Kofi Annan was a visionary leader, a dedicated diplomat and a committed campaigner for peace, human rights and social justice. The UN SDG Action Campaign joins the United Nations family and the rest of the world in mourning the passing on of Mr Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General who died on the 18th of August, 2018.
Mr Annan worked tirelessly to ensure that the United Nations is about the people and together with Member States delivered the UN Millennium Declaration which gave birth to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
To his eternal credit, Mr Annan established the UN Millennium Campaign, the precursor of the SDG Action Campaign to mobilise the world around the MDGs and rally all people to a global movement of making poverty history. Today, the impact of the MDGs and the work of the Millennium Campaign have both gave the world a renewed vigour and commitment to ending poverty and inequalities and a planet befitting for present and future generations. This is evident in the adoption of the successor frameworks of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015.
Above all, in establishing the Millennium Campaign, Mr. Annan laid the foundation for giving people voices to participate in global and national processes that determine their future. The UN SDG Action Campaign has continued in this light in our work and partnerships across the world.
On his departure, we celebrate the life of a leader, a reformer and a Campaigner. We believe that the best way to immortalise the life and work of Mr. Annan is in promoting the ideals for which he lived and worked for – a world without poverty and injustice. The UN SDG Action Campaign will always be inspired by his vision to continue to work with our partners all over the world to build a global movement that will facilitate the achievement of the SDGs by giving people voices to engage with this universal and transformative agenda.
In preparation for the Global Day of Action on Sustainable Development, a yearly happening on September 25th to celebrate the anniversary of the SDGs, a group of international Master students visited the Global Campaign Center in Bonn.
The students, enrolled in the Sustainable Development Management Program at Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences, discussed the centre’s work, participated in the MY World 2030 survey, shared their opinions through the Humans of MY World campaign, and most importantly brainstormed and presented a range of actions that will be used in the toolkit for the Global Day of Action on 25 September.
Some of the activations proposed by the students focused on cleaning up and rebuilding forests, organising flash mobs to raise awareness and demand action on the SDGs, and several community building activities.
Do you have yourself an outstanding idea to #Act4SDGs #By2030? And do you want it to be shared by millions of people around the world? Then reach out to us via @SDGAction or via Facebook and we might include it in our global toolkit.
The Awards Ceremony honored winners in seven categories during the Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development in Bonn, Germany, highlighting transformative action for the SDGs around the world
March 21, 2018 (Bonn) – The winners of the first United Nations SDG Action Awards have been announced this Wednesday by the UN SDG Action Campaign, demonstrating the extraordinary momentum towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in different corners of the earth.
The Awards Ceremony was held in tandem with the second edition of the Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development in Bonn, Germany, and honored initiatives in the categories of communicator, connector, includer, innovator, mobilizer, storyteller, and visualizer.
“These are ‘Action’ Awards because we need more than words: our winners dared to believe and act for change. They are perfect examples of the wonderful work that’s happening around the world led by thousands, if not millions, of people”, said Mitchell Toomey, Global Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign.
The winning initiatives are fighting corruption in Nigeria, mobilizing Belgians to implement the SDGs in their daily lives, empowering children through photography and digital skills in Bangladesh, promoting human rights education in Sri Lanka and much more. Evidencing the multi-sectoral engagement to achieve the SDGs, the winners span over private and public sectors, as well as civil society and grassroots movements.
Over 700 nominations from 125 countries in 7 continents were submitted. An expert judging panel evaluated submissions against the degree to which actions were deemed to be transformative, inclusive and impactful.
In addition, an open vote was held on the website of the UN SDG Action Campaign where visitors could rate their favorite among the 38 finalists to win the People’s Choice Award.
“Great solutions for the world’s challenges can come from anywhere. We hope everyone is inspired by these stories and consider submitting their nominations for future Awards. These are the first winners of a community that will continue to grow”, said Toomey.
ABOUT THE UN SDG ACTION CAMPAIGN
The UN SDG Action Campaign is a special initiative of the UN-Secretary General, administered by the UNDP to create awareness about the 2030 Agenda, empower and inspire people across the world to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while generating political will, and help make the Goals attainable by 2030. For more information, please visit https://sdgactioncampaign.org.
