United Nations General Assembly 2017

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) concluded on 25 September in New York City. Much of the discussion focused on the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This year’s theme was Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet.  In his closing speech, UNGA President Miroslav Lajčák stressed the importance of preventing conflicts, supporting UN peacekeeping, continuing sustainable development, respecting human rights and championing gender equality.

“You reaffirmed your commitment to the UN. And to each other. You said we are stronger together, in a system based on dialogue and multilateralism. And you stressed that any alternative would risk repeating the mistakes of history.“ – UNGA President Miroslav Lajčák

The 2017 UNGA commenced just as the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation released a report on three possible scenarios for 18 points of the SDGs. The report, titled “Goalkeepers: The Stories Behind the Data,” looked into the outcomes of the SDGs without significant change, with strong leadership and investment, and with a decrease in funding and attention. The report stressed the need for innovation in achieving the SDGs. Without innovation, progress will not continue in areas like HIV and malaria as drug resistance could very easily undo all the progress that has been made to date.

There has been widespread wariness of new conservative governments in major donor countries, but their individual views on development aid and assistance have not been able to greatly affect international development strategies. The United Kingdom has maintained 0.7% aid targets under Theresa May’s leadership. When US President Donald Trump cut funding to the United Nations Population Fund, other governments and donors stepped in with new funding to continue the organization’s family planning initiatives.

Read the full report here.

On 27th February the Aid & International Development Forum will host a discussion on How to Leverage Local Innovation and Engage Key Stakeholders to Enable Access to Crucial Health Care Services in Africa. While advances in medicine and technology are changing the course of life-threatening diseases such as HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis, many people in Africa continue to face significant barriers to accessing healthcare services. Such barriers include stigma, awareness and lack of funding, but there is still a lot that can be improved.

Join the 3rd annual Aid and Development Africa Summit on 27-28 February 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya to discuss and explore how cross sector partnerships and collaborative solutions that leverage local innovation can help address some of those barriers.

Learn more at http://africa.aidforum.org

Image source: American Society/Council of the Americas

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