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Leading the way

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides a blueprint for the work of the Secretariat and, therefore, of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UN Geneva). The SDGs are embedded in everything UN Geneva does.

Home to over 100 international organizations, 180 Member State Representations, some 400 NGOs, a dynamic private sector and prominent academic institutions in close proximity, International Geneva is the operational hub of the international system. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has served as a critical unifier to drive collaboration and new partnerships across Geneva’s ecosystem, making it an important hub for SDG implementation on a wide range of topics - from health, security and humanitarian affairs, to migration, digital policy and intellectual property.

Member States have underscored the role of International Geneva as an essential actor in implementing the SDGs. Recently, Geneva’s financial sector has been looking to further increase its relevance towards the SDGs. Geneva won the bid to host the Secretariat of the FC4S (International Network of Financial Centers for Sustainability) and is aiming to increase Geneva’s role as a key center for sustainable finance.

UN Geneva contributes to the implementation of the SDGs in 9 key areas: Communication and outreach activities; Leveraging the Geneva Ecosystem to support SDG implementation;

SDG Financing; Peace and Mediation; Disarmament; Gender Equality; Fostering partnerships with key stakeholders; Environmental Sustainability, Accessibility of Conference Services and Fostering dialogue with civil society.

SDG Lab logo

A key priority for the Director-General is to assist the Member States in the implementation of the 17 SDGs adopted in 2015 by the 193 UN Member States. To that end, the SDG Lab was launched in 2017 to facilitate dialogue, connect partners and encourage the exchange of best practices and innovative ideas in Geneva and beyond. The Lab contributes to Geneva “walking the talk” when it comes to delivering the SDGs. It creates space for interdisciplinary and multisectoral collaboration while consistently testing assumptions and asking questions about what is needed to achieve the 2030 Agenda.

Activating the 2030 Agenda

The Perception Change Project (PCP), launched by the Director-General in 2014 and collaborating with over 100 partners, showcases the relevance and impact of the UN’s work on everybody’s life worldwide and encourages public engagement in implementing the 2030 Agenda. Examples of PCP’s work include the mapping of International Geneva’s expertise on each of the 17 SDGs; the #YouNeedToKnow ad campaign in airports worldwide; and a range of publications, notably action booklets and children books, are just a few of the examples of its output.

UN Geneva is very closely involved in outreach activities with universities and other academic institutions to ensure that younger generations are properly trained in the language fields i.e. interpreters and translators. Investing in outreach to expand succession planning and transfer of specialized knowledge to future linguists is a priority to ensure the provision of high-quality services to Member States.

UN Geneva annual reports reflect its work on the SDGs. The 2016 edition is particularly a testament to the collective efforts of UN Geneva, its partners in Geneva and globally, for the SDG implementation. The report demonstrates that the Organization provides the support services needed for actors to share best practices, exchange ideas and take action on the 169 targets of the SDGs.

UN Geneva supports the Common Agenda of the Secretary General, a vision for the future of global cooperation. The Common Agenda calls for inclusive, networked, and effective multilateralism to better respond and deliver for the people and planet and to get the world back on track by turbocharging action on the Sustainable Development Goals. It outlines possible solutions to address the gaps and risks that have emerged since 2015, calling for a Summit of the Future that will be held in 2024.