ABOUT THE GLOBAL FESTIVAL OF ACTION
The Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development is the world´s annual event to celebrate, empower, and connect the global community driving Action for the Sustainable Development Goals.
Organised by the UN SDG Action Campaign with the support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Festival connects an inspiring mix of business leaders, activists, UN representatives, academia, governments, innovators, global organisations, and the media from across the globe. Taking place in Bonn each year, the Festival provides a dynamic and interactive space to showcase the latest innovations, tools, and approaches to SDG action and connect organizations and individuals from different sectors and regions to exchange, build partnerships, and make the impact of their solutions scale.
The United Nations SDG Action Campaign is proud to be part of the growing United Nations family in Bonn, Germany.
The UN is currently represented in Bonn with about 20 organizations. UN Bonn supports targeted efforts by governments for a sustainable future in the fields of climate change, land degradation, biodiversity and ecosystem services, wildlife conservation, volunteerism, health, human security, disaster risk reduction, tourism, as well as education and training.
This not only includes the sustainable use of natural resources and their precautionary preservation for future generations, but also the global fight against poverty.
The United Nations has had offices in Bonn since 1951. In 2006, the UN Campus was officially inaugurated by the former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, with the “Langer Eugen” as the main building.
The UN presence in Bonn has grown steadily, from a handful of staff in 1996 to what has become a UN family with an international staff of almost 1,000 colleagues. Furthermore, the United Nations are represented in Germany with institutions and liaison offices in Dresden, Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt and Nuremberg.
Almost 300 university and tertiary-level students had the opportunity to experience a first-hand interaction with the UN SDG Action Campaign last Saturday, the 20th of January, at the first Internship Fair at the German Foreign Office premises in Bonn.
Apart from receiving information on internship opportunities at UN agencies, they built up their knowledge about the SDGs and learned about several ways to engage, such as answering the My World 2030 survey.
The fair brought together 25 international organizations and EU institutions in the region, including several UN organizations such as United Nations Regional Information Centre, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, World Health Organization and International Organization for Migration.
The region of Bonn is considered a sustainability cluster since it gathers several global players and around 150 NGOs working in the fields of development co-operation, peacekeeping, renewable energies, and sustainable resources management.
Rising up to the challenge of leaving no one’s voice behind, the network of volunteers Climate Smart Agriculture Youth Network (CSAYN) has officially launched the MY World 2030 UN Global Survey on the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) online across all 36 CSAYN countries globally.
As a post-launch, some CSAYN countries have launched the survey offline in Central Africa (Yaoundé, Cameroon), East Africa (Zanzibar, Tanzania) and Europe (Bonn, Germany) for now while waiting on other regions to join efforts.
Based in Cameroon, CSAYN links volunteers with a strong interest in climate-smart agriculture and environment around the world. Climate-smart agriculture can contribute not only to achieve SDG #2, focused on ending hunger, but also relates to ending poverty (SDG #1), sustainable management of water (SDG #6), sustainable economic growth (SDG #8) and action to combat climate change (SDG #13).
In Yaoundé, the offline survey was launched by CSAYN in the International Relations Institute of Cameroon. Attended by well over 300 students of diverse disciplines of international relations, the event was followed by discussions centered on how data collected from the survey can influence policy decisions in the United Nations, as well as resolve key challenges in Africa.
“Watching how participants took the survey with so much excitement, passion and a strong conviction that their votes could make sustainable development a reality has encouraged our work towards being ambassadors for the goals in every local community”, says CSAYN country coordinator Nche Tala Aghanwi.
Although many still continue unaware of the SDGs in Cameroon, particularly in rural communities, discussions made clear how important the goals are for people and the extent to which they cut across their daily experiences.
The MY World Survey has also started to make its way towards local rulers. “One of the most inspired persons I encountered was a traditional ruler who explained to me that this survey has served as an evaluation tool of his rule and the level of amelioration or deterioration of major social services in his village since he became the chief”, says Aghanwi.
In Tanzania, CSAYN has engaged a community of 170 smallholders in Zanzibar in the offline survey, motivated by the interest of rural youth and women in climate-smart agriculture. Members of the Tanzania CSAYN team have also discussed with Zanzibar local farmers how to improve the production of cassava by intercropping it with sweet potatoes or yams in order to increase food security, contributing towards achieving zero hunger by 2030.
