By Deputy Secretary-General
Let me begin with my deepest thanks to all the SDG Advocates here today, especially to the co-chairs: President Akufo-Addo of Ghana and Prime Minister Solberg of Norway.
Thank you for stepping up. Thank you for raising your inspiring voices for a sustainable future.
Nelson Mandela talked about the long walk. We are on a journey together.
We are in now in the fourth year of implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
The good news is SDG momentum is with us, especially in Africa.
102 countries have presented their voluntary national reviews — another 51 will do so next year.
But we know progress everywhere needs to be accelerated.
We need to boost ambition. We need to see more concrete actions, especially in funding, to move the needle in areas such as health, education, climate, and gender equality.
Your individual and collective actions will be critical.
We need you to keep leading and inspiring.
We need you to keep speaking out on the need to reach the most vulnerable first, and leave no one behind.
Africa can lead the world in implementing the SDGs. I have seen it every corner of the continent, most recently when the leadership of the African Union, led by President Kagame, approved far reaching reforms to the organisation.
Achieving the Goals by 2030 is a big task, but it is doable.
It is also an opportunity for ground-breaking and innovative partnerships that leverage the resources and talents of everyone, everywhere.
Too many in our world today think they can go it alone. We know we can only get there by working together.
You are innovators, creators, and leaders. You are taking action every day, everywhere.
You know taking action together on the Sustainable Development Goals isn’t just right – it’s imperative for our global village.
The SDGs are not merely an inspiring action plan, they are good business and fit for purpose.
And as we will soon hear, the private sector is adjusting business models to align with the SDGs, and investing in solutions that bring us closer to achieving the Goals.
All of this requires new thinking, new ways of work, new ways of coming together.
And all of us have a role to play – the interconnected, universal and transformative nature of the SDGs means that we can all contribute in ways big and small.
NGOs, community groups, faith-based groups, and individuals.
This is our global commitment and communal action plan to reach a sustainable future, together.
Since the SDGs affect everyone, we all have a responsibility to ensure that all groups are represented and have their voices heard – young people, women, the global south.
On our long and challenging walk to 2030, let’s keep on urging governments to accelerate action and urging the people around us to mobilize a movement for 2030.
Let us ramp up our efforts to build a more sustainable, peaceful, secure, equitable world. Starting now.
Let’s keep on walking the talk.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.