Cities around the world call for greater support to achieve the Global Goals

Leaders gather to recommit themselves to the Global Goals at the SDG Moment

It’s the 7th birthday of the Global Goals! In the context of conflict, climate change and the rising cost of living, it doesn’t feel like this is the happiest of birthdays… Unfortunately, as we approach the halfway point to 2030, we are not on track for success.  

But as world leaders gather once again in New York for the UN General Assembly, there is a renewed sense of urgency and clearly the Goals remain the way forward to a strong recovery from multiple global crises and a better future for all on a safe and healthy planet.

The World’s To-Do List takes over UNGA

Prime Minister Mia Mottley address the United Nations
Prime Minister Mia Mottley address the United Nations

‘The World has a long to-do list’ remarked Secretary-General António Guterres, as he introduced the SDG Moment on Monday. This was the beginning of the World’s To-Do List takeover of the General Assembly this week.

The World’s To-Do List campaign, driven by Project Everyone and launched last September, reimagines the Global Goals as 17 playful yet profound sticky notes, and was illustrated in a film that premiered at last year’s General Assembly.

The follow up film: The World’s To-Do List: We Need Urgent Action kicked off the session this year, accompanied by a performance of Bob Dylan’s iconic song Blowin’ In The Wind by singer/songwriter Judith Hill live in the chamber. The film shows the To-Do sticky notes, lifted by the wind from conflict zones and climate catastrophes and returned to UN headquarters in New York, ending with a message to world leaders: The answers are not blowing in the wind, they’re here in this room.

The sticky notes then covered the hall, projected onto the chamber as Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados spoke of the importance of the To-Do list, holding a wooden board featuring the 17 stickies. These boards were waiting on each world leader’s desk as they took their seats.

Cities and the World’s To-Do List campaign 

Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees, standing in front of the Goal 10 World's To-Do List mural in Bristol
Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees standing in front of the Goal 10 World’s To-Do List mural in Bristol ©Richt2022

In addition to world leaders, Mayors around the world have committed to getting the World’s To-Do List done, as a focus is placed this September on the role of local leaders in achieving the Global Goals. 

The theme of this year’s Global Goals Week is local action for global impact. Whether it’s tackling air pollution in London, tree planting in Freetown, promoting healthy, nutritious, and affordable food in New York, it’s clear that when world leaders go home at the end of the UN General Assembly, the fight to deliver the goals will take place in local communities and cities.

To echo this message, cities around the world are taking part in the ‘World’s To-Do List’ campaign, using the UN General Assembly as a platform to call for greater financing and technical support to leverage the power of local action to achieve the Goals.  Mayors Yvonne Aki Sawyer of Freetown and Marvin Rees of Bristol took this very message to the Goalkeepers event in New York, which you can see a clip of here

Adopted by the C40, a global network of city leaders led by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, the campaign aims to highlight the global impact of local action and the need to unlock finance and technical assistance to support city leaders to achieve the Global Goals. As hotbeds for innovation, education, and creativity, cities hold the keys to tackling the climate emergency and achieving the UN’s Global Goals. More than one-half of the world’s inhabitants currently live in cities, rising to two-thirds by 2050. Mayors play a critical role in responding to the challenges and opportunities presented by a rising urban population. 

The sticky notes!

World's To-Do List Advertisement in New York
World’s To-Do List Advertisement in New York

This week, the sticky notes are being brought to life in iconic locations in cities including Barcarena, Bogota, Bristol, Cannes, Curitiba, Doha, Freetown, London, Londrina and New York, transforming these spaces into a pin board for the World’s To-Do List.

Many other cities are taking part in a social media campaign including Durban, Liverpool, Mexico City and Yokohoma.

Yokohama, Japan's digital artwork for the World's To-Do List
Yokohama, Japan’s digital artwork for the World’s To-Do List

Partners have also rallied behind Mayors: Vice Media have donated digital space across their portfolio, and Ocean Media and Open Media have both gifted media space in support of the campaign. 

The C40 Summit and COP 2023 

As world leaders meet in New York, C40 Mayors are also preparing for their own global summit, the C40 Summit, which is taking place in Buenos Aires in October. There, Mayors plan on building on the momentum of the World’s To-Do List campaign. They have their sights set on the next big climate conference, COP27, in Egypt in November as the next key moment to win greater financial and technical support for the work they are doing locally to address climate change. Stay tuned for further updates.  

What you can do 

Please help share the campaign during Global Goals Week! Share the film and use this tool to upload an image of yourself with a sticky note. We need everyone to be involved if we are to get the World’s To-Do List done. 

Get involved in Global Goals week

Next week the UN General Assembly begins and with it, Global Goals week. This year’s UNGA is taking place in unprecedented times – countries still reeling from the effect of COVID-19, the climate crisis threatening lives and livelihoods, and rising food, energy, and fuel prices worsening poverty and inequality. This Global Goals week is about coming together- in partnership – to face those challenges head-on and focus on the solutions and actions needed.

So what’s happening this week? Here are 3 things to keep an eye out for:


We’ll all get more done when we’ve got a list right? That’s why we’ve reimagined the Global Goals as the ‘World’s To-Do List’ – a set of 17 sticky notes. This UNGA we want to make sure leaders put the Goals top of their priorities  We’d love you to help us get that message out by sharing the To-Do List on your social channels using this simple tool. 

Look out for our new World’s To-Do List film premiering at the SDG moment next week. This annual moment, convened by the UN Secretary-General, brings together world leaders everywhere for a reality check on the state of the world and to focus on the solutions needed to achieve the Global Goals.


Goalkeepers return to the UN General Assembly this year. We’re proud to work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Goalkeepers. Every year, a new report is released that shares the latest data on the Goals and sets out where innovation and investment are creating bright spots, and where we’re collectively falling short. Read the report here.


Local Action for global impact is the theme of this year’s Global Goals week. We’ve been working with cities and local leaders across the world to showcase how they are advancing progress toward the Goals. The cities campaign was adopted by the C40, a global network of Mayors, in June this year as part of London Climate Action Week under the leadership of the Mayor of London and Chair of C40 Cities, Sadiq Khan.  This week cities across the world from Bogota to Freetown to Milan and Durban will be highlighting the action they are taking for the Goals. Look out for the World’s To- Do list campaign popping up in cities and on social media across the week!

There are lots of other things happening across the week including the SDG Action Zone’s exciting programme of events. You can find the full list of Global Goals week events here.