Remarks by Csaba Kőrösi, President of the 77th session of the General Assembly SDG Moment

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19 September 2022

[ As delivered]

Mr. Secretary-General, Excellencies, Dear Friends,

The SDG Moment was created to be a yearly wake-up call.

En language diplomatique: un rappel pour nous tous de ce que nous aurions dû faire, et surtout,  ce que nous devons faire pour transformer la vision de l’agenda 2030 et des SDGs en une réalité.

Ou, en language simple: il est grand temps que nous nous penchions sérieusement sur l’état du monde – prenant en compte toutes les conséquences, qu’elles nous déplaisent ou non.

(translation from French: In diplomatic coding: a reminder for all of us what we should have done and, more importantly, what we should do in order to turn the vision of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs into reality.

Or, in plain language: We must finally get serious about saving the world, with all pleasant and unpleasant consequences that this entails.)

It is timely and more necessary than ever to re-dedicate ourselves to the SDGs. Let me tell you why.

First, because our transformative vision remains true and sound.

عندما وضعنا أهداف التنمية المستدامة، تمكنا من توحيد جميع الأطراف الفاعلة عبر العالم للاتفاق على إطار عمل شامل.  متضامنون من أجل التغيير.

(translation from Arabic: When we created the SDGs, we managed to unite all actors across the globe to agree on an all-encompassing framework. In solidarity, for transformation.)

We also managed to bring the global south and north together for a historic agreement embraced by consensus.

Ever since, scientific evidence has proven that we were right with our diagnosis and with the therapy offered.

Yet, by most markers, we are failing our goals.

I accept that we had COVID-19 sweeping over the world. The pandemic was a postcard from the future, a bleak future of interlocking global crises. One that we want to avoid and that we can avoid.

We must now regain the speed lost to the pandemic and to our inaction. Solutions are at hand.

В нашем календаре устойчивого развития на предстоящий год намечены знаковые события – важные конференции по изменению климата, биоразнообразию, воде и сокращению риска стихийных бедствий.

(translation from Russian: In the coming year, we will reach critical milestones in the sustainability calendar, with important conferences on climate change, biodiversity, water, and disaster risk reduction.)

Key transitions need to happen. Just to name a few, a transition to a renewable, carbon free energy base and to green, inclusive and circular economies, where food systems must also be transformed.

We should also renew our multilateral commitment on establishing a science support mechanism.

It can assist Member States in their efforts by means of providing transparent scientific indicators and validation for sustainable development.

Likewise, we must make progress on understanding the value of GDP and capitalize on the political momentum to go beyond it.

We cannot neglect the critical issue of financing in our discussions. That is why the High-level Meeting on Financing for Development will take place at the same time as the SDG Summit.

Last, but not least, we must look at the linkage between climate change and water holistically. Part of the solution we need to scale up is the action plan of the Water and Climate Leaders.

It is my hope that the UN 2023 Water Conference, and the preparatory meeting I will hold on 25 October, will spur major advances towards the implementation of SDG 6.

Excellencies,

We need initiatives from civil society, the voice and passion of youth, the support of the private sector but, most importantly, you, the Member States to deliver on promises made.

The 17 Global Goals are the To-Do-List. They must be the To-Do-List of all leaders in this room.

We are the people who can get this, the To-Do-List of the World done.

Thank you.

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