SDG Blog


Every month, UN DESA’s signature SDG Blog brings you a fresh perspective on one of the 17 most pressing challenges faced by the world today. From grassroots activists to presidents and from top UN officials to international sport stars, the SDG Blog brings together the insightful, surprising and inspiring ideas on how we can achieve humanity’s shared objective – prosperity for all on a healthy planet. Immerse yourself in the big ideas of our time.


Population trends are both a key driver and a consequence of development

By Anastasia J. Gage, Professor at the Department of International Health and Sustainable Development, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University and member of the UN High-level Advisory Board on Economic and Social Affairs

To achieve sustainable development, the world will have to lessen its impact on the environment. Environmental impact is driven not just by the number of people in the world but also by the way humans produce and consume goods and resources.

Now is the time to save our ocean and protect our future

By Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General of UN DESA and Secretary-General of the 2022 UN Ocean Conference

It is time to turn the tide. Now is the time to save our ocean, if we want to protect our future. For the sake of life on our planet – above and below water, and for current and future generations, let’s make this an event that will go down in history books for the way it changed our course.

An inclusive vision of computing will help us accelerate progress on the SDGs

By Josiah Hester, Assistant Professor, Northwestern University, and Director of the Ka Moamoa Ubiquitous and Mobile Computing Lab

Computing is all around us — health trackers on wrists, flow sensors on water mains, smart meters on power lines, pedestrian counting cameras in cities – sensors and smart devices are everywhere. This computational fabric is only growing and is crucial for sustainable development.

Financing for the way forward for sustainable development

By Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

As we call for closing vaccine and fiscal gaps in our economic stimulus packages, and for increasing support to countries’ suffering the brunt of the impacts of the war in Ukraine, our focus must be on directing investments to foster inclusive, sustainable, and resilient growth.

Healthy forests offer a path to a better climate and greener future for all

By Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo, Director, United Nations Forum on Forests Secretariat, UN DESA

Sustainably managing the forests we have, and restoring the health of forests that are degraded, is critical to closing the emissions gap and regaining balance within our natural ecosystems.

Partner with us for Partnership Forum 2022

By Collen Vixen Kelapile, President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

Partnerships mean different things to different people. To some, partnerships can mean sharing the financial burdens and profits of joint ventures. To others, partnerships may entail a deeper commitment to common objectives and working with others to find solutions to shared problems.

Ride the Rising Wave to the 2022 UN Ocean Conference

By Ambassador Peter Thomson, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean

For the future security of our species on this planet, it is vital, in the true sense of the word, that we stop the decline and work to restore a healthy Ocean.


Building an open, free and secure digital future for all

By Maria-Francesca Spatolisano, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Officer in Charge of the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology

If you are reading this online, you are fortunate to have access to Internet. 2.9 billion people, particularly in Least Developed Countries, are not as lucky.

Impacting climate as a young innovator

By Xiangkun (Elvis) Cao, Founder of C2X and MIT Climate & Sustainability Consortium Impact Fellow

From a kid in a small village in China to Forbes 30 under 30.

Moving the world in the right direction

By Jean Todt, UN Special Envoy for Road Safety and Michelle Yeoh, UNDP Goodwill Ambassador

Join us on a journey across six areas of transport that are essential to move the world in the right direction.

Together, we can change the way we power the world

By Alok Sharma, President of COP 26

Together, we can revolutionise the way we power the world, leaving no one behind. Spurring growth and development, while protecting our planet for future generations.

Achieving SDG7 will put us on a pathway to net-zero

By Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO, Sustainable Energy for All

The energy transition story is a story of energy access. I’ve often said this, and it’s worth repeating. The climate crisis and the energy access crisis are intrinsically linked.

Ready to keep the promise of the SDGs

By Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General

How can this generation—coming of age in the middle of a pandemic, in a world facing gross inequalities, a climate crisis and an economic depression not seen in decades—be ready? How can any of us prepare for what comes next?

A recovery that works for everyone

By Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo, World Bank

As the world continues to grapple with what it means to ensure an inclusive recovery, we must remember that persons with disabilities remain disproportionately excluded from accessing adequate health, education, transportation, and other basic services.

We need a green revolution for technology

By Daron Acemoglu, MIT Economics

Automation and AI (artificial intelligence) are fundamentally reshaping our labour markets, yet they are often seen as problems of developed economies of the West. That is a mistake.

The cool solutions to Africa’s burning problems

By Adekoyejo Kuye, Manamuz Electric, Nigeria

One third of the food produced globally for human consumption never gets to the final consumer. In Africa, the numbers are even more alarming. This is mainly due to the huge energy gap and the inefficient supply chain infrastructure.

Generation Equality Forum: A space for reflection, dialogue and commitment

By Nadine Gasman Zylbermann, Inmujeres, Mexico

The world has changed dramatically since 1995. Yet not one country has reached substantive equality between women and men. We live in a world where there has been important progress, but the Beijing Platform for Action is more current than ever.

The pandemic has revealed the true cost of inequality

by Agnes Kalibata, Special Envoy for the 2021 Food Systems Summit

In 2020, the entire world knew what it was to be hungry. Millions went without enough to eat, the many victims of COVID-19 were starved of air, and the lonely and remote were deprived of human contact.

New Year resolution: working together to achieve the goals

by Volkan Bozkır, President of the UN General Assembly

2020 was set to be a celebratory year for the United Nations as it turned 75 years old. Yet the globe was turned upside down by a virus which no one was prepared for. The year also marked a ten year countdown to 2030: the deadline to implement the Sustainable Development Goals.


