UNGA President announces UN’s first-ever ‘Sustainability Week’

Published on April 15, 2024

The President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Tuesday announced the UN body’s inaugural Sustainability Week, encapsulating a series of high-level discussions and initiatives aimed at propelling the implementation of sustainable practices and to address pressing challenges.

To be held from 15th to 19th April, President Dennis Francis’ flagship initiative converges various mandated events into a singular, impactful week, elevating the discourse on such critical sectors as tourism, infrastructure, energy and transport.

“The Sustainability Week initiative is essentially designed to galvanise momentum around sustainability in a way that helps to supercharge implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” Francis told reporters at the UN Headquarters in New York.

He added that high-level participation is anticipated from Heads of State and Government, sector-specific ministers and key UN officials.

Beyond the 2030 Agenda

Assembly President Francis also highlighted initiatives beyond the 2030 Agenda, including the Choose Sustainability campaign, which encourages stakeholders to adopt pledges and sustainability practices.

“I encourage all permanent missions, stakeholders and the media to adopt pledges to promote sustainability and to declare their support on social media while adopting sustainability practices,” he said.

For its part, his office is, among other things, working to phase out the use of roll-up banners throughout the General Assembly and to replace them with long-lasting, energy-efficient LED screens.

Sustainability Week highlights

15th April: High-level thematic debate on debt sustainability and socioeconomic equality, highlighting the impact of surging debt on countries’ development trajectories.
16th April: High-level thematic event on tourism, addressing unsustainable practices within the industry and launching a statistical framework for measuring sustainability.
17th April: High-level meeting on sustainable transport, emphasising its importance in achieving several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
18th April: Informal dialogue on building global resilience and promoting sustainable development through infrastructure connectivity.
19th April: Global stock-taking on sustainable energy, reflecting on progress and shortcomings over the UN Decade of Sustainable Energy for All 2014-2024 and launching a call to action to accelerate implementation of SDG 7 on affordable and clean energy.

Source: Amjad Saleh, WAM (Emirates News Agency)