With a clear message of solidarity and action, the United Nations high-level week 2021 took place as the world continues to grapple with the devastating COVID-19 crisis. Vaccines have been rolled out with unprecedented speed but, much like the global economic response, that rollout has been uneven and inequitable. The already severe impact of the crisis on the world’s poorest countries risks being exacerbated by an emerging two-speed recovery. All the while, inequalities are deepening, conflicts continue and time is running out to halt the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.
Decades of development progress are being lost and the promise of a better future for all is now in jeopardy. A different path is urgently needed. That path is already set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change – agreed to by the international community in 2015. It is a path that demands a rapid redesign of policies, governance arrangements and economic systems and inter-generational accountability, both domestically and internationally.
The 2021 SDG Moment put the focus on a unprecedented generational opportunity to bring solutions to scale to seize it decisively. Together with a series of meetings during high-level week on energy, food systems, climate, jobs and social protection and more, the 2021 SDG Moment inspired new audiences to build momentum in the lead up to potentially game-changing meetings later this year – all with a view to Recovering Better Together to Keep the Promise of the SDGs.
The UN Office for Partnerships collaborated closely with the Office of the UN Secretary-General on the 2021 SDG Moment of the Decade of Action. The hybrid event was held on 20 September 2021 - marking the start of the General Assembly High Level Week.
The Secretary-General was joined by more than 30 Heads of State, a number of his SDG Advocates, top UN officials and the iconic K-pop band -- BTS.
The event amplified the continued relevance of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It also highlighted the urgent need to ensure that COVID-19 response and recovery efforts are equitable, inclusive and accelerate the transition to sustainable development.