World Economic Forum Sustainable Development Meetings Open in New York as UN General Assembly Gets Under Way

19 Sep 2022

Alem Tedeneke, Public Engagement, World Economic Forum,

  • The meetings bring together business leaders, policy-makers, international and civil society organizations and entrepreneurs to drive commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals
  • They answer UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ call for action “to bring hope to a fractured world and increase efforts to fight the climate crisis”

New York, USA, 21 September 2022 The World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Meetings opened in New York today as world leaders arrive in the city for the United Nations General Assembly. The meetings follow UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ call on world leaders “to bring hope to a fractured world and increase efforts to fight the climate crisis”. Action on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has never been more crucial.

The Sustainable Development Impact Meetings run from today until Friday 23 September. They are built around the following key themes: Advancing Regional and Global Cooperation; Shaping Resilient Economies and Societies; Scaling Climate Action; and Accelerating Industry Transformation.

Key participants at the meeting include: Inger Andersen, Executive Director, UN Environment Programme; Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation of Egypt; Winnie Byanyima, Undersecretary-General of the UN and Executive Director, Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS); Pekka Haavisto, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland; Karin Hulshof, Deputy Executive Director, Partnerships, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF); Paula Ingabire, Minister of Information Communication Technology and Innovation of Rwanda; Elizabeth Mrema, Executive Secretary, UN Convention on Biological Diversity; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General, World Trade Organization; Luhut B. Pandjaitan, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Indonesia; Qu Dongyu, Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN; Mari Elka Pangestu, Managing Director, Development Policy and Partnerships, World Bank Group; Peter Thomson, UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Ocean; Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, European Commission; Peter Maurer, President, International Committee of the Red Cross; and Abdulla Shahid, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Maldives.

The meeting will also include participants from business and civil society.

The following sessions will be webcast live:

· The Geo-Economics of Climate Change with Børge Brende, President, World Economic Forum; Rania Al-Mashat; Minister of International Cooperation, Egypt; Svein Tore Holsether; President and Chief Executive Officer, Yara International; and Ville Skinnari, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, Finland.

· Food and Energy: Tackling a Global Resource Crisis with Jason Bordoff, Co-Dean, Columbia Climate School; Geraldine Matchett, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Royal DSM NV; Sam Kass, Partner, Acre Venture Partners; Máximo Torero, Chief Economist, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN.

· Preparing for the Future of Work with Allen Blue, Co-Founder and Vice-President, Products, LinkedIn Corporation; Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation; Hisayuki Idekoba, President, Chief Executive Officer, Recruit Holdings Co. Ltd; and Stephanie Ruhle, Senior Business Correspondent, NBC News.

· Tackling Disinformation with Melissa Fleming, Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, UN; Adrian Monck, Managing Director, World Economic Forum; Rachel Smolkin, Senior Vice-President of Global News, CNN Worldwide; and Claire Wardle, Executive Director, First Draft News Inc.

· Scaling Innovation for People and Planet with John Dutton, Head of UpLink, World Economic Forum; Chief Executive Officer, Saathi; Henk WJ Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs, Netherlands Government; Jonas Skattum Svegaarden, Chief Executive Officer, Katapult Ocean; Kristin Kagetsu, Co-Founder and C. Vijayakumar, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, HCL Technologies Ltd.

· This Is What Climate Change Sounds Like with Garrett Boudinot, Science Adviser, The ClimateMusic Project; Jane Burston, Executive Director, Clean Air Fund; Eduardo Del Signore, Composer, The ClimateMusic Project.

Members of the media can also join the following sessions, with opportunities for questions and answers:

· Web3's Climate Impact on Wednesday 21 September, 12.30 to 13.30 EDT, with: Lucia Gallardo, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Emerge; Dana Gibber, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Flow Carbon; Josh Knauer, Co-Founder, ReSeed Carbon Assets; and Charles Thomas Pool, Head, Partnerships, Toucan Protocol. Journalists can register here.

· High-Ambition Coalition Treaty on Plastic Pollution on Thursday, 22 September, 11.30 to 12.30 EDT, with: Espen Barth Eide, Minister of Climate and Environment of Norway; Jeanne D’Arc Mujawamariya, Minister of Environment of Rwanda; and moderated by Catherine Boudreau, Senior Sustainability Reporter, Insider. Journalists can register here.

The meetings bring together communities of purpose, which integrate business leaders, policymakers, international and civil society organizations, innovators, and entrepreneurs. These stakeholders will use the meetings to advance their work, make concrete progress on the SDGs, and build momentum towards key milestones in the coming months, including COP27 and the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023 in January.

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All opinions expressed are those of the author. The World Economic Forum Blog is an independent and neutral platform dedicated to generating debate around the key topics that shape global, regional and industry agendas.

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