New York: To urgently respond to the world’s interconnected crises, the SDG Moment held during the 77th UN General Assembly reinvigorated global action for the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — the roadmap for forging a more equal and resilient future for everyone, everywhere.
With time running out on the achievement of the Goals, and against the backdrop of calls for bold solutions to solve the world’s deepening challenges in this year’s UN General Debate, the UN Secretary-General convened the SDG Moment to urgently spur stronger commitments to ensure successful SDGs implementation.
This included a call for the reform of the global financial system.
“We need a reformed financial architecture that benefits developing countries, providing critical financing and debt relief,” stated UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the SDG Moment on Monday. “This is the only sustainable pathway to address the obscene inequalities that exist in every country, while ensuring that the world doesn’t slide into a recession.”
According to the Sustainable Development Goals report 2022, the confluence of crises — the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change and the war in Ukraine are creating spin-off impacts on food security, health, education, the environment and peace and security.
The combined crises could lead to an additional 75 million to 95 million people living in extreme poverty in 2022.
The world also faces a global education crisis with an estimated 147 million children missing more than half of their in-person instruction over the past two years. Additionally, women and girls remain disproportionately affected by the socioeconomic fallout of the pandemic, grappling with an increase in unpaid care work and domestic violence.
Countries have taken action to advance the SDGs and tackle the multiple crises by strengthening social protection, developing sustainable policies, and expanding essential services.
For example, in Greece, the Greek Recovery and Resilience Plan, supported by a budget of 31.164 billion euros up to 2016, is structured around core priorities of the SDGs, including green transition, digital transition and employment and skills.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Arab Emirates supported the global community with 2,217 tons of medical supplies and 200 medical flights to 136 countries.
In Lesotho, the economy has expanded by 3.6 per cent from three per cent in 2020 through the implementation of the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development initiative. Jamaica took steps to build adaptive capacity for climate action and resilience and surpassed the 2020 targets of SDG 14 for conserved marine areas.
However, while countries have taken steps to keep the promise of the SDGs, the severity and scale of world’s challenges call for an urgent and collective response as set out in Our Common Agenda. Launched by the Secretary-General in 2021, Our Common Agenda seeks to rescue the SDGs through stronger international cooperation and reinvigorated multilateralism.
Effective global SDG action will require significant changes to policies, governance and economic systems. Equitable access to vaccine supply, expansive stimulus packages in core sectors and access to financing for developing countries are also needed.
The Secretary-General opened the SDG Moment, a 90-minute event, with heads of state and government present and remarks from Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, and SDG Advocate Co-Chairs Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada (video message).