Monday, 2 October, 2023

78th UNGA marks crucial milestone in journey towards achieving SDGs

  • Diplomatic Correspondent
  • 17 September, 2023 12:00 AM
  • Print news

World leaders gather to engage in the annual high-level General Debate under the theme, “Rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity: Accelerating action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals towards peace, prosperity, progress and sustainability for all”.

Heads of State and Government and ministers will gather at UN Headquarters in New York on September 18-19 to find solutions to the intertwined global challenges to advance peace, security, and sustainable development.

As the centrepiece of UN General Assembly 78’s high-level week, diplomatic sources said the SDG

Summit aims to mark the start of a new era of progress towards the goals, which has slowed, culminating with the adoption of a forward-looking political declaration.

The 2023 SDG Summit will take place on 18-19 September 2023 in New York. It will mark the beginning of a new phase of accelerated progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals with high-level political guidance on transformative and accelerated actions leading up to 2030.

“The SDG Summit in September must be a moment of unity to provide a renewed impetus and accelerated actions for reaching the SDGs,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres has said.

This year’s general assembly is taking place after Asian countries met in Indonesia for the ASEAN summit, G20 leaders gathered in India, and developing countries in the Group of 77 plus China met in Cuba.

After a busy September, several high-profile leaders are skipping New York, but more than 140 heads of state and government are attending. They will arrive to find a UN that is more constrained by major-power divisions, and less influential in managing international peace and security crises, compared to one year ago.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will leave here for New York, USA today to attend the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

On the sidelines of the UNGA session, she will also attend a number of high-level side events including Rohingya and climate change, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), universal health, and finance alongside taking part in several bilateral and courtesy meetings.

"We will be gathering at a time when humanity faces huge challenges – from the worsening climate emergency to escalating conflicts, the global cost-of-living crisis, soaring inequalities and dramatic technological disruptions," UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told journalists ahead of the high-level week.

"People are looking to their leaders for a way out of this mess."

For the first time in decades, development progress is reversing under the combined impacts of climate disasters, conflict, economic downturn and lingering COVID-19 effects, says the UN.

Diplomatic sources said the war in Ukraine is likely to be the big topic for a second year when leaders gather at the UN General Assembly, but many developing countries are hoping to shine a light on issues important to them, including development, the economy and climate.

Despite progress since the adoption of the Addis Agenda, growing uncertainties and risks threaten development progress and sustainable finance prospects.

As global challenges are more integrated, responses become increasingly fragmented. Facing this context, it is more important than ever to bring financing sustainable development to the center of the international agenda.

The High-level Dialogue will aim to renew global commitment to financing at the highest political level.

It will serve as a UN call for collective action to energize growth and tackle challenges in the global economy, encourage public and private investment to align with the 2030 Agenda, and promote new and innovative initiatives that target gaps in financing sustainable development.