The 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 78) opened on Tuesday, 5 September 2023, with the high-level debate beginning on Tuesday, 19 September.
At high-level events and intergovernmental conversations held during the General Assembly, UN Women will work to ensure that the needs, viewpoints, and voices of women and girls are prioritized, and to remind the global community that there can be no real progress without gender equality.
The 78th session also marks the half-way point to the deadline set for achieving the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
On 7 September, UN Women and UN DESA’s 2023 gender snapshot report revealed that current trends would leave more than 340 million women and girls—an estimated 8 per cent of the world’s female population—in extreme poverty by 2030. The report showed that a mere two of the SDG indicators aimed at women’s equality were “close to target” and none were at the “target met or almost met” level.
At the SDG Summit, on 18 and 19 September, leaders will review the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the 17 SDGs. In preparation for that event, the Generation Equality Midpoint Moment, organized by UN Women and the Governments of Iceland and Tanzania, will be showcased as part of SDG Acceleration Day on 17 September.
The General Assembly’s high-level debate runs from Tuesday 19 September to Saturday 23 September, and resumes for one day on Tuesday 26 September. This year’s theme is “Rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity: Accelerating action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals towards peace, prosperity, progress and the sustainability for all”.
Watch this space for news and updates on gender equality at UNGA 78, and watch livestreams of the events.
Event information will be updated on an ongoing basis.
Generation Equality Midpoint
The Generation Equality Midpoint put a spotlight on accountability for gender equality and launched a call to action to contribute to the UN Secretary-General’s vision for the 2030 Agenda: “Let’s be clear: no country can afford to see this fail.” It was an opportunity to mobilize new commitments and momentum, inspire investment and leadership for impact at scale, and demonstrate how Generation Equality’s multi-stakeholder methodology is driving concrete progress on gender equality. The Governments of Iceland and Tanzania co-hosted the Midpoint Moment with UN Women, and stakeholders were invited to commit and re-commit political, programmatic, and financial support through the Generation Equality multistakeholder platform and methodology.
The Spotlight Initiative is a global United Nations initiative in partnership with the European Union and other partners aiming to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls. The event on 17 September showcased its impressive results on ending violence against women and girls and as an accelerator for all the SDGs, proving that gender-based violence is not only preventable, but that we already have the tools we need to ensure every woman and girl lives a life free from violence. This high-level event featured statements and conversations with Heads of State; UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed; actress and UN Global Advocate Cecilia Suárez; actress, filmmaker, and philanthropist Natalie Portman; actress and UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador Ashley Judd; as well as leaders from the European Union, Governments, civil society, the private sector, and other partners.
The 2023 SDG Summit will mark the beginning of a new phase of accelerated progress towards the SDGs, with high-level political guidance on transformative and accelerated actions leading up to 2030. Convened by the President of the General Assembly, the Summit will mark the half-way point to the deadline set for achieving the SDGs. It will be the centrepiece of the High-level Week of the General Assembly. It will respond to the impact of multiple and interlocking crises facing the world and is expected to reignite a sense of hope, optimism, and enthusiasm for the 2030 Agenda. UN Women and UN DESA recently released “Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: The gender snapshot 2023”, which provides a comprehensive analysis of gender equality progress across all 17 SDGs.
The HeForShe movement, one of UN Women’s flagship partnership initiatives, partners with men and boys to advance gender equality through transformative commitments and actions. The Summit is a gathering of HeForShe partners with representation at the highest level and acts as a progress reporting platform with the aim to inspire others to follow suit and take concrete action for gender equality. The event will feature HeForShe Champions, including H.E. the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo; the CEO of HSBC, Michael M. Roberts; and the CEO of Movember, Michelle Terry; as well as thought leaders from the Washington Post and Bloomberg.