The 2022 SDG momentwhich annually highlights the 17 global goals agreed by countries in December 2015 came as the world faced a deepening crisis against the backdrop of the Ukraine war and the COVID-19 pandemic that have halted development of living costs, especially in low-income countries.
“The world has a long ‘to-do’ list,” António Guterres told world leaders, calling for more funding and investment from the public and private sectors to meet growing needs.
UN Photo/Mark Garden
A moment of great danger
Acknowledging the current “moment of great peril” for our world – marked by conflict, climate catastrophe, division, unemployment, massive displacement and other challenges – Mr Guterres said that while it was “tempting” to set long-term priorities aside, development could not waiting.
“Our children’s education cannot wait. Decent jobs can’t wait. Full equality for women and girls cannot wait. Comprehensive health care, sensible climate protection, protection of biodiversity – these must not be left for tomorrow,” he emphasized, emphasizing that young people and future generations are demanding measures in all of these areas.
“We must not let them down. This is a defining moment… The dangers we face are no match for a united world… Let’s get our world back on track,” the UN chief urged world leaders.
UN Photo/Mark Garden
Solutions are at hand
Echoing Mr Guterres’ words, General Assembly President Csaba Kőrösi said that as the world falls behind, it is time and more necessary than ever to “regain attention to the SDGs”.
“The pandemic was a postcard from the future, a bleak future of interlocking global crises. One that we want to avoid and that we can avoid. We must now regain the speed lost by the pandemic and our inaction. Solutions are in sight,” he said.
Mr Kőrösi added that it was time to “get serious” about saving the world, with all the good and bad consequences that entails, and called on UN member states to fulfill the promises made.
A call to children
The Prime Minister of Barbados and UN Earth Environment Champion Mia Motley held a placard with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals on the podium and reminded the General Assembly what each of the SDGs means, from ending poverty and achieving gender equality Genders up to protect our planet.
“A world driven by a climate crisis cannot offer us a sustainable future. Are we arrogant enough to believe that there will be no failed societies and no extinct species, as history shows us otherwise?” she asked world leaders.
She called on the world’s children to “lead a revolution” and change our habits to end plastic pollution and waste, and “put the feet of leaders to the fire” to make the world a better place to live .
Goodwill Ambassadors join
Poet, activist and supporter of the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, Amanda Gorman shared one of her inspirational pieces, which focused on accountability of leaders, ending poverty and protecting the earth.
Meanwhile, SDG advocates and K-pop superstars BLACKPINK appeared in a video message urging the world to take concrete action to fight climate change and promote sustainable development.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Priyanka Chopra Jonas was responsible for hosting the event. She reminded the room that time is running out as we approach almost halfway through the 2030 deadline to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.
“We all deserve a just, safe and healthy world in which to live. The present and the future are in your hands,” she told the General Assembly.