October 2017 begins on the tails of a General Debate at the opening of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) that highlighted the global support accorded to multilateral sustainable development approaches, with 140 of the 196 speakers mentioning sustainable development. This debate, which was addressed by every UN Member State, was accompanied by a full week of deliberations on innovations and opportunities to pursue climate action and implement the Global Goals. As we move fully into the third year since the adoption of the SDGs, the international policy community will continue identifying synergies among, and ways to advance implementation across, the 17 SDGs and 169 targets.
4 October 2017: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has released a book that finds women in OECD countries typically obtain more schooling than men but are less likely than men to engage in paid work, become entrepreneurs or obtain leadership positions. The report concludes that progress on gender equality “has been slow” and calls for further policy action to tackle gender gaps in education, employment, entrepreneurship and public life.
22 September 2017: High-level UN officials welcomed the establishment of the Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), which is expected to broaden the application of science, technology and innovation (STI) in the world’s poorest countries. The Bank marks the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 17.8, which calls for fully operationalizing the technology bank and science, technology and innovation capacity-building mechanism for least developed countries by 2017.
18 September 2017: The High-Level Panel on Water and Peace delivered its report after a two-year period of study and consultation. The report provides recommendations for strengthening the role of water as a driver of peace and cooperation. Its proposals include the creation of an International Blue Fund for international cooperation involving infrastructure, and a Global Observatory for Water and Peace to strengthen hydro-diplomacy.
4 October 2017: Water professionals and leaders discussed how principles for managing and governing water can be implemented in relation to food security and resilient cities, at recent meetings in Milan, Italy and Marseilles, France. Participants at a two-day conference under the auspices of the Italian Presidency of the G7 discussed water-related principles in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. They issued a ‘Declaration of Milan’ emphasizing the human right to water and sanitation and the role of women in protecting and managing water resources.
4 October 2017: Animal and plant health are closely related to human health and well-being (SDG 3) as diseases affecting livestock can also affect humans and crop pests and pathogens can reduce harvests and destroy food stocks thus reducing food accessibility and food safety. Recent actions by international organizations aim to improve phytosanitary measures, reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistance and eradicate dog-transmitted rabies.
2 October 2017: On World Habitat Day, UN leaders and others underscored the importance of achieving affordable homes for all in creating inclusive cities and advancing progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Day marks the first anniversary of the adoption of the New Urban Agenda and the official start of Urban October, a month of citizen engagement and celebration on urban life around the world.
2 October 2017: The Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) approved total funding of US$392.86 million for 11 new projects and programmes to assist developing countries responding to climate change. The Board held its 18th meeting from 30 September to 2 October 2017, in Cairo, Egypt.
1 October 2017: UN agencies marked the International Day of Older Persons by calling for people everywhere to be able to obtain the health services they need, and continue to have work opportunities as they desire. The 2017 Day focused on tapping the talents of older persons for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
29 September 2017: The first Conference of the Parties (COP1) to the Minamata Convention on Mercury considered issues related to reporting, effectiveness evaluation, the financial mechanism, arrangements for a permanent secretariat, compliance and guidance, and guidelines related to technical aspects of the Convention.
29 September 2017: The World Bank approved over US$20 million to improve fisheries and marine resources management in the Seychelles. The financing, which includes support for the world’s first ‘Blue Bond,’ will strengthen value chains and ready the country’s fisheries sector for investment.
29 September 2017: The Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) has published an update on its technical assistance contributing to implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It also held a workshop on developing concept notes for the Green Climate Fund (GCF). In preparation for the UN Climate Change Conference in November, the UNFCCC Secretariat released the 2017 joint annual report of the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and the CTCN.
29 September 2017: Recent mitigation news includes a diversity of measures through which governments, civil society organizations, the private sector and citizens are seeking to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). This article summarizes activities related to divestment from fossil fuels, fossil fuel subsidies, ‘soot-free’ public transportation, citizen pledges for climate neutrality, and a conference to advance the development of ‘net-zero’ buildings.
28 September 2017: The UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the ‘Political Declaration on the Implementation of the UN Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons’ during a two?day high?level meeting on human trafficking. By the Declaration, Member States reaffirmed their commitment to the Global Plan of Action and to the related 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, while agreeing to address the root causes of trafficking such as poverty, unemployment, inequality, conflict, humanitarian emergencies and gender discrimination.
14 September 2017: UN Women has launched a partnership to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment through innovation and technology. The Global Innovation Coalition for Change (GICC) aims to promote actions that make innovation and technology work better for young women and girls.