In Bonn, Germany, the offline survey was launched in the margin of the Global Landscape Forum. A cross-section of 50 delegates took part in the survey and committed to become SDGs Advocates within their communities, institutions, organizations and countries.
The results of the survey collected by CSAYN will help feed into the UN’s and governments’ monitoring of progress on the SDGs, raising awareness of important issues and giving a “people’s perspective” from the ground, in real-time.
Take the MY World 2030 survey here and raise your voice too about what SDGs are most important to you!
Every step taken for Climate Action is a step further in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Both the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement provide a clear framework for action towards a better world for every person and for the planet.
The UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) will be a busy and exciting two weeks in the efforts to support UNFCCC and member states to raise public awareness about the interconnectedness of the SDGs and Climate Action and to bring in citizen voices to deliver the message of the importance of multiple stakeholders working together to achieve change.
Here’s the lineup of all the immersive experiences, events, exhibitions, and conversations ready for COP23. Interesting in attending any of these sessions? Register here
Friday 17th November Change-making through New media and Virtual Reality where: Bonn Zone, at the Talanoa Space when: 1.00 – 2.00pm
NOTE: This event is ONLY open to COP23-accredited participants. If you don’t have COP23 accreditation already, you cannot get accredited at the entrance and you will be turned away. For those who are not eligible to attend, we invite you to watch the livestream of the event on our Twitter account via Periscope at http://twitter.com/sdgaction
Join the UN SDG Action Campaign and Scenic VR for an interactive panel on the virtual reality film “Guardians of the Forest”, as well as the role of virtual reality in supporting indigeneous priorities in crafting a new climate reality.
Kristin Gutekunst – Executive Producer, UN Virtual Reality and New Media, UN SDG Action Campaign
Brittany Neff & Benjamin Ross – Co-directors, Guardians of the Forest – CoReality
Carol Gonzalez Aguilar – Coordinator of Women and Family – Organización de los Pueblos Indígenas de la Amazonía Colombiana (OPAIC)
Wednesday 8th November: Innovative leadership: Engaging everyone in driving local action for SDGs & Climate Change where: Talanoa Space at the Bonn Zone
time: 11.30am to 12.30pm
How can local and sub-national efforts to adapt and build resilience to climate change thrive? What examples can we see of new leaders taking innovative actions to engage everyone: governments, citizens, innovators, businesses, and organisations, in setting priorities and developing solutions to the SDGs & climate change? How can these local solutions be scaled to make more tangible change?
The purpose of this session is to share inspiring examples and insights of how multiple stakeholders across subnational governments, private sector, and civil society organisations are taking innovative approaches, exploring collaboration and engaging millions of people to make tangible change at the local and global level.
Wednesday 15 November: High-Level Event “Innovation for SDGs and Climate Action” where: Climate Planet, between the Bonn and Bula Zones. Find it here time: 1.30 to 2.30pm
Through an innovative and interactive format, this event will showcase selected transformative solutions tackling the biggest challenges for humanity and the planet. These innovative solutions will be presented by governments, private sector and civil society in a dynamic pitch session followed by targeted networking, Participants will wander freely to explore the solutions being presented, thereby enabling the speakers and participants to share insights, ideas and lessons learnt.
Moderator: Laura Hildebrandt, Policy Specialist, UN SDG Action Campaign
Mr. Magdy Martínez-Solimán, Assistant Secretary General and Director Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UN Development Programme
Dr. Ingolf Dietrich, Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Dr. Ifeolu Falegan, Senior Advisor, Office of the Senior Special Assistant on SDGs to the President of Nigeria
Screening of innovation video, UN SDG Action Campaign
Multistakeholder pitch session
Luca Bucken, Liter of Light
Isabel Naguib, Foodsharing Bonn
David Katz, The Plastic Bank
Carlos Eduardo Sturm, Brazilian Forest Service plus various other speakers
Sarah Teeter, TerraCycle
Nick Davis, GridMarket
Jane Madgwick, Wetlands International
Valeria Valotto, Progetto Quid
*No accreditation needed
6 – 17 November
SDG Virtual Reality Space
where: Bonn Zone, at UNFCCC/Momentum for Change stand
Curated by the UN SDG Action Campaign, this exhibition includes a multitude of immersive experiences and a participatory activation through the MY World 2030 survey. The United Nations VR series supports the UN system in communicating and advocating for the advancement of the SDGs and Climate Action. Bringing people’s voices to COP23, participants can have a peek into how the SDGs and Climate Change manifest in peoples daily lives and across the globe and discover and share citizen perceptions on progress through MY World 2030.
