New York

25 September 2019

Deputy Secretary-General's closing remarks at High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development [as prepared for delivery]

Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

What an encouraging way to conclude this SDG Summit.
The spoken word, the voice of youth, the commitment of civil society, the power of an active citizenry and the leadership of our governments.
Together they remind us of the boundless potential of humanity to create a better future for all.
I take away three concrete messages from your discussions these last two days.
First, a welcome and clear renewal of the commitment by leader after leader to implement the 2030 Agenda.
This is absolutely critical to respond to challenges that affect all countries: poverty, gross inequalities, discrimination against women and girls; climate change and a rapidly deteriorating natural environment.
Second, I sensed wide recognition that we are off track to achieve the Goals by 2030 – and real determination to get us back on track.
We heard an impressive range of acceleration actions by governments, the private sector, local authorities, civil society, the philanthropic sector, the scientific community and more.
And whether through the Special Events with key stakeholders or through the numerous activities at the SDG Action Zone, the global movement behind the Goals continues to grow.
Third, the task ahead is clear.

In issuing a global appeal for a decade of action to deliver the Goals by 2030, the Secretary-General noted that we can still achieve the SDGs; that a transformation of society and the economy is required to do so.
As the Secretary-General said, we need global action, local action and people action.
Together with colleagues across the UN Development System, I look forward to working with you all to kickstart the decade of action.
To conclude, I congratulate Heads of State and Government, the President of the General Assembly and all of you who helped make this Summit a success.
Now let’s make it a turning point for people and for planet and deliver a Decade of Action for the SDGs.
Thank you.