Curated Initiatives

Women Rise for All 2023

Women Rise for All  

“Facing unprecedented and intersecting crisis, rising inequality, brutal climate impacts, and seemingly endless conflict, we need a new paradigm of leadership to respond:  Leadership that embodies the values of the UN and the ambition of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” - Amina J. Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General 

Convened by the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed “Women Rise for All” is an initiative that highlights the leadership of women in a time of multiple crises, while advancing progress towards the SDGs. 

Launched at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic “Women Rise for All” has rallied a growing community of women leaders to participate in global advocacy and scientific endeavors, including the UN Research Roadmap for COVID-19 Recovery.  

The initiative has since evolved into a gateway, connecting leaders to different networks around the world, and within the United Nations.

In 2023 the “We the Women…” Campaign—a global initiative designed to envision a sustainable and inclusive future—was launched during the 78th session of the UN General Assembly, in partnership with the Government of Germany. The campaign encourages women and girls worldwide to contribute their thoughts, ideas ,and aspirations for a more sustainable and inclusive future. It aims to outline pathways to achieve this vision and delineate the actions expected from world leaders to propel us towards that goal. The campaign will progressively generate momentum and gain visibility, culminating in a multimedia moment at the Summit of the Future in September 2024. 

In December 2023, UN Partnerships convened the “Women Rise for All Women at #COP28” event, which featured a discussion with influential women leaders, acknowledging their transformational leadership in climate action, including keeping 1.5C target of the Paris Agreement alive, saving lives, and protecting livelihoods. This 45-minute discussion highlighted how women leaders are scaling up solutions for people and planet. 



With these inspirational and aspirational words the United Nations charter lays out an agreed vision for a world based on peace, progress, and governed by international law.

While the intention was one of inclusion, its origins were in fact informed by those who represented only a few. Only 8 women participated in the San Francisco Founding conference of the United Nations, only 4 signed the Charter. Less than two thirds of the countries gathered in San Francisco had equal voting rights for women, and women’s participation in politics was minimal.

This exclusion and bias at the original moment of the United Nations has shaped its foundations and evolution for the past eight decades. The multiple crises we face today – from wars of aggression and proliferating violence and insecurity to rampant inequality, a climate emergency, and fraying social cohesion – have all been shaped by models based on exclusion. In short, in 1945 the international community built an institution for all with the views of a few. 

As we race the clock to 2030 and the end date of the Sustainable Development Goals, we need the capacities, expertise, innovation and ideas of all. To build momentum towards this objective, in 2020 the Deputy Secretary-General along with senior women leaders from the UN, governments, private sector and beyond, launched ‘Women Rise for All’, an initiative focusing on women leaders’ networking and convening, and shaping collective global solutions for the future. In September 2023, as part of the Women Rise for All  event, the ‘We the Women’ Campaign was launched – as a moment for a reset, and to create a new narrative that is truly inclusive.

WE THE WOMEN. What if the UN Charter started with the words “We the Women”?

For one year – from September 2023 to September 2024, the United Nations, led by the Office of Partnerships, is initiating a large-scale, global outreach campaign that reaches out to the world’s women and girls through various channels. It invites the submission of thoughts, ideas, and aspirations – what is the world we want, how do we get there, and what do we expect from the UN. The ‘We the Women’ Campaign is designed to culminate in a multi-media moment at the Summit of the Future – expressed through a shared vision of the future informed by the voices, experiences, creativity of women and girls.

For more information on Women Rise for All and We the Women Campaign, please reach out to 

SDG Action Zone
Amina J. Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General closing the SDG Action Zone 2023 with moderator Nadira Hira, Master of Ceremonies. ©UN Photo/Pier Paolo Cito

SDG Action Zone - Bringing the UN to the world and the world to the UN

Since its first edition in 2019, the SDG Action Zone has become an annual feature of the High-level Week of the UN General Assembly (UNGA). It provides a dynamic and inclusive platform dedicated to action on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with those driving solutions on the ground taking center stage: SDG champions, activists, and allies from diverse sectors, geographies, and generations. 

This unique space, opening up UNGA, features critical insights for people and planet – bringing together diverse perspectives for unscripted and impactful exchange to spark momentum and inspire pathways for change. Over the years, the SDG Action Zone has built a global community, mobilizing each participant to use their own spheres of influence to mobilize actions to accelerate the SDGs. 

This year’s SDG Action Zone (2023) revolved around the theme of ‘Raising Accountability’ to close the gap on the SDGs in the next seven years. The program of the 5th edition put a spotlight on the definition of accountability across different spheres and sectors, focusing on who needs to do what, how to mobilize for people and planet, how to shift mindsets, and how to know what’s working. 

