Kofi Annan was a visionary leader, a dedicated diplomat and a committed campaigner for peace, human rights and social justice. The UN SDG Action Campaign joins the United Nations family and the rest of the world in mourning the passing on of Mr Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General who died on the 18th of August, 2018.
Mr Annan worked tirelessly to ensure that the United Nations is about the people and together with Member States delivered the UN Millennium Declaration which gave birth to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
To his eternal credit, Mr Annan established the UN Millennium Campaign, the precursor of the SDG Action Campaign to mobilise the world around the MDGs and rally all people to a global movement of making poverty history. Today, the impact of the MDGs and the work of the Millennium Campaign have both gave the world a renewed vigour and commitment to ending poverty and inequalities and a planet befitting for present and future generations. This is evident in the adoption of the successor frameworks of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015.
Above all, in establishing the Millennium Campaign, Mr. Annan laid the foundation for giving people voices to participate in global and national processes that determine their future. The UN SDG Action Campaign has continued in this light in our work and partnerships across the world.
On his departure, we celebrate the life of a leader, a reformer and a Campaigner. We believe that the best way to immortalise the life and work of Mr. Annan is in promoting the ideals for which he lived and worked for – a world without poverty and injustice. The UN SDG Action Campaign will always be inspired by his vision to continue to work with our partners all over the world to build a global movement that will facilitate the achievement of the SDGs by giving people voices to engage with this universal and transformative agenda.
SDG branded football serves as a reminder of the cooperative action needed to achieve the SDGs
GANGWON-DO, February 16, 2018
On the 16th of February, high-level dignitaries brought together the messages of the Olympic spirit, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the importance of providing a quality education for all to a classroom in Gangwon Province, South Korea, showing the intersection of these important ideals through a recognizable and beloved object: the football.
In a ceremony led by the United Nations SDG Advocacy Group’s Co-Chair, H.E. Mrs. Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway, and fellow SDG Advocate Ambassador Dho Young-Shim delegates spoke of the connection between these three ideals with 100 school children at the Musan Community Children’s Center Primary School, stressing their foundational importance to understanding an individual’s responsibility of global citizenship, and the collective responsibility of working together to build a more peaceful and equal world by the year 2030.
The students had the chance to ask the delegation questions. Following the short ceremony, they were gifted a reminder they could keep: an SDG branded football.
“The Olympic Movement and the SDGs promote world cooperation and the lesson that with hard work you can excel. Sport and education prepare children for life as global citizens and future contributors of society. As part of that, we all have a responsibility to do what we can to make sure that all children in all countries can have a quality education and enjoy good health. In the context of the new goals, we are all developing countries with work to do at home.”
The Olympic ideals promote the importance of excellence, friendship, and respect. The SDGs similarly promote profound collaboration, an equal sense of responsibility for all countries, and a focus on helping the most vulnerable communities in an effort to leave no one behind.
A quality education (SDG 4) entails a comprehensive approach to life-long learning, not only in the classroom, that will capacitate students with values and skills that allow them to become global citizens who contribute towards a better world. In addition to the health benefits, sport can motivate children and teach values of camaraderie and inclusion. With UNICEF estimates of 61 million children of primary school age not enrolled in school, sport can also help reach the most vulnerable children who may be outside of formal education settings.
“The world [these students] will enter as grown-ups will be full of challenges and uncertainties. In the years to come, the children from this school will be key players in the global quest to achieve the SDGs,” said Solberg. “With a quality education, they will have the universal currency they need in life to take action for sustainable development.”
The SDG Advocates were joined by Mr. Choi Moon Soon, Governor of Gangwon Province; Ms. Kristin Kloster Aasen, International Olympic Committee Representative to Norway and Ms. Soohyun Kim, Head of Office, UNICEF Seoul Office .
“By studying the icons, the children can learn about the different goals and be reminded that they too should take action to make the world a better place” said Solberg.
The dignitaries then broke down the formalities of the ceremony and effectively passed the torch onto the next generation, learning from the children what they know best: how to play.
This event was organized by the United Nations SDG Advocacy Group and the UN SDG Action Campaign.
