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;
- “Progress depends on people”: understanding and trust are key to good partnerships; building common understanding and agreeing on common goals can help mediate between different organizations;
- “Politics drives technical change” and political support is key to achieve sustainable change at scale; South-South cooperation should be used as a lever for change;
- “Values count”: equity and inclusivity are critical to data progress; data should be inclusive in form and function, and new capacities and skills are needed to respond to unforeseen phenomena and complex data issues; and
- “Systems not silos”: openness and interoperability strengthen data systems and increase impact; data has the most value when it can be combined and used in different systems; open data, platforms, and tools make systems fair and flexible, facilitating innovation and spreading knowledge.
Partnership Reports on Better Data to Improve Lives, Reach SDGs | News | SDG Knowledge Hub | IISD
Launched on the fifth anniversary of the SDGs' adoption, the report shares how data are being used for better decisions…
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;
- Different generations are required to develop solutions, but the youth are especially important since their future is hanging in the balance; and
- The role of cities and corporates in steering society’s behavior towards greener and more sustainable ways of living is critical.
UNGA Side Event on Planet Calls for Investments in the Future | News | SDG Knowledge Hub | IISD
The SDG Action Zone held a day of events focused on the planet's survival in the face of unsustainable practices, as…
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;
- Natural climate solutions have moved to the center of the climate change debate, and they are increasingly understood to be an essential complement to decarbonization in climate action; and
- Nature-based solutions, however, have only received 3% of global climate finance.
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.
- Communities, cities, corporations, and other stakeholders are already engaging in activities that integrate nature-based solutions into water management while generating social and economic benefits.
- Trust is a crucial element for ensuring acceptance for nature-based solutions that require investments, and a lot more can be accomplished when various stakeholders work together.
- Further efforts are needed to: quantify the benefits of nature-based solutions to build an evidence base for support; nature-based solutions and “grey solutions” need to be assessed holistically; and enabling environments for nature-based solutions need to enhanced.
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;
- Governments alone cannot create change — philanthropists also need to target their efforts;
- Businesses must be mobilized to reduce their own carbon footprints and to help establish enabling environments for entrepreneurs; and
- Finance is needed for Indigenous stewards and to protect the poorest communities who depend on biodiversity
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.
- The current market system fails to capture most ecosystem values. Natural capital needs to be restored, and societies must change how they finance, produce and consume.
- Goals related to the pledge include zero biodiversity loss, nature-positive development, carbon neutrality, and resilience.
- Biodiversity conservation is a strategic investment in health, jobs, livelihoods and food security, and protects humanity from diseases.
- Urgent, practical and ambitious actions are needed, including robust goals and strong monitoring mechanisms.
- All parts of governments should engage in implementing the pledge, and concerted action is needed from governments, businesses and civil society.
- Indigenous experience and knowledge should be harnessed, and local communities need to be enlisted to support implementation.
- Economic recoveries from the COVID-19 pandemic should integrate the goal of “saving our life support system.”
Business and society leaders added:
- Economies and businesses depend on nature.
- Humanity is pushing the planet dangerously close to a tipping point that could result in irreversible destabilization of the system.
- Governments need to create the conditions for the private sector to achieve the biodiversity targets.
- Financial institutions have announced a Finance for Biodiversity Pledge that includes a target of collaborating and sharing knowledge, engaging with companies, setting targets and reporting on them publicly, by 2024.
- 60 major faith traditions will develop “faith long-term plans” to protect nature.
- Equity, justice and women’s rights should be at the heart of efforts to halt biodiversity loss.
- Nature is fundamental for protecting human health.
Nature for Life Hub Showcases Immediate Benefits of Protecting Nature | News | SDG Knowledge Hub |…
During the 'Nature for Life Hub,' on the side lines of the opening of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly…
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.
- People should ensure their money is invested according to the SDGs, according to writer and director Richard Curtis.
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.
- There is a need to improve education that prepares children to protect themselves from online pornography.
- To address violence against women and girls, Facebook is defining content-sharing policies based on discussions with women’s organizations worldwide; creating “product experiences” that include proactive content management and also allow for people to report abuse; and developing resources, such as directories of national helplines or WhatsApp-based helplines.
- Police should be better equipped to receive reports on gender-based violence, which requires both more women working at police stations and dedicated training.
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.
- We need investment in voter demographic data to empower female politicians to be more strategic about their electoral strategies.
- The pandemic presents an opportunity to find a “new normal” in sharing household work, especially in Asia where men typically work long hours at the office.
- The Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing+25) could lead to concrete actions to empower women.
UNGA Side Events Seek to Ensure Transformative Change Helps Everyone | News | SDG Knowledge Hub |…
As the 2020 SDG Action Zone began with a day devoted to 'People,' humanitarian activist and SDG advocate Edward Ndopu…
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).
Five Organizations to Create Single Set of Standards for Corporate Sustainability | News | SDG…
CDP, the Climate Disclosure Standards Board, the Global Reporting Initiative, the International Integrated Reporting…
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.
- In 2018, New York launched a Voluntary Local Review (VLR) on the sidelines of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). Since then, over 200 local governments and cities have committed to producing VLRs.
- Verizon and the Verizon Foundation talked about the company’s work in relation to SDG 4 (quality education), especially to address inequalities in connectivity.
- Carnegie Mellon University launched the first Voluntary University Review (VUR) and its President said he hopes more universities will follow suit.
- Governor of Hawai’i David Ige launched the first statewide review of the SDGs (voluntary state review, or VSR).
First Voluntary University and State-level Reviews Demonstrate US Engines of SDG Action | News |…
Carnegie Mellon University and the US State of Hawai'i launched Voluntary Reviews outlining their plans to implement…
American leadership in advancing the sustainable development goals
On Wednesday, September 16, from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. EDT, the Brookings Institution and the UN Foundation cohosted a…
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.
- More people may die of hunger than the disease itself, with an estimated 12,000 deaths per day by the end of 2020 due to hunger linked to COVID-19.
- According to Ola Rosling, Gapminder Foundation, some of the slow progress on SDG targets is due to a failure to understand the interconnectedness of SDG targets, and the lack of data.
- Nearly all SDGs are being affected: children are suffering from a lack of schooling; debt is skyrocketing while fiscal resources are plunging; inequalities are growing; progress on targets related to biodiversity and slum dwellers has regressed; progress on inclusive economic growth; women’s representation in parliaments; and ending over-fishing is too slow.
- There is public appetite for transformative change and overhauling shareholder capitalism and sharing economic benefits more widely. But political will is the barrier, according to Secretary General Guterres. 21 Heads of State and Government who spoke at the SDG Moment betrayed a deep concern for the current, weakened state of multilateralism.
Regionally, leaders offered additional concerning data:
- Gender-based violence is rising in the Arab region;
- In the Asia-Pacific region, 60% of the population in the region lacks social protection and 40% lack access to health care;
- Europe is on track to achieve only 40% of the SDG targets;
- Africa is facing its first economic recession in 25 years due to COVID-19;
- GDP for Latin America and the Caribbean has contracted by 9%.
Presidents and Prime Ministers Appeal for Big Ideas, Solidarity to Restart SDG Progress | News |…
The high-level week of UNGA 75 began with the first-ever SDG Moment, aiming to set the stage for the UN75…
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;
- Ensuring effective implementation and enforcement, including penalties for illegal trade;
- Strengthening collaboration between public health authorities, veterinary services, and wildlife management authorities;
- Working with partners at the international and national levels, including the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), TRAFFIC, and the International Air Transport Association (IATA); and
- Developing, discussing, and adopting potential additional measures under CITES.
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.