The 90-minute event featured performing artists alongside high-level officials, leading into the UN’s Transforming Education Summit.
Speakers highlighted SDGs 13 (climate action), 5 (gender equality), and 10 (reduced inequalities) as particularly critical to achieving a better future for all.
The UN Secretary-General convened the third annual SDG Moment, which, as the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) explains, was “choreographed around the idea” of the SDGs as the world’s “to-do list” for the next eight years. Originally conceived to highlight inspiring action driving progress on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, this year’s SDG Moment “maintained a broad focus on urgency and cooperation.”
The 90-minute event featured performing artists alongside high-level officials, leading into the UN’s Transforming Education Summit. Speakers highlighted SDGs 13 (climate action), 5 (gender equality), and 10 (reduced inequalities) as particularly critical to achieving a better future for all.
Participants underscored that the COVID-19 pandemic, conflict, and climate change, among other crises, have hindered efforts to achieve the SDGs by 2030. The ENB report of the meeting highlights a live performance by the poet-activist Amanda Gorman, which “embodied a running theme of the SDG Moment: the centrality of equality and decision-making power of women and girls.”
Stressing that “development cannot wait,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on leaders to rescue the SDGs at the current moment of “great peril.”
Leading a segment on an “SDG Stocktake” of the SDGs, President of the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) Csaba Kőrösi of Hungary called for regaining the speed of progress towards the SDGs lost to the pandemic and inaction.
During a segment on inequalities solutions, Melinda French-Gates, Co-Chair, Gates Foundation, and Founder of Pivotal Ventures, called replacing the “empowerment” narrative with a conversation about women’s power, especially decision-making power.
A panel discussion on climate solutions highlighted that “getting climate action right is our best chance at achieving the SDGs.”
In a closing “call to action,” Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada and Co-Chair of the SDG Advocates, announced Canada’s investment of USD 827 million in agricultural systems to support climate action and resilience.
Priyanka Chopra Jonas, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Goodwill Ambassador, concluded the proceedings, stressing the importance of the liberating power of education as a cornerstone of equality, social justice, social change, and democracy.
The 2022 SDG Moment – the first held fully in person – convened on 19 September. [ENB Coverage of SDG Moment]