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About The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
The Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by 193 Heads of State and Government on the 25th of September 2015, represent an unprecedented leap forward in the fight against poverty, inequalities, and climate change. They embody a universal, inclusive and transformative vision of development, which calls upon all Member States to ensure a life of dignity for all, leaving no-one behind. The realization of this agenda by 2030 will require the cooperation of international actors as well as bold individual and collective action by all.
About the United Nations Secretary-General’s SDG Advocacy Group:
The Secretary-General nominated 17 eminent individuals to generate momentum and commitment to achieve the SDGs by 2030 by working to promote the universal sustainable development agenda, raising awareness of the integrated nature of the SDGs, and fostering engagement with new stakeholders in the implementation of these Goals.
About the United Nations SDG Action Campaign:
A special initiative of UN Secretary-General mandated to support the UN system and UN Member States on advocacy and citizen engagement in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The Campaign empowers and inspires people across the world to take action by building multi-stakeholder partnerships and leveraging cutting-edge communication technologies to bridge the gap and ensure a transparent dialogue between world leaders and their constituencies, especially the most marginalized and vulnerable populations.
Since its launch on the 18th of July, the SDGs: A People-powered Agenda – Leave No One Behind exhibition at the United Nations Headquarters has drawn excited crowds of visitors and high-level delegations from around the world.
H.E. Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway, visits the SDGs exhibition
During the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), H.E. Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway and co-chair of the United Nations Secretary-General’s SDG Advocacy Group, was one of the first to visit the exhibition together with the Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations, Ambassador Geir O. Pedersen. Both expressed their commitment to making the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) a reality for all on the exhibitions large size blackboard. H.E. Erna Solberg wrote that she will continue to advocate for “Quality Education for All”, while H.E. Geir O. Pedersen committed to “Take Action against Inequality”.
H.E. Geir O. Pedersen, Permanent Representative of Norway to the UN, writing his commitment to the SDGs on exhibition blackboard
The HLPF is central platform of the United Nations for the follow-up and review of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. It provided political leadership, guidance and recommendations on the 2030 Agenda’s implementation and follow-up; keep track of progress of the SDGs; spur coherent policies informed by evidence, science and country experiences; as well as addressing new and emerging issues. In addition to visiting the SDGs exhibition, H.E. Erna Solberg delivered the opening key-note speech at the start of the Ministerial Segment of the HLPF on 18 July and presented Norway’s voluntary national reviews on its progress of delivering the Sustainable Development Goals on the 19th.
JCI members at the exhibition’s selfie station
Taking up the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s challenge that “youth should be given a chance to take an active part in the decision-making of local, national and global levels,” members of Junior Chamber International’s (JCI) visited the SDGs exhibition during the JCI Annual Global Partnership Summit. Held July 25 to 28 in New York City, the summit offered international leaders and JCI members the chance to visit the exhibition and experience its interactive selfie stations, take surveysand engage with the important challenges and opportunities that the SDGs present to youth globally.
Moreover, groups of national and international students have been particularly drawn to the exhibition’s touch screens hosting the MY World 2030 Survey (www.myworld2030.org), the High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment’s special MY World 2030 Empower Women Thematic Survey (www.empowerwomen.myworld2030.org) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Impossible Choices humanitarian challenge (www.impossiblechoices.org).
Visitor taking the MY World 2030 Survey on exhibition touchscreen
The UN Virtual Reality film series, which allows visitors to immersively experience the life of some of the world’s most vulnerable using high-tech 3D VR headsets has been a major visitor attraction since the opening of the exhibition. Visitors have been touched by the human stories of the Syrian refugee crisis, the Ebola outbreak in Liberia and the effects of conflict in the Gaza Strip in the VR films Clouds Over Sidra, Waves of Grace and My Mother’s Wing (www.unvr.org).
