UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Global cooperation is more important than ever, yet more at risk than when the UN was created 75 years ago. We have no choice but to work together to defeat COVID-19 and strengthen health systems, avert climate catastrophe, drive out poverty and inequality, ensure that technology benefits everyone, and preserve global peace and security. But just when we need it most, our potential to work together feels more strained than ever.
We have been here before. When the UN was created from the ashes of the Second World War, nations chose cooperation over conflict. The result was peace and progress for many, but not all. In 2020, we are already off track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the pandemic has thrown us further off course. It has also laid bare and exacerbated underlying inequalities and problems that show many people are being left behind.
The UN General Assembly this year was a springboard to commit to evolved forms of global cooperation, with new voices, new partnerships, new actions, to help us all recover better, keep us all safe in the future, and achieve the vision of the world we want.
How can collective action evolve to meet the shared challenges we face? And how do we accelerate action to achieve progress for all?
World leaders focused their speeches on multilateralism in the context of COVID-19, and the impact of the pandemic on all aspects of our lives is sure to dominate. Expects discussed on mobilizing greater resources to tackle the virus in countries with especially marginalized and vulnerable communities, as well as repeated calls for equitable access to vaccines, tests, and treatments.
Five years since the SDGs were agreed by all nations, many events focused on where we have fallen short and the critical pathways to get us back on track. One glimmer is greater involvement and engagement across countries, communities, and sectors; this mostly virtual UNGA was an opportunity to elevate and encourage the diversity of voices and viewpoints needed to deliver the Goals for everyone everywhere. The world heard many of these new voices in the SDG Action Zone. Watch the replay>>
Don’t be lulled by the slowdown in economic activity: global greenhouse gas levels are higher than ever. While major international climate summits have been postponed because of the pandemic, the climate emergency was a major topic, through a leaders’ summit on biodiversity, an event convened by the Secretary-General to showcase leadership and call for greater action, and an all-virtual slate of Climate Week NYC activities by advocates and activists. Read more about the key climate commitments and announcements>>
The pandemic’s gravest impact is on those already marginalized: among them, people of color, the poor, and girls and women. It’s been 25 years since a UN gender equality conference in Beijing set the high-water mark of recognizing the centrality of women’s rights to human rights and to global progress. Yet there is still no place, no part of life where girls and women are equal everywhere. Through a virtual summit and other events, UNGA75 took stock of slow progress on gender equality and demand greater impetus. Learn how the past can inform today’s fight for gender equality>>
The UN is marking its 75th anniversary with deep reflection and listening, with a year of global citizen consultations — now mainly virtual — to tap into voices and views from every corner of the globe on the world we want and how to deliver it. The results were revealed and examined during UNGA75. Our President and CEO Elizabeth Cousens joined a panel to discuss the findings and how best to take them forward at the local, national and global levels. Watch the conversation>>
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