Leaders discussed innovative solutions to global challenges
(October 26th, 2022, New York, NY) - The seventy-seventh session of the United Nations General Assembly commenced on September 13th. This year's theme, “A watershed moment: transformative solutions to interlocking challenges” acknowledges interconnected crises such as COVID-19, climate change, conflict, and growing concerns about threats to the global economy. The General Debate of the 77th session began on September 20th giving Heads of State from member nations the opportunity to come together and discuss how to best achieve solutions to these crises that build global peace and sustainability. During this time, PVBLIC Foundation hosted the SDG Lounge at 50 UN Plaza, which became a space for conversation and networking throughout the high level week featuring UN Representatives, Heads of State, International Organizations and Family Office partners.
Organized and managed by PVBLIC Foundation, the SDG Lounge emerges from the success of the SDG Media Zone and SDG Media Summit, high-level events which have traditionally been held at the United Nations headquarters and major convenings around the world to discuss how we can best achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Creating a space for engagement and partnership was a key objective for us in bringing the SDG Lounge to the high-level week at the UN General Assembly. We need everyone taking action in order to achieve the SDGs and partnerships are a driving force to accomplishing that,” - Sergio Fernández de Córdova, Executive Chairman of PVBLIC Foundation.
The first session of the SDG Lounge took place on Tuesday, September 20th with event partners YOUNGO, the Youth Constituency of the UNFCCC, and March for Science, a community of scientists and science advocates. The session served as a Global Youth Forum and was presented as a follow-up to the Global Youth Summit which took place at Earthx2022 on Earth Day of this year. This session was highlighted by a panel conversation that included Richard Spinrad, Administrator for NOAA, and Sarah Kapnick, Chief Scientist for NOAA, which was moderated by Sophia Kianni, UN Secretary General Youth Advisory Group Member. This Tuesday session was co-convened by Family Office for Sustainable Development, EarthX, Organismo Internacional de Juventud (OIJ), and Global Partnerships Forum (GPF).
“Because younger generations will be most impacted by the escalating climate crisis, their voices offer a powerful moral imperative to advance progress on the SDGs. The SDG Lounge offered an opportunity to bring together prominent youth leaders with high-ranking government officials in a setting that facilitated tangible commitments to further empower next generation leadership,” - Peter Simek, Chief Communications Office at EarthX.
On Wednesday evening, PVBLIC Foundation and partners Club de Madrid hosted a session titled Multilateralism as a Way Forward: Managing the “Megacrisis” and advancing Public-Private Partnerships. During this session PVBLIC and Club de Madrid announced a joint partnership which will lead to more collaborations in areas of common interest and development of new initiatives that accelerate the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals around the world.
“We believe that together, with individual experience but also with collective experience and convening power we can build the bridges that are necessary to bring about positive change and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” - María Elena Agüero, Secretary General of Club de Madrid
The Wednesday session featured former and current Heads of State including Danilo Türk, former President of Slovenia and Club de Madrid President, Silveria Elfrieda Jacobs, Prime Minister of Sint Maarten and Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand and Club de Madrid member.
“I think the voice of the Club de Madrid, the voice of the private and nonprofit sector is extremely important for re-energizing the global agenda. The SDGs are a great agenda but it needs implementation,” - Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand during her keynote speech at the SDG Lounge
On Thursday the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Tonga to the United Nations, EarthX, and the Island Resilience Partnership hosted the final session of the SDG Lounge during High-Level week. The session featured the Island Resilience Forum and was presented as a follow-up to the Island Resilience Summit at Earthx2022.
The SDG Lounge welcomed Mr. Siaosi ‘Ofakivahafolau Sovaleni, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Tonga and H.E. Vaʻinga Tōnē, Ambassador Permanent Representative of the Kingdom Tonga to the United Nations. During his remarks, Prime Minister ‘Ofakivahafolau Sovaleni announced that the Kingdom of Tonga would transition to 100% renewable energy by 2045. This commitment makes Tonga a part of Blue Planet Alliance along with Hawaii, Palau and Guam who have all pledged to transition to 100% renewable energy.
The multiple sessions of the SDG Lounge were possible thanks to the support of partners like EarthX and the collaboration of multiple sectors and organizations working to advance sustainable development and find solutions to the most pressing global challenges including: Family Office for Sustainable Development, Club de Madrid, Organismo Internacional de Juventud, Global Partnerships Forum, YOUNGO, March for Science, Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Tonga to the United Nations, and the Island Resilience Partnership.
After a successful UN General Assembly in New York, the SDG Lounge will be present at the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt on November 5-13. The SDG Lounge at COP 27 will convene high-level leaders for curated networking and compelling programming while fostering collaborations and facilitating "partnerships for the goals" with leaders and organizations on the ground in Sharm El Sheikh. With events like the SDG Lounge, PVBLIC aims to strengthen its mission to engage global change-makers and mobilize action to advance sustainable development.