Published on February 6, 2020

The Decade of Action & the Joint SDG Fund

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — our shared vision to end poverty, preserve the planet and build a more equitable and peaceful world — are gaining global momentum. With just 10 years to go, an ambitious global effort is underway to deliver the 2030 promise—by mobilizing governments, civil society, businesses, academia, the investment community, youth activists and community leaders and calling on all people to make the Global Goals their own. On its part, the United Nations embarked on its most ambitious reform ever to be better fit to deliver on the SDGs. “Business as usual” will just not cut it; we need clear, concerted political commitment, innovative and sustainable policy action and significant and dynamic financing to meet the challenge of the decade.

While progress is being made in many places, overall action to meet the Goals is not yet advancing at the speed or scale required. 2020 needs to usher in a decade of ambitious action to deliver the Goals by 2030. To do so we need to ensure that we have the right policies, the robust financing, the dynamic partnerships and the catalytic investments in place.

Although less than one year into its programming, the United Nations Joint SDG Fund is already demonstrating the impact more effective and coherent UN policy action can make on the most critical challenges inherent in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  Almost doubling its total capitalization from US$150 million to US$ 275 million over just the last six months of 2019, the Fund is now starting to build the momentum required thanks to early robust contributions of some key Member States.  And positive change is starting to happen where it matters most – in the field - and for those most in need. Much greater collaboration among UN country teams and across sectors – financially incentivized by the Joint Fund - is starting to catalyze progress on multiple SDGs at the same time.

In Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohamed’s recent call to action,[1] she referred to accountability as an essential part of raising ambition, calling on us to step up efforts around public engagement and ways to gauge our speed and direction of travel. In this spirit, the Joint SDG Fund is delighted to launch this blog – a space to highlight the work of the Fund and its focus on Leaving No One Behind. It will promote the innovative integrated policy solutions that are saving lives, the SDG financing systems that will address funding gaps in health, education and other sectors and catalytic investments that will attract private sector and other non-traditional partners to showcase and position the UN as a “smart investor.”

We welcome your questions, insights and contributions. More importantly, we seek your ambition and energy. The SDGs belong to all of us and together, the Joint SDG Fund can be a tool to move the needle on the most important goals of our time.

Stay tuned and watch this space for updates and insights from those building the world of SDG financing and innovative solutions for our planet and its people.

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[1] New York, 19 December 2019; Deputy Secretary-General's Opening Remarks to Informal briefing to Member States on the Decade of Action [as prepared for delivery]