Busy Week at the East River
Ukraine, SDGs, climate change, and financing for development: The High-Level Week in New York showed the urgent need for reform and action to restore trust in multilateral solutions.
The High-level Week of the 78th UN General Assembly (UNGA78) unfolded amid a fraught backdrop of converging conflicts and crises, including an ongoing war, stalled development gains, and escalating climate change. Russia’s war in Ukraine and the UN’s inability to end it has struck a blow to the multilateral system, undermining its credibility. A multi-trillion dollar financing gap threatens hard-won progress towards the 2030 Agenda and the promise of a better, sustainable future for all. Meanwhile, the climate crisis—the existential threat of our time—steadily worsens in the absence of bold policies and initiatives.
Effective multilateral solutions to these global challenges are needed more than ever. However, in a time of deepening geopolitical division, the global community is struggling to respond to the urgency of the moment with the requisite political will and ambition. Drawing from the High-level Week discussions, this report will examine three of the most-pressing challenges for the UN system, underscoring where multilateral action has fallen short, where progress—however incremental—has been made, and what further steps are needed.