The 2022 Global Goals Week at the UN Hub at Expo 2020 Dubai: We All Can Drive Global Change for a Sustainable Future
18 May 2022
The Global Goals Week at the UN Hub came to emphasize the values of multilateralism and showcase the role of international cooperation and joint actions
Led by the United Nations, the Global Goals Week brought the world together at Expo 2020 Dubai from 15 to 21 January 2022 to mobilize and accelerate momentum to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and drive global change for a more sustainable future for all by 2030, spurring Expo 2020’s visits to cross 10 million and attracting visitors to join the week’s events considering that it was held outside of New York for the first time in its history.
The 17 SDGs are the world’s ‘to-do’ list. They recognise that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth, while also tackling climate change and working to preserve oceans and forests.
“The pandemic must be a wake-up call to jolt us into action to rescue the SDGs. Over the past two years, we have seen how vulnerable and unjust our social-economic systems are, but we have also seen that when the political will is there, governments and societies are capable of profound change in an incredibly short period,” said Amina J Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of United Nations in the inaugural tribute of the Global Goals Week, which illuminated the iconic Al Wasl Dome, the heart of Expo, with a 360-degree projection.
The Sustainable Development Goals were designed to address the very fault lines that the pandemic laid bare. At its core, Agenda 2030 promises to create peace and prosperity while preserving the planet, leaving no one behind.
At Expo 2020 Dubai, as the most significant global gathering to take place in the COVID-19 era, the Global Goals Week reignited the Decade of Action and emphasized the need for the world to work together to deliver the Global Goals by 2030 through a range of special events and inspiring activations for all ages and interests. It brought together world leaders, policy-makers, decision-makers, business leaders, partners, academics, scientists, stakeholders, activists, and advocates from around the world to connect, examine solutions, identify a path forward, and work toward achieving the Global Goals at a critical time and as we enter the second year of the Decade of Action.
“Expo 2020 Dubai’s timing is crucial. We are gathering more than 192 countries to urgently prioritise advancing equitable, inclusive, and sustainable recovery efforts and deliver the Global Goals by 2030,” said Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of Expo 2020 Dubai. “Everyone must work together and act now for the world to recover from the pandemic and deliver on our promises to future generations – to secure a future where everyone can thrive in peace, dignity, and equality on a healthy planet.”
United Nations Hub: A Story of Multilateralism and a To-Do List for the World
During the 6 months of Expo 2020 Dubai, the UN Hub provided millions of visitors a platform to engage in exhibits, films, advocacy campaigns, discussions, and other interactive experiences around topics related to the SDGs and beyond. The UN Hub highlighted the ideas and experiences that unite us and inspired visitors to take impactful action towards a thriving future for people and the planet.
The Global Goals Week at the UN Hub came to emphasize the values of multilateralism and showcase the role of international cooperation and joint actions to overcome global challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, and achieve the SDGs.
The UN Hub provided the UN agencies an innovative and creative space to host events related to the SDGs, their partnerships and networks, and their work together in the UAE. Throughout the entire week, various events took place showcasing how the UN agencies work to achieve the SDGs.
The events included panel discussions by UN Women, UN-Habitat, UN Global Compact, UNICRI, FAO, UNDP, and the UNRCO and addressed global challenges and solutions ranging from climate action, innovative and sustainable cities, criminal justice and security, life underwater, and the role of girls, youth, and people of determination towards a more sustainable future that leaves no one behind.
SDG Media Zone: Everyone is a Change-Maker
The SDG Media Zone, launched during the Global Goals Week as a platform conveying messages of hope and solidarity, stressed the importance of communications and highlighted the role of every individual in driving positive change.
Throughout the Global Goals Week, the SDG Media Zone brought together UN principals, influencers, and industry leaders, who talked about innovative solutions and initiatives that address global challenges, such as inequalities, climate change, and gender disparity in interviews and panel discussions. Epsy Campbell, the Vice President of Costa Rica, Melissa Fleming, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, Maher Nasser, the Commissioner-General of the UN at Expo 2020, Sanda Ojiambo, the CEO & Executive Director of UN Global Compact, and Dena Assaf, the Resident Coordinator, UN UAE and Deputy Commissioner-General of the UN at Expo 2020) were among the guests.
Arts and Advocacy Activities for the SDGs
The Global Goals Week featured two exhibitions at the UN Hub. The UN and UAE Exhibition “Working Together for a Better Future,” which illustrated the strategic partnership between the UN and the UAE, national engagements to date, and ambitious plans for the future ahead; and the SDGs Art Exhibit “Painting a Better World,” which showcased the work of resident artists and their creative interpretations of the SDGs.
Visitors of all ages had the chance to participate in fun and knowledgeable activities to test their knowledge and take actions for the SDGs. The games included the SDGs wheel trivia game and Expo’s SDGs treasure hunt where participants collected stamps and won SDGs card sets and other prizes.
Events and Panels Stretching Among Various Pavilions Reigniting the Decade of Action
The Global Goals Week featured events hosted by various pavilions and featured prominent speakers, such as the Global Goals for All Flagship panel, which addressed the facts and solutions needed to inspire action around the world’s most prominent issues, including gender inequality and the climate crisis; and the Walk for Climate Action with UNDP Regional Goodwill Ambassador Michael Haddad, which inspired collaboration for climate action and the Global Goals.