When it comes down to it, partnerships were key–from joining together in conferences and creating diverse spaces to spark ideas, to seeing that we have far more in common through our shared vision for the future of people and our planet. This is our year-in-review for partnerships:
CREATING SPACES TO SPOTLIGHT THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
To spark conversations and share ideas for achieving the SDGs, the UN Office for Partnerships organized several roundtables throughout 2022 in the SDG studio featuring prominent world leaders, activists and UN officials. From realizing women’s rights and promoting democracy, to taking climate action–the World’s To-Do List requires the power of partnerships to build a more sustainable tomorrow.
THREE MUST-SEE SDG ROUNDTABLES THAT WILL INSPIRE YOU:
HOSTING THE CONSCIOUS FASHION AND LIFESTYLE NETWORK ANNUAL MEETING
As summer began, the Conscious Fashion Lifestyle Network convened for the first time at the UN Headquarters. Spokespeople from brands such as Vogue Brazil, Lycra and Arch and Hook mingled, forged connections and identified potential future collaborations. Such conversations were punctuated by dynamic panel discussions and deep dives hosted by sustainable fashion icons such as Mara Hoffman and Tracy Reese. To effectively leverage this momentum and raise the profile of the SDGs, 150 industry experts in the fashion and lifestyle sector were invited to foster solutions and uplift sustainable fashion.
WORKING ON THE WORLD’S TO-DO LIST WITH THE SDG ADVOCATES
The group of the Secretary-General’s SDG Advocates continues to expand. The group welcomed Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados, as well as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada as new Co-Chairs. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana and former Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway will continue to serve as Co-Chairs of the Emeritus group. The Secretary-General also appointed Mr. Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder and CEO of Chobani and Founder of Tent Partnerships for Refugees as the last member to complete the new cohort.
As the world began to open up this year, the SDG Advocates have engaged in various convenings around the world. Valentina Muñoz Rabanal and Kailash Satyarthi delivered powerful keynote speeches at the 2022 High-Level Political Forum; the two Co-Chairs released a joint statement at the Summit of the Americas; Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser opened an SDG Pavilion in Qatar; BLACKPINK and PM Mottley delivered remarks at the SDG Moment in September; and most Advocates joined the yearly meeting with the Secretary-General during the High Level week of UN General Assembly in September, where they discussed a wide range of topics from public engagement for the SDGs to building a new social contract and restructuring the financial engines behind the SDGs.
*SDG Advocates Pictured: Valentina Muñoz Rabanal, Mia Mottley, SDG Advocates Co-Chair and Prime Minister of Barbados; Hindou Ibrahim, Eddie Ndopu, Hamdi Ulukaya, Forest Whitaker, Richard Curtis, HH Muhammadu Sanusi II, Kailash Satyarthi, Brad Smith. Not pictured: SDG Advocates Co-Chair and Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, Her Majesty Queen Mathilde, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, BLACKPINK, Graça Machel, Dia Mirza, Jeffrey Sachs.
DEMOCRACY DAY CAMPAIGN ADVOCATES MEDIA FREEDOM
Democratic principles are a core value of the United Nations. To mark the International Day of Democracy, the UN Office for Partnerships, in collaboration with the UN Democracy Fund, led a global campaign to showcase why protecting media freedom is a component of a healthy democracy. On 15 September, journalists working on the ground to preserve a free press joined UN officials to raise awareness on this critical cornerstone for sustainable development.
STOCKTAKING AND SOLUTIONS AT THE UNGA
The UN Office for Partnerships was proud to support this year’s SDG Moment. Hosted by UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, the SDG Moment brought together world leaders, activists, philanthropists, business leaders, and artists who called for urgent action for the SDGs. Partnerships are key to transforming our future, innovating solutions and achieving the World’s To-Do List.
Additionally, during the UN General Assembly, the UN SDG Strategy Hub brought together activists, champions, celebrities, and allies at the SDG Action Zone 2022. From poverty and inequalities to gender and climate, the speakers brought innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing issues. Watch all the conversations on demand here.
THE UNITED NATIONS HONOURED AT THE CFDA AWARDS
Since its inception in 2019, the Conscious Fashion Lifestyle Network (CFL) has worked tirelessly to reduce the impact of one of the most polluting industries. The fashion industry releases more emissions than those of aviation and shipping combined. The CFL Network’s programmes and initiatives are dedicated to creating sustainable solutions for people and planet. The Council of Fashion Designers of America presented the United Nations with the Environmental Sustainability Award during the Council’s annual ceremony in November. The UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed received the award on behalf of the UN alongside high-profile celebrities including singer-songwriter Lenny Kravitz, entrepreneur Kim Kardashian and the late revered designer, Virgil Abloh.
TAKING CLIMATE ACTION
In November, around 35,000 participants from around the globe convened in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt for the UN Climate Conference - COP27. Amongst them were members of our dedicated Climate Action Team.
Notably, COP27 took the landmark decision to create a Loss and Damage Fund, recognizing that populations who suffer the most must be helped by all. The Secretary-General described it as ‘an important step towards justice’. The Sharm El-Sheikh decision reaffirmed countries’ commitment to limit global heating to 1.5C, and the need for coal phase-down.
Despite this progress, the world remains far off track to halve greenhouse gas emissions this decade, as is needed to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. As a result, much greater climate ambition will be needed on all fronts next year.
The voices of young people – and civil society more broadly – were again vital in driving forward many of the key outcomes at COP27, including the Secretary-General’s Youth Advisory Group, supported by members of our team.
From the SDG Studio in New York, the UN Office for Partnerships organized a series of COP27 Dialogues. Watch here.
PARTNERING WITH CIVIL SOCIETY FOR DEMOCRACY
Local communities play an essential role in strengthening democracy. In 2022, the UN Democracy Fund (UNDEF) projects worldwide empowered and built the capacity of local civil society organizations to make a difference, promote human rights, and encourage the participation of all groups in democratic processes. UNDEF’s 17th annual call for proposals was open during the month of November and received 1,872 project proposals, reflecting the significant needs for funding to civil society’s critical work globally. These projects are now being assessed by a team of independent evaluators to see which will move to the next stage of the process.
READ THESE STORIES SHOWCASING THE WORK OF OUR CIVIL SOCIETY PARTNERS TO:
A NEW ERA FOR PARTNERSHIPS
As we bring in a new year, this is a new era for partnerships. So, let’s take inspiration from the lessons of 2022. We must continue to join forces through our ideas, talents, skills and determination to end inequalities, protect democracies, uphold human rights, establish lasting peace, transform education, close the gender gap and build sustainable cities. As we reach the halfway point, 2023 will be a big year. Together, with partners, we can co-create solutions in 2023 and achieve our World’s To-Do List.