28 May 2019
Global Festival Participants Commit to Concrete Action for SDGs
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The third edition of the SDG Global Festival of Action emphasized the need for international cooperation and ambitious multilateralism to achieve the SDGs.

The UN climate action campaign, Act Now, was recognized for using AI to encourage individuals to take climate action.

Over 1,700 participants from more than 150 countries shared perspectives and experiences, tested and accelerated new ideas, and discussed the ways in which governments can use the SDGs as a framework for political action.

6 May 2019: Global community members reiterated their commitment to accelerating action to achieve the SDGs, during the 2019 SDG Global Festival of Action. The gathering highlighted successes, challenges and lessons learned in SDG implementation thus far, with discussions pointing to ways for governments to use the SDGs as a framework for political action.The third edition of the Festival – organized by the UN SDG Action Campaign – convened from 2-4 May 2019, in Bonn, Germany, and brought together over 1,700 participants from more than 150 countries. Among the Festival’s highlights:

  • The UN climate action campaign, Act Now, was recognized for using artificial intelligence (AI) to encourage individuals to take climate action;
  • The SummerOfSolutions initiative was launched to inspire young people to create innovative, technology-based solutions for global challenges, organized by the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, in partnership with UN Technology and Innovation Labs, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and others;
  • A live-streamed SDG Studio provided TED-style talks, interactive discussions and performances, including from UNFCCC Deputy Executive Secretary Ovais Sarmad;
  • An Augmented Reality campaign was launched with a focus on the “essence of the SDGs” – ambition, innovation, positivity and inclusion – aiming to show that individual action can be transformative and inviting people to start a “butterfly effect” to catalyze action for the SDGs by choosing the wings of their preferred cause or SDG; and
  • An initiative sponsored by Junior Chamber International in partnership with the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) offers young innovators recognition, resources and funding to scale up their SDG projects.

Eddie Ndopu, SDG Advocate, stressed that the most vulnerable segments of society must be given a chance to lead. Ndopu will be the first disabled person to travel into space, where he will deliver a televised address to the UN on accelerating SDG implementation.

The UN SDG Action Awards were presented to honor innovative and impactful projects to ignite action on the SDGs in seven categories: mobilizers, storytellers, campaigners, connectors, visualizers, includers and creatives. This year’s winners included: a crowd-map for sexual violence from India; the nation-wide “A White Dress Doesn’t Cover Rape” movement, which led to the repeal of the rape-marriage law in Lebanon; a blockchain-based token rewards initiative, the Plastic Bank, which empowers recycling entrepreneurs in Haiti, the Philippines and the US; and Solar Mamas, which empowers women by enhancing their capacity to build solar panels. [SDGs Global Festival of Action Website] [UN Press Release at Opening of Festival] [UN Press Release at Closure of Festival] [SDG Action Award Winners] [Festival Programme] [UN Climate Action Campaign ‘Act Now’] [Videos from SDGs Studio]

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