Opening remarks by H.E. Mr Peter Thomson, President of the 71st Session of the General Assembly at SDG MOMENT event
20 September 2016
Mr Secretary General, Excellencies, distinguished delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen. Thank you very much for your careful attention.
Today begins with a Special Session dedicated to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. These were agreed by all Member States 12 months ago. They are now already central to the efforts of many Member States to transform their societies and will be reviewed each year in the High Level Political Forum. We have 14 years to go – every year counts and what we all do every year will affect the eventual success of this plan.
This year will be no exception – as President of the General Assembly I have adopted the theme – “The Sustainable Development Goals: A Universal Push to Transform our World”, and I have formed a team specifically dedicated to the implementation of the Goals – in all areas – education, partnership and especially financing.
It is logical and necessary that we reflect on our work to date as we enter SDGs Year 2. And I propose that each year, at the start of the High Level Segment of the General Assembly, we reflect on how we are doing – identifying both progress and challenges.
In addition to our review, it is especially important that we continue our work to spread knowledge of the SDGs around the world. Not just national planners, but everyone on the planet should know about, understand, and own these 17 goals.
The 71st session of the General Assembly is going to be about getting the Goals moving.
The 2030 Agenda is a political manifesto developed by world leaders. As they implement it, they are working as advocates, catalysts, and conveners. They are stimulating a transformation.
With these Goals, leaders are focusing on their legacy – what they offer their children, grandchildren and the generations that follow.
These Goals are humanity’s recipe for a sustainable world for them and we must all commit to them. Let’s start by making them famous, please join me by taking the global goals badge in front of you and wearing it today and this week to show your commitment to their progress.
Excellencies, the stakes are very high. The long-term welfare and future of the people and planet depends on our collective success now.
The person who oversaw the hard work that brought these goals to fruition and who has given his full commitment to them is our Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon. It is my privilege to introduce him now.