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Following is the text of UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s video message to the high-level opening of the third Global Conference on Strengthening Synergies between the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, in Tokyo and online, today:

I am happy to join you today and I thank His Excellency Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi, Minister of the Environment of Japan for hosting this important event.  This year we will mark the seventh Anniversary of the adoption of two most critical global agendas, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

We have made progress.  But let us be frank; we are off track on both the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris goals.  We continue to witness the setbacks wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic; the war in Ukraine; and the triple environmental crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.

The pandemic has exacerbated issues of poverty, unemployment, debt, widening inequalities and inflation.  As a result of the war in Ukraine, the food and energy crises are spiralling into a global cost of living crisis.  And global emissions are at their highest level ever, with climate change causing severe, widespread, and increasingly irreversible impacts in all regions of the world.

We must turn this ‘perfect storm’ into an opportunity.  We can and must purposefully design transitions in renewable energy, climate-resilient food and water systems, and digital connectivity in ways that can also spur economic growth, employment and equality.

I call on everyone to scale-up and speed up investments in adaptation solutions that protect people and ecosystems, build resilience for the crises to come and help realize the SDGs.  It is also important to maintain a sense of urgency.  Critical milestones are fast approaching, including the twenty-seventh Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27] in Sharm el-Sheikh this year and the SDG Summit in September 2023.

We must come together to rescue the SDGs and the Paris goals before it is too late.  Thank you for being part of this important effort.  I wish you all a fruitful conference.

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