YAG 2023

Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change

“Climate change is the fight of our lives – and young people have been on the frontlines leading the charge for climate justice.” - António Guterres, UN Secretary-General

The Secretary-General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change provides him with practical and outcome-focused advice, diverse youth perspectives and concrete recommendations, with a clear focus on accelerating the implementation of his climate action agenda.

Convened under the auspices of the United Nations first-ever system-wide youth strategy, Youth2030, and the Our Common Agenda, the Youth Advisory Group serves as a mechanism for the Secretary-General to hear directly from young people, as the organization works to accelerate global climate action, and drive forward all 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

The new cohort of the Youth Advisory Group started its two-year term on 16 March 2023. Its members were selected and appointed by the Secretary-General from a pool of candidates nominated by respected youth- and climate-focused non-governmental and civil society organizations around the world.


Ayisha Siddiqa (United States) is a Pakistani- American human rights and tribal land defender. She is the Co-founder of Polluters Out and Fossil Free University. Her work focuses on uplifting the rights of marginalized communities while holding polluting companies accountable at the international level. She is currently a research scholar at NYU School of Law, university working to bridge the environmental and human rights sector with the youth climate movement. Ayisha was recently named a Time magazine Woman of the Year.  @Ayishas12


Beniamin Strzelecki (Poland) is a climate action and energy transition advocate. He coordinated a global network of youth-led energy organizations and worked with intergovernmental entities, including the International Renewable Energy Agency, Sustainable Energy for All, and the UN Industrial Development Organization to create opportunities for young people in the energy transition field. As a researcher, Beniamin worked on the economics of renewable power generation deployment at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the German Institute for Economic Research. He currently co-chairs the Student Energy Summit 2023 and continues his studies at New York University Abu Dhabi.  @beniaminst


Fatou Jeng (The Gambia) is dedicated to grassroots, national, and international mobilization as a climate educator, frontline activist, and campaigner. Fatou founded Clean Earth Gambia in 2017, a youth-led, local climate organization that has mobilized thousands of Gambian young people to help marginalized and vulnerable communities build resilience to climate change. She has served as Co-lead for the YOUNGO women and gender working group and is also a member of the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC) where she supports the implementation of the network’s projects. Fatou holds a Master's degree in Environment, Development, and Policy from the University of Sussex. She is also a gender climate negotiator for The Gambia to the UNFCCC and was recognized as TOP 100 Young African Conservation Leader by WWF in 2022.  @fatoulaminjeng


Jevanic Henry (Saint Lucia) is a climate and development professional and advocate. He previously served as Climate Change Special Envoy for the Caribbean Youth Environment Network and was a United Nations Foundation’s Next Generation Fellow. Jevanic worked as a Foreign Service Officer with the Government of Saint Lucia, as well as with the climate change unit of the Commonwealth Secretariat and co-authored a practical guide on enhancing access to climate finance. He is currently an Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) Fellow, assigned to the Permanent Mission of Saint Lucia to the United Nations in New York.  @jeo758


Josefa Tauli (Philippines) is an Ibaloi-Kankanaey Igorot indigenous youth activist. She is Policy Co-coordinator of the Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN), which serves as the youth constituency to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). An advocate for meaningful youth participation, human rights, and Indigenous Peoples’ rights and knowledge, she has coordinated the engagement of youth delegations to more than 10 rounds of CBD negotiations during the development of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. She is also the Advocacy Officer of Partners for Indigenous Knowledge Philippines (PIKP), a learning network of organizations and individuals with initiatives on promoting and strengthening Indigenous knowledge. @sefaisabel


Joice Mendez (Colombia/Paraguay) is a migrant, social entrepreneur, and climate advocate focused on the nexus of water, food and energy justice. Joice co-founded several local and regional youth organizations, including the Moema Viezzer Environmental Education Observatory, the Latin American Observatory of Geopolitics of Energy, and the binational Youth Collective of the Parana Basin 3 from the Cultivating Good Water Initiative– a recipient of the UN-Water Best Practice Award in 2015. Joice has also supported Paraguay's National Conference of Youth since 2016 and the National Forum of Water and Youth, and continues to be active in YOUNGO, the Climate Reality Project América Latina, SDG7 Youth Constituency, and the Youth Adaptation Network of the Global Center on Adaptation. @JoiceNajmMendez


Saoirse Exton (Ireland) is a climate justice activist with Fridays for Future. As a proud Gaeilgeoir (Irish-language speaker), Saoirse believes that the wealth of knowledge held in traditional languages and storytelling can re-establish the vital concept of Earth as sacred within capitalism imposed mindsets. In 2021, she was one of 100 inaugural winners of the Rise, an initiative of Schmidt Futures and the Rhodes Trust, for her work researching and rewriting Irish mythology from different perspectives, including bringing women and queer characters to the foreground. @saoirse_exton