‘2015 can and must be time for global action’

Informal Meeting of the Plenary of the General Assembly.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon looked forward to a “year of opportunity,” as he briefed the 193-Member United Nations General Assembly on his priorities for 2015, and called for transformative global action that would ensure sustainable development and human dignity for all.

“2015 is a chance for major advances across the three inter-connected pillars of our work: development, peace and human rights,” he said during an informal meeting of the Assembly, praising Member States’ work to build a new development agenda, including a set of sustainable development goals.

“In my synthesis report, now delivered to you – “The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet – I am offering my support of this work and some further ideas on the road ahead.”

The report aims to support States’ discussions going forward, taking stock of the negotiations on the post-2015 agenda and reviewing lessons from pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It stresses the need to “finish the job” of the Goals – both to help people now and as a launch pad for the new agenda. Adding that the report proposes a set of “essential elements” to help ensure that States’ vision is communicated accurately to the general public – and achieved nationally – he said adoption of the new agenda would be the “signal moment” of 2015.

Briefing the press on the report earlier in the day, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning, Amina Mohammed, said the emerging sustainability agenda is “bold and transformative” and the report highlights six essential elements that will help drive country-level implementation: dignity, people, prosperity, planet, justice and partnership.

“[These elements] are meant to inspire Member States and all stakeholders in their efforts to agree on a transformative and communicable sustainable development agenda,” she said, explaining that the strength of the six elements lies in their interdependence with each other, and they must be considered as a whole.

Mr. Ban stressed that the results of the new development programme would be inseparable from climate action, reminding States of their pledges at the recently-concluded 20th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 20) to the landmark UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in Lima, Peru, to present national commitments in the first quarter of 2015.

A slate of upcoming UN conferences this year – on disaster risk reduction in March, on financing for development in July, and on climate change in December, as well as a summit-level meeting in New York this coming September – would seek to tackle the linked challenges of sustainable development.

“At each of these milestones, we will continue to be ambitious to end poverty, reducing inequality and exploit the opportunities that accompanied the climate challenge,” he said.

He made a specific reference to the impact on development of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which was a major setback for the hardest hit countries. Affected nations were beginning to see improvements but people and resources were still needed. At the same time, preparations were needed for the next epidemic, “wherever it may occur.”

Source: UN News Centre

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