The 25th September 2020 is Global Goals Day and marks five years since the Global Goals (or Sustainable Development Goals) were agreed to by every nation in the world, as well as the 75th anniversary of the UN.  However, this year’s celebrations have taken on a new level of importance in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and aim to drive action towards a recovery that is better for people and planet.

Global Goals Day is part of a wider week of awareness raising to inspire leaders, organisations and local people to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – also known as the Global Goals. These goals have gained traction and significance as Covid-19 threatens to reverse decades of progress on lifting people out of poverty and tackling the climate emergency.

Bristol has been uniquely served by a network of actors driving ambition towards the SDGs. This year, Bristol’s SDG Alliance is united in calling for increased action to achieve the Goals. The city is one of the world’s leaders in working locally on the Global Goals. We have aligned our One City Plan with the Goals, and were the first UK city to carry out a Voluntary Local Review on the city’s progress on the Goals, which has been used to  highlight local need and inform local action. The Alliance is a network of stakeholders who advocate for adopting and implementing the SDGs locally, nationally and internationally, through collective and organisational actions. The Alliance has grown to over 150 members with representatives ranging from some of our key public sector anchor institutions, large private sector businesses and local community organisations.

Bristol is also planning the world’s first immersive education and visitor Centre for the SDGs. The Global Goals Centre aims to engage schoolchildren and the public with the Goals in a fun, revelatory and inspiring immersive experience, enabling them to explore the links between their own lives and people, places and issues throughout the world. The centre’s aspiration is to offer tools and inspiration for everyone, to help speed up progress towards a greener, fairer future.

COVID-19 has hit the world’s poorest and most vulnerable hardest and makes the need to address inequality and poverty even more urgent. UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called for renewed ambition, mobilization, leadership and collective action: to reset in light of Covid, and recover better together in order to create more inclusive and equitable societies everywhere, and overcome the Climate and Ecological Emergencies that many have declared. The UN have released a brilliant short film highlighting the call Nations United

Locally Bristol has had strong political support from Mayor Marvin Rees and his Cabinet:  ‘Bristol is committed to meeting the Global Goals locally and we are basing our Recovery plans on these Goals. Achieving the Goals can only be done in partnership and, on this significant day marking 10 years to reach the Goals, we invite Bristol businesses, community groups and individuals to get behind these Goals and help create a greener, fairer city where all can flourish.’

Cabinet member for the SDGs Cllr Shah also said: ‘I’m proud that Bristol is taking the lead in working towards the Global Goals in our city. We are committed to ensuring we tackle inequality, poverty and the climate emergency – all issues that have been highlighted during the Covid pandemic. This is an ideal opportunity to build back better, using the Goals as a guide, and I fully support Bristol’s SDG Alliance as they take a lead on this.’

Local people and organisations are invited to help #TurnItAround


  • Raise Awareness of SDG issues and get informed: Sign up for the Global Goals Centre newsletter, donate, and share ideas on social media.
  • Raise your voice and hold leaders to account:Sign this statement calling for more ambitious action from member states here:
  • Commit: to make this a Turning Point for People and Planet; put the Goals at the heart of your plans and to use the next ten years to deliver all the Global Goals.

For more information or to get involved in the SDG Alliance contact:

Or follow the Alliance and Global Goals Centre on social media:

@BristolSDGs @GlobalGoalsCtre


Jenny Foster (Project Lead, Global Goals Centre) and Allan Macleod (SDG Associate, City Office) on behalf of Bristol SDG Alliance