Think Big, Be Ambitious ‘to Get Sustainable Development Goals Back on Track’, Stresses Secretary-General, Opening Acceleration Day

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message to the opening of the Acceleration Day of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Action Weekend, in New York today:

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, this weekend is all about action towards the Sustainable Development Goals.  You are all part of a great global effort to rescue the SDGs, and deliver the action that our planet and people around the world are counting on. But right now, we are losing the fight. That’s why acceleration is the overarching theme of today’s sessions.

The high impact initiatives being discussed are built around targeted areas where we can accelerate progress across the SDGs now. Areas where we can support those countries that are committed to delivering progress for their people, despite global headwinds.

From strengthening energy, food and education systems.  To providing social protection and jobs, and redesigning food systems.  To safeguarding biodiversity, and ending the scourge of violence against women.  To boosting data and digital transformation to support development.  To trade, localization, and strengthening public services.  To the fuel for progress across all the SDGs — finance — including supporting an SDG Stimulus of at least $500 billion a year.

Dear friends, these initiatives belong to you.  As Governments, as businesses, as members of civil society, as young people, as activists.

As you begin your deliberations today, I urge you to think big and be ambitious.  This is not the time for incrementalism.  This is the time for transformation — with all hands on deck.  Let’s get the SDGs back on track.

For information media. Not an official record.