November 9, 2021
UNA-NCA celebrated U.N. Day with the launch of its Global Goals at Home (GGH) program, a forward-thinking dataset that localizes the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) progress across the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area. To commemorate the U.N.’s 76th anniversary, guests U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and U.N. Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Achim Steiner joined in speaking about sustainability’s future.

UN Day Forum SpeakersThe event kick-started with the presentation of the 2021 Edison W. Dick Advocacy Leadership Award to Senator Cardin to recognize his leadership in advocacy. Senator Cardin was credited for championing the Sustainable Development Goals, supporting UN-funding efforts, and reinstating the U.S. in the Human Rights Council.

In his remarks, Senator Cardin highlighted corruption-fighting as an effective means of supporting the 16th SDG to deliver global “peace, justice, and strong institutions.” Cardin continued, “the U.S. needs to do a better job of communicating to Americans as to what the U.S. has achieved with UNSDGs.”

UNA-NCA Senior Policy Advisor Shayna Vayser presented the announcement of GGH’s dashboard, which uses a dataset to localize SDG indicators into a proxy measure that centralizes SDG progress across the DMV area. Using qualitative and quantitative analysis, Vayser demonstrated how the platform creates new pathways for inclusive policymaking and a means for actors to map sustainability strategies. Shayner highlighted the dashboard’s importance to improving sustainability efforts, “GGH will serve as a central hub for information and will continue to expand our work with community stakeholders to identify what stories are most impactful.”

Following the announcement, UNA-NCA President Paula Boland spoke to UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner to discuss the U.N.’s vision for a sustainable future. Steiner highlighted the importance of public-private partnerships to provide logical solutions to complex problems. Steiner also discussed the lagging economic recovery in the developing world, identifying the vaccine rollout as a problem, “today we find ourselves in a world where developed countries are mostly vaccinated, whereas least developed countries are below 5%.”
The event concluded with a poignant statement by Boland, “whether it is standing for human rights, eliminating extreme poverty, or combatting climate change, the U.N. is working to build a better future by confronting the planet’s most complex challenges.”

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