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UNICEF USA Makes Progress on SDGs through Advocacy

September 24, 2018

UNICEF USA Intern Sarmishta Govindhan reflects on how she’s witnessed UNICEF advocates help to advance the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals through their grassroots advocacy efforts here in the US.


The 73rd session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 73) opened in New York City this week. In light of this year’s theme, “Making the United Nations Relevant to All People,” UNICEF USA intern Sarmishta Govindhan reflects on how she’s witnessed UNICEF advocates help to advance the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals through their grassroots advocacy efforts here in the United States.

Following the launch of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which outlines 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for tackling some of the most pressing challenges in our global community, UNICEF USA and its supporters were charged with ensuring that the needs of children and young people were met within these goals. Our call-to-action was clear: articulating a global strategy for young people that protects and asserts the rights of all children to receive a quality education, live free from violence and abuse, and to survive and thrive.

A Commitment To Leave No One Behind

One of the issues emphasized by the UNICEF 2017 Annual Report was the need to address inequalities and promote equity. UNICEF recognizes that humanitarian emergencies, including violence, climate change/environmental degradation, and disease epidemics further compound the vulnerability of children and deeply reduce their resilience to these systemic shocks. Additionally, UNICEF USA supports UNICEF in the need for intergenerational dialogues and solidarity with young people in future approaches to solving global issues, and empowering young people to be agents of change in their own futures.

These are the big questions: how do we prioritize and accelerate progress for the poorest and most vulnerable children? How can we monitor equity gaps to better reach marginalized communities? And, importantly, how do we make progress on these issues through meaningful partnerships and relationships with the American people, government, private sector and socially conscious organizations?

UNICEF USA Advocacy in Action

One of the many ways UNICEF USA works towards creating safe and sustainable futures for children is through advocacy. As the 115th Session of the U.S. Congress winds down this year, UNICEF USA is proud to reflect on the many opportunities our supporters took to push for further progress on the Sustainable Development Goals.

UNICEF USA supporters spoke to their members of Congress about the Protecting Girls’ Access to Education Act, a bill that encourages the U.S. Government to make education a priority for children uprooted by conflict and crises. They voiced their support for the Reach Every Mother and Child Act, legislation that would help end preventable deaths of moms and kids within a generation. What’s more, thanks to the support of grassroots advocates across the country, both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have recommended $132.5 million for the U.S. Government’s contribution to UNICEF for Fiscal Year 2019, ensuring that UNICEF’s work can continue for the year ahead.

A Better Future for Children

UNICEF USA believes that when all children are given the tools and support they need to thrive and succeed, we all enjoy the benefits of a more safe and sustainable world. Of course, there will always be more to do, but our passion for children and our momentum together is undefeatable. Onward!