UN Secretary-General extends Prime Minister’s role as SDG Advocate

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has announced the new composition of his Sustainable Development Goals Advocacy Group. He has called on Norway’s Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, to continue her work as Co-chair, together with the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Background: At a UN Summit in 2015, UN member states agreed on the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Secretary-General’s SDG Advocates were subsequently appointed to mobilise the global community to achieve the SDGs. 

In 2013, soon after becoming Norway’s Prime Minister, Ms Solberg was appointed Co-chair of the Advocacy Group for the previous set of goals – the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – by the then UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon.

Following the adoption of the SDGs by 193 countries at the UN in September 2015, Prime Minister Solberg accepted Ban Ki-moon’s invitation to co-chair the SDG Advocacy Group when the MDG deadline expired at the end of December 2015.

With a renewed mandate from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Ms Solberg is now actively engaged in the work to achieve the global goals for the sixth consecutive year. 

Ms Solberg underlines that the 17 SDGs are universal and apply to all countries. They provide a road map for meeting the challenges of our time, including poverty, inequality, unemployment, armed conflict, violent extremism, forced migration and climate change.

In Ms Solberg’s view, the 2030 Agenda, with the 17 SDGs, provides the best policy framework and the best action plan for achieving a just, equitable, and sustainable world for all. Success will require the full participation of political leaders, international organisations, the private sector, civil society and educational institutions. 

As Prime Minster Solberg said at the SDG Moment event during the AU summit in February 2019, ‘By joining forces to achieve our goals, we can turn hope into reality – leaving no one behind.’

The collective global effort to achieve the SDGs is the starting point for all Norway’s development policy.

The Secretary-General’s SDG Advocates are:


  • Mr Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana
  • Ms Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway


  • HM Queen Mathilde of Belgium
  • HRH Muhammadu Sanusi II, Emir of Kano (Nigeria)
  • HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, co-founder of the Qatar Foundation (Qatar)
  • Mr Richard Curtis, screenwriter, producer and film director (UK)
  • Ms Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, activist for the environment and indigenous rights (Chad)
  • Mr Jack Ma, founder and Executive Chairman of the Alibaba Group (China)
  • Mrs Graça Machel, President of the Foundation for Community Development (Mozambique)
  • Mrs Dia Mirza, actress and film producer (India)
  • Dr Alaa Murabit, founder of Voice of Libyan Women (Canada)
  • Mrs Nadia Murad Basee Taha, Chair and President of Nadia’s Initiative (Iraq)
  • Mr Edward Ndopu, founder of Global Strategies on Inclusive Education (South Africa)
  • Mr Paul Polman, Chair of the International Chamber of Commerce (the Netherlands)
  • Mr Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University (US)
  • Ms Marta Vieira da Silva, footballer, Orlando Pride (Brazil)
  • Mr Forest Whitaker, founder and CEO, Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative, UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation (US)