2022 seems to have gone by in the blink of an eye, and there’s no doubt that the past 12 months presented many new challenges. As the year comes to an end, we cannot – and must not – ignore the conflicts, injustices and inequalities that have dominated the headlines, but as we look towards 2023 it is important to reflect on the wins we have seen for the Global Goals. Not only is it important for our mental health and resilience to celebrate and enjoy good news, it also serves as a reminder of what we can achieve for people and the planet when we unite behind the Goals. From billions of vaccines and millions of votes for democracy, to children protected from malaria and dementia drugs for older people, 2022 has been a good year for innovation and collaboration. Below are some highlights from the year that we think are worth raising a toast to.
A GLOBAL FUND REPLENISHED (GOAL 3)
In September, the Global Fund Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria received its largest ever funding boost, as donors pledged over $14 billion at the Seventh Replenishment Conference hosted by US President Joe Biden. Countries all over the world increased their donations, and were joined by private foundations and the UN Commission in responding to the Global Fund’s challenge to raise 30% more than previous donation cycles.
EDUCATION TRANSFORMED (GOAL 4)
At the UN Transforming Education Summit, over 130 countries promised to reprioritize education, particularly for the 244 million children who were out of school last year. Covid disrupted education the world over, with 90% of children having their schooling interrupted in some form in the last three years. The Summit saw the launch of the International Financing Facility for Education, an innovative funding mechanism that could see $10 billion committed to education by 2030.
CLIMATE CLASSROOMS (GOAL 13)
The Summit shone a spotlight on education on the global stage, and has created a legacy of leaders committed to ensuring children everywhere get the skills they need to live the best possible lives. Education is also being transformed in schools, with climate change studies becoming part of the curriculum in classrooms from the United States to India.
MAYORS MAKING CHANGE (GOALS 1, 8, 11 & 13)
By 2050, almost 7 in every 10 people will live in cities. Therefore, it is essential that cities all over the world take significant action to achieve the Global Goals, ensuring that they are safe, green and sustainable hubs where their populations can live healthy and happy lives. In October this year, Mayors from around the globe gathered in Buenos Aires to announce the creation of 50 million green jobs by 2030. The new jobs will be created as part of ongoing efforts to make homes, workplaces, and transport systems cleaner and more energy efficient as cities work to decarbonise. Following this, Mayors of 10 of the world’s major cities, from London and Los Angeles to Tokyo and Tshwane, signed an open letter ahead of COP27 calling for greater investment in cities so they can achieve a green and just transition.
Image: Andrea Leopardi
A FUND FOR RESTORATION (GOALS 10 & 13)
At COP27, the global conference to assess progress on and reach new agreements under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, an historic agreement was reached to launch a ‘Loss and Damage Fund’ for the countries most impacted by global warming and climate emergencies. The fund represents an acknowledgement that, while the climate crisis is a global problem that impacts everyone, everywhere, its impact so far has created huge inequalities, with the poorest populations already experiencing the greatest losses of lives and livelihoods.
Image: Wexor Tmg
A WIN FOR NATURE (GOALS 14 & 15)
The good news continued into December, as a groundbreaking agreement to protect nature was reached at COP15, the UN Biodiversity Conference. Almost 200 countries signed an agreement to protect 30% of the planet by 2030, restore 30% of damaged ecosystems, and reform subsidies that fund environmentally harmful activities. The conference was hailed as a ‘last chance’ for nature, and now it is vital that world leaders – particularly those of the richest nations – implement the plans they have agreed to.
WHAT’S NEXT? A PLAN FOR ACTION
2023 will mark the halfway point to 2030. We know that the Goals are off track, but as 2022 has made clear, progress is possible. We need decisive action, international cooperation, and private/public cooperation to make the Global Goals a reality.
Voices all over the world are calling for increased funding to tackle climate change, poverty and inequality. New campaigns have been launched to address the hunger crisis, invest in climate and development together, and unlock billions of dollars of funding in multilateral development banks.
2023 will be the biggest year yet for the Global Goals, and governments, business, communities and individuals all have a role to play to accelerate action in the second half of the journey to 2030.
Author: Lydia Paynter, Communications and Campaigns Manager, Project Everyone