The Sustainable Development Goals: Making Transformation Happen

We are here at last — at the end of one journey, and the beginning of another. Today, after more than three years of negotiations, world leaders will adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Tomorrow, the real work of real implementation begins.

Seventeen goals for people, planet, prosperity and peace. Seventeen goals that will apply to every country — Ivory Coast and Italy; Mongolia and Monaco; Canada and Costa Rica. Seventeen goals that have the potential to transform our world, after being agreed to through the most inclusive and deliberative negotiating process the UN has ever seen.

In a world of conflict and violence, a world on the brink of unstoppable climate change, and amidst the biggest refugee crisis since the second World War, the Sustainable Development Goals are a welcome vehicle for hope, change and transformative action.

They confront the injustices of poverty, marginalization and discrimination. They recognize the need to reduce inequalities and to protect our common home by changing an economic model so dependent on finite natural resources and on unsustainable consumption. They also identify the overwhelming need to address the politics of division, corruption and irresponsibility that fuel conflict and hold back progress.

Yet the slogan that dominated the negotiation phase, “Nothing about us without us,” must now become the slogan that defines the implementation phase that lies ahead.

After the excitement of this weekend’s Summit dies down, the hard work will begin. We must not lose the fantastic momentum we have achieved through the negotiation process and the UN Summit. We need immediate and accelerated action for implementation. As President of the General Assembly of the United Nations, I will be doing my utmost to keep the spotlight on this new Agenda, to drive progress.

In 2016, I will hold three high-level events for that very purpose. —> Read More