78th Session of the UNGA: A week of high-level events to address global challenges.

Written by Dr. Florence Akano

The 78th session of the UNGA began on September 6 and continues with a series of important meetings and summits. On September 19, the President of the 78th session of the General Assembly, Dennis Francis, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, will open the annual general debate, during which world leaders will discuss, among other things, accelerating progress toward achieving of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under the theme “Rebuilding trust and rekindling global solidarity”.

The 78th session of the UNGA marks a crucial milestone on the journey towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as it signifies the halfway point to the global goals’ deadline. During the SDG Summit, world leaders will evaluate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 SDGs. They will provide high-level political guidance on transformative and accelerated actions, culminating in a negotiated political declaration.

The Generation Equality Midpoint Moment

Before the SDG Summit, the Generation Equality Midpoint Moment, organised by UN Women in collaboration with the Governments of Iceland and Tanzania, will take place on September 17. This event will be showcased as part of the SDG Acceleration Day, highlighting the world’s leading initiative to boost investment and implementation of gender equality. Organisations from all sectors will converge to catalyse progress, advocate for change, and take bold actions in unity. Through side events and intergenerational and intergovernmental conversations, UN Women will call for urgent steps towards gender equality.

Key Events to Look Out For

Generation Equality Midpoint

  • When: Sunday, September 17, 2023, 10 am–2.45 pm EDT
  • Where: United Nations Headquarters, Trusteeship Council Chamber, and online
  • Details: The Generation Equality Midpoint will focus on accountability for gender equality and launch a call to action to contribute to the UN Secretary-General’s vision for the 2030 Agenda. It’s an opportunity to mobilise new commitments and demonstrate concrete progress on gender equality. Register here.

Spotlight Initiative

  • When: Sunday, September 17, 2023, 3–4.30 pm EDT
  • Where: United Nations Headquarters, Trusteeship Council Chamber, and online
  • Details: The Spotlight Initiative, in partnership with the European Union and others, aims to eliminate violence against women and girls. This event will showcase results and discuss its role in achieving the SDGs. Register here.

SDG Summit

  • When: September 18–19, 2023
  • Where: United Nations Headquarters
  • Details: The SDG Summit marks a new phase of accelerated progress towards the SDGs, providing high-level political guidance on transformative actions leading to 2030. It’s expected to reignite hope and enthusiasm for the 2030 Agenda.

HeForShe Summit

  • When: Thursday, September 21, 2023, 10 am–12 pm
  • Where: Gotham Hall, New York, and online
  • Details: The HeForShe Summit partners with men and boys to advance gender equality. It features HeForShe Champions and thought leaders committed to concrete actions for gender equality.

A Global Call to Action

The 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly serves as a critical juncture in the quest to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the imperative to get the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) back on course. World leaders will convene to engage in the annual high-level General Debate under the theme of rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity.

Heads of State, ministers, and dignitaries will explore solutions to global challenges, advancing peace, security, and sustainable development. The events of this week are expected to inspire hope, optimism, and a renewed commitment to the 2030 Agenda.

Key Upcoming Events

  • September 20: High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development
  • September 20: Climate Ambition Summit
  • September 20: High-level Meeting on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness, and Response
  • September 21: Preparatory Ministerial Meeting for the Summit of the Future
  • September 21: High-level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage
  • September 22: High-level Meeting on the Fight against Tuberculosis

These events will address crucial global issues, including financing for development, climate action, pandemic prevention, universal health coverage, and the fight against tuberculosis.

As the world watches, the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Week-2023 promises to be a momentous occasion, shaping the future of global cooperation and sustainable development. Join us in this remarkable journey towards a better, more equitable world for all.

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Dr. Florence Akano

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