UN chief calls for joint efforts to advance SDGs

by IANS |

United Nations, May 10 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for joint efforts to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

He made the appeal in a video message to a high-level virtual meeting of the Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative, Xinhua news agency reported.

"We are fast approaching the mid-point of the time available to reach the Sustainable Development Goals. I will be blunt: progress is in peril. Covid-19, a fragile and uneven global economic recovery, climate change, and conflicts are pushing our goals farther out of reach," he said.

He highlighted more poverty and hunger; more inequalities within and among countries; more denials of basic human rights; a scandalously unequal distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, insufficient commitments to keep to the target of 1.5 degrees of global warming; countries left unable to invest in development because of spiraling debt, inflation, and a global financial system that is rigged against the poor; and a food, energy and financial crisis sparked by the conflict in Ukraine, which is weighing down progress for everyone.

"We must do better. And we can. Your discussions through the Global Development Initiative can help move the needle on development progress across all countries," he said. "Through a reformed global financial system that improves access for developing countries so they can invest in their people, rather than servicing their debt; through climate commitments that match the scale of the crisis and bold support for developing countries to leave fossil fuels behind and develop truly green and resilient economies; through supporting peace, advancing human rights and working for an end to all wars that scar our world and block progress for all; and through a renewed commitment to multilateralism, and gathering in solidarity around shared solutions."

Guterres called for urgent action.

"We can't lose more ground. It's time to rescue the SDGs and give sustainable development a fighting chance -- for people, for planet, for our common future," he said.

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