Students watch United Nations Virtual Reality at exhibition
Watching the movies and experiencing global issues up close has had a profound effect on visitors, many of whom have tried virtual reality technology for the first time. Especially touched was a group of students from LaGuardia Community College, NYC, who had scheduled a special visit to the virtual reality station. After visiting the exhibition with around 30 students the teacher wrote to the SDG Action Campaign to describe what a strong tool for the creation of empathy UNVR had been for the students:
“I just want to thank you for making the extra headsets available for my students last Friday. They were very impressed with the films. My students recently wrote an essay about whether or not the United States should take in Syrian refugees. Most of my students (who are all immigrants) said no, we shouldn’t let them in because there could be dangerous terrorists among them. One student stayed after class and argued with me about this, insisting that all Syrians are terrorists. After this particular student saw your film and experienced what it was like to be in a refugee camp, he told me he wants to rewrite his essay. We have been reading about refugee situations all during the term, we’ve seen film clips from the news, and we’ve watched Hotel Rwanda, and still most students wanted to keep refugees out. Your film changed that for some of them, which is very powerful. So thank you!”
The interactive SDGs exhibition will continue to be open until 4 September 2016.
HOW TO VISIT
The exhibition is open to the general public during official UN visiting hours:
Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
Saturday & Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm
All visitors must exit the building by 5:30pm.
Virtual Reality screenings at the exhibition: Monday through Friday, 10am to 4pm.
The entrance is at 46th Street and 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10017. Visitors without an official UN Pass will have to first obtain a guest pass at the screening station on 46th and 1st across the street from the UN. Be sure to bring a photo ID.
If your delegation or mission would like to schedule a special exhibition tour, please kindly contact Kristin Gutekunst at firstname.lastname@example.org (9143303774).
On 15-16 June 2016, the UN SDG Action Campaign jointly with the UN Brussels Team facilitated the setting up and coordination of an SDG Action Hub at the European Development Days (EDD) in Brussels, Europe’s leading forum on sustainable development. For its tenth anniversary, EDD 2016 focused on the Sustainable Development Goals.
Organized by the European Commission, EDD brings the development community together each year to share ideas and experiences in ways that inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.
Watch our new video featuring highlights and prominent speakers from EDD 2016:
Agenda 2030 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent an unprecedented leap forward in the fight against poverty and inequalities, as well as in the struggle for environmental sustainability. The SDGs embody a universal, inclusive and transformative vision of development, which calls upon all Member States to ensure a life of dignity for all, leaving no one behind.
The EDD provided a unique opportunity to generate momentum around Agenda 2030 in Europe and across the globe, and to reflect on the universal character of the Goals.
At this year’s forum, the United Nations (UN) showcased and celebrated the Agenda 2030’s inclusive spirit of leaving no one behind and the SDGs, which are truly the “peoples’ goals”. It also underscored the importance of citizen engagement and action-centered initiatives to deliver on the Agenda and achieve the Goals.
Visitors to the stand had the opportunity to learn more about the SDGs through new technologies such as virtual reality, and interact with the data generated from the MY World survey, as well as to promote the SDGs first-hand by having a say at the stand’s meeting point and taking pictures of themselves with the different Goals.
The survey results will be guide the High-Level Panel for Women’s Economic Empowerment who will release a report in September 2016 containing key recommendations on how to accelerate women’s economic empowerment. The results will inform world leaders of what people think are the barriers to progress, what could help accelerate change, and HOW to address these challenges.
Justine Greening – High Level Panel Member and Secretary of State for International Development, UK – explains how unlocking the economic potential of women can help beat poverty.
Women’s economic empowerment is about unlocking the potential of women to earn more, gain better jobs and achieve financial independence. It’s about economic equality: such as closing the gender pay gap, increasing job opportunities, or access to loans. It’s also about breaking down barriers that hold women back: from discriminatory laws to an unfair share of unpaid home and family care. It’s a game-changer for development: because when more women get the chance to work, it makes their families, communities & countries wealthier.
The UN is carrying out this survey now because this year sees the start of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development: 17 targets to build a better world for everyone by 2030. Goal 5 is Gender Equality, which recognises that women’s empowerment – particularly economic empowerment – is critical in ending extreme poverty. The High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment is gathering evidence and ideas now to publish a report in March 2017.
Please take our short survey and help us to spread the word!
This upcoming September 2016, the UN General Assembly will address large movements of refugees and migrants at a High-level Summit in New York that will precede the annual General Assembly Debate. In the lead up to this, the UN Sustainable Development Goals Action Campaign will be partnering with the UN Department of Public Information and UNHCR on an exhibition to draw attention to the plight of refugees, showcasing the individual stories and faces of those who are in in need of immediate help and desperate for the international community to reach and implement comprehensive and sustainable solutions. Through artistic installations that include infographics, photography, video, virtual reality, and a Portal, the exhibition will feature the personal stories of refugees as well as UNHCR’s latest facts and figures about the crisis. The exhibition will be open to the public in the UN Visitors Lobby from 20 June until mid-September.
