If you have ever been in New York during the opening of the United Nations General Assembly, you will know how many organizations, businesses, activists, and students are working every day to support the UN. Thousands of engaged global citizens participate in events held throughout the busy week in September, highlighting solutions to challenges from around the world and working toward progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, also known as the Global Goals.
In 2016, Global Goals Week – a collective effort to maximize the value of events and activations held during UN General Assembly week and focusing on the Global Goals – was piloted by Project Everyone, the UN Development Programme, and the United Nations Foundation. As we jointly began considering how to approach 2017, we agreed that Global Goals Week should widen its tent as much as possible; partners who are engaged with the UN General Assembly and who are advancing the Global Goals should be given the opportunity to come together and amplify each other’s good work.
As UN Foundation President & CEO Kathy Calvin said recently: “The Sustainable Development Goals present both a bold vision for a better future and a challenge for collective action to achieve the goals. Global Goals Week is a response to that challenge – creating opportunities for partners to work together to drive change.”
This year, for the first time, nearly 30 partners have joined Global Goals Week, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Economic Forum, the Hult Prize, Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the Skoll Foundation, Concordia, Guggenheim Partners, UN Global Compact, and several UN agencies.
In addition to joining together under the Global Goals Week umbrella during September and connecting all of their events in New York and around the world through the common social media hashtag #GlobalGoals, many of the partners have agreed to highlight the Global Goals and the UN during their own convenings throughout the year. I was proud to attend the Skoll World Forum in Oxford this past spring for the Global Goals sessions, and I look forward to seeing how the WEF continues to advance the great work of the UN during its annual meeting in January.
As the COO of the UN Foundation, I have spent the last 16 years building partnerships to support the UN. These partnerships have spanned the foundation-sector, to the private-sector, to grassroots organizations in every region of the United States.
The power of partnerships – and particularly partnerships that support the good work of the UN – cannot be overstated. There are so many people doing great work each day. By coming together, and elevating each other’s work, we have the power to really make a difference and support the UN and the ambitious goals it set for the world to achieve by 2030.
As UN Foundation Founder and Chairman, and my personal hero, Ted Turner often says: “Change starts with you.” By choosing an issue you care about, and coming together to partner with others who share your passion for positive impact, your contributions to making the world more sustainable, more prosperous, and more just will be amplified and maximized. I hope you’ll join us this year at #GlobalGoals to learn more about how the UN and its supporters are enacting meaningful change every single day. Visit globalgoalsweek.org for more information.