09 November 2021, New York, USA – UNITAR New York Office joined efforts with the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) to develop a hybrid event, “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Climate Change: Learning and Practice Opportunities”. The session was attended by approximately 93 participants virtually, and the discussion focused on how climate change intersects with the Sustainable Development Goals.
Ms. Naiara Costa, Senior Sustainable Development Officer, Division for Sustainable Development Goals (DSDG), UN DESA, welcomed the participants and thanked the panelists for sharing their knowledge and experiences. She then introduced Mr. Nikhil Seth, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, Executive Director, UNITAR, who welcomed the participants and talked about the SDGs and the climate challenges facing humanity and the aim creating a better world. He also talked about two major events which took place in 1992 and how we have evolved since. Mr. Seth explained the difference in focus between the SDGs and COP in more detail.
Ms. Lotta Tahtinen, Chief of Service, Sustainable Development, Outreach and Partnerships Branch, DSDG, UN DESA, took over from Mr. Seth. She mentioned how important it is to have a unified vision in our multilateral division to reach our set goals and the 2030 Agenda. She talked about “Our Common Agenda Report”, which discusses the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the conference that will take place in the upcoming year to help tackle climate change issues.
Mr. David Koranyi, Consultant for Energy Policy Analysis, Sustainable Energy Team, DSDG, UN DESA, highlighted that leveraging climate and SDG synergies is the key to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Pelayo Alvarez, Programme and Communications Coordinator, UNITAR NYO and Ms. Tianyi Zhao, Programme Consultant, UNITAR NYO talked about the E-Learning course, “Harnessing Climate & SDGs Synergies”, which focuses on addressing the synergies between climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals. They explained the main focus of the course and how it was created to answer the why, how and what questions.
Mr. Angus Mackay, Director, Division for Planet, UNITAR, talked about the language of SDGs and how the language used can make such a subject more approachable. He discussed the PEW survey, which was undertaken in 2021, and had the effect of raising awareness on climate change. Mr. Mackay provided examples of how important a factor language can be. A very interactive exercise took place before the Q&A session, where all panelists interacted with the participants including Mr. Marco A. Suazo, Head of Office, UNITAR NYO.