We hope you are well as we hit the 6-month mark of events that certainly changed our lives and ways of working forever. As we approach what will be a very different UN General Assembly – the first fully virtual one in the organization’s 75-year history – the challenges and opportunities in this moment of disruption become even more apparent.
The reason for this unprecedented move by the UN is of course a very serious one: the COVID-19 pandemic which triggered a health and economic crisis on a scale the world has not experienced since the organization was founded after both world wars. Every day we learn more about the devastating impact of this disease on the world, and especially vulnerable populations, with human development set to decline for the first time since 1990.
However, in this crisis we have also seen new leadership emerge, new thinking come to the forefront and an explosion of innovation across all aspects of our work.
When the lockdown first began, the Deputy Secretary-General commented that perhaps the pandemic was a way of putting the world on pause so we would stop and listen to the concerns of young people. It is not surprising that under her leadership we now see a virtual UNGA that is fully taking advantage of the opportunity to embrace voices and ideas from young people, including in the SDG Action Zone which is programming three days of online events on the Sustainable Development Goals.
Business also has stepped forward, and investors have developed a new appreciation for the “social” in ESG and how it must factored in to investment decisions. Goal 17 Partners is pleased to be hosting an event on Monday, September 21 highlighting the Guggenheim Sustainability Quotient, a research-driven framework to foster the acceleration of sustainable infrastructure in a way that addresses many of the social, economic, and environmental issues that are growing more acute in the wake of COVID-19.
We’ve also seen growing recognition of the importance of local leadership and community-level action, in everything from the reenergized movement for social justice in the U.S. to continued actions from Mayors and other local officials around the world to drive forward the SDGs. Goal 17 Partners is excited to team up with the New York City Commissioner for International Affairs, Penny Abeywardena, on an event on Thursday, September 24, “Global Vision | Urban Action: Achieving the Global Goals through Local and Regional Government Actions.”
Goal 17 Partners is, at its core, a partnership platform, and we are pleased to see many in our network embracing the opportunity for change and collaboration in new ways, including through a new Global Goals Studio, produced by Handshake in collaboration with UN and private sector partners, to bring together content across platforms and amplify major themes from the week.
Thank you as always for your collaboration and we look forward to seeing you at Global Goals Week.