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From 9-18 July 2018, world leaders will gather at the high-level political forum on sustainable development in 2018 convened under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council. On 16-18 July, the forum will host a three-day ministerial meeting focusing on the  theme of  "Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies".

Erik Solheim, UN Environment Executive Director and Under-Secretary General of the United Nations will lead the organization's delegation and preside over a number of events.

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SDG Business Forum on "Leadership & Innovation for the SDGs"

Date: 17 July 2018, 11:30 - 13:00

Global Pact for the Environment and the Sustainable Development Goals

Date: 17 July 2018, 13:15 - 14:30

Place: UN Headquarters, Conference Room 7

Fixing food waste: What does it take?

Date: 17 July 2018, 18:30 - 20.30

Place: Private Rooms 6-8

Description: The agriculture sector is responsible for severe environmental impacts, both in terms of resource use, pollution and climate change, and is under threat by environmental degradation. While the environmental cost of agriculture on our limited resources is huge, the disconnect between what we grow and what we eat has an even greater impact.

Around 800 million people don’t have enough to eat while roughly 1.3 billion tonnes of food is lost or wasted every year.  Food Waste increases the environmental impact without addressing the serious issues of undernourishment and malnutrition.

To bring about the necessary change and achieve sustainable nutrition for all, NGOs, governments, farmers, suppliers and importantly consumers in the food and related industries need to work together to change the relationship between the production and consumption of food. Only by reconnecting the system from farm to fork – at every step along the food value chain – will we build a new system that supports the health of future populations and the planet.

Partnership for sustainable fashion and the SDGs

Date: 10 July 2018

Description: Fashion is an environmental and social emergency. Nearly 20 percent of global waste water is produced by the fashion industry, which also emits about ten percent of the global carbon emissions - more than the emissions of all international flights and maritime shipping combined. Cotton farming is responsible for 24 per cent of insecticides and 11 per cent of pesticides despite using only 3 per cent of the world’s arable land. In addition, the textiles industry has been identified in recent years as a major contributor to the issue of plastic entering the oceans, which is a growing concern because of the associated negative environmental and health implications.

Fast fashion is also linked to dangerous working conditions due to the  unsafe processes and use of hazardous substances. High cost and time pressures are often imposed on all parts of the supply chain, leading to workers suffering from long working hours and low pay, with evidence, in some instances, of modern slavery and child labor.

The fashion industry is a $2.5 trillion-dollar industry that employs approximately 60 million people worldwide, most of them women. Fashion is therefore a key economic sector, which has an essential role to play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Systems Thinking and Policy Planning for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SDG12)

Date: 12 July 2018

Place: United Nations Secretariat Building, New York

Description: UN Environment is teaming-up with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, The International Resource Panel, The Life Cycle Initiative and the One Planet Network to provide training to Member State representatives on sustainable consumption and production. The overall objective of the training is to build institutional capacities on this topic, including how to mainstream and implement it in national policy planning.

International Resource Panel and One Planet network side event Sustainable consumption and production: From science to policy action”

Place: the German House, 9:00 - 11:30

Connecting land and water for city resilience

Date: 16 July 2018, 1:15 - 14:30

Place: UN Headquarters, Conference Room F

Transforming our economies and lifestyles: Greener & fairer for future generations

Date: 16 July 2018, 17:00 - 19:30

Place:Japan Society, 333 East 47th St, New York, NY

Description: When the global community met in 2015 to envision the next 15 years, there was a strong recognition that the greatest challenges we face are interconnected. Poverty, inequality, unemployment, environmental degradation and climate change are inextricably linked. The consensus was that joining forces across disciplines and communities would make the greatest impact; by interconnecting our ambitions we would set an agenda for change. This thinking gave rise to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.

At its heart, this Agenda envisions fundamental changes to our global economic system in ways that better protect and foster a greener and fairer world now and for future generations. Macroeconomic policies, business practices and consumer actions must work together if we are to create fairer, healthier options to nurture our world and ourselves.

This shift has started. Governments are placing the 2030 Agenda at the heart of their development priorities. Central banks are exploring ways to finance sustainable initiatives in an amount expected to reach US$200 billion by the end of 2018. Renewable energy is forecast to be cheaper than fossil fuel by 2020. Young people are leading the charge in demanding socially and environmentally responsible consumer choices. Entrepreneurs, designers, celebrities, our youth and influencers worldwide are embracing sustainability, and setting trends for ethical, low-footprint lifestyles.

But business as usual is still the usual. We need to take these ideas into the mainstream to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

In the spirit of the 2030 Agenda, we are bringing together champions of sustainability to capitalize on this momentum. We are aiming to cast our net wide in the belief that governments, civic leaders, policymakers, and people in the public eye all working together can transform our economies and lifestyles to create a greener, fairer world, for both current and future generations.