Sep 27, 2016

Refugees, Syria’s civil war and humanitarian crisis, progress on the Paris Climate Change Agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals – these were just a few of the topics on the agenda at this year’s UN General Assembly High-level Week. From the Social Good Summit to The Leaders Summit on Refugees and many things in between, the UN demonstrated, once again, that there is no other organization that brings change-makers together – from all sectors and all corners of the globe – to find a positive way forward for people and planet. Scroll down for our takeaways.


World leaders adopted the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants. The declaration expresses the political will to save lives, protect rights and share responsibility on a global scale. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the declaration “a breakthrough in our collective efforts to address the challenges of human mobility.” Learn more about the declaration.

Participants in the Leaders’ Summit on Refugees, convened by President Obama, increased their contributions to humanitarian appeals in 2016 by US$4.5 billion. Read  the Joint Statement on Leaders’ Summit on Refugees.


An additional 30 countries ratified the Paris Agreement as it took a major step toward entering into force. Countries will meet again in Marrakech in November for COP22.

Paris agreement entry into force logo


Sustainable Development Goals

As the world celebrated one year since their adoption, the Sustainable Development Goals continued to be a focal point of discussions during the week.  Highlighting the leading role young people play in the implementation of the SGDs, the inaugural class of the Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals was announced. You can learn about the actions these young leaders are taking to improve the world around them here.

Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals


The SDGs in Action app was released. Download the app now and you can learn more about the 17 SDGs, get news on your favorite goals, create your own events and invite others to join you in sustainable actions.

sdgs in action app


The UN family got a little bigger.

As world leaders gathered for the Summit on Refugees and Migrants, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) became a specialized agency of the United Nations. As the leading international organization for migration, IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society. Learn more about IOM’s work.

International Organization for Migration