7 February 2024
ECOSOC, UNGA Presidents Look to Summit of the Future to Accelerate SDGs
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The UNGA President highlighted the Summit of the Future as an opportunity to scale up commitments and reinvigorate multilateralism to address today’s challenges.

The ECOSOC President prioritized leveraging Council’s policy guidance amid multiple crises, to translate the commitments of the SDG Summit into concrete actions and contribute to the Summit of the Future.

The Presidents of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) held an annual joint briefing to update Member States on their vision for the year ahead. The briefing highlighted areas of complementarity the Presidents will advance through collaborative efforts as they work towards the Summit of the Future in September 2024.

Underscoring in his remarks that we are “dangerously off course” to achieve the targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, UNGA President Dennis Francis drew attention to the recommendations contained in the ‘Our Common Agenda’ report by the UN Secretary-General on how to “turbocharge the SDGs.” He stressed the role of the SDG Summit’s political declaration in supporting expedited action.

Francis highlighted the Summit of the Future as an opportunity to scale up commitments and reinvigorate multilateralism to address today’s challenges. He said “its outcomes must emanate from an inclusive and multistakeholder process,” with the “visceral involvement” of youth. He called for investing in young people by ensuring access to quality education and to technology and innovation to close the digital divide.

“The Summit’s outcome – the Pact [for] the Future – will advance our discussions on sustainable development and financing for development; peace and security; science and technology; digital cooperation; and global governance; all for our youth and future generations,” Francis stated.

To drum up support for and facilitate momentum ahead of the Summit, the UNGA President will convene an inaugural Sustainability Week in April featuring high-level events on debt sustainability, tourism, transport, energy, and infrastructure connectivity.

Among other events to drive action, Francis highlighted:

  • Review of ECOSOC and the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF);
  • UNGA thematic event on the El Niño phenomenon, on 30 April;
  • 62nd session of the Commission on Social Development; and
  • 68th session of the Commission on the Status of Women.

In her statement, ECOSOC President Paula Narváez Ojeda prioritized leveraging ECOSOC’s policy guidance amid multiple crises, to translate the commitments of the SDG Summit into concrete actions and contribute to the Summit of the Future.

Noting that ECOSOC’s recently concluded Partnership Forum and Coordination Segment promoted coherence in follow-up to the SDG Summit, Narváez Ojeda said the Council is “poised to contribute substantively” to the Summit of the Future through the convening of the:

  • Forum on Financing for Development Follow-up (FfD Forum), which will pave the way for the Fourth Conference on Financing for Development in 2025;
  • Youth Forum, where young people will identify their priorities for the Summit of the Future;
  • Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs (STI Forum);
  • Operational Activities for Development Segment;
  • Humanitarian Affairs Segment;
  • Meeting on the Transition from Relief to Development; and
  • 2024 session of the HLPF, which will undertake in-depth review of SDGs 1 (no poverty), 2 (zero hunger), 13 (climate action), 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions), and 17 (partnerships for the Goals).

The ECOSOC President indicated she will “seek an ambitious and focused ministerial declaration to provide further policy guidance for moving forward.”

Highlighting the Summit of the Future as “an opportunity to demonstrate that multilateralism can deliver for everyone, everywhere, and offer solutions for a more peaceful, just and sustainable world for current and future generations,” Narváez Ojeda pledged to support the UNGA President in the preparation process for the Summit.

Further, Narváez Ojeda signaled ECOSOC’s readiness to work with the UNGA to support countries in special situations, including small island developing States (SIDS), least developed countries (LDCs), and landlocked developing countries (LLDCs), and leave no one behind.

The joint briefing by the UNGA and ECOSOC Presidents was held on 2 February 2024. [SDG Knowledge Hub Sources]


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