Monthly Forecast August 2018: Civil Society, Youth, Water, and a Full Agenda for the Final Quarter of 2018
Photo by Children and Young People Living for Peace, Nigeria
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In preparation for the Group of 20 (G20) meeting later this year in Argentina, two critical groups of actors are convening for preparatory “Engagement track” discussions: the Civil Society 20 (C20) Summit and the Youth 20 (Y20) Summit.

World Water Week, organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and partners, will focus on the theme, 'Water, Ecosystems and Human Development'.

Behind the scenes, preparations will be underway for another very busy final quarter to the year, including on climate change, biodiversity, and finance.

As the increased number of out-of-office messages we receive at this time of year reminds us, many take advantage of the fewer number of events in August to relax and recharge. Nonetheless, those events that are taking place this month will convene around key topics for the SDGs, and with them will bring a focus on options for moving the 2030 Agenda forward.

In preparation for the Group of 20 (G20) meeting later this year in Argentina, two critical groups of actors are convening for preparatory “Engagement track” discussions: the Civil Society 20 (C20) Summit and the Youth 20 (Y20) Summit. With civil society looking to engage more fully in sustainable development policy processes and the engagement of youth and young professionals offering some of the most innovative ideas for SDG implementation, these events will offer venues for discussing options to move the international agenda forward. The Y20 Summit coincides appropriately with International Youth Day, during which we will celebrate the young professionals who have contributed to the Generation 2030 column in the SDG Knowledge Hub.

World Water Week, organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and partners, will focus on the theme, ‘Water, Ecosystems and Human Development,’ to close out the month of August, as it has for the past 27 years. This event provides a convening space for discussions on the many ways in which water and sanitation issues can and should be addressed around the world. Immediately before World Water Week, UN organizations, Member States and partners will gather under the banner of UN-Water to discuss issues of joint concern and how to move the SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation) agenda forward, particularly in light of the recent review of SDG 6 implementation during the July meeting of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF 2018).

Behind the scenes, preparations will be underway for another very busy final quarter to the year. The Bangkok Climate Change Conference will take place during the first week of September, in an effort to facilitate the timely completion of the Paris Agreement work programme (PAWP) to operationalize the treaty at the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the UNFCCC, which meets in December. Later in the month, the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS), Climate Week NYC and One Planet Summit will continue to build momentum for the COP.

The annual opening of the UN General Assembly session will bring Heads of State and Government to UN Headquarters at the end of September. In parallel to this event, Global Goals Week will bring many of these government leaders into discussions with private sector and NGO leaders on topics related to the 2030 Agenda. We will be watching for the signals that are delivered in these exchanges, for information on the direction that SDG implementation may take in the coming year.

In early September, UN Member States will consider the shape of an international legally binding instrument under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ), and they will address a number of the SDG targets that are to be achieved by 2020 in the context of the 2018 UN Biodiversity Conference, convening in November.

October will find the international community converging on Bali, Indonesia, for both the 2018 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group, and the fifth Our Ocean Conference. In addition, the international community will convene in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the World Data Forum, Eye on Earth Symposium, and 13th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP 13).

Each of these events will bring new perspectives, lessons and directions for the 2030 Agenda. We look forward to helping you keep track of the developments and evolving narrative over the coming months.

Lynn Wagner and Elena Kosolapova


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