Sustainable Development Goals Summit Must Deliver on Commitment Needed to Realize Promise of 2030 Agenda, Says Deputy Secretary-General, Briefing Member States

Following are UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s remarks at the President of the General Assembly’s briefing to the Member States on the Sustainable Development Goals Summit, in New York today:

It is a pleasure to be here with you this afternoon.  In a few short days, we will be moving at full speed so it is great to be able to connect with you, hear your views and situate ourselves for another major high-level week.

Across the SDG [Sustainable Development Goal] Summit, the Climate Ambition Summit, the Financing for Development Dialogue, the three key health meetings or next’ year’s Summit of the Future, we all have one clear goal:  to secure greater momentum, strengthened solidarity and an ever-larger movement to keep the promise of the SDGs alive — for everyone, everywhere.

For its part, the UN Secretariat and UN development system more broadly have been fully mobilized over recent months at all levels both here and in the field.  We are confident that those efforts will bear fruit next week.  As the PGA [President of the General Assembly] has just outlined, the SDG Summit is rightly the centrepiece.  And it is encouraging to see some 80 world leaders ready to speak to their plans and commitments to lift the SDGs in the second half.

We urge all countries to put those messages at the heart of their statements of the general debate — demonstrating the centrality of the SDGs in everything that we do beyond the summit.

I also echo the words of the President in commending delegations for their incredible efforts to secure a clear-headed and forward-leaning political declaration.

Its adoption next week will send a much needed and strong signal to the world:  That the global goals remain a source of hope, unity and direction in a world of division and cascading crisis.  And that the international community is intent on doing all it can together, especially in the area of financing, to maximize progress between now and 2030.

The SDG Action Weekend serves to build momentum as we go into in the SDG Summit and related events of the week — health, finance, climate, et cetera.  It will provide opportunities in particular for the many pillars of the SDG movement to come together and register their contributions and commitments.

The most recent programme was shared with delegations yesterday and further updates will be available on the SDG Summit website in the coming days.  Allow me to provide a quick summary of what we have planned.

Activities here on Saturday will focus on the theme of mobilization, where we expect some 5,000 people to come together from all corners of the globe and all walks of life.

A high-level inspiring and energizing opening segment in the General Assembly Hall will set the tone for the week to come.  It will provide a rallying call to civil society, youth and others with an emphasis on solidarity, determination and possibility.

Over the course of the day, we will provide opportunities for stakeholders to outline their contributions to the SDG Summit and beyond.  This includes civil society, the private sector, youth, women, scientists and local and regional governments — all of which must step up and forward with greater ambition and urgency.

On Sunday, we will shift gears and zoom in on how we best support countries to accelerate implementation.  It will begin with an opening plenary in the Economic and Social Council Chamber, including an engaging and insightful panel discussion that will underscore the urgency of the moment, the sense of what is possible and the imperative for collective action where we are determined to succeed.

Participants will then move to events across 12 high-impact initiatives and special sessions on digital, gender and complex settings.  The high-impact initiatives address both six key SDG transitions, the critical means of implementation and a key dimension of the cross-cutting priority of gender equality.

Across these meetings, our intention is to demonstrate that transformative progress is both possible and already happening — and to generate additional leadership, support and momentum around them.  This is also the objective of key convenings and moments that will take place throughout the week in the SDG Media Zone and the SDG Pavilion.

I’m sure many of you will have noticed the Pavilion and art exhibition grow and evolve as you enter the UN premises each day.  It seeks to ensure that the power of high-level week resonates much more widely across the world by bringing leaders across sectors for spirited dialogue and action.  And to inspire creativity and innovation.  And together, with a wide-ranging branding effort across the campus, it serves as clear reminder of the ambition and the hope the world needs this week to make quantum leap for the SDGs.

Across the SDG Action Weekend and much more, Member State engagement is also critical.  It is encouraging to see many leaders and ministers already confirmed to participate in the SDG Action Weekend sessions.  We strongly encourage all interested Member States to reach out to the SDG Action Weekend organizers and we will accommodate as best we can.

We are also happy to see that Member States will be organizing over 40 side events over the weekend.

It is essential that this Summit delivers the breakthroughs, commitment, solidarity and fresh momentum the world needs to realize the promise of the 2030 Agenda.  Most important of all, however, we will leave with a to-do list for each and every country and partner and to which we must hold ourselves accountable.

You can continue to count on the UN development system, especially our resident coordinators and country teams to work with your Governments and other key stakeholders at the country level to translate the momentum and commitments from next week into the progress we all want to see — for people and planet.

I look forward to this discussion and any questions you may have.

For information media. Not an official record.