Press release: UN Summit on Sustainable Development Goals kickstarts ambitious action to deliver for people and the planetTirus Wainaina
States, businesses and civil society gear up for decisive decade for Agenda 2030
New York, 25 September 2019 – Four years after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and with efforts off track for meeting its objectives, world leaders today called for a decade of ambitious action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 and announced actions they are taking to advance the agenda.
In the political declaration, “Gearing up for a decade of action and delivery for sustainable development,” unanimously adopted at the opening of the UN Summit on the Sustainable Development Goals, UN Member States pledged to mobilize financing, enhance national implementation and strengthen institutions to achieve the sustainable development objectives by the target date and leave no one behind.
“The 2030 Agenda was a feat of multilateralism, and multilateralism is the only way for us to address complex global challenges faced by present and future generations,” said the President of the UN General Assembly, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, who convened the summit. “A decade of action and delivery is our opportunity to fulfill the historic promise of the 2030 Agenda and ensure collective, global action and shared responsibility. We must take action – striving together, delivering for all.”
UN Secretary-General António Guterres, in his remarks, urged Member States to live up to their commitments and called on all sectors of society to mobilize for the 2030 Agenda. “We must step up our efforts,” he said. “Now is the time for bold leadership, both individual and collective,” he emphasized, calling for ambitious action by Member States, local authorities, and the private sector, and asking the media, academia and young people to mobilize partnerships and hold leaders to account. “We need to move together, leaving no one behind,” Guterres said.
Leaders from government, business, and civil society are gathering at UN Headquarters for a week of summits and high-level meetings focused on accelerating action on the Sustainable Development Goals. Yesterday leaders announced potentially far-reaching steps to confront climate change, including initiatives to finance and build a new generation of sustainable cities, increase energy efficiency and support sustainable climate-friendly cooling, conserve and restore marine and terrestrial ecosystems, promote regenerative agriculture and the greening of supply chains, help people secure employment, improve health, and promote gender equality.
Actions announced specifically in support of today’s SDG Summit include, among others, Brazil committing to reduce premature mortality caused by non-communicable diseases by one-third by 2030; Finland pledging to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035; the Maldives partnering with Parley for the Oceans, American Express, ABinBev and Adidas to create a nationwide framework to deliver on many of the Goals; Mexico pledging to provide access to the internet for everyone including vulnerable communities; Greece committing to green growth through circular economy; the Netherlands doubling the target number of people who gain access to justice through Dutch support in parts of Africa and the Middle East; companies from 25 countries committing to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 as part of the UN Global Compact’s ‘Business Ambition for 1.5 °C: Our Only Future’ initiative; and Project Everyone’s ‘World’s Largest Lesson’ engaging more than 500,000 students in Nigeria in learning about the Sustainable Development Goals. The full list of more than 100 acceleration actions is available here: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgactions
Countries in 2015 unanimously adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – the most ambitious undertaking to transform our world to boost prosperity and ensure well-being for all while protecting the environment.
The Secretary-General’s annual progress report as well as the Global Sustainable Development Report by a group of independent scientists issued in advance of the Summit found that progress made so far is in danger of being reversed through worsening social inequalities and potentially irreversible impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss.
With hunger on the rise, greenhouse gas emissions rising, and the world’s most vulnerable bearing the brunt of conflict and inequalities, the two-day SDG Summit is bringing together leaders from governments, the private sector, civil society and international organizations to help generate the ambition and impetus needed to put the world on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
For further information:
- SDG Summit: www.un.org/sdgsummit
- Political declaration of the SDG Summit: https://undocs.org/en/A/HLPF/2019/l.1
- Acceleration Actions registered for the SDG Summit: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgactions
- Transforming our world: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/70/1&Lang=E
- Global Sustainable Development Report: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/globalsdreport/2019
- Annual SDG progress report: www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/progress-report/
- UN GA high-level week: www.un.org/en/summits2019
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