Act Now For People and for Planet


The SDG Moment was convened virtually by UN Secretary-General António Guterres to identify changes needed to recover better from COVID-19 and deliver the SDGs over the next decade. A “reality check” on progress on the SDGs was followed by a session on SDG gaps and plans, with interventions by 21 nominated Heads of State and Government. Contributions from stakeholders then addressed finance for the decade, climate solutions, and inequality.


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The Political Declaration of the Sustainable Development Goals Summit requested the Secretary-General “to organize an annual moment in the context of the general debate of the General Assembly to highlight inspiring SDG Action.” UN Member States recognized that the world was not on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and called on all actors to bring more ambition and urgency to their implementation efforts over the course of a “Decade of Action.”

The SDG Moment is to take place annually during the high-level week of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), each September until 2030. The Moment will highlight successes and identify where more action is needed. In 2020, the first SDG Moment took place virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The three-hour meeting convened on Friday, 18 September 2020.

The meeting consisted of three primary components. The introductory component set the scene for the Decade of Action and started with an address from the Secretary-General and the President of the General Assembly. The second component featured contributions from 20 Member States. The third component showcased contributions from a full range of stakeholders including from civil society, the private sector, cities and local authorities, and others that help address the gaps and needs identified by Member States.

The SDG Moment was complemented by three other initiatives. First, a global broadcast event brought the essence of the SDG Moment to the widest possible global audience. Second, the United Nations development system and partners held national and regional dialogues to bring the Decade of Action closer to local decision makers and communities. And a virtual, interactive SDG action zone provided dedicated space for a full range of stakeholders to delve deeper into what is needed to deliver the SDGs by 2030.

Support for Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of the SDG Moment was provided by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).

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