Following are UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, at the opening of the exhibition My Planet, My Future: Space for the Sustainable Development Goals, in New York today:
I am pleased to be with you this evening.
Nearly three years ago, the global community came together and committed to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people may enjoy peace and prosperity. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), is our road map for this new vision of the future we aim to create for everyone, everywhere.
These universal and interrelated Goals are ambitious and transformative. Business as usual is no longer an option. We need to harness all the tools available to achieve the Goals by 2030. Today, with this exhibition, we have an opportunity to highlight the critical role that space science and technology can play in sustainable development.
Today, space-based technology enables us to monitor water quality, track diseases, respond to natural disasters, survey crops and natural resources, and much more — in real time and in high resolution. Evidence-based policymaking is at our fingertips. The use of big data and socioeconomic analysis is changing how Governments are addressing development challenges.
However, equitable access to such technologies is vital. This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. I am heartened by the recent resolution endorsed by Member States at the UNISPACE+50 event. It committed to strengthening international cooperation and the global governance of outer space activities and encouraged coordination to ensure that space science, technology and applications serve the SDGs.
I am also encouraged by the work of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs to close the “space divide” — the gap between those who have access to space and its benefits, and those who do not. Our meaningful and responsible use of space science and technologies can help us build sustainable and resilient societies. Let us harness the full potential of a data-driven approach to sustainable development to improve lives and make the world a better place for all people, everywhere.