ChangeNow Summit in Paris, 25 May 2023 


Ladies and Gentlemen, 

Dear Colleagues and Friends, 

It is a privilege to join this session of the Change Now Summit. 

Imagine a world that works. A world in balance, not mired in crisis. A united world, on the way to the SDGs, without leaving anyone behind. 

For so long, we have been used to thinking in divisions. We draw lines, segregating countries, peoples, issues. Such lines have become the fractures of our world. They delineate the disruption now erupting everywhere. 

At the UN SDG Action Campaign, we call for a journey of united advocacy and action to change our world. 

Part 1: Introducing the narrative and campaign 

  • The 2023 SDG campaign builds on Flip the Script. It inspires citizens to flip a negative narrative into a positive one, and unite to act on the SDGs.  
  • At the SDG Action Campaign, we believe in humanity’s creative power for good. As individuals and together, what we can imagine, we can achieve.  
  • UNITE TO ACT is the core campaign message. 
  • It’s a message of hope, of possibilities and of the urgency of action now. 
  • The sense of unity is reflected in a ribbon that connects us all and unites our efforts to reach shared goals. This symbol will be leveraged throughout the campaign.   
  • For too long, we have been used to thinking in divisions. We draw lines, segregating countries, peoples, issues.  
  • The lines are everywhere – in the parched soil cracked with drought; in the sky trailing a plane; in the barriers and walls that keep us apart.  
  • The power of the SDGs is that they call on us to weave the lines together, transforming them into a ribbon.  
  • The ribbon represents our togetherness and community. It calls on us to unite to act
  • Unity is at the heart of the SDGs because achieving any single goal requires achieving them all. And this is only possible when people themselves unite for change. 
  • United does not mean everyone doing the same thing or thinking the same way. It means people coming together, in all our diversity, to give humanity and our planet a beautiful, sustainable future.  
  • We are stronger together, united in action. #Act4SDGs 

Part 2: Role of companies in sustainability, danger of green washing

  • Across the spectrum of global challenges, to succeed, we need a whole-of-society approach — one that draws upon every aspect of the richness and talent of our diverse societies. 
  • We need private sector resourcefulness and cooperation to advance our common objectives of sustainable development.  
  • In recent years, a new generation of consumers has begun demanding companies to act in the interest of sustainability. Purpose-driven businesses are also recognizing the benefits of focusing on the long-term. 
  • We have seen how the private sector, especially large multinational corporations, served as a critical “first responder” and partner in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic – as a provider of technology, innovation, skills, services, and employment.  
  • One crucial lesson from the pandemic is that our way forward is not a contest between public and private, profit-driven or social good. No sector holds all the levers for creating public value. We need you all to play a key role in this puzzle. 
  • SDGs are also a call to action for the private sector to apply their creativity and innovation to help solve sustainable development challenges. 
  • You can think of the SDGs as a ‘risk map’ of the 21st century, reflected in the 17 areas where we must work together to invest in opportunities for future generations.  
  • Sustainability and reducing inequality can be a driver for economic growth, presenting opportunities for businesses and investors.   
    • $12 trillion could be added to global GDP by 2025 by advancing women’s equality.1 OR A study of 1,000 companies across 12 countries concluded that gender-diverse companies are more profitable than their national industry averages.2 
    • Diverse Organizations Are More Successful at Recruiting and Retaining Talent. 

Part 3: Creativity, emotions and change 

Creating positive impact for people and planet is within reach. All we need to do is to change our mindsets. And you will increasingly play a significant role on this journey.  

The time to unite for change is now because the window for a breakthrough to a world that works is still open—but closing fast. We can only keep it open only by rapidly accelerating progress on the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.  

The Global Goals are our best hope—for people, for planet, for prosperity, for peace and for partnerships. 

And we can do it, if we do it together.