Saving the SDGs: General Assembly highlights ‘global to-do list’ |


The 2022 SDG Momentwhich puts an annual spotlight on the 17 global goals agreed by countries in December 2015, took place as the world faces a worsening cost of living crisis amid the war in Ukraine and of the COVID-19[feminine] pandemic, which have halted development, especially in low-income countries.

“The world has a long list of things to do”, António Guterres told world leaderscalling for more funding and investment from the public and private sectors to meet growing needs.

UN Photo/Mark Garten

UN Secretary-General António Guterres addresses the SDG Moment 2022.

A moment of great peril

Acknowledging the current “moment of great peril” for our world – characterized by conflict, climate catastrophe, division, unemployment, mass displacement and other challenges – Mr Guterres said that while it was “tempting “to put aside long-term priorities, development could not wait.

“The education of our children cannot wait. Worthy jobs cannot wait. Full equality for women and girls cannot wait. Comprehensive healthcare, meaningful climate action, protection of biodiversity – all of this cannot be left for tomorrow,” he stressed, emphasizing that in all of these areas, young people and future generations demand a stock.

“We cannot let them down. This is a watershed moment…The perils we face are no match for a united world…Let’s get our world back on track,” the UN chief urged world leaders.

Csaba Kőrösi, President of the Seventy-Seventh Session of the United Nations General Assembly, addresses the SDG Moment 2022.

UN Photo/Mark Garten

Csaba Kőrösi, President of the Seventy-Seventh Session of the United Nations General Assembly, addresses the SDG Moment 2022.

Solutions are at hand

The President of the General Assembly, Csaba Kőrösiechoed the words of Mr. Guterres and said it was timely and more necessary than ever to “re-dedicate to the SDGs” as the world falls behind.

The pandemic was a postcard from the future, a bleak future of interlocking global crises. The one we want to avoid and can avoid. We must now regain the momentum lost due to the pandemic and our inaction. The solutions are at hand,” he said.

Mr. Kőrösi added that it was time to “take seriously” the saving of the world, with all the pleasant and unpleasant consequences that this entails, and called on UN member states to keep the promises made.

A call to children

Holding a sign of 17 Sustainable Development Goals from the podium, the Prime Minister of Barbados and United Nations Environment Champion of the Earth, Mia Motley, reminded the General Assembly of what each of the SDGs mean, from the eradication of poverty and achieving gender equality to protecting our planet.

“A world driven by a climate crisis cannot give us a sustainable future. Are we so arrogant to believe there won’t be failed societies and extinct species, as history otherwise shows us?” she asked world leaders.

She urged the world’s children to “lead a revolution” by changing our habits to end pollution and plastic waste, and “keep leaders on fire” to make the world a better place to live.

Goodwill Ambassadors Join

Poet, activist and United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF supporter, Amanda Gorman, shared one of her inspirational articles focusing on accountability of leaders, ending poverty and protecting the Earth.

Meanwhile, SDG Advocates and K-pop superstars BLACKPINK appeared in a video message urging the world to take specific action to fight climate change and boost sustainable development.

UNICEF Ambassador Priyanka Chopra Jonas was in charge of hosting the event. She reminded the room that time is running out, as we are almost halfway to the 2030 deadline for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

“We all deserve to live in a fair, safe and healthy world. The present and the future are in your hands,” she told the General Assembly.


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