Civil Society watchdog says the UN week of summits 23-27 September could see more positive action on the climate emergency, on implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and could change the direction of financing for development.
New York, 13 September 2019: “In the four years since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) most governments have failed to turn the proclaimed transformational vision of the agenda into policies that bring about real change, but there are signs of push-back’”, says Jens Martens of the Global Policy Forum and the Civil Society Reflection Group in the run up to the Week of UN Summits (23-27 September).
Over 100 Heads of Government will to attend this unusual week of five UN Summits covering climate, health, finance, small island states and the Sustainable Development Goals. With so many key meetings piled on top of each other, the synergies between the different areas: climate, health, gender and finance are becoming clearer.
Global Policy Forum is hopeful this might indicate a shift from ‘business as usual’, as world leaders are increasingly aware that promises to improve life for billions of people are failing, inequalities are increasing, and the planet is heating up.
UN Climate Summit- faces up to the destruction wrought by climate change
The week opens with the “Climate Action Summit” (23 Sept). UN Secretary-General António Guterres has asked the Summit to promote action to address the climate crisis and both mitigate and adapt to its impacts.
With the destruction of the Bahamian Island of Abaco, the world is seeing the catastrophic consequences of ‘business as usual’.
Indrajit Bose of the Third World Network says “developed countries must stand by their commitments to cut emissions and provide the promised finance for developing countries to take mitigation and adaptation measures”.
Assessing progress on the Sustainable Development Goals
The SDG Summit takes place on 24-25 Sept, and the Reflection Group has a track record of assessing governments and international organizations’ progress in attaining the SDGs*. Its members hope that governments will not waste the opportunity to turn away from deregulation, corporate voluntarism and self-regulation of ‘the markets’. They point out that the nuclear power plant melt-down in Fukushima, Japan, was a clear example of the effects of this policy.
“To avoid future calamities on this scale, governments must improve regulation for sustainability and human rights”, says Barbara Adams, from Global Policy Watch.