Time for Solutions and Solidarity

The 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly is unlike any other in the Organization’s history, occurring in the midst of a crisis unlike any other in our lifetimes: the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s Assembly offers a unique platform at a pivotal moment. The pillars of our world, already unsteady, have been shaken to the core by the coronavirus. Everything the United Nations stands for and works for – peace, progress and human rights – is in jeopardy. As we strive to respond and recover, international cooperation has never been more important.

A series of high-level meetings will address the Sustainable Development Goals, the climate crisis, the alarming decline in biodiversity, financing for development, and the effort to produce a COVID-19 vaccine accessible to all as a global public good that keeps us all safe. Member States will also mark the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action to reaffirm the central role of women and reinforce our work to eliminate gender-based violence.

UN Photo/Manuel Elias

UN News looks at the 75th UN General Assembly session, which began on 15 September, and how it will be unlike any other in the organization’s three quarters of a century of existence. 

Find Out About the UN High-Level Events

Several major events, in addition to the General Debate, are expected to highlight action and solutions that will ignite the transformations needed to secure healthy, peaceful and prosperous lives for all. Here’s our list.


Join us on Social Media

All social media content, including information, infographics, gifs and videos can be found in two main Trello Boards – SDG-related events and all UNGA 75 events


News and Media Products and Services

The UN News and Media Division puts together a comprehensive list of latest products and services that will be available. Need press releases, speeches, photos or videos? Check out the list here.

The virtual SDG Media Zone will focus on the power of science, solutions and solidarity—through the vision of global leaders and experts at the forefront of global crises and efforts to build back better from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s programme will feature special segments produced by SDG Media Compact members Phoenix TV, China, Fuji TV, Asahi Shimbun and HuffPost, Japan, and TVC News, Nigeria. In addition, a unique collaboration with Al Jazeera’s The Stream will address some of the most defining issues of today, including health care and medical interventions, misinformation about science and real solutions, gender equality, climate change and the protection the world’s diminishing biodiversity, with the participation Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed and musician Patti Smith. First-story high-profile interviews in collaboration with UN News will feature conversations with prominent leaders and experts on the issues at the heart of UNGA75.

All interviews will be available on SDG Media Zone and UN Web TV websites. New videos added every day. Follow hashtag #SDGLive on Facebook and Twitter.

On Friday, 18 September, the UN Secretary-General is for the first time convening the annual SDG Moment as mandated by the outcome document of the 2019 SDG  Summit, to set out a vision for a Decade of Action and recovering better from COVID-19; provide a snapshot on SDG progress; highlight plans and actions to tackle major implementation gaps; and demonstrate the power and impact of action and innovation by SDG stakeholders.

For more information and to see the programme, click here.

GLOBAL BROADCAST “NATIONS UNITED”, 19 SEPTEMBER AT 9AM EDT

On the 75th anniversary of the United Nations and the 5th anniversary of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals – in the midst of a pandemic radically transforming our economies and societies – this 30-minute film tells the story of the world as it is, as it was, and as it could be. Directed by renowned film maker Richard Curtis and produced by the documentary film company 72 Films, “Nations United” will present the facts, data, and opportunities we have as a human family to reimagine and reshape the future. The film will be broadcast on numerous television channels, radio stations and streaming services around the world, premiering on the UN YouTube channel on 19 September, 9 a.m. EDT.

Media Advisory
Watch Live on 19 September

Over the course of three days during the UN General Assembly on 22-24 September, the SDG Action Zone  will convene leading thinkers, actors, creators, and activists through frank debate, challenging discussions, inspiring showcases and interactive exhibitions to drive the exponential change so needed for people and our planet. A fully virtual SDG Action Zone has the power to create a more transparent, open, and inclusive UN General Assembly. A combination of live broadcasts and online sessions, the SDG Action Zone will provide space for deeper conversations, collaboration and experiences on three core areas for accelerating action on the Goals: People, Planet and Partnerships. For a full  programme click here

Special Focus: Accelerating the end of the COVID-19 Pandemic

On 30 September, there will be a high-level side event on the ACT-Accelerator. Here is what you need to know.  

Firstly, what is the ACT-Accelerator?

The Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator was launched in April 2020 to fast-track the development, production, and equitable distribution of COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines.

The global collaboration brings together public and private sectors – governments, businesses, scientists, global health organizations and philanthropists – working to find a common solution as a global public good. It draws on the experience of leading global health organizations that are tackling the world’s toughest health challenges.

Why do we need it?

In short and uncomplicated terms, it is our global solution to the COVID crisis and a way to ensure that no one gets left behind.

What do we need to get there?

The Accelerator has received $3 billion – seed funding for the start-up phase. It needs $35 billion more to go from “start-up” to “scale up and impact,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres recently – to produce 2 billion vaccine doses, 245 million treatments and 500 million tests. $15 billion of that is needed now to advance its work immediately. 

More information on the ACT-Accelerator is available here. The event will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. EST on 30 September and can be viewed live on UN Web TV.