In New York, UN SDG Action Campaign Kicks Off Global Week to #Act4SDGs as World Leaders Gather for SDG Summit
BONN, Germany — The UN SDG Action Campaign and key mobilizing partners from around the world are gearing up for the annual Global Week to #Act4SDGs just as world leaders arrive in New York for the 2023 SDG Summit — a global event marking the mid-point to the 2030 Agenda and a moment to take stock of SDG progress.
This year’s Global Week to #Act4SDGs comes at a critical and pivotal time. According to the recent SDG Progress Report, a mere 12% of the SDG targets are currently on track while progress remains slow or insufficient for 50% of them. Over 30% of the SDGs have either stagnated or regressed. In this context, both the SDG Summit and the Global Week to #Act4SDGs present as unique opportunities for civil society organizations, Member States, and the private sector to mobilize with determination and commit to action in order revive hope in a sustainable future for all.
“In order for the SDGs to succeed in these challenging times, we need a whole-of-society approach — one that draws upon every aspect of the richness and talent of our diverse societies,” said Marina Ponti, Global Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign. “Above all we need unity. Unity remains at the heart of the SDGs because achieving any single goal requires achieving them all. And this is only possible when people themselves unite for change.”
The Global Week is the culmination of the UN SDG Action Campaign’s 2023 UNITE TO ACT initiative, which has galvanized a network of more than 1,700 partners around the world to mobilize for the SDGs. Throughout its visual imagery, the UNITE TO ACT campaign leverages the motif of a ribbon of unity and offers open-source social media assets, calling on individuals, organizations, and both public and private sector entities, to come together and affect definitive and sustainable change for the SDGs.
“UNITE TO ACT is a message of hope, possibilities and of the urgency of action now,” added Ms. Ponti. “For too long, we have been used to thinking in divisions. But the power of the SDGs is that they call on us to weave the lines together, transforming them into a ribbon of unity.”
To launch the Global Week to #Act4SDGs, the UN SDG Action Campaign has aligned with key partners to unveil UNITE TO ACT activations and collaborate on SDG-focused actions that help drive impact and change. On 15 September, for instance, the Campaign and German media company Morean are partnering to launch the first-ever SDG stunt in the Metaverse. From atop a virtual Berlin TV tower, individuals can use their unique avatars and take a metaverse stunt photo to show their commitment in uniting to #Act4SDGs and learn more about how we can achieve the sustainable development goals by 2030. Meanwhile, in New York, the Campaign and the UN Foundation are organizing a Civil Society Dialogue, marking the first day of an SDG Action Weekend at the UN, to recognize and promote civil society’s critical role in achieving the SDGs and provide a platform for dialogue with high-level officials from the United Nations and representatives from civil society organizations, youth, women’s groups, persons with disabilities and indigenous groups, among others. And from 18 to 20 September, a UNITE TO ACT digital art exhibition will be unveiled at the Sustainability Summit NYC, in partnership with the Consulate General of Denmark in New York, featuring a diverse array of artists and their creative and inspiring artistic reflections on SDGs tied to Climate Action, Peace, Gender Equality, and Inclusion.
At the same time, UN SDG Campaign partners will engage in additional actions around the world to show the global drive for the 2030 Agenda. In the Philippines, the new Changemaker 2040 Museum, a project by PAEC Global and in partnership with the UN SDG Action Campaign, will bring an innovative and immersive journey through the SDGs to more than 100 Filipino cities inspiring a generation to unite and take action towards a sustainable and equitable future. Meanwhile, in Nairobi, the Community SDG Festival will mobilize and educate thousands of activists and youth for the SDGs. And the global World Cleanup Day mobilization will drive millions of individuals around the world to clean-up their local environments to improve their communities.
“The time to unite for change is now because the window for a breakthrough to a world that works is still open — but closing fast,” Ms. Ponti continued. “We can only keep it open only by rapidly accelerating progress on the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. The Global Goals are our best hope — for people, for planet, for prosperity, for peace and for partnerships. And we can do it only if we unite to act.”
The UN SDG Action Campaign is a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General hosted by the Executive Office of the UN Development Programme (UNDP). It was established to unite people from across the world to take action for the SDGs and to connect civil society, local governments, and people working in the arts and culture, media, and private sectors in championing the SDGs in homes, communities and beyond. In that role, the Campaign is mandated to MOBILIZE, INSPIRE, AND CONNECT people and organizations from all sectors and geographies to take actions to achieve the SDGs, including through the annual UN SDG Action Awards.