World Leaders to Address Climate Action at 74th UN General Assembly

World leaders are expected to demonstrate the actions they will take to protect the planet and ensure the wellbeing of people all over the world.


16 September 2019 UNGA Summit Update. Every year, in September, world leaders will come to the UN Headquarters in New York to participate in a series of summits and high-level meetings (see where they are expected to demonstrate the actions they will take to protect the planet and ensure the wellbeing of people all over the world.

Established in 1945 under the Charter of the United Nations, the General Assembly is the chief policymaking of the United Nations composed of all 193 Members of the United Nations.

The 74th UNGA begins 17 September 2019. PC UN Photo Evan Schneider.

This September marks the beginning of the General Assembly’s 74th session, where the United Nations will address issues of critical global importance including the environmental climate crisis facing the world today.

Four years after landmark agreements on climate change and sustainable development, the stakes are high. We are witnessing severe sea level rise, our oceans are warming, cyclones are intense, destructive flooding and droughts are extreme than ever before. People have been displaced, livelihoods destroyed, ecosystems under threat placing health at risk, and the future of our children, uncertain.

Speaking at the ACP Fisheries Ministers Meeting in Apia last week, Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi again stressed the impacts of climate change on small island states.

“As  ACP members let us  continue to demand urgent global climate action, as we are countries that have more to lose but contribute little to the cause.”

“Many of our countries here know from repeated past experiences how natural catastrophes can devastate an entire country, claim and disrupt peoples’ lives and set back years of economic development.”

“As small island developing states, our limited resources and lack of adaptive capacity makes the burden of rehabilitation a difficult undertaking.  Hence, addressing the adverse impacts of climate change remains a critical priority issue for Samoa and our Blue Pacific continent,” reiterated the Samoa Prime Minister.

Five other summits will take place alongside the UNGA including a Climate Action Summit and a review of the Samoa Pathway.


23 September | The impacts of climate change are accelerating, but with urgent and transformative action, it is still possible to limit global average temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, averting the most disastrous consequences. This Summit presents leaders from government, the private sector and civil society with the opportunity to demonstrate the solutions they are pursuing to reduce emissions and build climate resilience and adaptation. It will be preceded by the Youth Climate Summit on 21 September, for young leaders who are driving climate action to showcase their solutions and to meaningfully engage with decision-makers on the defining issue of our time.


24-25 September 2019 | Countries in 2015 unanimously adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — the most ambitious undertaking ever to transform our world to boost prosperity and ensure well-being for all while protecting the environment. The SDG Summit will allow world

leaders and other stakeholders to demonstrate how they intend to accelerate action to transform our societies and economies, as we move towards the five-year anniversary of the Goals, with just over a decade left to the target date of 2030.



23 September | The first-ever High-level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage will launch new efforts to provide access for all to affordable, inclusive and resilient health systems. The meeting will galvanize global commitments to ensure health for all, recognizing the strong links to climate action and the fact that health is a human right and a precondition, outcome and driver of sustainable development.




26 September 2019 | Mobilizing sufficient financing remains a major challenge in realizing the 2030 Agenda, and investments that are critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals remain underfunded. Trade-restrictive measures have also accelerated, and debt risks are rising, hampering the ability of many countries to invest in the Sustainable Development Goals. The High-Level Dialogue on Financing for Development will bring together leaders from Government, business and the financial sector to help unlock the resources and partnerships needed and accelerate progress.


27 September 2019 | Small island developing states are among the most vulnerable countries in the world. They face a unique set of issues relating to their small size, remoteness, narrow resource and export base, and exposure to external economic shocks and global environmental challenges, including the impacts of climate change. Five years after an ambitious agreement – the SAMOA Pathway — to support sustainable development in small island developing states, the High-Level Review will discuss progress on combating the devastating impact of climate change, building economic and environmental resilience, and other challenges.