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Global Goals

SDG reminds boundless potential of humanity




The 17 Sustainable Development Goals painted onto the plaza at the Visitors Entrance to the United Nations. UN photo

The first United Nations (UN) summit on the progress of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development closed on a hopeful note, with Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed declaring that the two-day event had been a reminder of “the boundless potential of humanity to create a better future for all.”

Mohammed told the delegates at the SDG Summit that she had been encouraged by the “spoken word, the voice of youth, the commitment of civil society, the power of an active citizenry and the leadership of our governments,” on display during the conference.

The deputy UN chief said she had drawn three concrete messages from the summit: a renewed commitment from world leaders to implement the Agenda, which she described as critical to respond to the world’s greatest challenges; an acknowledgement that the Goals are off track, and a determination to step up efforts to achieve them; and clarity on the task ahead, with a decisive decade left to “nurture more ambitious global action; local action and people action.”

Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, the incoming president of the General Assembly, said that the 10 years leading up to the 2030 deadline for the Agenda will be a “Decade of Implementation,” and expressed his hope that “we will ensure more integration of the 2030 Agenda into our National Development Plans, mobilize resources and invest in programs and sectors that are more likely to engender greater acceleration.”

Muhammad-Bande highlighted the involvement of the private sector at the SDG Business Forum, which also took place on Wednesday, where companies showcased actions, innovative technologies and sustainable financing strategies, aimed at creating a better world for all.

“I am confident that the business leaders that joined us this week will continue to encourage and inspire actions,” he said. “While governments are responsible for national implementation, they are unable, on their own, to achieve the goals.”

During the Forum, Lise Kingo, CEO and executive director of the UN Global Compact, shared the results of a survey, contained within the recently published UN Global Compact Progress Report 2019, which shows that 81 percent of Global Compact participants reported that they are taking action on the Global Goals.

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