The adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015 has mobilized global and local action toward a sustainable future for all of the world’s people and the environment. But it’s clear that far more is needed to achieve the Goals. The upcoming SDG Summit, to be held 24-25 September at UN Headquarters, provides an opportunity to ramp up international commitment to the 2030 Agenda, showcase areas of global progress, and raise awareness on the importance of the SDGs globally. It is also looking to leverage progress in key areas to kick-start an acceleration process.

The Summit calls on all countries and actors to pledge new SDG Acceleration Actions for SDG implementation and will help build partnerships to further achievement at all levels. We spoke with Lotta Tahtinen, Chief of the Outreach and Partnerships Branch in UN DESA’s Division for Sustainable Development Goals, who told us about the new registry.

Can you tell us about these SDG Acceleration Actions?

“The Summit will be the first UN summit on the SDGs since their adoption in September 2015, and we’re asking all stakeholders, including Member States, local authorities, the private sector, foundations, young people, academic institutions and philanthropic organizations, to make a strong, specific commitment to amplify their work towards the goals. These SDG Acceleration Actions are initiatives voluntarily undertaken by countries and other actors and will be registered on an online database managed by UN DESA. We want to see many, many actions registered on behalf of all 17 SDGs.”

Who can submit an Action?

“Anyone! This inclusive platform provides a space for governments, businesses and all stakeholders to register acceleration actions. These commitments can reflect a new policy or programme, new investments or an increase in support for specific SDGs and/or communities.”

Sounds good! How can a person or organization register one?

“Go to the registry website,, and fill out all the fields in as much detail as possible. UN DESA will be reviewing all submissions and publishing them in the lead up to the Summit.”

What’s the criteria for selecting Acceleration Actions?

“SDG Acceleration Actions should facilitate and accelerate implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, reflecting the interlinkages between goals. They should build on existing efforts, for instance, scaling up a successful initiative or pushing it into a new growth phase, and include the means of implementation such as finance, technology or capacity-building.

Another thing that’s really important to us is that Acceleration Actions follow the SMART Criteria, meaning the commitment is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Resource-Based, with Time-based deliverables. And of course, they should reflect the principles of the UN Charter and 2030 Agenda.”

Is there any follow-up once the Action is registered?

“Definitely. UN DESA regularly prepares synthesis reports on the implementation of partnership commitments, which could include these acceleration actions, which can be used to identify good practices as well as identify gaps. The SDG Acceleration Actions registry also provides for a reporting and monitoring function to help ensure that acceleration actions are properly followed-up. UN DESA and the Department of Global Communications will collaborate on advertising selected initiatives in the lead up, during and after the SDG Summit to show the world all these great projects really impacting local communities in a positive way.”

For more information, or to register your SDG Acceleration Action, visit this site here.