Media is playing a major role in challenging the narrative about progress in the developing countries and shining the spotlight to the people who are often left out of the conversation. Is the UN is providing the tools, information and resources available to make sure journalists can succeed in their missions? Are media professionals aware that these tools exist?
For the 10th year, around 2,0000 journalists, media professionals, communications experts, politicians and civil society representatives from 130 countries gathered for the Global Media Forum in Bonn. This year the forum, focused on identity and diversity, hosted key international speakers such as the entrepreneur and Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky and the Secretary-General of Amnesty International, Salil Shetty, to discuss the innovations of the digital world, artificial intelligence and journalism, the threat to values that populism represents, the role of the media, as well as international politics, human rights and innovative journalism concepts.
The UN SDG Action Campaign invited participants to experiment with the existing tools for communicating the SDGs and to participate in the creation of new ones: A hands-on session focused on engaging ways to shift the spotlight to those left further behind and mobilise everyone to take action for the SDGs.
A hands-on session focused on engaging ways to shift the spotlight to those left further behind and mobilise everyone to take action for the SDGs. The participants discovered the MY World 2030 survey, the stories behind the data, youth-led solutions and the power of a single story from the Building Bridges Foundation. How do we engage those millions left further behind in the conversation? How do we make people shift from observers to doers?
In our interactive SDG Space the participants had the opportunity to fully immerse in refugee realities, the life of an Ebola survivor or the struggle of a mother after losing a son to a bombing in the Gaza strip. The MY World 2030 Survey generated great interest and expectation and a number of representatives participated in the survey.
Congratulations to all participants and organisers for bringing together great ideas, new approaches and generate active discussions around key issues, we are sure will ignite positive actions in the near future.
(Top image: UN colleagues & Young Leaders with Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of the Belgians / UNRIC)
Organised by the European Commission, the European Development Days (EDD) is Europe’s leading forum on development since 2006. The development community comes together every year to share ideas and experiences in ways that inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. This year’s edition took place on 6-8 June, 2017 in Brussels.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals stand at the European Development Days included a wide range of exciting and innovative features such as the #SDGstudio, virtual reality films, touch-screens showcasing data visualizations and polling mechanisms on the SDGs, and a selfie photobooth to invite visitors to show their commitment and take action on the Goals.
The UN stand is organized by the UN SDG Action Campaign, the UN in Brussels (25 UN entities), UNECE and the World Bank. Occupying a central space at the European Development Days global village, the UN SDG stand is a convening space to engage thousands of visitors on the Sustainable Development Goals and showcase the efforts of the United Nations and its partners around the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
During the European Development Days:
Thousands of people visited the United Nations stand, with active participation of several hundreds per day (in total there were 8000 participants attending EDDs)
There were 35 #SDGStudio dialogues! 16 on Day 1 and 19 on Day 2.
The United Nations was involved in more than 50 out of the 120 EDD sessions
More than 90 UN colleagues were hosts at the UN Stand, inviting delegates and showcasing SDG innovation
Around 350 people took a selfie at the photobooth
The #SDGStudio was a new and exciting feature of the United Nations stand, which is a unique platform to generate informal and insightful inter-generational dialogues between young leaders and high-level officials from the United Nations, the European Commission and a wide range of other institutions present at the EDDs. The #SDGstudio was proud to host the following dialogues:
Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations & Suman Kumar, EDD Young Leader, Nepal
Role of Youth for the SDGs: Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium & Minister of Development Cooperation, Digital Agenda, Telecom and Postal Services, Belgium & Esenam Amuzu, EDD Young Leader
Health and SDGs: Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General elect, WHO & Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety & Kalaba Nkonde, EDD Young Leader
Discussion on SDG Advocates and promoting the SDGs: Thomas Gass, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) & Laura Hildebrandt, Programme Specialist, UN SDG Action Campaign
Partnerships and the SDGs: Thomas Gass, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) & Leonardo Parraga, EDD Young Leader
In May each year, the European Institutions celebrate the anniversary of the founding of the European Union. Entertaining, informative activities are organised throughout Europe and beyond. This is an opportunity for citizens to learn about the day-to-day work of the institutions, as well as the broader issues, challenges and benefits of the European Union for its 508 million citizens. This year the European institutions opened to the public on Saturday May 6th in Brussels and Sunday May 14th in Strasbourg.
