The 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, from 15 to 30 September 2020, marks the 75th anniversary of the UN. As the world continues to face the COVID-19 pandemic, this UN General Assembly had also become the first in its history to be held virtually, with minimal in-person participation at the UN Headquarters in New York City. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery, progress on the SDGs, the climate crisis, and measures to address inequalities were among the most pressing themes to be tackled. Concurrently, major events in the environment and sustainability space were taken place, including Climate Week NYC (21-27 September) and the UN Biodiversity Summit (30 September).
This webpage collates IGES activities and outputs related to the UN General Assembly and/or its key issues, featuring relevant publications and websites that offer greater insight.
Reflections on the 75th Session of United Nations General Assembly (Abridged)Eric Zusman, Research Director at IGES' Sustainability Governance Centre, reflects on the UNGA75 and offers the main takeaways from the sessions in his short video commentary, outlining the five interrelated crises of focus. In an extended version of this video, he explains the background of this year’s UNGA and offers perspectives on highlights including China’s announcement that it will aim towards carbon neutrality by 2060.
These slides were used for a video commentary on the main takeaways of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA75), which was held virtually for the first time in the history of the UN in 2020. There are two versions of the video commentary available (short and extended) and they provide insight into the five crises of focus...
This briefing note overviews key international biodiversity processes, products and events in 2020 and 2021. Geared especially for those who are less familiar with the topic, it covers ongoing developments with respect to the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF); key meetings of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD); the UN...
Events & Activities
Report on the United Nations High-Level Political Forum 2020: Japan's Role in Recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic and Achievement of the SDGs
E-learning: Greening Voluntary National Reviews and National Sustainable Development Goal Strategies
Are you a policymaker hoping to strengthen the environmental dimensions of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in your country or city? Do you work for a civil society organisation or business and want to know more about how governments can green the SDGs? If so, please join this free online e-learning class created by IGES, in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The class consists of three parts: 1) essential background on the SDGs; 2) understanding environmental dimensions of the SDGs; and 3) means of implementation for the environmental dimensions of the SDGs.
Signup Deadline: 15 October 2020
In a few short months, COVID-19 has morphed from a dangerous regional health threat to an all-consuming global pandemic and economic disaster. COVID-19’s rapid spread has had far-reaching implications on the everyday lives of people in nearly all corners of the world, and underlines the need for governments at all levels to coordinate cross-cutting...
Key Messages on Accelerating Progress on the SDGs in the Asia-Pacific Region Prepared for the Asia Pacific Forum for Sustainable Development (APFSD)
In 2015, the international community adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the centerpiece of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Every year the Asia Pacific Forum for Sustainable Development (APFSD) and High Level Political Forum (HLPF) offer an important opportunity to assess regional and global progress on the SDGs. The...
Assessment of ASEAN Countries' Concrete SDG Implementation Efforts: Policies and Budgets Reported in Their 2016-2020 Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs)
This report assesses to what extent the national governments of ASEAN countries have made concrete domestic efforts to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in terms of policies and budgets as listed in their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs). Methods used by this report are similar to those used by a comparable study of the G20...