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Good morning, this is Nadia Isler, and I head up the SDG Lab at UN Geneva. The Lab is a multi-stakeholder initiative, created in 2017, that contributes to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through actors in Geneva and beyond.

My team and I are passionate about connecting people and institutions from very different backgrounds. We’re convinced that joining expertise and knowledge from diverse sectors is the only way to ensure partnerships and solutions that will really have an impact…and a long-lasting one.

This is what we mean when we say “sustainability”. Is this also what it means to you? Let’s talk about it.

photo journaliste

Nadia Isler


Today’s reason for hope

Photo article

From the film, “Nations United: Urgent Solutions for Urgent Times”, launched during the UN General Assembly. Photo: Ally Winter-Taylor (Project Everyone)

This week saw the conclusion of the General Debate of the 75th General Assembly of the United Nations and numerous high-level meetings and dialogues. What I heard again and again was the refrain that we must ‘build back better’ or ‘build forward better’. This latter message, which was mentioned several times during the High-Level Meeting on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond, emphasizes the need to use this current crisis to advance a more sustainable, resilient and inclusive future. Did we need a pandemic and its dramatic consequences to realise this?

The coronavirus pandemic has magnified the inequalities of our world, which prevailed prior to Covid-19. While many stress that the virus “has no borders”, the data continue to show that it has affected people in very uneven ways. These disparities and challenges were the drivers of what became the historic adoption of the SDGs in 2015. When we rally around ‘building forward better’, there is no need to reinvent the wheel.

The SDGs encompass all aspects of the global challenges we are facing and, above all, clearly spell out the extent to which they are interconnected. Covid-19 has been a magnifying glass in that regard too: before the pandemic, how often did we talk about health, job loss, economic downturn and failing environmental ecosystems as several sides of the same coin? Today, because of the obvious correlations between these sectors, we are finally discussing and addressing these issues as one. This systemic way of approaching global challenges is one of the fundamental paradigm shifts of the SDGs and one of the keys to ‘building forward better”.

Read full article here (EN)

On my radar

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Indian laborers wearing face masks as they work at wholesale fruit market in Jammu, India. India has the second highest total of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the world. Photo: EPA/Jaipal Singh

No lost generation: can poor countries avoid the Covid trap? In this opinion piece, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva works through four measures that developing countries can take to “avoid the Covid trap” for its young people.

The Guardian (EN)

75 Years of the United Nations. This month will mark the 75th anniversary of the UN, celebrated as UN Day on 24 October. Take seven minutes to watch this inspirational compilation of some of the most iconic moments since the organisation’s founding in 1945.

United Nations / YouTube (EN)

Social protection to combat hunger. This article showcases the merits of social protection to combat hunger and poverty. The writers highlight how short-term income support schemes not only have a positive effect on food and nutrition security, but also on labour productivity.

Nature (EN)

Here's what else is happening

Image of the day

Photo article

United Nations

Keeping the commitment of the SDGs alive. The photo “2015” shows a packed General Assembly Hall during the historical UN summit in September of that year when the gavel was dropped on the 2030 Agenda. The second photo shows the same hall this week at the closing of the 75th General Debate. A contrasting scene to five years earlier. Due to Covid-19, this year’s General Assembly was held virtually with a limited number of member states representatives and delegates present.

Next on the agenda

6 October | Forum of Mayors 2020 Online and in person at the Palais des Nations, mayors and other city officials from UNECE member States will share solutions and challenges in advancing the 2030 Agenda.


8 October | Exhibition: 100 years of multilateralism UN Geneva is bringing an exhibition to Place des Nations tracing the evolution of multilateralism from the League of Nations to the activities of the UN today.

UN Geneva (EN)

6 October | Ocean Vitality Forum Organised by Switzerland for the Oceans, a non-profit dedicated to tackling ocean pollution, the forum is a small affair this year. Tickets are strictly limited and by request.

Switzerland for the Ocean (EN)

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Have a good day!

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