New York

23 September 2016

Secretary-General’s remarks at United Nations Development Group side event: “Sustainable Development Goals Coming to Life – Envisaging a common and resilient future” [as delivered]

We live in an era of unprecedented opportunity.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a vision and a roadmap for a future of peace, dignity and prosperity for all on a healthy planet.

But we cannot ignore that we also live in a time of unprecedented global challenge. 

The impacts of climate change are increasing daily.

The number of major violent conflicts has tripled since 2008. 

More people have been forced from their homes than at any time since the end of the United Nations was founded. 

These challenges threaten to reverse development gains and impede future progress. 

We must address them swiftly and decisively.

We must prioritize prevention – of disasters and conflict.

And we must live up to the pledge to leave no one behind.

That means focusing our efforts on helping poorest, the most vulnerable, the marginalized and the hardest to reach.

Last year, the international community laid a firm foundation for future progress.

We have the Sustainable Development Goals; the Sendai Framework for disaster risk reduction: the Addis Ababa Action Agenda for financing; and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

This year we held the first ever World Humanitarian Summit.

And just this week, Member States committed to address the challenges of large movements of refugees and migrants.

What we need now is action and implementation, backed by political will and inclusive and dynamic partnerships. 

There is no time to waste.

We need action from everyone, everywhere. 

National and local governments, cities and rural areas. 

We must rally businesses, entrepreneurs and philanthropists. 

We must listen to scientists and learn from academia. 

We must involve civil society in defining and implementing policies – and give it the space and the authority to hold us to account.

I pledge the full support of the UN family in this undertaking. 

This morning, you will hear how the UN Development Group and the UN SDG Action Campaign are working to make this happen.

Our collective responsibility is to shape a resilient, sustainable future for all. 

I ask you to challenge your leaders, your peers and yourselves. 

Inspire those around you to care about each other and the planet we share.

Let us bring the Sustainable Development Goals to life for all.

Thank you very much for your commitment. Thank you.