On February 19-20, the UN Association of the USA hosted the 2021 Global Engagement Summit, which brought community leaders, subject matter experts, young professionals, and students together to discuss and support the work, principles, and mission of the United Nations. The event, which is historically the largest annual gathering of UN supporters in the United States, used its virtual format as an opportunity to connect with leaders and activists in vastly different parts of the world.
The summit opened with remarks from António Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, about the significance of the US rejoining the Paris Agreement, which he believes will reinvigorate global efforts to address climate change. We believe the US commitment to advancing the climate change agenda is important and must extend to sustainable and environmentally aware action at the local level around the world to be truly effective.
Over the course of the weekend, the UNA hosted information sessions addressing prevalent conversations across the globe. There was a particular focus on solidarity and responsibility to vulnerable communities, yet the voices of leaders from these communities were missing from many of the proceedings.
With only ten years left to reach the Sustainable Development Goals, there was a significant focus on the progress made and how we can achieve the SDGs despite a wide variety of issues—COVID, climate change and social conflicts like discrimination, racism, and gender equality. The Goals provide clear targets for the international community to meet in the next decade and align with The Hunger Project’s mission to end hunger by 2030. We believe that our holistic, community-led strategies are key to achieving the SDGs, particularly in rural communities.
The UN has set an ambitious agenda. We are proud to do our part to stand in solidarity with the UN, by working to enact these positive changes at the community level by elevating local voices and leadership for change.