The EU Humanitarian Aid stand welcomed visitors to immerse themselves in the world of humanitarian aid and civil protection. The stand was a replica of the Emergency Response Coordination Centre, a state of the art hub where duty officers follow potentially emerging crises 24/7 with satellite images. Visitors got a chance to talk to a real duty officer. Over 12.000 visitors came to the Berlaymont building and many of them came to the stand.
The stand featured a virtual reality classroom, featuring some United Nations Virtual Reality films showing the warzone in Gaza in 2014 (My Mother’s Wing), or the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan where Sidra, a 12-year-old girl, will be your guide (Clouds Over Sidra). Children took part in a giant world map game, where they found out about where in the world EU Humanitarian Aid operates.
People were watching the films in their entirety, from beginning to end. “Awesome”, “Impressive”, “Powerful” were the adjectives used by visitors to describe the experience. Some of them, after having watched one movie came back to view the others films. The response was so high that a queue started to snake around the stand.
Images: European Commission Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
Have you ever had the chance to go scuba diving with whales? How about hanging out with penguins in Antarctica? Have you heard the personal stories of those working on the front lines of ecological activism, such as scientists and indigenous people?
Would being exposed to these experiences help you to become a stronger and more informed advocate about the ocean, or SDG 14, Life Under Water?
To support the Governments of Fiji and Sweden in their mission to inspire advocacy and action for SDG 14 during the Ocean Conference, 5-9 June, UNVR curated a playlist of some of the best in 360’ video and interactive virtual reality to transport viewers to the coasts and deep waters of the sea, bathing them in the sights and sounds of the ocean.
“We have two and a half years’ experience organizing VR exhibitions that transport policy makers into the development challenges the SDGs are seeking to alleviate, especially at UN forums. This is the first time we have brought together multiple VR experiences that coalesce focus on one SDG, in this case SDG14: Life Under Water. The diversity of issues covered provide visitors with a broader context, a choice of issues they can champion, and actions they can take.” said Kristin Gutekunst, Executive Producer of UNVR for the UN SDG Action Campaign.
Curated and produced by the UN SDG Action Campaign, the exhibition is powered by Samsung and includes content collaboration with the Permanent Mission of France, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and through the generous permission of many VR Creators.
In January 2016, the UN Secretary-General launched the High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment, created to provide thought leadership and mobilize concrete actions aimed at closing economic gender gaps that persist around the world, therefore contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The High-Level Panel committed to launching a report and action plan by the September 2016 UN General Assembly (UNGA) meeting. This report harnessed the best ideas and insights collected during the current evidence gathering and global consultation period to put forward an ambitious vision which will motivate and persuade global decision makers to create a cohesive strategy for implementing the targets and goals around women’s economic empowerment in Agenda 2030. Throughout this journey, there was a requirement to engage with organizations, NGOs, the rural and urban poor, young people and civil society so they are part of a conversation that builds momentum, buzz and political will for this ambitious agenda for women’s economic empowerment.
The creation of this citizen survey instrument at http://empowerwomen.myworld2030.org and the SMS version in partnership with U-report was to help meet this challenge and to engage people all over the world, especially women, to better understand their subjective experiences and views about priority areas needing attention to ensure women’s full economic inclusion and empowerment. The findings of the citizen survey were shared with the High-Level Panel for their consideration in the run up to UNGA 2016. This final report draws on the correlations between the citizen survey findings and the report published by the HLP in September 2016.
To mark this year’s Knesset Day to Eradicate Poverty, the Knesset – the Israeli Parliament – featured the first Hebrew translated UN Exhibition on the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Knesset is the heart of Israeli democracy. Every day, hundreds of people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds visit the Knesset –a building open to the public– to see and even participate in committee sessions and various events. It was therefore natural for the Knesset to take a leading role in raising awareness on the SDGs to both parliamentarians and the Israeli population.
With encouragement from Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Yoel Edelstein and Director General Albert Sakharovich, the Knesset Foreign Affairs Department works throughout the year with international organizations and parliaments worldwide to exchange views on SDGs and learn from one another, with the goal of eventually realizing Agenda 2030.
The Knesset marks various special days throughout the year: LGBT rights day, International Women’s Day, World Food Day, and many more. Although all are related to SDGs, to date, the events have used different terminology. So, to mark this year’s Knesset Day to Eradicate Poverty – which is the number 1 SDG –, the Chair of the Knesset Labour, Welfare and Health Committee, MK Elie Elalouf, was happy to join forces with the Knesset Foreign Affairs Department to introduce the Sustainable Development Goals, through an exhibition designed by the UN SDGs action campaign.
