Following on the success of the previous two years, this year’s festival held from 2–4 May, brought together over 1,500 participants from over 150 countries. Participants came from diverse backgrounds ranging from activists to high-level representatives, and the festival had a dynamic atmosphere with participants sharing different perspectives and ideas. The festival programme included plenaries and interactive sessions, innovations and exhibits, a film festival and an SDG Studio, as well as various arts and musical performances and evening events. The plenaries were broadcast live on UN Web TV. Many of the sessions focused on the importance of this year with the first SDG Summit to be held at the UN headquarters in New York in September.
One of the highlights of the SDG Global Festival of Action was the SDG Action Awards. The UN SDG Action Campaign runs the SDG Action Awards to celebrate individuals, civil society organizations, subnational governments, foundations, networks, and private sector leaders who are advancing the sustainable development movement in the most transformative, impactful and innovative way. Peace Boat Director and Founder, Yoshioka Tatsuya, was invited to be one of the judges of the awards as part of the partnership between Peace Boat and the UN SDG Action Campaign. “It was incredibly inspiring to see the amazing work that is being done around the world for the Sustainable Development Goals and I was honoured to be a part of this process,” said Yoshioka. The winners of the 2019 UN SDG Action Awards were recognized at a special ceremony at the SDG Global Festival of Action.
The SDG Global Festival of Action was an opportunity for campaigners, experts and advocates working on the Sustainable Development Goals to share ideas and perspectives. Peace Boat was delighted to be able to share experiences from the Global Voyages on the SDGs and to find new partners and ideas to further expand the work on the 2030 Agenda in partnership with the UN SDG Action Campaign.