Covid-19 and the Green New Deal

by Mariana Mazzucato, University College London

The 21st century is increasingly being defined by the need to respond to major social, environmental and economic challenges. Sometimes referred to as ‘grand challenges’, these include the climate crisis, demographic challenges and promotion of health and well-being. 

A wake-up call for a more united world

by Liu Zhenmin, UN DESA

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the world, but it has not broken us. Over a million people have died worldwide, and the death toll continues to rise. We must confront the onslaught of the pandemic with fortitude, resolve and unity, not with fear, division and despondence. 

A healthy and green recovery: the future we want

by Poorvaprabha Patil, Medical Students Association of India and Sophie Gepp, Health for Future

The COVID-19 pandemic has been the worst health crisis since the Spanish Flu of 1918. With over 844,000 deaths, as of 30th August 2020, and slowing economies due to strict quarantine measures, human lives have been disrupted in more ways than one. 

We need to kick our resource habit before it ruins us

by Izabella Teixeira, International Resource Panel

It’s the year 2060. In classrooms around the world, children learn about the apocalyptic climate catastrophe that had been threatening their planet just decades earlier and whose worst effects had been averted. Impossible? Not according to the latest science.

Responding to the crisis and building a better future

by Li Yong, UNIDO

Just as we entered the Decade of Action, determined to accelerate progress towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda, the COVID-19 pandemic caused widespread loss of life and human suffering in all parts of the world. 

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the SDGs will help us build back better

by SDG Advocates Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway, and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana

Our world today is grappling with a crisis of monumental proportions. The novel coronavirus is wreaking havoc across the globe, upending lives and livelihoods. 

We must act together to beat COVID-19 in Africa

by Winnie Byanyima, UNAIDS

The COVID-19 outbreak has been placing unprecedented strains on sophisticated health systems in Europe and Asia, with overstretched medical staff struggling to treat their patients and intensive care facilities overwhelmed in rich countries. 

COVID-19: We won’t improve global health one disease at a time

by Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO

We are now confronting the defining health crisis of our time. We are at war with a virus that threatens to tear the world apart—if we let it.

Just keep fighting, you are not alone

by Marta Vieira da Silva, Brazil and UN Women

In 1995, I was a 9-year-old girl living in the village of Dois Riachos, in the Northeast of Brazil. At that early age, I was already fighting to have the same opportunities as boys. I wanted to be out there on the playing field and scoring goals...

The future of our planet depends on getting our cities right

by Maimunah Mohd Sharif

Every week, three million people move to our cities and towns across the planet. Over half the global population currently live in cities and towns – and this will rise to two thirds by 2050.

What gives me hope for the next decade

by Maria-Francesca Spatolisano, UN DESA

Reading the news these days can be a nerve-racking experience. The headlines tell stories of an unprecedented wave of protests and of wildfires, stoked up by climate change, that are engulfing the green lungs of our planet from the Amazonian rainforest to Australia. And yet, I remain hopeful for our common future. Here is why.


Women need to be front and center in the energy transition

by Sheila Oparaocha, ENERGIA

Close to 1 billion people in the world lack access to electricity, and another 3 billion lack access to clean cooking. This energy poverty disproportionately affects women and girls.

Water and sanitation for all: letting data lead the way

by Gilbert F. Houngbo, IFAD, Chair of UN-Water

The sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) aims to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030. So, four years into the SDGs, how are we doing?

First end hunger to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

by Máximo Torero, FAO

An astonishing number of people worldwide — about 820 million or 11 per cent of those alive today — don’t have enough food to eat.

How new data challenges perceptions of ‘rich’ and ‘poor’

by Achim Steiner, UNDP

Development is working. There has been a massive drop in global extreme poverty rates ⁠— from 36 per cent in 1990 to 8.6 per cent in 2018⁠ — vastly increasing the economic and social opportunities for so many across the world.

Everything has to change for our planet to stay the same

by António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations

The Italian author, Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa once wrote that “if we want everything to stay the same, everything must change.” If we want our planet to remain the same – healthy and able to support prosperity and opportunity for all — we will have to completely transform our world.

From local to global: Sub-Saharan infrastructure saving Caribbean lives

by Natalie Draisin, FIA Foundation

Road crashes are the leading cause of death for children over the age of five. The majority of deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries despite the lower rates of motorization.

How accelerating action today can create a ripple effect for the future

by Liu Zhenmin, UN DESA

If we sow the right seeds of change and work hard over the next 10 years to help them flourish, then by 2030, everyone will reap the rewards.

It is time to “circle back” and transform the planet

by Joyce Msuya, UNEP 

Someone very wise once said, “the best way to predict the future is to create it.” So, what does this mean practically for us? 

What makes effective governance?

by Louis Meuleman, CEPA

How does one know when countries have implemented good governance? Although a cornerstone of all developmental efforts and the sine qua non of sustainability, governance is often nebulous.

Today’s youth are the cornerstone of tomorrow’s society

by Elliott Harris, UN DESA

Today’s youth are the cornerstone of tomorrow’s society. How well-equipped they are with education, skills and professional experience will determine their success and our future. 

Empowering women to achieve the global goals

by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women 

If you wonder why gender equality is so important, just try to think of any part of the world, or even any business, where it’s possible to say that we’ve already achieved it.