SDG Interactive Space at the Climate Planet where: Climate Planet between the Bonn and Bula Zones
The Climate Planet is a 20m globe, brought to Bonn by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Inside the large globe is a 4m globe, onto which a specifically produced movie about climate change will be projected – including live views of the earth taken by NASA. Around the Planet, we will showcase the SDGs in innovative and interactive ways, human stories behind the SDGs, citizen perception data and the MyWorld 2030 survey. See teaser and more information
*No accreditation needed
Humans of MY World Exhibition where: Bonn Zone, in the hallway on the way to meeting rooms 1-4
Millions of individuals have raised their voices on what matter most to them and how we are making progress on the SDGs through MY World, the United Nations survey for a better world. Each of them has a story to tell. This exhibition features content from the photo-narrative series Humans of MY World, shedding light on the human stories behind the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through this exhibition, you will have the chance to “meet” 17 individuals from around the world and learn why the SDGs are important to them. Take a look at the photo series
Sharing People’s commitment to SDGs and Climate Action at the #SDGStudio
The #SDGStudio is a mobile interactive space open to innovators, influencers, governments, businesses, activists and organisations to generate dialogue and share change-making actions and commitments from across the world to serve as an inspiration for everyone to engage in taking action for the Sustainable Development Goals.
During COP23 we will be at the Bonn Zone and the Bula Zone, asking leaders to share their commitments and efforts for Climate Action and the Sustainable Development Goals with the world. Come and speak up!
Will you not be there? You can be part of the #SDGStudio from wherever you are. Speak up, tag @SDGAction and #SDGStudio and be part of the conversation.
All stories are shared on the SDG Studio Youtube Channel and distributed through the SDG Action platforms – website and social media channels – as well as through our media partners and UN communications channels.
We will share live all sessions and behind the scenes unique content through our social media platforms. Follow @SDGAction in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to make sure you don’t miss anything.
1 man, 1 woman, 2 bikes, 10,000 km and 9 months to complete it in.
Inka, 19 years old, and Fabian, 18, are two teenagers with a mission: cycling across Europe and discovering people engaged in making a difference for our climate. They are setting an example to many and their message is clear: a sustainable and carbon neutral way of travelling is possible and it does not take too much effort.
These young advocates are the Ambassadors for Climate Neutral Now, a project run by the UNFCCC. They visited our Global Campaign Centre to learn about the SDGs, and tell us their story of how they became passionate activists for Climate Action. Meet them and be ready to be inspired!
“People shouldn’t be scared of doing things just because it’s not what is expected. Just do it if you think it is important! ”
Inka – Climate Ambassador
They have so far cycled over 4,000 km to reach Germany from Porto, Portugal on their way to Greece, after which they will return to Bonn in time for the annual UN Climate Change Conference COP23 (6-17 November).
Along the way they are interviewing people from key projects and initiatives, focusing on the UNFCCC secretariat’s Climate Neutral Now and Momentum for Change initiatives but with a view to also seeing what key NGOs such as C40 Cities, their respective mayors and city administrations are doing in terms of climate action.
They agreed to record our chat in a live interview that went on line on the same day on Facebook and that is now available on YouTube as well.
They are still travelling through Europe and they will be spreading the word and raising awareness on what can people do to be Climate Neutral and try to combat climate change.
Media is playing a major role in challenging the narrative about progress in the developing countries and shining the spotlight to the people who are often left out of the conversation. Is the UN is providing the tools, information and resources available to make sure journalists can succeed in their missions? Are media professionals aware that these tools exist?
For the 10th year, around 2,0000 journalists, media professionals, communications experts, politicians and civil society representatives from 130 countries gathered for the Global Media Forum in Bonn. This year the forum, focused on identity and diversity, hosted key international speakers such as the entrepreneur and Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky and the Secretary-General of Amnesty International, Salil Shetty, to discuss the innovations of the digital world, artificial intelligence and journalism, the threat to values that populism represents, the role of the media, as well as international politics, human rights and innovative journalism concepts.
