Secretary-General's remarks to press conference on the Outcome Document of the Post-2015 Development Agenda
New York, 3 August 2015
Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen of the media. I am pleased to be here to share some good news for people and our planet.
I am very pleased to be here today with the distinguished Co-Facilitators of this process – Amb. Kamau of Kenya and Amb. Donoghue of Ireland.
I have often said that the year 2015 must be time for global action.
Last night, Member States answered the call to action and made history by approving a bold, ambitious and transformative sustainable development agenda for the next 15 years.
I am joined today by some of the leaders who helped shepherd the process to success. In particular, I want to salute the incredible efforts, energy and diplomatic skills of the Co-Facilitators of the negotiations -- Ambassador David Donoghue of Ireland and Ambassador Macharia Kamau of Kenya.
I also want to thank Mr. Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and Ms. Amina Mohammed, my Special Advisor for the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
They will go through the details and answer your questions, but I wanted to be here to personally express my congratulations and gratitude to everyone who helped make it happen.
The agreement is the product of more than three years of effort that began with the Rio+20 Summit Conference in 2012, the work of my High Level Panel of Eminent Persons, the UN System and ultimately became the most inclusive and transparent negotiation process in UN history.
I thank the Member States who worked to reach consensus on a sweeping agreement. I also want to recognize and commend the leadership of H.E. Mr. Sam Kutesa, the President of the General Assembly and so many others from civil society, the private sector, academia, parliamentarians and millions of people in every corner of the world who shared their vision of the world we want. It was an innovative and epic process.
This is truly a “We the Peoples” Agenda.
The outcome document is called “Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” – and it is a roadmap to ending global poverty, building a life of dignity for all and leaving no one behind. It is also a clarion call to intensify efforts to heal our planet for the benefit of this and future generations.
It greatly expands upon the success of the Millennium Development Goals. It contains 17 Sustainable Development Goals which are integrated, interlinked and indivisible.
In many ways, these global goals represent a “to-do” list for people and the planet.
They are people-centered and planet-sensitive. They are universal – applying to all countries while recognizing different realities and capabilities.
They call for building peaceful, inclusive and well-governed societies with responsive institutions as the basis for shared prosperity. Fundamentally, they recognize that we cannot reach our development goals without addressing human rights and complex humanitarian issues at the same time.
They commit all of us to enhanced multilateral cooperation through a revitalized global partnership among nations and all the world’s citizens.
The SDGs and the new Global Agenda are a fitting tribute on the 70th anniversary of the United Nations Charter.
They address the requirements for all humanity to be able to live decent lives free from poverty, hunger and inequality, with all men and women, girls and boys able to develop their full potential. They commit all of us to be responsible global citizens, caring for the less fortunate as well as for our planet’s ecosystems and climate action on which all life depends.
We have a big, bold agenda before us – now we must work to make it real in people’s lives.
The effort started last month at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa.
It will be followed next month when world leaders will formally approve this 2030 Global Agenda for Sustainable Development here at the United Nations Summit.
It will continue at the Paris Climate Summit where world leaders have pledged to adopt an ambitious universal climate change agreement.
We can be the first generation that ends global poverty, and the last generation to prevent the worst impacts of global warming before it is too late.
The international community took a major step towards achieving this shared goal with this weekend’s agreement. Now we must sustain that momentum.
Implementation and follow-up will be critical. We will need all partners to make this a success. The UN system is mobilizing to work as one for the bold and transformative steps that will be needed. We are ready to hit the ground running. We must continue until we reach our destination of a sustainable, peaceful and prosperous world for all humanity.
Off-the-Cuff on 3 August 2015