The President of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly, Mr. Peter Thomson, joined staff on a tour of the United Nations Food Gardens this week to learn more about urban agriculture and locally-sourced food. The event, organized as part of the “Be the Change for SDGs Week”, showcased the composting efforts and healthy food growing taking place on the grounds of the Secretariat Building. It also touched on the need to raise awareness about food security.

“The ‘Be the Change for SDGs Week’ is another important initiative in our efforts to lead by example at the United Nations on embracing a sustainable lifestyle,” said Mr. Thomson. “Personal choices matter, whether it comes to avoiding any type of plastics, reducing meat in your diet or exercising more.”

The seven-day sustainability challenge was an initiative of the Department of Public Information to encourage New York-based staff to “walk the talk” on sustainable living, and encourage individual action and more staff ownership of the Sustainable Development Goals. Each day, staff members were encouraged to take individual action, change consumption patterns, use active transport, and buy local foods.

To show his support for a more sustainable lifestyle, the President also participated in Tuesday’s International Day of Yoga celebration organized by the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations. Mr. Thomson practiced yoga with hundreds of participants on the North Lawn to promote physical and mental health.

The “Be the Change for SDGs Week” followed this month’s Ocean Conference, UN Green Fair and the inauguration of three colonies of honeybees at UN Headquarters in New York. All of the events sought to demonstrate the ongoing greening efforts of the Organization and underscore the importance of individual action to secure a sustainable future for the planet..

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