Working in solidarity to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

December 19, 2023
Graphic with photos

Each year on 20 December, we celebrate the International Human Solidarity Day, a special day that reminds us that we are all part of the same human family. It teaches us the importance of working together and helping each other.  

In 2005, long before the world agreed on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this international day was established to celebrate our unity in diversity, remind global leaders to respect their commitments to international agreements, and encourage the debate on ways to promote solidarity to achieve the common goals. It’s this last point regarding global collaboration that we seek to highlight, as we’re at the midway point of the implementation of the SDGs, and we need urgent action.  

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is focused on people and the planet. At UNDP, we work daily in 170 countries and territories to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality. But we don't work alone. Partnership is at the heart of everything UNDP does. Solidarity for achieving the SDGs means bringing together valuable partners from governments, the UN system, international financial institutions, the private sector, civil society organizations, foundations, and even individuals. Contributions and collaboration from the whole of society is needed to address emerging and longer-term development challenges using sustainable, integrated and innovative development solutions. What's more, flexible funding builds UNDP's efforts to respond to needs worldwide, because it supports UNDP's ability to continue delivering programmes effectively, efficiently, and following the highest standards of transparency and accountability.

Two photos of young people planting vegetation

People and planet: UNDP works in 170 countries and territories to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality while protecting the environment.

Photos: UNDP Cambodia/Manuth Buth, UNDP Uzbekistan

With innovation as a tool to serve that goal, in August 2019 UNDP established a strategic partnership with Samsung, and through it the Samsung Global Goals (SGG) app was born, reflecting a major step forward in raising awareness of the SDGs through technology. At the same time, UNDP began developing its capacities in digital giving to support demand from people who wished to contribute to UNDP’s development work globally, and in specific countries through impact-based crowdfunding campaigns. 

On this Human Solidarity Day, we reflect on what we've achieved after three years of launching these two initiatives that have, at their core, built solidarity for the SDGs.

With the SGG app aiming to boost awareness of the Global Goals and raise funds to support UNDP's work, we’re taking steps to mobilize the next generation of global citizens to act so we can achieve the Goals together. Today the app is available in 89 languages and used by nearly 300 million Galaxy users worldwide. Together with Samsung developers, we’ve developed regular content updates to keep the app fresh and relevant, and Galaxy users also can make small donations directly to UNDP through digital wallet payments. In 2024, we hope to update the app with facts and figures from the latest Sustainable Development Goals Report and the data from the SDG Data Commons.

SDG colors with a smartphone screen

The Samsung Global Goals app uses technology to make the Global Goals more accessible and asks us all to take action to achieve them.

Image: Samsung Mobile Press

A year into the partnership, we launched an initiative on youth, sustainable entrepreneurship and education. Generation17 was launched in October 2020 and since then, 17 young leaders from around the world are rising to the challenge and doing their part to achieve the SDGs. These young leaders are advocates of the Sustainable Development Goals and lead organizations and start-ups focused on social impact. Through Generation17, we provide young leaders a platform to elevate their voices, access speaking and mentorship opportunities, and make their work more visible worldwide. In 2023 the first open call for applications was launched, with more than 1400 candidates applying to be part of Generation17. As we continue to see the global interest of young people in the 2030 Agenda, we aim to continue initiatives like this with our key partners. 

Digital giving brings UNDP closer to the public   

As solidarity for achieving the SDGs also includes engaging individuals, UNDP has taken great strides to engage online donors through digital giving. Our initiatives to build capacity at the country level led to the creation of UNDP’s Crowdfunding Academy in 2021, resulting in training for more than 500 participants network wide. And with dozens of campaigns featured in UNDP’s Impact Giving website over time, donors learn about specific development concerns across the world and how they are being addressed, making the internet a space for human solidarity, too. 

The recent Save The Legacy campaign in Türkiye is a clear example. Launched in December 2023, the initiative seeks to revive the region's cultural heritage following devastating earthquakes and help communities to actively rebuild and thrive.

Photo of a family in Ethiopia next to an image of a roof dome in a building

Partnership for the Goals: Through digital giving and other initiatives, UNDP provides an opportunity for everyone to contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Photos: UNDP Ethiopia, UNDP Türkiye

Similarly, innovation in digital giving technology is helping drive new frontiers in engaging individuals to achieve the Global Goals. With UNDP’s partnership with, donations can be made to support our work globally, so that people in any part of the world can make their gift securely through a wide array of payment options, including grants through Donor Advised Funds (DAFs). As flexible funding is the lifeblood of organizations such as UNDP, this innovation promises to help meet funding gaps now and in the future.

From supporting women entrepreneurs in Ethiopia, to supporting workers to prevent deaths on the road, to growing flexible giving across all our efforts corporately, UNDP is partnering to provide the whole of society an opportunity to get involved in achieving the Global Goals.

At UNDP we seek to enable action through partnership that directly impacts global, regional, and local communities. By connecting these multiple efforts and audiences and asking them to contribute to achieve the SDGs, we encourage hope and human solidarity.