UNGA is dead. It’s the sideshows that really matter.

NEW YORK — If everyone who turns up to the United Nations General Assembly really cared about the things they say they care about, wouldn’t the world be a better place by now?

After decades of progress in reducing poverty and improving health outcomes, in recent years the world has started falling far behind in efforts to meet the 17 U.N. sustainable development goals (SDGs), agreed to by all governments in 2015. On some issues, including gender equality, the world is going backwards.

So what, then, is the point of 150 heads of state and government gathering in New York this week? And can a series of side summits — convening everyone from Clinton administration alums to tech activists to European royals — change anything?

New York City in the second half of September is now a two-week festival attracting all those who deal with global challenges.

Often it’s about seeing and being seen.

Celebrities here can take an easy stand, without crossing domestic partisan political lines. Everyone from Korean megastars BTS to American actors like Matt Damon and Goldie

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