Tackling Global Challenges Together

Every September, the Member States of the United Nations meet at the General Assembly in New York to discuss the critical issues of global concern. This year, in addition to the general debate, world leaders participated in a series of summits and high-level meetings to boost action on climate change and accelerate progress on sustainable development, aimed at securing healthy, peaceful and prosperous lives for all. Underpinning the action week are the Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by all world leaders in 2015. The 17 interconnected Goals are a universal call to action to end poverty and hunger, expand access to health, education, justice and jobs, while protecting our planet from environmental degradation.

Rows of solar panels
23 September 2019

Climate Action Summit

Major announcements by government and private sector leaders at the United Nations Climate Action Summit boosted climate action momentum, and demonstrated growing recognition that the pace of climate action must be rapidly accelerated. At the Youth Climate Summit on 21 September, youth leaders vowed to put continued pressure on governments and businesses for urgent action to address the climate emergency.

The first-ever High-level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage launched new efforts to provide access for all to affordable, inclusive and resilient health systems. The meeting galvanized global commitments to ensure health for all, recognizing the strong links to climate action and the fact that health is a human right and a precondition, outcome and driver of sustainable development.

Four years after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and with efforts off track for meeting its objectives, world leaders called for a decade of ambitious action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and announced actions they are taking to advance the agenda. In the political declaration unanimously adopted at the SDG Summit, UN Member States pledged to mobilize financing, enhance national implementation and strengthen institutions to achieve the sustainable development objectives by the target date and leave no one behind.

The High-Level Dialogue heard from more nearly 20 heads of state and government and as many ministers, joined by philanthropy and business leaders, including Bill Gates, who sounded the alarm about the insufficient pace in closing the gap in investments that are critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The announcements made by leaders demonstrated increased resolve to mobilize resources, generate action and restore momentum to achieve the globally agreed goals to eliminate poverty, promote prosperity and well-being while protecting the environment.

Heads of State and Government adopted a political declaration that reaffirms their solidarity with small island developing States, which face a unique set of challenges. Five years after an ambitious agreement – the SAMOA Pathway – to support sustainable development in small island developing states, the High-Level Review discussed progress on combating the devastating impacts of climate change, building economic and environmental resilience, and other challenges, and announced new partnerships to support small island developing States.