The UN SDG Action Campaign invited participants to experiment with the existing tools for communicating the SDGs and to participate in the creation of new ones: A hands-on session focused on engaging ways to shift the spotlight to those left further behind and mobilise everyone to take action for the SDGs.
A hands-on session focused on engaging ways to shift the spotlight to those left further behind and mobilise everyone to take action for the SDGs. The participants discovered the MY World 2030 survey, the stories behind the data, youth-led solutions and the power of a single story from the Building Bridges Foundation. How do we engage those millions left further behind in the conversation? How do we make people shift from observers to doers?
In our interactive SDG Space the participants had the opportunity to fully immerse in refugee realities, the life of an Ebola survivor or the struggle of a mother after losing a son to a bombing in the Gaza strip. The MY World 2030 Survey generated great interest and expectation and a number of representatives participated in the survey.
Congratulations to all participants and organisers for bringing together great ideas, new approaches and generate active discussions around key issues, we are sure will ignite positive actions in the near future.
The year 2015 was a landmark for international development cooperation. The adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction by Member States was an indication of the political will to end poverty and human suffering, whilst protecting the environment upon which present and future generations depend for their existence and survival. These agendas and frameworks are particularly complementary and will require coordinated actions at local, national and global levels to achieve.
As national implementation of these global instruments begins, the need to ensure linkages between the SDGs and Climate Action was the centre of discussions at the Climate Change Conference (SB46) in Bonn, Germany. The focus of the Global Experts Meeting on Adaptation at the conference was exploring strategies that will promote a cohesive national implementation framework which ensures that Climate Action contributes to the achievement of the SDGs.
The ravaging effects of climate change constitute a major threat to achieving the SDGs. Climate change poses substantial risks to agriculture, health, water supplies, food production, nutrition, ecosystems, energy security, and infrastructure. Across the regions of Africa, Asia and the Latin America and the Caribbean, there have been continuous changes in weather patterns that have led to low agricultural yields impacting negatively on food security, livelihoods and incomes. In the Horn of Africa, UN Agencies have reported that famine induced by drought is threatening the lives and well-being of more than 10 million people in Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti and Eritrea. The shrinking of Lake Chad over the past three decades apart from affecting livelihoods, has also served as a driving force to the terrorist insurgency and insecurity affecting Nigeria, Chad, Cameroun and Niger. In a similar vein, coastal erosions occasioned by rise in sea levels continue to ravage Small Islands nations impacting on tourism, infrastructure and the socio-economic fabrics of the populations.
Based on the foregoing, it is important to note that national efforts at ensuring adaptation and building resilience to climate change can only flourish if there is a concerted strategy and action to implement the SDGs across sectors. The embedding of a stand-alone goal on climate change (Goal 13) in the SDGs is a recognition of this complimentary and re-enforcing nexus. The same situation is also applicable to other related goals such as building resilient infrastructure and promoting sustainable industrialisation and innovation (Goal 9); making cities and human settlements safe and sustainable (Goal 11); ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns (Goal 12); conserve and sustainably use marine resources (Goal 14) and protect, restore and sustainably use land resources, combating deforestation, desertification and biodiversity loss (Goal 15).
It is imperative to note that without coordinated and collaborative approaches at linking Climate Action and SDGs programs in terms of national implementation strategies, institutional coordination, financing, monitoring, evaluation and reporting, any little gain made in one could easily be eroded by the inaction in the other.
The UN SDG Action Campaign has a unique mandate to do mobilisation, awareness creation, monitoring SDGs implementation, inspiring actions with innovations and data, and building partnerships and capacity at national and local levels will be focusing on drawing these linkages in our programs and partnerships. The Campaign will work across our partners in the UN System, Member States, civil society, private sector and innovators to ensure that the nexus between Climate Action and the SDGs continues to influence policy development, implementation, review and reporting at all levels. The Campaign will deploy its tools and comparative advantages in promoting citizens’ voices and facilitating dialogues through MY World Survey and the Humans of My World, promoting platforms for advancing and sharing best practices such as the Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development and the use of technology and innovations to share human stories, build empathy and inspire actions.