The UN General Assembly (UNGA) formally adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at a summit of heads of State and Government, with many speakers calling the agreement a historic moment in forging a sustainable pathway for people and the planet.
27 September 2015: The UN General Assembly (UNGA) formally adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at a summit of heads of State and Government, with many speakers calling the agreement a historic moment in forging a sustainable pathway for people and the planet.
‘Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ was adopted at the opening of the UN Summit for Sustainable Development, or UN summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda, on 25 September 2015. It is composed of a preamble, a declaration, 17 SDGs and 169 supporting targets, means of implementation (MOI) and the Global Partnership, and a framework for follow-up and review of implementation. UN Member States developed this package during negotiations that stretched from March 2013 to August 2015.
“The new agenda is a promise by leaders to all people everywhere. It is an agenda for people, to end poverty in all its forms—an agenda for the planet,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his opening remarks. Ban observed that the goals emerged from the most inclusive process in the UN’s history, with the involvement of approximately 8.5 million people or organizations. He said the new agenda “conveys the urgency of climate action” and emphasizes respect for the rights of all.
The 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development recognizes the need to reduce inequalities and change unsustainable patterns of consumption and production, reflected Mogens Lykketoft, President of the 70th UNGA. He described the Agenda as “ambitious” in addressing poverty, discrimination and marginalization, as well as “the politics of division, corruption and irresponsibility that fuel conflict and hold back development.”
Many speakers called for beginning work on the SDGs immediately, including UN Economic and Social Council President (ECOSOC) Oh Joon. Ban urged world leaders and others to implement the Global Goals by launching a renewed global partnership, engaging all actors, embracing a data revolution and setting to work “now.”
“Ours is the last generation which can head off the worst effects of climate change and the first generation with the wealth and knowledge to eradicate poverty,” observed UN Development Programme Administrator Helen Clark, who called for “fearless leadership” to achieve the SDGs.
The SDGs “crucially incorporate environmental sustainability and social equity with economic progress,” said UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner in a statement. He expressed UNEP’s commitment to work toward the goals and support governments “in integrating the environmental dimension in their development ambitions.”
“Education is hope. Education is peace,” declared Malala Yousafzai, the youngest-ever Nobel Laureate. She called for world leaders to promise the right to safe, free and quality primary and secondary education for every child, urging leaders to “take all these issues more seriously.”
Approximately 136 Heads of State or Government and 30 ministers attended the Summit alongside over 9,000 delegates.
The Summit, which convened from 25-27 September 2015 in New York, the US, was chaired by Yoweri Yuseveni, President of Uganda – which held the UNGA presidency for the 69th session – and Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark – which holds the current presidency (UNGA 70).
The Summit included plenary sessions and six interactive dialogues. Numerous high-level side events and bilateral meetings took place, including an informal discussion of climate change at the Heads of State and Government level.
To raise global awareness on the SDGs, UNDP held Social Good Summits in over 100 countries in parallel with the Summit, with the aim of launching the SDGs around the world and helping make the Goals a household name. Project Everyone is also working to share the global goals with 7 billion people in 7 days. [IISD RS Meeting Coverage] [UN Press Release] [UN Secretary-General Statement] [UNEP Statement] [UNDP Press Release] [UNDP Administrator Statement] [UN Press Release on Malala Yousafzai] [UNRIC Press Release] [UNPFII Press Release] [Transforming Our World] [UN Secretary-General Noon Briefing] [Project Everyone Website]