The exhibition was displayed at the Knesset on Tuesday, 21 February. In addition to a prominent display of the SDG logos and selected panels (both translated into Hebrew), SDGs video clips were shown on two screens, and brochures in both of Israel’s official languages (Hebrew and Arabic) were distributed to participants. Coalition and opposition Knesset Members from various parties across the political spectrum joined hands and provided an example to the public by raising awareness of the SDGs, in particular SDG1.
MK Elalouf said, “After heading the Committee to Fight Poverty, my foremost goal at the Knesset was to work tirelessly to end poverty in Israel. To my satisfaction, I was appointed Chair of the Labour, Welfare and Health Committee, which allows me to put the issue of ending poverty at the center of the parliamentary debate and activity. However, Israel does not stand alone in its efforts to end all forms of poverty; this is a global phenomenon, and it is being addressed worldwide. Therefore, when the Knesset held its Day to Eradicate Poverty, it was important for me to highlight international activity on the matter, our part in the global efforts, and the need to exchange perspectives and ideas. We have done that this year by showcasing the UN’s exhibition on the SDGs, which was viewed by hundreds of people who attended today’s event.”
The Knesset plans to continue its efforts to raise awareness of the SDGs, and more activities are expected in the coming months and years. We believe that, by working together, parliaments of the world can realize the vision of Agenda 2030.
Photo: Some of the Festival team members with volunteers at the Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development. photothek/Inga Kjer
We would like to thank everyone, especially the partner organizations, inspiring speakers and colleagues for being part of history at the first ever Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development on 1-3 March 2017 at the World Conference Center Bonn!
The Festival was supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Hosts: UN SDG Action Campaign & Overseas Development Institute (ODI)
Organizing partners: City of Bonn, Cepei, Data-Pop Alliance, Engagement Global, Plan International, Salzburg Global Seminar, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Food Programme (WFP) and World Resources Institute (WRI)
Supporting partners: Deutsche Welle, DW Global Media Forum, European Union, SDSN
Mitchell Toomey, Global Director, UN SDG Action Campaign
Ishbel Matheson, Director of Public Affairs and Communications, ODI
Ashok Sridharan, Lord Mayor, City of Bonn
Dr. Alaa Murabit, SDG Global Advocate and UN High Level Commissioner
Dr. Ingolf Dietrich, Commissioner for Agenda 2030, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Sarah Poole, Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Director, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP
Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, CEO, Plan International
Paul Okumu, Head of Secretariat, Africa Platform
Kumi Naidoo, Launch Director, Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity
Claire Melamed, Executive Director, Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data
Casper Sitemba, Executive Office of the Deputy President, Kenya
Philipp Schönrock, Director, CEPEI
Soumya Chattopadhyay, Senior Research Fellow, Growth, Poverty and Inequality Programme, ODI
Meng Zhaoli, Chief Economist, Tencent Institute
Jakob Trollbäck, Founder, The New Division by Trollbäck+Company
Cristina Gallach, Under-Secretary General for Communications and Public Information, UN
Karol Alejandra Arámbula Carrillo, International Affairs Consultant and MY World Partner in Mexico
Dr. Tauni Lanier, Executive Director, Impact 2030
Natalie Robi Tingo, Accountability Advocate, Restless Development
Emi Mahmoud, World Poetry Slam Champion
Edda Hamar, UN SDG Young Leader and Founder/ Director Undress Runways
Namhla Mniki-Mangaliso, Director, African Monitor
Pedro Conceição, Director of Strategic Policy, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP
Beckie Malay, Vice President, Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement
Honorable Members of the German Parliament: Dr. Claudia Lücking-Michel, Mr. Ulrich Kelber
Nadira Hira for being a fantastic MC
DW Global Media Forum for hosting 7 minutes for discussion on the Live Stage
UNFCCC for supporting communications outreach, supporting the Festival comms team on-site and event security
The UN Bonn Common Information Unit and UNRIC for supporting the press conference and media outreach
The News and Media Division and UN TV from the UN Department of Public Information for coverage and the livestream
Deutsche Post DHL Group for providing the SDG postcards, mailbox and stamps
Amazing Youth Leaders for hosting the cross-generational dialogues on the Live Stage
Abinav Batachan, UNDP Panda Champion
Usman Khan, UNDP Panda Champion Bringing Education to Youth and Learning Initiatives (BEYLI) Organization Pakistan
Jilt van Schayik, Director Building Bridges Foundation
Edda Hamar, Youth Leader, Founder and Director of Undress Runway
Chernor Bah, Education Advocate, Girl Champion & International Development Professional
Frances Simpson-Allen, Programme Management Officer, Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth at United Nations
Rosario del Pilar Diaz Garavito, Founder The Millennials Movement
Alex Wang, Secretary General of Youthink Center
Cunsong Xia, Youth4SDG
Michelle Xinyang Mei, Youthink Center
Karol Alejandra Arámbula Carrillo, International Affairs Consultant and MY World Partner in Mexico
Natalie Robi Tingo, Accountability Advocate, Restless Development
The amazing Festival volunteers
All the participants who made the Festival an enriching experience, we hope to see you next year!
