More from UNDESAVol 24 No. 6 - June 2019

Step by step – working towards sustainable development for all

Our world is facing mounting challenges that no one country can face alone. By connecting global policies and national action in the economic, social and environmental areas, UN DESA works with nations across the globe to find solutions to many of the world’s most pressing problems. Guided by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the department helps countries in their efforts to achieve sustainable development for all.

This year alone, the department is bringing the global community together for several high-level events aimed at accelerating action for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and boosting positive change. It kicks off with the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development on 9-18 July and continues in September during UN high-level week with the SDG Summit (24-25 September), the High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development (26 September) and the Samoa Pathway High-level Mid-term Review (27 September).

Counting everyone, because everyone counts
UN DESA does much more than bringing countries together. The department is a key provider of essential data, information and analysis for the international community to make informed decisions on development issues.

UN DESA keeps track of the world population to help countries plan and to make sure everyone is counted. Where is the population growing the fastest? How are population trends affecting the achievement of the SDGs? The global community will find out on 17 June 2019, when the department will launch its biennial report on the latest demographic trends, the World Population Prospects 2019.

Similarly, UN DESA collects and analyzes data, working closely with national statistical offices around the globe to strengthen statistical capacities, ensuring that no one is left uncounted. Based on this thorough work, the department leads the preparation of the annual Sustainable Development Goals Progress Report, tracking advancements and identifying gaps in our global efforts to achieve the SDGs. Stay tuned for the next SDG Progress Report to be launched on 9 July 2019.

Ahead of the curve
In a similar fashion, and looking through a sustainable development lens, the department monitors and analyzes global economic trends as well as new frontier technologies, often staying ahead of the curve. This was the case in the 1980s when UN DESA warned about the debt crisis and in the late 2000s when the department cautioned about the factors that led to the financial crisis.

The latest global economic trends were revealed in the World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) as of mid-2019 launched on 21 May. The report finds that high trade tensions and policy uncertainty continue to damage the prospects of economic growth. The department also shares regular updates on the global economy in the WESP monthly briefings.

Home of sustainable development

Within the UN system, UN DESA is the is the place where every SDG finds a home and where all actors can do their part to make sure we leave no one behind. The department leads the preparations for the annual review of the goals at the HLPF every July, supports Member States as they prepare to present their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) at this event, and we also provide the platforms where international actors can forge new partnerships and initiatives to spur further action on the goals. UN DESA also made a call asking the international community to share their SDG good practices and success stories. And the results are in, showcasing more than 400 projects in the department’s searchable database.

UN DESA also helps build capacities on the ground. Together with partners, the department supports more than 75 countries in building integrated, evidence-based, inclusive and well-funded national strategies and plans to implement the SDGs. Moreover, the department also works to secure financing for the goals.

Reaching those who are furthest behind first

To realize the promise of the 2030 Agenda of leaving no one behind, we need to reach the furthest behind first. UN DESA leads the way to make this happen. The department is a leading voice to promote inclusion, reduce inequalities and eradicating poverty.

This June for example, the department is organizing the 12th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Tune in on 11-13 June via UN Web TV to follow our work protecting the rights of persons with disabilities.

Whether by organizing major events, tracking SDG data, taking the pulse of socioeconomic trends or cutting-edge issues, or helping countries build capacity, UN DESA is there to support the international community. Step by step, the department works towards sustainable development for all.

Learn more about UN DESA’s work in our new pamphlet.

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