Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ remarks at the SDG Moment event, held today:

Our world is challenged like never before.  From climate change, to conflicts, to COVID-19, which is putting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) further out of reach.

It would be easy to lose hope.  But, we are not hopeless, or helpless.  We have a path to recovery.  If we choose to take it.  That’s what this SDG Moment is all about, coming together.  Coming together to save our planet and each other.  Coming together also with BTS today, which is a fantastic contribution.

Two weeks ago, I launched Our Common Agenda — a plan to reboot the multilateral system and gather the world around our common objectives.  Because only by recovering together can we get the Sustainable Development Goals back on track.  I see five areas for urgent action.

First, we need to end this pandemic.  Our response has been too slow and too unequal.  I call on the world to mobilize behind a global vaccination plan that doubles vaccine production, to reach 70 per cent of the world’s population by the middle of next year.

Second, we need to get down to the business of a sustainable and equitable recovery for all, so that we stay on track to end poverty by 2030.  This means making bold investments in systems that support human development — from education and universal social protection, to health care and jobs.  It means putting people above profits, including through progressive taxation, and ending tax evasion, money‑laundering and illicit financial flows.  And it means reforming the global financial system, tackling debt distress and ensuring that developing countries benefit from the recent allocation of special drawing rights.

Third, equal rights for women and girls.  We cannot achieve any of the SDGs without gender equality.  We need bold investments to make sure every girl has a seat in the classroom — and the skills she needs to chart her own future.  We need to dismantle the power structures that allow discrimination, violence and economic hardship to keep one half of humanity down.  And we need to make sure that girls and women have a seat at every table.  From the halls of power to the boardrooms of business.

Quatrièmement, nous devons mettre fin à la guerre menée contre notre planète.  Autrement dit: s’engager à zéro émission nette d’ici à 2050.  Adopter des plans climat et biodiversité ambitieux.  Renoncer à toute nouvelle centrale à charbon après 2021.  Mobiliser 100 milliards de dollars par an pour l’action climatique.  Et soutenir les pays en développement dans leur transition vers des économies vertes – une priorité absolue de la prochaine COP26 à Glasgow.

And fifth, we need you — all of you.  All of you are critical to global recovery.  I urge you to work with your Governments to put people first in their budgets and recovery plans.  The pathway is there.  The choice is ours.  Let’s move forward with hope and conviction.

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Author: Editor
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