Panafrican News Agency

UN: UN deputy chief tasks UN member states on SDGs

New York, US (PANA) - UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson says the universal inclusiveness of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is an ethical imperative.

Speaking at a forum in New York for UN member states on ethics for development, Mr. Eliasson said: "Fundamental principles that underpin the new goals are interdependence, universality and solidarity, and they should be implemented by all segments of all societies, working together, and no-one must be left behind."

He said that people who are hardest to reach should be given priority, noting that, "this is the underlying moral code of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This demonstrates the Agenda’s profound ethical foundation".

"We must discard silo-thinking, we must integrate action across different sectors, and we must be informed by those whom we seek to support and listen to their aspirations. We must pursue these ambitious goals and targets on their behalf," he stressed.

The UN deputy scribe also said: "We must be ready to think – and to act – comprehensively and holistically. Every actor, every country, every international and regional organization has a responsibility to work in synergy, translating the Agenda into practical realities on the ground."

He also noted that the 17 SDGs build on the earlier eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which specifically sought by 2015: to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability and develop a global partnership for development.

"But progress on these was uneven across regions and countries, leaving millions of people behind, especially the poorest and those disadvantaged due to sex, age, disability, ethnicity or geographic location. This is where the SDGs come in," Mr. Eliasson stated.

The SDGs, adopted unanimously by 193 Heads of State and other top leaders at a summit at UN headquarters in New York in September, called on all countries to achieve 17 SDGs over the next 15 years, addressing the needs of people in both developed and developing countries.

Broad and ambitious in scope, the Agenda also addresses the three dimensions of sustainable development: social, economic and environmental, as well as important aspects related to peace, justice and effective institutions.
-0- PANA AA/MA 13Jan2016