‘We have to work together and act now’

The crucial focus of Expo 2020 Dubai’s Global Goals Week this year is to bring the world together to drive collective progress towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for a better and more equitable future for all by 2030

For the first time in its history, Global Goals Week will leave the United Nations General Assembly in New York City and come to life at Expo 2020 Dubai. Global Goals Week, January 15 to 22, 2022, is bringing the world together to mobilise and accelerate momentum to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and drive global change for a more sustainable future for all by 2030.

Global Goals Week this year will serve as a platform for different players – from world leaders and policymakers to business leaders and citizens – to connect and work toward achieving the SDGs at a critical time of uncertainty in the midst of the continuing Covid19 pandemic. With less than nine years left to deliver the goals, this week of hybrid events will highlight how the world’s fundamental challenges are interconnected and can only be addressed through reinvigorated multilateralism.

Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai, said, “The United Arab Emirates believes in the importance of global collective action to create a future where everyone can thrive in peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet. By bringing the world together, Expo 2020 Dubai provides a launchpad to solve humanity’s greatest challenges, in the spirit of hope, resilience and optimism. Hosting the UN Global Goals at Expo 2020 is yet another further testament to our aligned vision for equitable, inclusive and sustainable communities for all.”

Amina J Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations, said, “At the core of the 2030 Agenda is the need for urgent action to tackle growing poverty and inequality, empower women and girls and address the climate emergency. The world has still not embraced the pace and scale of change required to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Kicking off year two of the Decade of Action, Global Goals Week launching at Expo 2020 in Dubai presents a critical opportunity to demonstrate, at every level, our raised ambition and commitment to keeping alive and achieving the Global Goals, ensuring we leave no one behind and that we recover better from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Global Goals activation at Expo 2020

Global Goals Week will feature a plethora of impactful events: from an opening speech by Amina J Mohammed and a showcase of youth around the globe sharing their SDGs commitments on the world’s largest 360-degree projection screen at Al Wasl Plaza on January 15 to Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week’s Opening Ceremony and the Zayed Sustainability Prize awards ceremony at Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo 2020 Dubai, on January 17.

The ‘Global Goals for All’ flagship event, co-curated by Project Everyone, will welcome Her Excellency Mariam Hareb Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and the Environment; Jayathma Wickramanayake, the UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth; and virtually Bill Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The panel will address the facts and solutions needed to inspire action around the world’s most prominent issues, including gender inequality and the climate crisis, on January 16.

SDG 5: ‘Achieve gender equality and empower for all women and girls’ will be the focus for the Women’s World Majlis – A Better Future for All: Leaving No One Behind on 17 January and will feature discussions with Her Excellency Epsy Alejandra Campbell Barr, Vice President of Costa Rica and Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand and a global leader in sustainable development and gender equality, who will participate virtually.

Other World Majlis sessions include Everyday (S)heroes, in collaboration with Hungary; Extending the Revolution to Every Desk and Doorstep: Fourth Industrial Revolution for Everyone, in collaboration with Morocco; and Power to Change the World: Fuelling a Sustainable World in 2030, in collaboration with Australia.

On January 18, the Global Goals Business Forum, co-curated by Dubai Chamber of Commerce (Official Business Integrator of Expo 2020 Dubai), Estonia and UN Global Compact, will examine how the global community can foster economic prosperity for all, while ensuring the SDGs are achieved by the 2030 deadline. Speakers will include His Excellency Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Chairman, Dubai Chamber of Commerce; Sanda Ojiambo, CEO and Executive Director, UN Global Compact; and Eva-Maria Liimets, Estonia's Minister of Foreign Affairs.

On January 18-19, a trilateral summit, Coming Full Circle: Water, Food, Energy Summit, co-curated by Jordan, the Netherlands and the UAE, will bring together heads of government and policy-makers. Its aim is to increase the collective understanding of the interdependent relationships between water, food and energy security, and solutions that integrate the three, amid on-going collaborations between the three co-curating countries.

On January 20, the Global Best Practice Assembly will spotlight all 50 Global Best Practice Programme projects selected by Expo 2020 Dubai from around the world that have provided impactful and sustainable interventions, with a view to expanding them elsewhere.

Global Goals Week is the seventh of 10 Theme Weeks under Expo 2020 Dubai’s Programme for People and Planet, offering an exchange of inspiring new perspectives to address the greatest challenges and opportunities of our time.


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