Deputy Secretary-General of the UN, Amina Mohammed said, “the multiple crises we are experiencing are a wake-up call for the much needed often absent solidarity, adding that to turn crises into an opportunity, “the key lies in the required transitions in renewable energy, food systems and digital connectivity – and in investment in human capital, financing the opportunities.”

Speaking at a High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development today (05 Jul) in New York, the Deputy Secretary-General shared key messages from the Voluntary National Reviews (VNR).

This year marks the seventh year of Voluntary National Review presentations.

The 44 countries presenting this year will bring the total number that have presented to 187 – meaning that we have achieved almost universal reporting.

The deputy chief of the UN commended everyone involved on this achievement.

She said that this year’s reviews provide a stark illustration of the setbacks wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic; the outbreak and continuation of conflicts; and the ongoing triple environmental crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. They speak to the serious impact of the pandemic on education, health care, gender equality, and the economy.

She noted that the “SDG Moment” during the General Assembly in September this year will be an opportunity to focus on these deep transitions, and on the work needed to get the world back on track. It will also be an important milestone on the way to the 2023 SDG Summit.


SDG Advocate Valentina Muñoz also spoke at the Forum. The 19 years old presented with great pride as the youngest Defender of the Sustainable Development Goals so far.
She said, “we must stop fearing the crisis, because the crisis, regardless of its nature, does not take away our political responsibility to ensure human rights and work for sustainable development.”

She invites the international community to “listen, to observe, to negotiate, and to run… because we have an appointment with this agenda and we are all behind schedule. Strength and resistance, for women and dissidents who fight throughout the world. We shall overcome, because fighting for gender equality is our best strategy to ensure a sustainable future.”

Today is the pandemic, tomorrow it will be a world war, or a revolution, or another pandemic (very likely), and then there will be another crisis, and another, and another, the SDG Advocate said.

She said that it is not about whether or not there is a crisis, because there always is, it is about what we are capable of doing to overcome the crisis.

Muñoz said, “we cannot stop, we cannot postpone our Sustainable Development Goals, because time is ticking and things must be done not tomorrow, not later, not in 135 years, not when our political leaders decide they have the "will" to do it. No, this is a global agreement regarding the actions we will take, this is no longer a negotiation. That is why the 2030 Agenda is called an agenda and not a wish list.”

The SDG Advocate also said, “with great anger and sorrow, today I stand on this territory, in which my colleagues resist a violent attack on their reproductive rights, an attack that reverberates in public health discussions around the world. And COVID was definitely not the one who signed it. I am referring to the repeal of the constitutional right to abortion, a right that is based on our 2030 Agenda, specifically under SDG 3.”

She said, “with all due respect, it seems that a man with a gun has more rights than a person with a uterus. And that is not the fault of any pandemic.”

Valentina Muñoz, is an influencer, a youth feminist activist and a digital rights advocate. In 2018, she was part of the first female team to become world champion of the First LEGO League international robotics competition. In 2020, she was selected as one of the most influential young people in Chile by Ashoka and recognized as the youngest programmer to contribute to the construction of the Artificial Intelligence Policy in her country. Now 19 years old, she is the President of the Latin American Association of Young Women for Ideas (AMUJI ONG) and is a prominent figure in the tech community with more than 19k followers on Instagram.