8 September 2017: President of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) Peter Thomson released an end of term report on SDG implementation efforts during UNGA 71. The report describes activities aimed at delivering a universal push to transform the world in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and presents ten conclusions on progress.

The report titled, ‘The SDGs: A Universal Push to Transform Our World,’ presents ten assessments by the President.

  1. SDG momentum is growing but implementation is not yet at the speed nor scale required, with “many millions of people” and a number of countries at risk of being left behind.
  2. Governments are embracing the SGDs but a greater focus is needed on sustainability, empowerment, inclusion, integration and maintaining conditions for sustaining peace.
  3. The “great majority” of the international community is committed to the Paris Agreement on climate change but action remains urgent. Scaled up collective action on climate change will also benefit SDGs on food, water, energy, urban development and transport, sustainable consumption and production (SCP), oceans and biodiversity.
  4. Greater effort on integration is needed to maintain priority on transversal Goals, such as eradicating poverty, reducing inequalities and promoting SCP.
  5. Progress has been made on raising private sector awareness on the SDGs but governments and the UN can do “much more” to transform financial systems to drive public and private investment to support the SDGs.
  6. The UN Secretary-General’s proposed reforms are crucial in ensuring a UN system that provides Member States, especially the most vulnerable, with coherent, country-level SDG support. Universal support is also critical to align the work of the UNGA, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) with the SDGs.
  7. Innovation and technology can accelerate SDG implementation, and the UN can facilitate collaboration between innovators and implementers.
  8. Increased multi-stakeholder collaboration is required to deliver the SDGs. The UN Ocean Conference illustrated how collaborative partnerships can be mobilized around one SDG, and the UN should promote a systematic approach to advancing such partnerships for other SDGs.
  9. A more effective campaign is necessary to increase global awareness of the SDGs, including at community and individual levels.
  10. Increased effort is needed to position youth and vulnerable communities in driving SDG implementation.

On financing, the report reflects that the SDGs are high on the global economic agenda but transformation of global and local financial systems is needed to direct the trillions of dollars necessary for SDG implementation. The report recommends the UN play a greater role in advancing implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA), convening platforms to discuss financing and investments for SDG and climate action plans, and developing capacity on the circular economy and the sharing economy, among other actions.

An Annex outlines all activities taken by the Office of the UNGA President to support momentum across each of the 17 SDGs.

The report concludes that the world has made “a good start” on the SDGs but cautions “time is of the essence.”

In conclusion, the report stresses that the world has made “a good start” to end poverty and place humanity on a path to deliver shared prosperity, sustained peace and environmental sustainability by 2030 but cautions “time is of the essence.”

The report was released to coincide with an informal stocktaking meeting on SDG implementation, ‘Taking Stock of SDG Actions,’ which took place on 8 September 2017, at UN Headquarters in New York, US. [Publication: The SDGs: A Universal Push to Transform Our World] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on SDG Implementation Event]