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
‘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
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!
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.
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.