I am pleased to send greetings to all participants at this important event. I thank Bangladesh, Benin, the Netherlands and Sweden for organizing it.
I congratulate Member States for adopting an ambitious and transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This is a plan of action for our planet and all people. We have collectively committed ourselves to furthering sustainable development by eradicating poverty, protecting our planet and achieving a life of dignity for all.
With the SDGs, our pledge is not only to finish the work we started with the MDGs but to embrace a truly ambitious agenda to eradicate hunger, poverty, and preventable child deaths. Such is the level of ambition of the new agenda.
But ambition alone is not enough. Words, however noble, need to become deeds. Implementation will be the litmus test of the new agenda.
Nowhere will this be more important than in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), where challenges are greatest. After many years of stagnation and low growth, LDCs are now achieving encouraging economic progress with some signs of structural transformation. The new agenda provides the opportunity to build on this encouraging signs to pursue sustainable development.
I urge you to keep the political momentum alive so that we can translate words into action. We must rally international solidarity and a stronger global partnership for development, mobilizing civil society, the private sector and others. It will be essential to engage in the High-Level Political Forum on sustainable development – the central review platform for the agenda – to keep the focus on implementation.
Inspired by their adoption, let us pledge to realize all the SDGs, and usher in a life of dignity for all.