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Marking the halfway point to the 2030 Agenda, the SDG Summit and the Climate Ambition Summit aim to provide renewed impetus for accelerating the pace of change in the fields of sustainable development and climate action, respectively.
Participants acknowledged that at the mid-point of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we are offtrack. They called on everyone to rally in the second half to achieve the Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, overcoming the setbacks caused by climate change, conflict, the COVID-19 pandemic, and debt.
If the current trend continues, nearly two billion people will still lack access to clean cooking by 2030. Experts gave proposals for moving forward on this target and others that make up the keystone Sustainable Development Goal on affordable and clean energy.
“Our world is in deep trouble—and so too are the Sustainable Development Goals,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, setting the tone for this year’s review of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at a time of significant international crisis, uncertainty, and upheaval.
Calls for transformational and generational change to realize the Sustainable Development Goals permeated the day-long virtual gathering, which featured a refreshing new format.
“Let us renew our determination to build a strong, sustainable, and inclusive recovery from the pandemic, and to take decisive action together to defeat the climate crisis and keep the promise of the 2030 Agenda,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
The SDG Moment was convened virtually by UN Secretary-General António Guterres to identify changes needed to recover better from COVID-19 and deliver the SDGs over the next decade. A “reality check” on progress on the SDGs was followed by a session on SDG gaps and plans, with interventions by 21 nominated Heads of State and Government. Contributions from stakeholders then addressed finance for the decade, climate solutions, and inequality.
Given the considerable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on human health and the global economy, this year’s meeting convened on the originally planned dates but was held virtually. The agenda was adjusted to focus on the potential impact of the pandemic on implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Inside the halls of the UN and outside on the streets of not only New York, but cities around the world where protests were held, the verdict of the people was clear: leaders are failing to address the environmental and development emergency that the world is currently facing.