Urban SDGs Event at The New School

unnamed (2)On September 24, more than 40 global mayors and local government leaders came together at The New School to voice their support for a sustainable future that is free of poverty, hunger and environmental degradation.The event was hosted by the UN SDSN in partnership with The Campaign for an Urban SDG, the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments and The Tishman Environment and Design Center at The New School. Speakers included:

  • David E. Van Zandt, President of the New School in New York City
  • Jeffrey Sachs, Director of UN SDSN
  • Edmund Gerald Brown Jr., Governor of California, USA
  • Mpho Franklyn Parks Tau, Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Marcio Araújo de Lacerda, Mayor of Belo Horizonte, Brazil
  • Angela Brown Burke, Mayor of Kingston, Jamaica
  • Morten Kabell, Mayor of Technical and Environmental Affairs of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Iliza Saaduddin Djamal, Mayor of Banda Aceh, Indonesia
  • Mitchell J. Landrieu, Mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
  • Khalifa Sall, Mayor of Dakar, Senegal
  • Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York City, USA (read full transcript of address)
  • Aromar Revi, Co-Chair of the UN SDSN Thematic Group on Cities (moderator)
  • María de los Ángeles Duarte, Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Government of Ecuador

On the eve of the SDG Summit, these urban leaders from all corners of the world stood together in the John L. Tishman Auditorium and endorsed the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and committed to their local implementation. California Governor Edmund Brown opened the proceedings and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio delivered closing remarks, each with rousing calls for immediate action. Passion flooded the auditorium as all the mayors discussed the daily challenges they face as a result of climate change while also instilling hope by showcasing the innovative solutions they have put in place to protect and improve the lives of their citizens.The SDGs follow the Millennium Development Goals, eight international development goals that were established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000, which expire at the end of 2015:

  • Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger
  • Achieving universal primary education
  • Promoting gender equality
  • Reducing child mortality
  • Improving maternal health
  • Combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other devastating diseases
  • Ensuring environmental sustainability
  • Developing a global partnership for development

The SDGs are a new set of targets with a sharp focus on sustainability, first formally discussed at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012 as a part of Rio+20. Following the September 24 convocation at The New School, on September 25, 193 countries of the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Development Agenda, which outlines the SDGs:

  • End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture
  • Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  • Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  • Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  • Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  • Ensure access to affordable reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all
  • Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  • Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation
  • Reduce inequality within and among countries
  • Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable
  • Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development
  • Protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss
  • Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all, and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels
  • Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

The SDGs will be endorsed at the national level by United Nations member states, but sustainable development cannot be achieved without the full support and partnerships of the world’s cities. More than half the world’s population now lives in cities, which makes the mayors’ and local governments’ roles pivotal to the effort to address global issues such as climate change and poverty.