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DSG/SM/1635
22 September 2021

Citing ‘Code Red for Humanity’ Warning, Deputy Secretary-General Tells Business Forum Combating Climate Crisis Core in Achieving Sustainable Development Goals

Following is the text of UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s video message to the sixth Sustainable Development Goals Business Forum, held today:

I am pleased to greet this sixth SDG [Sustainable Development Goals] Business Forum, which marks the end of the Uniting Business Live series of events held in connection with the seventy-sixth session of the United Nations General Assembly.

I thank the United Nations Global Compact, the International Chamber of Commerce and the Department of Economic and Social Affairs for convening today’s gathering of business leaders with the world at a critical crossroad.

Over the span of a little more than a year, the COVID-19 pandemic has halted many development gains and threatened prospects for shared prosperity.  Global supply chains have been severely disrupted.  Small and medium-sized enterprises have been among the worst-affected.

The United Nations estimates that an additional 119 to 124 million people have been pushed back into poverty.  Furthermore, while the long-term impacts of the pandemic are still unfolding, the world’s climate scientists have just delivered their “code red for humanity” warning about the deepening climate crisis.

It is a moment of overwhelming urgency.  As we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, we must raise our ambition to combat climate change immediately and accelerate our transition towards low-carbon, resilient and inclusive development.

Private sector engagement is going to be indispensable.  We must get back on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.  It makes moral sense and business sense.

Today’s SDG Business Forum has provided concrete examples of private sector action.  I call on you to scale-up these efforts and actively engage in key upcoming summits and events by contributing to the transformation of our food systems, adopting energy compacts and redoubling efforts to adopt a global biodiversity framework.

In all this, reaching out to new partners will be key, especially in the industries that are most critical to deliver a green, inclusive and sustainable recovery from COVID-19.  Let us work hard to deliver on the much-needed transformation at all levels.  Let us innovate.  And let us work together to build resilient businesses, economies, and societies.  I thank you.

For information media. Not an official record.