensuring that the world doesn’t slide into a recession.”
According to the Sustainable Development Goals report 2022, the confluence of crises – the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and the war in Ukraine are creating spin-off impacts on food security, health, education, the environment and peace and security. The combined crises could lead to an additional 75 million to 95 million people living in extreme poverty in 2022.
The world also faces a global education crisis with an estimated 147 million children missing more than half of their in-person instruction over the past two years. Additionally, women and girls remain disproportionately affected by the socioeconomic fallout of the pandemic, grappling with an increase in unpaid care work and domestic violence.

Countries have taken action to advance the SDGs and tackle the multiple crises by strengthening social protection, developing sustainable policies, and expanding essential services.  For example, in Greece, the Greek Recovery and Resilience Plan, supported by a budget of EUR 31.164 billion up to 2016, is structured around core priorities of the SDGs, including green transition, digital transition and employment and skills.  In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Arab Emirates supported the global community with 2,217 tons of medical supplies and 200 medical flights to 136 countries. In Lesotho, the economy has expanded by 3.6 per cent from 3 per cent in 2020 through the implementation of the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development initiative. Jamaica took steps to build adaptive capacity for climate action and resilience and surpassed the 2020 targets of SDG 14 for conserved marine areas.

However, while countries have taken steps to keep the promise of the SDGs, the severity and scale of our world’s challenges call for an urgent and collective response as set out in Our Common Agenda. Launched by the Secretary-General in 2021, Our Common Agenda seeks to rescue the SDGs through stronger international cooperation and reinvigorated multilateralism. Effective global SDG action will require significant changes to policies, governance and economic systems. Equitable access to vaccine supply, expansive stimulus packages in core sectors and access to financing for developing countries are also needed.
The Secretary-General opened the SDG Moment—a 90-minute event—with Heads of State and Government present and remarks from Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados and SDG Advocate Co-Chairs Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada (video message). High-profile special guests included SDG Advocates K-pop band BLACKPINK (video message), Actor, Producer, Author, Activist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Philanthropist Melinda French Gates and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Nomzamo Mbatha. US Poet, activist and UNICEF supporter Amanda Gorman also took part, with the SDG Moment closing with a special performance by singer-songwriter Judith Hill.
In addition to immersive projections supported by EXPO 2020 in the UN General Assembly Hall that depicted the SDGs as our World’s To-Do List, a Stocktaking film supported by Deloitte and a call-to-action by SDG Advocate Richard Curtis supported by Project Everyone, the SDG Moment included dialogues on finding solutions to addressing inequalities and climate change and an SDG call to action.
The SDG Moment was the scene setter for the Transforming Education Summit.  
About the SDG Moment
General Assembly resolution 74/4 calls on the Secretary-General to organize an annual moment in the context of the General Debate of the General Assembly to highlight inspiring SDG action. The SDG Moment, convened for the first time in 2020, serves as a check-in on the status of the SDGs.
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