As part of the exhibition, the UN SDG Action Campaign will bring you two immersive experiences, United Nations Virtual Reality + Portals, that allow visitors to feel first-hand what it means to be a refugee in the Zaatari Camp in Jordan. The Zaatari Camp is home to roughly 80,000 Syrians fleeing violence and war. Children make up half the camp’s population.
Clouds Over Sidra is an award winning United Nations Virtual Reality film, which enables you to see Zaatari through the eyes of a young Syrian Refugee girl living in the camp. Individuals and groups may also schedule an appointment to visit the UN Portal that will and allow them to engage in dialogue and programmed events with Zaatari
Dialogue with young boys living in Zaatari Camp, inside the Portal
The combined experience enables people to access locations and situations they would otherwise never experience, providing context for some of the most complex issues. Interactive experiences such as these also help build understanding of how successful implementation of the Goals can improve the life of a single person, and hopefully inspires action in helping to improve their lives, however small. Ultimately, the aim is to transform understanding of critical global issues that must be addressed in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals into a medium that is instantly empathetic and universally relatable.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Action Campaign is a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General that seeks to create an enabling environment for SDG Implementation by building new multi-stakeholder partnerships and empowering people with the knowledge and tools to become actively involved in supporting their governments with the implementation of the SDGs. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are the world’s plan and guiding principle towards a more sustainable and equitable planet. These are a universal set of goals, interconnected and focused on leaving no one behind. While these are long-term goals, they are also highly relevant during pressing moments of crisis as well.
United Nations Virtual Reality (UNVR), coordinated by the UN SDG Action Campaign, uses high tech headsets to immerse viewers in some of the most complex global challenges. Building upon its mandate to amplify the voices of those who are often unheard, particularly the world’s most vulnerable, the project seeks to show the human story behind development challenges, allowing people with the power to make a difference have a deeper understanding of their world, and hopefully to act to make a difference. See more: www.UNVR.org #UNVR @sdgaction
Portals is part of a global network of interconnected shipping containers with immersive audio and video technology that allow visitors to converse face-to-face with people across the world. Together they form a global community where people can engage one another across myriad forms of distance. The Portal is made possible by a partnership between the UN SDG Action Campaign; Shared_Studios, a multidisciplinary arts, design, and technology collective focused on carving wormholes in the world through the use of new technologies and partnerships; Bridges of Understanding Foundation, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit, nonpolitical organization established in 2007 that enhances positive relations between the United States and Arab World through one-to-one connections between thought leaders and the creation of original youth focused programs; and UNICEF Jordan. See more: www.sharedstudios.com/ #UNPortal #ZaatariPortal @sharedstudios
Let’s use the #peoplesvoices to remind world leaders and policymakers what’s at stake!
The Global Conversation on the Post-2015 agenda has been led by the United Nations and has gathered more than 8 million citizen voices from 194 countries. People from all corners of the world have participated in national, regional and global multi-stakeholder consultations as well as in the MY World survey.
The results from the Global Conversation have already informed Member States and United Nations discussions about the future development agenda, including the proposed Sustainable Development Goals.
As we enter the last stretch in the post-2015 process, it is important that governments and negotiators do not forget the priorities of their people.
NEW YORK – The UN Secretary-General released the post-2015 Synthesis Report, in an Informal Briefing to the General Assembly. The unedited version is available online here in English only. It will be available in all official languages at the end of this month.
Article 37 mentioned MY World and the World We Want as a way for people to provide valuable input into the building of the new agenda.
See below for an excerpt of the report and more information for how to submit feedback.
The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet Synthesis Report of the Secretary-General On the Post-2015 Agenda
2.2 What we have learned from the post-2015 process
36. The international community has come a long way in its deliberation on the new
development agenda. In July 2013, further to a request by the General Assembly, I
submitted to the membership my report A Life of Dignity for All. In it, I recommended
the development of a universal, integrated and human rights-based agenda for sustainable
development, addressing economic growth, social justice and environmental stewardship
and highlighting the link between peace, development and human rights – an agenda that
leaves no one behind. I called as well for rigorous review and monitoring, better and
more disaggregated data, and goals and targets that are measurable and adaptable. I
outlined a number of transformative actions that would apply to all countries.
