Global Leaders Must Act Now to Rescue Sustainable Development Goals, Secretary-General Says at Astana Forum, Urging Collective Efforts for Addressing Global Challenges

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message to the Astana International Forum “Tackling challenges through dialogue:  towards cooperation, development and progress”, in Astana, Kazakhstan, today:

I send my warmest greetings to the first Astana International Forum and thank you for your focus on tackling global challenges through dialogue.

We are living through trying times.  Conflicts — old and new — grind on.  Geopolitical tensions are rising.  The climate crisis continues unabated.  Hunger and inequality are increasing.  The Sustainable Development Goals, our blueprint for peace and prosperity on a healthy planet, are far off track.  And every day brings warnings of the dangers of unregulated new technologies.

These are all global issues.  We can only address them by joining forces and working hand in hand. Today, our collective mechanisms and actions do not match the pace or scale of these challenges.

We at the United Nations are working to bring countries together to address these gaps in global governance and find solutions.  Our Common Agenda initiative proposes a renewed multilateralism that is fairer and more inclusive; that addresses new risks and threats; and that will protect our planet for the benefit of future generations.

Global leaders must act now to rescue the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); reform an unfair financial architecture; and address common threats at a series of important summits — starting with the SDG summit in September.  Building on this, the Summit of the Future next year will consider how to take forward many of the proposals in Our Common Agenda.

The Astana International Forum provides a new opportunity to discuss these issues and find collaborative, sustainable and innovative solutions for all.

I thank you and wish you a successful meeting.

For information media. Not an official record.