UN Chief — Global Issues

As world leaders are expected to gather next week for the annual high-level opening of the General Assembly, the U.N.’s Midtown East campus the weekend welcomed a wide range of energetic stakeholders – from youth groups and women’s organizations to mayors, community activists and business leaders – seeking to build support for the goals ahead of the SDG Summit.

The Summit of September 18 and 19 will mark the halfway point of the SDGs, between their launch in 2015 and their deadline 2030.

The 2030 goals are not on track

As things currently stand, the goals and promise of UN member countries when they adopted the 2030 Agenda to “leave no one behind” are in serious trouble: despite some progress, over the years , vast implementation gaps have emerged across the 17 goals, which aim to tackle everything from poverty, hunger and gender equality to access to education and ‘clean energy.

Lack of public interest in achieving the goals, geopolitical frictions and, perhaps most seriously, the global coronavirus pandemic, have forced the SDGs into a global bailout.

“Today, only 15% of the goals are on track, and many of them are going backwards,” the Secretary-General said, adding that: “Monday’s SDG Summit will be the moment to governments to come to the table with concrete plans and proposals. to accelerate progress.

Not just “checking boxes”

But he stressed that the SDGs are not about ticking boxes.

“They are about people’s hopes, dreams, rights and expectations and the health of our natural environment. It’s about righting historic wrongs, healing global divisions and putting our world on a path to lasting peace,” the UN chief said.

Everyone must mobilize to help relaunch the objectives and guarantee a better life for people and the planet.

Mr. Guterres then praised the courage and conviction of the activists present, saying he knew that their global fight for the SDGs “carries a risk to your security… your freedom (and) even your life”.

“I urge you to keep going,” he said, and he also urged those in the business community present “to see that sustainability is the best business plan of all.”

“To the women and young people joining us, continue to call for change in your communities and fight for your rights and a place at every table,” the Secretary-General said.

Finally, the UN chief said: “To local authorities, the SDGs will not be saved in New York. They will be rescued in your communities. So continue to listen to the people in your communities and integrate their needs and concerns into your policies and investments.


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