In September 2015, 193 countries agreed to work together on a 15-year global plan to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all by 2030. This plan includes 17 Goals that serve as an urgent guiding masterplan to tackle the world’s greatest challenges and ensure that no one is left behind. Innovative individuals are urgently needed to join together with countries and partners to turn the bold and ambitious global plan into action. See the 17 SDGs here.
To rapidly generate an unprecedented level of innovation and collaboration around the SDGs, the 3-day #Connect2effect Global Hackathon will bring together these innovators with different skillsets ranging from marketing to programming to designing.
The event will produce a series of basic workable prototypes that can be further expanded after the event. The best ideas will be developed and supported through local incubation programmes, mentoring on crowdfunding platform. Winners will receive an invitation to pitch their ideas at the UN Headquarters in New York at the Science, Technology & Innovation Forum taking place at the UN Headquarters in NYC 15th – 17th of May.
Mitchell Toomey, Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign stresses the value of #Connect2Effect for the UN: “At the UN SDG Action Campaign, we consistently strive to find ways to reach new audiences to inform and inspire them about the SDGs. We also empower individuals to work together and serve as agents of change, honouring the best solutions in a variety of methods. We are eager to empower the best creative thinkers and problems solvers to help the UN and governments achieve their goals”.
H.E. Peter Thomson, President of the United Nations General Assembly, fully supports the #Connect2Effect initiative: “Each and every one of us has a critical role to play – as individuals role-modeling sustainable living, as innovators and creative thinkers conceiving new ideas, and as activists working with others to implement solutions to shape our world towards a sustainable future. I look forward to being inspired by the outcomes of the hackathon and to warmly welcome the winners to the United Nations“
The initiative is the first of an annual series which over time will create a sustained network of individuals who can mentor each other and work together to come up with the best ideas for achieving the SDGs, as Max Kallis, CEO of Influx Trust points out: “We are eager to support the UN by leveraging our network and expertise to come up with solutions to some of the world’s greatest problems.”
This year’s hackathon will bring together people in Manama, Bahrain, Lagos, Nigeria, Chandigargh, India, and Lisbon, Portugal to tackle industry innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9), in London, U.K., and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to reduce inequalities (SDG 10) and in Bali, Indonesia, Geneva, Switzerland and New York City, USA to generate a shift towards more responsible consumption and production (SDG 12).
FACTS & FIGURES:
1000 Entrepreneurs, thinkers and creatives working together across 9 global locations (Manama, Bali, Chandigarh, Geneva, Lagos, Lisbon, London, New York and Rio) on 5 continents.
193 United Nation Member States
17 Sustainable Development Goals to solve by 2030
72 hours for teams to collaborate and help hack three of the SDGs.
6 Headline Partners for #Connect2Effect 2017 to help our teams with the resources they need.
3 SDGs to hack during #Connect2Effect
1 Crowdfunding platform that will take an idea and put it in the market in a weekend.
ABOUT THE COLLABORATORS:
The Influx Trust is a UK charity that fosters a community of individuals and businesses eager to share their knowledge and resources to support the UN’s priorities. @InfluxTrust
The UN SDG Action Campaign is a global interagency initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General, with the mission of ensuring that everyone has the support, encouragement and capability to advocate and act to ensure the SDG agenda is brought to life. It recognises and celebrates the innovators, conveners and break-through actors who are transforming lives, tackling trade-offs and generating practical solutions to some of the world’s most intractable development problems. The Campaign is supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the German Federal Government. @SDGAction
The President of the General Assembly is an annually geographically rotating position voted for by representatives in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The President of the 71st and current session, H.E. Mr Peter Thomson from Fiji, presides over the General Assembly, one of the principal organs of the United Nations. Made up of all the 193 Member States of the UN, the General Assembly provides a forum for multilateral discussion of the full spectrum of international issues covered by the UN Charter. It meets in regular session intensively from September to December each year, and thereafter as required. @UN_PGA
Jayne & Misael | Kitsch.inc on behalf of Influx Trust | email@example.com Kristin Gutekunst | UN SDG Action Campaign | firstname.lastname@example.org Katharina Kandt | Office of the President of the UN General Assembly| email@example.com
Bridges of Understanding Annual Gala, 12 December: New York
Bridges of Understanding is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit, nonpolitical organization established in 2007 to enhance 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.
