World leaders endorse new global agenda

World leaders endorse new global agenda

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Pope Francis arrives to address the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Friday

The leaders including Pope Francis and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Friday night made a historic move to adopt a bold new global agenda aimed at ending poverty by 2030 for sustainable future.

The agenda was unanimously adopted by the 193 Member States of the United Nations at the start of a three-day UN General Assembly Summit on Sustainable Development in New York.

The historic adoption of the new Sustainable Development Agenda, with 17 global goals at its core, was met with a thunderous standing ovation from delegations that included many of the more than 150 world leaders who will be addressing the Summit.

World leaders attend United Nations General Assembly 2015 in New York.
World leaders attend United Nations General Assembly 2015 in New York.

It was a scene that was, and will be, transmitted to millions of people around the world through television, social media, radio, cinema advertisements, and cell phone messages.

Ushering in a new era of national action and international cooperation, the new agenda commits every country to take an array of actions that would not only address the root causes of poverty, but would also increase economic growth and prosperity and meet people’s health, education and social needs, while protecting the environment.

The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said during the adoption ceremony: “The new agenda is a promise by leaders to all people everywhere. It is a universal, integrated and transformative vision for a better world.”

“It is an agenda for people, to end poverty in all its forms,” he added. “It is an agenda for shared prosperity, peace and partnership (that) conveys the urgency of climate action (and) is rooted in gender equality and respect for the rights of all. Above all, it pledges to leave no one behind.”

Outside view of the UN Hq in New York.
Outside view of the UN Hq in New York.

“The true test of commitment to Agenda 2030 will be implementation. We need action from everyone, everywhere. Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals are our guide. They are a to-do list for people and planet, and a blueprint for success,” ended the Secretary-General.

The new Sustainable Development Goals build on the goal-setting agendas of United Nations conferences and the widely successful Millennium Development Goals that have improved the lives of millions of people.  The new agenda recognizes that the world is facing immense challenges, ranging from widespread poverty, rising inequalities and enormous disparities of opportunity, wealth and power to environmental degradation and the risks posed by climate change.

“Never before have world leaders pledged common action and endeavor across such a broad and universal policy agenda,” states the Declaration adopted by the leaders. “We are setting out together on the path towards sustainable development, devoting ourselves collectively to the pursuit of global development and of ’win-win‘ cooperation which can bring huge gains to all countries and all parts of the world.”

The official adoption came shortly after Pope Francis addressed the General Assembly stating, “The adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the World Summit, which opens today, is an important sign of hope.”

United Nations Environmental Programme UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner also issued the following statement following the historic adoption; “Every so often the world takes a historic step forward as a global community. Today, nations of the world moved forward together on a pathway to a sustainable future.”

“The 2030 Agenda agreed to today by 193 nations is an important and unique moment in our shared history. For the first time, we have a development agenda that is focused on sustainability in both the developing and the developed world.” said Dr Achim.

Dr Achim assured of UNEP’s commitment and support to member countries in integrating environmental goals in their development ambitions.

“UNEP is committed to working toward the 17 Global Goals and supporting countries in integrating the environmental dimension in their development ambitions.

“We have a unique opportunity to now work on a global agenda that unites us as a planet and a community of nations. Embracing this task with commitment and ambition can make the 2030 Agenda a pivotal moment in the history of our “