BONN, Germany — The UN SDG Action Campaign and key mobilizing partners have wrapped up the most successful Global Week to #Act4SDGs to date with over 150 million actions for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recorded in over 190 countries around the world, the Bonn-based UN initiative has confirmed.
Running from 15 September to 25 September, this year’s Global Week to #Act4SDGs came at a pivotal time in the journey towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and overlapped with the 2023 UN SDG Summit — a global event held at the UN Headquarters in New York to mark the mid-point to the 2030 Agenda 2030.
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, the Global Week to #Act4SDGs was a unique opportunity for civil society organizations, Member States, and the private sector to mobilize with determination and commit to action in order to revive hope in a sustainable future for all.
“At the UN SDG Action Campaign, we are committed to ensuring that every SDG action towards a better tomorrow counts. Most importantly, we firmly believe that every individual’s action can start a butterfly effect and lead to the positive change we all want to see,” said Marina Ponti, Global Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign. “With 156 million actions counted globally in more than 190 countries, this year’s Global Week is a testament to the positive determination nurtured by both activists and citizens that a more sustainable future for all is indeed possible as long as we unite to act and make it happen.”
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 international partners to mobilize and take action for the SDGs and inspire individuals, organizations, and both public and private sector entities to come together and affect definitive and sustainable change for all.
To launch the Global Week to #Act4SDGs, the UN SDG Action Campaign aligned with key partners to unveil UNITE TO ACT activations and collaborate on SDG-focused actions that help drive impact and change while also drawing critical attention to the 2030 Agenda. At UN Headquarters in New York, for instance, the UN SDG Action Campaign partnered with the UN Foundation to host the SDG Mobilization Day panel Enhancing Advocacy, Financing and Accountability: Key Messages from Civil Society to the SDG Summit and Beyond featuring the participation of UN Secretary-General António Guterres and civil society leaders for an earnest discussion on ways forward on SDG implementation.
UN SDG Action Campaign Global Director Marina Ponti also led panel conversations at the UN SDG Media Zone on gender equality and sustainable food systems — two rallying cries for greater focus and investment into SDG5 and SDG2, respectively. Celebrities and influencers also joined the call to action with Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Nigerian singer-songwriter Yemi Alade, and Italian performer Elisa urging their followers to unite to #Act4SDGs.
Against that backdrop, the UN SDG Action Campaign’s key mobilizing partners helped spur action towards the SDGs through numerous global efforts. Global Week partner and SDG Action Award winner Let’s Do It World, for instance, successfully mobilized 20 million individuals for its global 2023 World Cleanup Day effort in a range of countries spanning El Salvador and Estonia to Kenya and Indonesia. For its part, the European Sustainable Development Week mobilized over 10 million individuals in the name of the SDGs. And, in the Philippines, the new Change Maker 2040 Museum, a project by PAEC Global and in partnership with the UN SDG Action Campaign, reached 100,000 students with an innovative and immersive educational installation aimed at inspiring a generation of youth to take action towards a sustainable and equitable future. These actions and more cumulatively reached the 150 million mark previously set by the UN SDG Action Campaign as the 2023 target for the Global Week.
“We are used to thinking in divisions: we draw lines, segregating countries, peoples, issues. But the power of the SDGs is that they compel us to weave these different strands into a ribbon of unity that connects and encircles us all,” Ms. Ponti continued. “The Global Goals are our best hope for people, for planet, for prosperity, for peace, and for partnerships. And we can only achieve our objectives 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.
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