Hamburg

07 October 2016

Secretary-General’s remarks to media at National German Sustainability Award ceremony [as delivered]

Meinen Damen und Herren, Guten Tag,
 
Let me begin with a word about the 2016 Nobel Prize for Peace.
 
I offer my warmest congratulations to President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia. This recognition comes at a critical time when the Colombian people need hope and encouragement about the peace process.
 
The Prize is an inspiration to press ahead until peace is achieved.
 
Dialogue has begun. I welcome the continuing commitment of the Parties to the cease-fire. I encourage the leaders to conduct a pragmatic dialogue focused on the Colombian people.
 
Colombia can still live in peace. The message of this prize is clear: the Colombian people have come too far to turn back now. The peace process has been and will continue to be an inspiration to the world, [which] it needs. The United Nations will always be with the Colombian people in every step of the peace process. Thank you.
 
Ladies and gentlemen,
 
I am pleased to be here in Germany at such a momentous time.
 
This week, we have crossed the threshold for the Paris Agreement on climate change to enter into force.
 
We now have 74 countries accounting for nearly 59 per cent of global emissions.
 
The Agreement will enter into force on 4 November this year.
 
What once seemed unthinkable is now unstoppable and inevitable.
 
This is great news for sustainability.
 
Germany's leadership under Chancellor Angela Merkel has been critical, both in rallying global support and in leading by example with Germany’s own shift to renewable energy.
 
I am here today to accept the National German Sustainability Award on behalf of the United Nations. And I thank [you] for this recognition.
 
Sustainable social, economic and environmental development is, quite simply, an imperative for people, planet, peace and prosperity.
 
Without it our very future as a society, indeed as a species, is in doubt.
 
That is why the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is so important.
 
All nations have united behind a concrete and comprehensive plan of action with measurable targets and clear goals.
 
Now we must implement it.
 
We must make the Sustainable Development Goals a reality for all people, everywhere.
 
Everybody has a role to play.
 
That includes the media.
 
Today, I ask you to spread the word about the Sustainable Development Goals.
 
They are your Goals.  They are everybody’s Goals.
 
If we work together, we can build a world of peace, prosperity, dignity and opportunity for all on a healthy planet.
 
Thank you.