Marina Ponti, Global Director of UN SDG Action Campaign, circulated the following message.
I am writing to you as we turn the page on yet another difficult year. It is no secret that 2023 has been a year of polycrisis for humanity and our planet. From climate change and conflicts to deepening inequalities and widening economic insecurities, a wide array of threats has continued to test our resilience, our perseverance, and has challenged our hopeful vision for a better future for all.
But times of crisis are also times of opportunities for change, as we have seen with the breakthrough agreement signed at COP 28.
Change requires a clear vision and a sense of urgency. Change also requires everyone taking action and engaging with policy processes at all levels. Let me take the opportunity to thank again all of you who helped in mobilizing over 157 million SDG actions around the world, providing a much-needed demonstration that together, through determination, solidarity, and unity, we can drive transformative change for the better.
Let me also thank the more than 5,000 initiatives that submitted their application to the UN SDG Action Awards, showcasing that change is possible and is happening even in the most challenging of contexts. And a final kudos to the finalists and winners we celebrated at the SDG Action Awards Ceremony at the UN Food System Summit in July in Rome, Italy.
Now, let me look ahead at 2024. Our main priority will be the Summit of the Future in September: a once-in-a-generation opportunity not only to take concrete steps to address our current predicaments but also to reinvigorate global cooperation and a much-needed commitment towards leaving a fair, just, and sustainable world for generations to come. In the months leading up to the Summit, the UN SDG Action Campaign will convene multi-stakeholder platforms aimed at increasing inclusive and transparent participation in the political processes, co-create advocacy campaigns with partners, and catalyze for change on critical issues such as SDG financing, debt, the international financial architecture, inequalities, youth engagement, and global governance – those very issues that will form the basis of the Summit’s action-oriented outcome document: the Pact for the Future.
But our 2024 plans don’t end there! Next year will also usher in another edition of the UN SDG Action Awards. I look forward to sharing our plans for the Awards, including when we will open the application process, the date and location of the Awards ceremony, and additional information for prospective applicants. In these troubled times, we believe that it is more important than ever to spotlight changemakers who are making the SDGs a reality for people and planet while delivering a message of hope and of possibilities.
Finally, let me end with a call for peace. Allow me to ask you to pause for 1 minute, follow this link, and watch INFINITE – an inspiring visualization by Marco Conti Sikic on the continuum of peace which, as we know, is the precious and enduring foundational aspect of our shared prosperity.
INFINITE, artist Marco Conti Sikic’s ode to Peace, made its 2023 debut during the Unite to Act Digital Art Exhibition.
This call for peace fills us with the hope and possibility of what might be in the new year.
Let 2024 be a year of opportunity, change, and cooperation – because there isn’t anything we cannot achieve when we come together.