05-12 July 2022, New York, USA. The United Nations Institute for Training and Research's (UNITAR) office in New York organized its traditional five-day virtual Event “SDG Learning, Training & Practice 2022” jointly with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). The event was held from 5 to 12 July 2022 under the auspices of the High-Level Political Forum.

Approximately 800 delegates from around the world joined the hybrid event that took place in Conference Room 8. Mr. Marco A. Suazo, Head of Office, UNITAR New York, opened the first session by welcoming the panellists and the participants and passing the floor to the moderator of the event, H.E. Ms. Egriselda Lopez, Permanent Representative of El Salvador to the UN. 

She welcomed the participants to the 7th edition of the learning/knowledge-sharing center with 10 sessions that will remark the set of SDGs to be reviewed (SDG 4, 5, 14, 15, 17) during the HLPF. She introduced the theme of this year’s HLPF "Building back better from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development", and introduced the next speaker H.E. Mr. Collen Kelapile, President of the ECOSOC and Permanent Representative of Botswana to the UN. His Excellency remarked how in the past, the SDGs Learning Center proved to be a success and benefited thousands of participants. He also underlined the importance of keeping the project alive and referred to the importance of protecting education, notably to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

Complementing the discussion, Mr. Liu Zhenmin, USG of UNDESA and co-partner of the SDG learning, training and practice initiative, pointed out the need to find solutions and recommendations for the implementation of the 5 SDGs of this HLPF, notably in the context of the pandemic that produced long-lasting effects for the past two years. 

H.E. Ms. Lopez thanked Mr. Zhenmin for his intervention and introduced the final opening speaker Mr. Leonel Fernandez, former President of the Dominican Republic. After recalling the achievements of the administration throughout his presidential term, Mr. Fernandez highlighted the urgency to provide policy reform and resources to ensure universal quality education. He stated that “…the learning crisis expands inequality, which creates learning deficits with long-term and lasting consequences.” With COVID-19 as our wake-up call, Mr. Fernandez ended the opening session by remarking that education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.

The opening session was followed by session 1, 2030 Agenda and global challenges-Interconnections: A reflection on nuclear weapons and SDG implementation co-organized by UNITAR Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture/HOPe Partners: GASPPA. The event raised the issue of the interconnections between nuclear weapons issues and sustainability (SDGs). Panellists included Toshiya HOSHINO, Professor at Osaka School of International Public Policy; Danielle McLaughlin, Project Lead of Horizon 2045 Legal Strategies; Hidehiko Yuzaki, Governor, Hiroshima Prefecture; and Mihoko Kumamoto, Director, UNITAR's Division for Prosperity.

The session addressed interconnections between security issues (including nuclear weapons) and sustainability (achieving the SDGs) and discussed how the promotion of nuclear disarmament and the elimination of nuclear weapons could contribute to achieving SDGs and the realization of a sustainable future for humankind.

The upcoming sessions as well as the previously recorded ones and materials of the SDG learning, training and practice center can be accessed here: https://unitar.org/ny/live 

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