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Virtual SDG Moment convened by the UN Secretary-General during the High Level Week 2020 - Deputy Secretary-General Briefing to Member States
17 Jul 2020 -  Since then, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken hundreds of thousands of lives, affected the livelihoods of billions of people and caused a chain reaction that threatens to erode decades of development progress. The pandemic is creating new obstacles to achieving the SDGs but, by highlighting the very fragilities that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development seeks to address, it has also made their implementation all the more urgent. This urgency is evident in the manner by which governments and their partners, including the United Nations system, have taken the 2030 Agenda as the north star for COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.

It is in this context that the Secretary-General will convene the inaugural SDG Moment during high-level week this September, as requested by General Assembly in resolution 74/4. This meeting will serve to kick-start the Decade of Action by engaging Heads of State and Government as well as leading SDG stakeholders around the critical actions that must be taken to recover better and accelerate SDG implementation to deliver by 2030.

The 2020 SDG Moment will be held virtually for a three-hour period, at a time and date to be determined in line with the final General Assembly decision on arrangements for High-level week. The meeting will build on the rich discussions that are taking place at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, maintain momentum, and complement the other high-level meetings taking place in September 2020.

The 2020 SDG Moment will be organized to respond directly to these mandates and to the overall context set out in resolution 74/4, including recognition that progress on some of the Goals has been slow and that there is an urgent need to accelerate action on all levels and by all stakeholders. It will also consider the challenges facing Member States as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursue a recovery that is aligned with the SDGs.

A particular emphasis will be placed on poverty and inequality; on climate change and a healthy planet; and gender equality while cross-cutting issues such as finance, governance and technology will be discussed throughout.