The Campaign has had a partnership with Bridges of Understanding since June 2016 to promote empathy and understanding around the refugee crisis, co-develop educational and new media activities and to increase awareness and action around the SDGs.
The Campaign organized a We the Peoples hub during the annual Gala. The SDGs were on display, featured as a selfie tool at the step and repeat photowall. Guests also had the opportunity to watch Clouds Over Sidra & My Mother’s Wing on virtual reality headsets. The gala honored Arianna Huffington and Chaker Ghazaal for their contribution to promoting global citizenship, connecting people, countries and cultures.
On Thursday, October 20, over 600 people attended a grand exhibit aboard the Peace Boat. This “Floating Festival for Sustainability” marked the Peace Boat’s 92nd Global Voyage for Peace since the nonprofit was established in 1983, and the first time the ship has docked in New York in five years. It also marked the inauguration of the Global Goals logo on the boat.
The SDG Action Campaign has a long history of working with the Peace Boat, having launched a partnership in 2009 to promote the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Peace Boat previously hosted the Millennium Campaign logo, gave courses on the MDGs to passengers, and participated in the Stand Up Campaign among other activities. The Peace Boat has also been an early adopter of the MY World 2030 survey, helping to translate the ballot into Japanese, and collecting ballots both from passengers and people they meet during their journey. They presented the results of their first efforts in their recent report about the ship’s visit to Latin America – showing the enormous efforts and impact the boat is able to make on supporting the implementation of the SDGs.
The event occurred aboard the Peace Boat, providing guests with an intimate glimpse of life at sea. When guests first arrived, they were greeted with a tour of Peace Boat’s impressive ship. The foyer of the ship allowed guests to engage with the mission of the Peace Boat and with an exhibition of projects the peace boat is aligned with. Peace Boat, an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations, campaigns for the Sustainable Development Goals as it tours the globe each year. The UN SDG Action Campaign was present to drum up excitement about the SDGs and give participants the ability to engage with immersive content. Participants could take the MY World survey to voice their opinion on the importance and progress of the SDGs, take selfies highlighting their favorite SDGs and watch the virtual reality films of stories from around the world.
The World We Want team was also present, inviting guests to learn about their activities and to join the Policy Strategy Group. The World We Want is looking to continue doing WWW exhibitions around the world to promote the SDGs and civil society’s participation in UN activities. Other exhibits included the presentation of the Eco Ship, an entirely sustainable ship fueled by renewable energy sources that will retrieve the mission of the Peace Boat and promote climate action world-wide when in launches in 2020.
The main event of the evening began with live music and dance, followed by a series of speakers including H.E. Jan Eliasson (United Nations Deputy Secretary-General), H.E. Ahmed Sareer (Ambassador of the Maldives and Chairman of the Alliance of Small Islands States (AOSIS)), Jeff Brez (Chief NGO Relations Advocacy and Special Events, Outreach Division, United Nations Department of Public Information), Yoshioka Tatsuya (Peace Boat Director) and Cora Weiss of the (President, Hague Appeal for Peace). The presentations were followed by an eco fashion show highlighting sustainable designs, and the SDGs chosen to be of highest import to each of the designers.
The presenters made appealing calls to action for all guests to get involved with the SDGs and in promoting peace. The Mr. Eliasson stressed the need to join forces and approach the SDGs in a collaborative manner, encouraging everyone to not be phased by the large task at hand, but rather to focus on small actions that add up: “nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something”. He stressed the need to empower and create space for youth and women as major actors in the fight for peace.
Mr. Tatsuya gave an energetic presentation about the new ship the Peace Boat is developing, which will soon be the most sustainable ship to ever set sail. It will include an on-board university for peace & sustainability, sport activities, and volunteer exchanges in local communities visited.
The evening also included a passionate appeal from a survivor of the Nagasaki atomic bombing as part of a special partnership with the United Nations First Committee on Disarmament and International Security (UNODA). Five victims of both Nagasaki and Hiroshima, known as Hibakusha, are traveling with the Peace Boat to campaign against nuclear weapons, hoping to see a world without them in their lifetimes.