Many voices have informed this debate, and there have been valuable inputs from a wide range of stakeholders. (a) People around the world aired their views through the unprecedented consultations and outreach efforts of organized civil society groups as well as the global conversation led by the United Nations Development Group on A Million Voices: The World We Want, Delivering on the Post-2015 Agenda: Opportunities at the 11 National and Local Level, and MY World Survey. Millions of people especially young persons, took part in these processes, through national, thematic, and on-line consultations and surveys, as mirrored in the Global Youth Call and the outcome of the 65th Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference. The direct and active engagement of parliamentarians, business and civil society has also been critical.
Civil Societies can add to the report
The UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) and UN DESA Division for Sustainable Development (DESA-DSD) invite Major Groups and other civil society stakeholders to submit their official responses to the report to a central online repository via this online form: http://bit.ly/Submit-CSO-Response-SG-Synthesis
UN-NGLS and DESA-DSD provide this mechanism to support review of these important perspectives by all stakeholders in preparation for the continued elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda, beginning with the 19-21 January negotiating session at UN Headquarters in New York. A preparatory forum for stakeholders will be conducted on 16 January by DESA-DSD and UN-NGLS at UN Headquarters. More information about this forum will be provided soon.
Blog by Caya Johnson, MY World Global Youth Advocate
“Data are the lifeblood of decision-making and the raw material for accountability. Without high-quality data providing the right information on the right things at the right time; designing, monitoring and evaluating effective policies becomes almost impossible.”
In the period leading up to the adoption on the 2015 global sustainable development agenda, a revolution has been emerging at the UN – a data revolution for sustainable development.
In their report published in May 2013, the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda called for a Data Revolution for Sustainable Development to improve the quality of information for both people and governments, for purposes including a higher standard of accountability and decision-making. The High Level Panel stressed the need for disaggregated data, specifically by gender, income, disability and other categories in order to ensure inclusivity underpins the post 2015 agenda.
Last Thursday the group launched their report entitled A World that Counts – Mobilising the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development. The report specifically recommends a global consensus on principles and standards, the sharing of technology and innovation for the common good, the dedication of new resources for data capacity development, the establishment of a UN-led Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, and the establishment of a ‘SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) Data Lab’.
The report also features the MY World Survey as an important advance in the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development– the survey has provided decision makers at the UN with disaggregated data on the priorities of people around the world. This open-source data platform has allowed for people’s voices to contribute to the informed decision-making process surrounding the new sustainable development agenda.
MY World 2015 Disaggregated Data
Want to join the global conversation on the Data Revolution?
On Friday, 6 June, the President of the 68th General Assembly, Mr. John Ashe, invited people to join in a concert in the United Nations. The theme of the concert was: “Setting the Stage – 2015 and beyond”. Watch the concert video.
The show transformed the North Lawn building into a multimedia visual spectacle of multicolored lights, projections, and videos. It united an enthusiastic crowd of delegates, staff members, consultants, interns, families and friends. They danced, laughed and sang along in the spirit of unity towards creating a better world.
The United Nations Secretary-General opened theceremony with some lighthearted jokes: “President Ashe has strong connections throughout the diplomatic community. But now I know he is also tight with the Caribbean music community! As the first UN Secretary-General to ever quote Bob Marley in a speech, I approve!”
He then became more serious, saying that the post-2015 development framework is a once in a generation opportunity that needs to connect to people and sing. He mentioned the MY World survey as an opportunity to convey the voices of citizens: “that is why we have opened the process to millions of voices through the “My World” survey.”
The international musicians who played all shared the same spirit reflected in Ban Ki-moon’s speech. Joyful in song, they also quietly reflected on their personal experiences and called upon the UN to unite and address concerns around the world.
The “2015, Join the Journey” video debuted calling on people everywhere to join leaders of the past by ending poverty and joining the journey towards a better future in 2030. It also called upon people to vote in the MY World Survey.