“We are a world in pieces. We need to be a world at peace.”
With these words, UN Secretary-General António Guterres issued a call for world leaders “put the pieces together”. He urged them to tackle the gravest issues facing humankind, including conflict, climate change and inequality.
On the topic of refugees and migration, the Secretary-General identified personally with the millions of forced and voluntary migrants around the world.
“I myself am a migrant... Refugees, internally displaced persons and migrants are not the problem; the problem lies in conflict, persecution and hopeless poverty.”
Many of the same issues were on the agenda at the Social Good Summit. Each year, the Summit brings the UNGA out from behind closed doors to include a wider audience. It unites a lively community of global citizens around a common theme: how to leverage technology to make the world a better place by 2030.
UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner took the opportunity to introduce UNDP’s newest Goodwill Ambassador, the legendary Bob Weir, founding member of the Grateful Dead.
“Your actions are worth more than you know. I’d like to tell young people that if you’re working toward these SDGs, you’re working toward the future of life on earth – and nothing less.”
Bob Weir, UNDP Goodwill Ambassador
Another memorable moment came when Goodwill Ambassador Connie Britton interviewed two members of the White Helmets. Against the backdrop of the conflict in Syria, these men and women risk their lives to pull people out of the wreckage and to safety.
Beyond the main event in New York, Social Good Summits were held in dozens of countries around the world driving a global push to build #2030Now.
Global Goals Week also coincides with Climate Week – because we won’t achieve the SDGs without strong collective action to address climate change.
The issue was front and centre during the week, in part because of the devastating hurricanes that struck the Caribbean in the days before. Noting that climate change is making such extreme weather events more frequent and more severe, the General Assembly appealed for support to vulnerable countries.