Giving Compass' Take:

• The United Nations Foundation shares six global issues that require shared action: climate change, the SDGs, funding the future, modernizing the UN, inequalities, and humanitarian crises. 

Even as the pandemic dominates the news, these issues still require attention. 

• Read about evaluating progress towards the SDGs.

As expected, 2018 was a doozy for international cooperation and global development, featuring a mixture of highs, lows, and anxiety (at unhealthy doses) all around.

But bright spots emerged, including the rise of new and refreshing voices standing up for collective action and global progress. In the face of this uncertainty, 2019 will be a critical year for shared action on issues that affect us all and require working together.

Here are six global issues to watch:

  1. CLIMATE CHANGE REALITY TAKES HOLD – WHAT’S NEXT FOR AMBITION? The critical moment for enhanced climate ambition in 2019 will be the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit, which he will host for heads of state and leaders from other sectors during the opening of the UN General Assembly in September.
  2. THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS AT FOUR YEARS: TAKING STOCK In 2018, organizations and communities launched several exciting initiatives to track progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and build ambition throughout 2019.
  3. WALKING THE WALK ON FINANCING A BETTER FUTURE Much of the conversation around the SDGs and the Paris Agreement has focused on the scale of the challenge, with an estimated $5-7 trillion in annual investments needed.
  4. A MORE MODERN AND EFFECTIVE UN Since he began his tenure, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has prioritized modernization and reform of the organization, and in 2018 he ushered through three related strands of reform: peace and security, management, and the development system.
  5. OVERCOMING INEQUALITIES AND DEFENDING HUMAN RIGHTS While the UN celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 2018, the world also saw its 12th consecutive year of decline in global freedom, with 71 countries suffering net declines in political and civil liberties.
  6. RESPONDING TO HUMANITARIAN CRISES Conflict and the increase of natural disasters continue to impede development, peace, and security worldwide – dimming the prospects of achieving the SDGs in these fragile environments.

Read the full article about global issues to watch in 2019 by Kaysie Brown at United Nations Foundation.