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UNGA and Global Goals Week Resources Pt. 3

Summaries of recap article from UNGA and Global Goals Week are listed below, in no particular order.

Partnership Reports on Better Data to Improve Lives, Reach SDGs *Report referenced in first Medium document, but this is a new summary article

On September 25th, Global Goals Day, the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data launched a report: “A Global Movement for Better Data and Better Lives: Five years of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, 2015–2020”, on the use of data to improve lives and support SDG achievement. The report highlights five key lessons:

  • “Good data takes time”: time is needed to build relationships, change institutions, and learn; commitments must be long-term, and planning and budgeting need to be based on a long-term perspective embedded within a supportive institutional framework;

UNGA Side Event on Planet Calls for Investments in the Future

The SDG Action Zone held a day of events focused on the planet’s survival in the face of unsustainable practices, as part of a three-day series. During a session on ‘Protection for an Evolved Capitalism: How B Corps are leading the way’ showed how companies are integrating SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production) into their operations. Key takeaways from the event include:

  • All stakeholders need to transcend their differences in order to work together to protect the planet;

Nature for Life Hub Showcases Immediate Benefits of Protecting Nature

The Nature for Life Hub was a series of events that took place alongside the UN General Assembly . On 24 September 2020, the Hub featured sessions on how nature can support achieving the SDGs, with a focus on: nature for climate; nature for water; and scaling up financing. The session on Nature for Climate underlined the role of ecosystems in climate change mitigation. One event attendee said COVID-19 caused the world to see that protecting nature is essential to our economy and livelihood. More key takeaways from the event include:

  • Forests and nature can deliver a third of the needed emission reductions, and reversing their degradation will be fundamental for meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement;

A session on Nature for Water highlighted how nature-based solutions can build long-term water security. Key messages included:

  • Water is finite, but our need for it is growing — this relationship needs balancing.

On 25 September, the Nature for Life Hub focused on business and finance. The Finance for Biodiversity Pledge, in which 26 financial institutions committed to protect and restore biodiversity through their finance activities and investments, was launched.

A September 28th Nature Finance Forum presented key message including:

  • Governments must de-risk investments to create incentives for the private sector;

The Leaders’ Pledge for Nature, signed by 70 countries and other non-State actors, was also launched on this day. Signatories commit to reversing biodiversity loss by 2030, through ten specific actions.

Noteworthy messages from government leaders were:

  • There is a need to recognize the interdependence between people and ecosystems.

Business and society leaders added:

  • Economies and businesses depend on nature.

UNGA Side Events Seek to Ensure Transformative Change Helps Everyone

As part of the SDG Action Zone, an entire day (Sept. 22nd) of Global Goals Week was devoted to People. Many of the day’s sessions addressed societal inequalities and ensuring that minorities and marginalized people are included in any recovery measures/changes. Some takeaways from the day were:

  • Climate action (SDG 13) will be the one Goal to either prevent or unlock achieving all 17 SDGs, claimed by Dia Mirza, UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Goodwill Ambassador.

In a session on ‘Protecting Jobs: Decent Work Solutions for a Just Transition,’ Vladislav Kaim of the UN Secretary-General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change pushed for establishing “skilling” pathways so that “Generation COVID is not left behind.” A youth representative, Paloma Costa, called for making space in the formal sector for the millions of young people who are currently working in the informal sector, which has been especially hard hit by COVID-19. It was also noted that half the world’s population have no social protection in the work place.

In a session titled, ‘New Pathways: Under the Influence — Online Solutions to Real World Violence,’ activists and participants noted the following:

  • There has been an increase in online violence during the pandemic.

Highlights from a session ‘The Future of Leadership: When Women Lead’ are:

  • According to the Reykjavik Index for Leadership, less than half of G-7 countries’ populations are comfortable with a woman as a country or major business leader.

Five Organizations to Create Single Set of Standards for Corporate Sustainability

To help stakeholders base decisions on comparable information and reduce the burden on reporting companies, five organizations announced they will work together to create a single set of standards for corporate sustainability reporting. They are: CDP, the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB), the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB).

First Voluntary University and State-level Reviews Demonstrate US Engines of SDG Action

During an event ‘American Leadership in Advancing the Sustainable Development Goals’ organized by The Brookings Institution and the UN Foundation, the Brookings Institution announced that Brookings is creating a new Center for Sustainable Development. Here’s what else happened during the event, including some landmark reporting:

  • Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti called attention to LA’s online dashboard to track its progress, and reported that LA is launching an SDGs activities index to help LA residents find new partners.

Presidents and Prime Ministers Appeal for Big Ideas, Solidarity to Restart SDG Progress

Major themes that came out of the beginning of the UNGA are:

  • In a segment to conduct an ‘SDG reality check,’ speakers reported that — as synthesized by the Earth Negotiations Bulletin — “for the first time in 30 years, human development progress is expected to reverse due to COVID-19.

Regionally, leaders offered additional concerning data:

  • Gender-based violence is rising in the Arab region;

Webinar Explores Role of MEAs and Trade in Preventing Future Pandemics

During a webinar — ‘Multilateral Environmental Agreements and the Trade Regime: Exploring Options for Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and Preventing Future Pandemics’ — speakers discussed ways to regulate the trade regime to make societies more resilient and support sustainable post-COVID-19 recovery. Sofie Hermann Flensborg, CITES Secretariat, outlined CITIES’ role in reducing the risk of future pandemics by, among other measures:

  • Regulating, controlling, and monitoring trade in specimens of wild animals to ensure that such trade is sustainable, legal, and traceable;

Gabrielle Marceau of the University of Geneva/WTO suggested that the WTO work with CITES to help prevent future pandemics through import and export restrictions. UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) presented on electronic permit systems that help better control trade and future spread of animal- and plant-borne diseases, highlighting the need to adopt new technologies. Ultimately, speakers concluded that CITES and other MEAs, the WTO, other organizations and private entities need to work together.

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Keeping track of progress on trying to count and measure the success of the Sustainable Development Goals

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SDGCounting

Keeping track of progress on trying to count and measure the success of the Sustainable Development Goals.