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UN focuses on global sustainable development in 2023

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) comprising 169 targets, which are an urgent call for action by all—developed and developing in a global partnership.

They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth—all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.

This Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom. The international community recognises that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. All countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership, will implement this plan.

Seven years ahead of 2030, the year 2023 is critical. With this in view, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) has listed nine events, which will have global sustainable development as centrepiece.

UN DESA is launching two major reports on 12 January and 25 January respectively: The World Social Report on leaving no one behind in an ageing world and the World Economic Situation and Prospects report revealing the economic forecast at the global and regional levels.

The Third International Forum on Migration Statistics (IFMS), aimed at finding ways to improve the collection, analysis, and use of migration data worldwide, will be released on 24-26 January in Santiago, Chile.

International migration statistics can help the international community make migrants visible to policymakers, capturing their social and economic situation, their challenges and vulnerabilities and their contributions to countries and societies.

Partnerships play a critical role in our efforts to face intensified global crises around the world, and to deliver on the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To boost innovative collaboration, the 2023 ECOSOC Partnership Forum will gather international actors on 31 January 2023 in conjunction with the Council’s Coordination Segment.

40 per cent of people living in poverty reside in one of the 46 Least Developed Countries (LDCs). These countries account for around 13 per cent of the world population, but only around 1.3 per cent of global GDP. Many LDC countries are also experiencing conflict or are emerging from one. To resolve these and other challenges, the global community will convene in March for the 5th United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5).

Billions of people around the globe still live without safely managed drinking water and sanitation. Many water sources are becoming more polluted, and ecosystems that provide water are disappearing. Climate change is disrupting the water cycle, causing droughts and floods. Water is everyone’s business, and on 22-24 March, water action will be front and centre at the UN 2023 Water Conference in New York. International actors are then coming together for the most important water event in a generation.

The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2023 in July will reveal the latest data on how well the global community takes care of people, planet and safeguards our shared future through 17 goals and 169 targets. The 2022 edition of the report painted a sombre picture, as the climate crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic and an increased number of conflicts around the world have placed the goals in jeopardy.

UN Member States, civil society, businesses, and other international actors will convene yet again for the annual High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development to assess global action on the global goals. At the Forum, taking place on 10-19 July, 41 countries will present their efforts as part of the Voluntary National Reviews. The event will be a launch pad towards the SDG Summit in September.

Time has come for the independent group of scientists and experts to release the second edition of the Global Sustainable Development Report. The report will offer science-based evidence and solutions that can help decision-makers worldwide to accelerate action on the SDGs.

On 19-20 September, the second UN Summit on the SDGs will be held, bringing together Heads of State and Government to assess joint efforts to achieve the 17 SDGs. The Summit will offer a critical opportunity to set the world back on track to achieve the goals through game-changing policies, ambitious initiatives and transformative action. 

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