At the half-way point of the 2023 Sustainable Development Agenda, only 15 per cent of global targets are on track. To keep the promises of the 2030 agenda alive, the UN Secretary-General has called for a greener, safer and fairer future for all, a drastic course correction and ‘global rescue plan’, as world leaders come together at the SDG Summit in New York.
For this to happen, the world needs to focus on the transformative entry points that can have catalytic impact for achieving the Goals: food systems; energy access and affordability; digital connectivity; education; jobs and social protection; and climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.
Yet this action has already begun. At the country level, Resident Coordinators and UN country teams have been on the ground working with host Governments to boost SDG progress and engagement in the areas it matters the most.
Supporting Viet Nam’s strides to become a high-income country
In Viet Nam, the UN’s support to the national authorities has been focused on the expansion of social protection and access to decent jobs; an area which is having a significant multiplier effect across all 17 SDGs. Thanks to the continued advocacy of the UN team and the Resident Coordinator’s collaborative efforts with the Government, the increased coverage of social, health and unemployment insurance since 2020 has helped vulnerable groups across Viet Nam better cope with numerous shocks and crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
Beyond this, the expansion of social policies, including social protection, education, and healthcare is helping boost Viet Nam’s economic development and bringing it one step closer to reaching its goal of becoming a high-income country by 2045. Learn more from the Resident Coordinator, Pauline Tamesis.
Unlocking Zimbabwe’s SDG potential through quality education
The Resident Coordinator’s team in Zimbabwe have supported the Government efforts to improve access the quality education across the country, particularly in rural areas.
Building on the commitments from last years’ Transforming Education Summit, as well as the ‘5.0’ national education policy, Zimbabwe has scaled up investments infrastructure, improved access to technology, school meals, water and sanitation and expanded teacher training and support. Learn more from the Resident Coordinator Edward Kallon.
Localizing SDG success in Egypt
In Egypt, the UN and Government’s efforts to accelerate the SDGs have been rooted around the principle of ‘localization’, recognizing the need for a ‘whole of society’ approach to close the remaining SDG gaps.
The ‘Decent Life’ initiative is one way the UN is helping the national authorities to make tangible SDG progress at the community level. The flagship programme aims to boost rural development and improve the quality of life in poor villages through improved infrastructure, access to basic services, decent employment opportunities, and women’s empowerment. Learn more here.
Making the SDGs visible to all: a view from the ground
Bridging information on the SDGs at the community level and engaging broad sectors of the public in their implementation is another key step to reaching the targets of the 2030 Agenda.
In Jordan, the UN team projected the SDG graphics onto the Citadel of Amman on the days before the SDG Summit. This historic landmark became a canvas for amplifying the UN’s call to action for people and planet and helped bring each goal to life in a visually compelling way. The UN team also partnered with the Mayor’s Office in Amman to display SDG themed billboards throughout the city streets.
In Morocco, the UN team has launched a two-week advocacy campaign in Rabat, transforming the city’s trams into moving billboards of the SDG Summit. Whizzing through the city streets, this tram installation is helping ensure that the SDG call to action travels far and wide.
In Mongolia, the UN country team organized a campaign to boost the visibility of the SDGs in the streets of Ulaanbaatar by projecting redesigned versions of the SDG icons with more culturally-relevant features on large billboards and LED screens across the city. A large gathering was also held in the centre of the city, which offered a powerful public display of solidarity and unity for the SDGs.
Rallying partners to boost investments on the SDGs
The Joint SDG Fund has garnered new financial commitments from Spain, Germany and the European Union, to step up progress on delivering inclusive food systems transformations, expanding digitization, and supporting jobs and social protection among other areas. To carry the message of SDG Action even further, thanks to a partnership with the media group JCDecaux, digital billboards of the SDG symbol are lighting up streets of New York and bus stops this month. The Fund took stage in Times Square this week to promote the importance of the green energy transition for the SDGs and will also take the spotlight at the Global Citizen concert in Central Park, New York, this weekend.
Behind the scenes, UN country teams under the leadership of Resident Coordinators have provided critical advisory support to host Governments as they gear up for this week’s milestone SDG Summit and prepare to raise the ambition of their national commitments.
Originally published at UN DCO