UN Forum redefines business leadership

Over 12,000 sustainability leaders, including Government Ministers, a Head of Government and 40 CEOs from around the world gathered virtually at the 5th SDG Business Forum on Wednesday to discuss how the private sector, can work with governments and civil society, to use the SDGs as a roadmap for long-term sustainability, and to address the three critical fragilities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic – climate change and nature loss, economic exclusion and social inequality.

Making the case for sustainable business solutions

This year is like no other, for individuals and businesses alike. The world is facing new and unforeseen challenges at a time when the international community is five years into efforts to achieve the global goals and at the start of the Decade of Action. As companies struggle in a COVID-19 stricken world, some suggest that the gloomy economic forecast may make them less inclined to adopt sustainable business practices. The SDG Business Forum, taking place on 23 September, hopes to prove otherwise.

UN Headquarters building is seen during the 2019 SDG Action Zone

SDGs can fill the deep divides exposed by the pandemic, UN DESA chief says

A devastating global pandemic, inequalities, hunger, poverty and a burning climate emergency. As the United Nations celebrates its 75th anniversary, it must contend with an unprecedented onslaught of crises of global magnitude. Luckily, the world has a blueprint and tools to fight these crises and recover better. If we let the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) guide our response, the world will rise stronger.

One million people share hopes and fears for future with the UN

The results are in from a massive, unprecedented crowd-sourcing survey of international opinion, launched in January 2020 to mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. Participants from all walks of life, women, men, girls and boys in developed and developing countries were encouraged to share their hopes and fears for the future and how the UN can help to bring about change. 

UN ‘only as strong as its members’ Guterres tells UN75 event, looking to the future

On Monday the UN marks the 75 years of the Organization with a High-level meeting featuring many world leaders. The theme is, “The future we want, the United Nations we need”, and there is a strong focus on the role of youth, and ensuring the UN remains relevant for future generations.

Sustainable Development goals are ‘the future’ Malala tells major UN event, urging countries to get on track

The Global Goals represent the future for millions of girls who want education, women who fight for equality, and youth fighting for clean air, UN Messenger of Peace Malala Yousafzai said on Friday, at a side event of the General Assembly, challenging Member States, “when are you planning to do the work”? 

Global goals light up ideas for a bright future

Gift knows her solar light did more than simply light up her home near Kampala, Uganda. Her solar light gave her the freedom to breastfeed at night, and to navigate the latrines. It meant she no longer had to buy batteries to power torches; instead, the money was used to start her own business, and save to buy her own plot of land. Her solar light has electrified the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Uganda, and is brightening the otherwise challenged trajectory of the 2030 Agenda.

Top UN economists warn of crises of our own making if global “megatrends” left unchecked

To avoid future failures, new report calls for overhaul of the way policies are made. 

Five human‑made “megatrends” will continue to dominate and frustrate global efforts to put the world on a more sustainable and prosperous path, unless urgent policy interventions to influence them are taken now, the UN Economist Network warned today in a new report.

Balancing the account of our planet’s resources

The resources of our planet are not endless. Someone who knows that we cannot continue to borrow from the Earth’s natural assets is Maija from Finland. At the beginning of last year, Maija began to budget her carbon expenditure, aiming to save over 5000kg CO2e within the year. By registering her individual action on the Finnish Government’s “Sustainable Lifestyle” online service, Maija is proving that everyone, everywhere, can contribute to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

How a video can change the world

The world’s oldest annual film festival just came to an end. The 77th Venice International Film Festival was held from 2 to 12 September 2020 in the wonderful Lido di Venezia in Italy, raising awareness and promoting international cinema in all its forms as art, entertainment and as an industry. Despite the challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, UN DESA did not miss the opportunity to participate in the event and to discuss the 2030 Agenda and the way forward.

Safeguarding those left farthest behind

Recognizing what can and what needs to be achieved, the Social Protection for Sustainable Development Goals (SP4SDG), a UN Joint Programme in Malawi, was set up in partnership with the UN entities and the Government to fast-track the social and economic changes needed to safeguard families like Susanne’s.

New General Assembly underscores ‘necessity of multilateralism’

The 75th session of the UN General Assembly opened on Monday with a moment of silence against the unprecedented backdrop of the COVID pandemic, as the new president told delegates that the coronavirus had driven home the value of multilateralism “to address our collective challenges”.

Countries’ SDG progress reports tell stories of hardship and resilience

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in Georgia, schools were forced to close, as they did for 90 per cent of the world’s schoolchildren at the time. While some students were able to switch to online learning, those without Internet access faced missing out on months of education. But the Georgian Government was determined not to let it happen.

Everything you need to know about the UN World Data Forum

In just over a month, members of the data community from every corner of the world will meet in virtual space for the most important data event of the year – the United Nations World Data Forum. We talked to Francesca Perucci of UN DESA’s Statistics Division to discover what we can expect from this event.

International cooperation works – even from home

For the past 75 years, royals, presidents, prime ministers and other world leaders have been coming together at the UN General Assembly every year to discuss and attempt to peacefully resolve the planet’s gravest challenges. This year, for the first time since the end of the Second World War, they will stay at home. But the conversation and cooperation carry on.