Calls for transformational and generational change to realize the Sustainable Development Goals permeated the day-long virtual gathering, which featured a refreshing new format.

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Photo courtesy of Mike Muzurakis

The second Sustainable Development Goals Moment (SDG Moment) of the Decade of Action was convened by UN Secretary-General António Gutteres on Monday, 20 September 2021.

As the world grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic and major challenges to progress across the 17 SDGs, the 2021 SDG Moment sought to:

  • Reinforce the continued relevance of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and build momentum in advance of major summits and intergovernmental meetings;
  • Highlight urgent actions needed to ensure COVID-19 response and recovery efforts are equitable and inclusive and will accelerate the transition to sustainable development; and
  • Demonstrate that transformative change at scale is possible between now and 2030.

Leaders from over thirty Member States together with SDG champions from civil society, the private sector, and international partners, participated in sessions on the State of the SDGs, the COVID-19 response, achieving gender equality, youth in action, localizing the SDGs, and inclusive institutions.

The annual SDG Moment resulted from the Political Declaration of the Sustainable Development Goals Summit in 2019. The Declaration requested the UN Secretary-General to organize the annual “Moment” in the context of the general debate of the General Assembly each September until 2030. The Moment is designed to highlight inspiring action on the SDGs and identify where more action is needed. Recognizing the world was not on track to achieve the SDGs, the Declaration called on all actors to bring more ambition and urgency to their implementation efforts.

The first annual SDG Moment took place on 18 September 2020.

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