The UN SDG Action Awards, organised by the UN SDG Action Campaign, was held from May 2-4, 2019 at Martin Luther-King Strasse in Bonn, Germany. The event is hosted every year to celebrate individuals, civil society organisations, local governments and change-makers who are taking transformative action to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across a range of categories.
Over 250 speakers from 145 countries, along with around 1700 participants were present at the campaign. Around 60 interactive sessions focusing on seven core themes -- connections, campaigning, mobilisation, inclusion, visualisation, storytelling and creative -- were conducted. To add to the list of activities at the event, 30 innovations and exhibitions were showcased, more than 20 films were screened, over 30 SDG studio talks along with many entertaining performances for the participants, were organised.
On the first day of the campaign, promising individuals leading on the basis of the seven core themes in society, were presented with awards. They included, Elsa Marie D’Silva from India for Safecity: Crowd-map for sexual violence (Visualisation), Samuel Turpin from Switzerland for Humans and Climate Change Stories (Storytelling), Sharon Kalima from Malawi for Make Art / Stop AIDS: Youth (Creative), Andrés Rodriguez for Tackling Ocean Plastic and Global Poverty with IBM Blockchain Technology (Connections), Ghida Anani from Lebanon for A White Dress Doesn’t Cover the Rape #Undress522 (Campaigning), Craig Spence from the UK for Transforming Lives Make Senses for Everyone (Inclusion), and Hamzat Lawal from Nigeria for Follow the Money (Mobilisation).
Three promising and committed young individuals -- M A Muqit, Chairman of Human Safety, Dipu Hafizur Rahman, Regional Manager, Democracy International, and Mohammad Sajib Khandokar, Convenor and Founder, Youth Change Maker, Bangladesh, -- participated at this campaign as delegates from Bangladesh.
Regarding this initiative, M A Muqit said, “This year’s Global Festival of Action was a delight. One behalf of my organisation Human Safety Foundation, I participated at this international forum as a delegate. This event was a ground breaking annual event; an unconventional annual conference positioned to convene the global community taking action to make the SDGs become a reality.”
“Sharing my idea in such an international forum was amazing. I have come across many new ideas which can be fruitful to our country,” added Dipu Hafizur Rahman. “I have felt that the Bangladeshi young generation have tremendous capability to innovate and contribute to these ideas. All they need to do is plan properly and work accordingly.”
Finally, Sajib Khandoker asserted on the importance of such conferences saying, “I believe, change is the key to success and through this conference, I realised how new initiatives are transmissible if shared with more minds. I look forward to participate in more such campaigns in the near future.”