Special Edition:

UN High-level Political Forum for the Sustainable Development Goals

6 to 16 July | 2021 High-level Political Forum (HLPF)

The 2021 High-level Political Forum (HLPF) remains a key annual review of progress, challenges and lessons learned. The two-week Forum brings together all levels of governments, civil society, businesses and many others to look at how different sectors can advance the Sustainable Development Goals – making it the world’s largest gathering on the most defining issues of our time. The ministerial segment of the Forum will take place from 13 to 15 July. 

Website: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/hlpf/2021

Programme: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/hlpf/2021#programme

Media Advisory: https://www.un.org/development/desa/un-desa-voice/feature/2021/07#1908

Interview with Irena Zubčević, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs

SDG Media Zone + at HLPF | #SDGLive

The SDG Media Zone + will feature several unique regional media-led conversations that are relevant and timely. From looking at the prospect of long-lasting peace in the Middle East; clean energy in Africa; COVID-19 pandemic response in Latin America and the Caribbean; to climate change-related health issues in Small Island Developing States, the conversations will feature experts, change-makers and thought-leaders.

Website: https://www.un.org/en/sdgmediazone

Programme: https://www.un.org/en/sdgmediazone/programme

6 July | Sustainable Development Goals Report | #SDGReport

Before the pandemic, progress was being made on the implementation of some important areas of the Sustainable Development Goals – including on reducing poverty; improving maternal and child health; increasing access to electricity; and advancing gender equality.

But more than a year since the start of the COVID-19 global pandemic, its devastating socio-economic impacts have threatened to eradicate years of development progress. Despite the challenges, the Report highlights the need to use the pandemic as a much-needed wake-up call to spur a decade of truly transformative action.

Latest Figures at a Glance: 

  • Up to 124 million people have been pushed back into poverty in 2020.
  • An equivalent of 255 million full-time jobs have been lost.
  • Violence against women and girls has intensified and child marriage is expected to increase.
  • Over 100 million additional children and youth lack minimum reading proficiency.
  • Inequalities continue to worsen between and within countries.
Six things you should know about the state of the SDGs

Play:Fair for People and Planet | 17 July | #TurnItAround

Play:Fair for People and Planet is a new kind of music activation that aims to inspire people to take action and work with the music industry to make the sector more aligned with the SDGs. The event serves as a kick-off activation in the lead up to the  Global Week to #Act4SDGs this year with the ambition to mobilize 100 million people! 

Bringing together renowned Italian artists such as Margherita Vicario, Populous and Epoque with international climate activists, the concert will take place in Milan, Italy, in front of a limited on-site audience, with a simultaneous live broadcast on playfair.live.

The Turning Point Dialogues, a series of 10-15 minute ‘in-conversation’ style interviews featuring established and emerging changemakers and inspirational actors, will air on the 14-16 July, focusing on the themes of the concert: music and sustainability, climate, and food systems.

Website: playfair.live


Credit: UNICEF

According to the UN Population Fund, the COVID-19 pandemic has compromised health care systems particularly in the area of sexual and reproductive health. Today, an estimated 12 million women experienced disruptions to family planning services. It has also exposed and exacerbated gender-based inequities – gender-based violence, the risk of child marriage and female genital mutilation as programmes to abolish the harmful practices were disrupted. This World Population Day, the United Nations calls for efforts to prioritize reproductive health and the rights of all people.

Credit: Lagos Techie/Unsplash

This year’s World Youth Skills Day will again take place in a challenging context, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and with education and training systems yet to return to pre-crisis conditions. The United Nations will mark the day, celebrating the resilience and creativity of youth throughout the crisis. It will focus on how technical and vocational education and training (TVET) systems need to adapt to the changes brought about by the pandemic, participate in the recovery, and imagine priorities they should adopt for the post-COVID-19 world.

Credit: Nelson Mandela Foundation

Nelson Mandela International Day celebrates and reflects on his life and legacy, focusing on his values and dedication to making this world a more peaceful and fairer place for everyone. On the day, people are encouraged to take action and inspire change by devoting time for community service – be it helping a neighbour or volunteering in a community garden or soup kitchen.

The UN General Assembly will mark the day with an event on 21 July, featuring remarks from the President of the General Assembly, UN Secretary-General and other officials.


The trillion dollar climate finance challenge (and opportunity)

Credit: UNDP/Tim Laman

It’s overwhelmingly accepted that climate change is a very significant threat to humanity and while there are countless solutions to tackling what has been described by the United Nations as the “existential threat” of our times, it is still not fully clear how these solutions will be paid for.

Tech Trailblazers: Eight adolescent girls and young women recoding gender equality

Credit: UNICEF/Mary Gelman

The gender digital divide in connectivity, devices and use, skills and jobs is real. It is an inequity and exclusion gap across generations and geographies that is our challenge to address if the digital revolution is to be for all, with all.

Harnessing the force of digital

Credit: UNDP

From the exploding potential of data, to the digital divide and fake news, a look at how we can channel the force that is changing almost every aspect of our lives.

Awake at Night Podcast: Empower your women, you empower your nation!

Credit: UN Women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the head of UN Women, shares anecdotes about her friendship with Mandela and describes the formative issues behind her leadership of women’s rights and drive for investment in gender equality that culminated in the Generation Equality Forum.