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Despite Global Crises, Sustainable Development Goals ‘a Blueprint’ of Solutions For Healthy, Inclusive World, Deputy Secretary-General Tells Goalkeepers Event

Following is the text of UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s video message to the Goalkeepers event:  “The Sustainable Development Goals and the future of progress in disruptive times”, in New York today:

I am pleased to greet this important event.  Our Sustainable Development Goals face an extraordinary convergence of challenges, exacerbated by Covid-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, pervasive conflicts elsewhere and the triple threat of pollution, biodiversity loss and the climate emergency.

Trust in our institutions and their ability to deliver for all is eroding globally.  The war in Ukraine is having a profound impact on some of the most vulnerable people and countries.  Many developing nations were already struggling to recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Now they face rising interest rates; unmanageable debt burdens and a cost-of-living crisis with skyrocketing food, energy and fertilizer bills.

Millions of lives and livelihoods are being destroyed and we are on the precipice of a global food security crisis.  The Secretary-General has warned, “there is a real risk that multiple famines will be declared in 2022.  And 2023 could be even worse.”

We need to bring developed and developing countries together to find global solutions. Because this is a global crisis.  We need to be clear.  There is enough food, there are solutions to the energy crisis and there is enough finance for every country to achieve our common goals.

But we must work together.  We have a blueprint.  The 2030 Agenda [for Sustainable Development] and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.  They promise and can deliver a world of dignity and opportunity for all on a healthy planet.  But we are off track.  And we only have eight years remaining.  Business as usual is simply not an option.

It may seem that we are pushing an impossibly heavy load uphill.  But from my position as Deputy Secretary-General, I see many more reasons for hope than despair.  One reason I am hopeful is the current generation of young people.  They are challenging the status quo and driving change, whether on climate action, racial justice, human rights, gender equality or access to decent work and living wages.

They understand that we must create a more sustainable and inclusive world in which we are one with nature and each other.  And they have growing influence to hold Governments and corporations accountable.

We have the knowledge, means and capacity to transform our world and rescue the SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals].  But effective implementation depends on all of us.  There are thousands of innovative SDG-aligned solutions being employed by civil society, the private sector and Governments around the world.

Let us work to scale them up to make the difference we need.  Let us collectively rise to the occasion, and together build a resilient and sustainable future, leaving absolutely no one behind.  Thank you.

For information media. Not an official record.