One year ago, leaders of 193 countries came together to commit to ending poverty, combating climate change, and fighting injustice. They agreed a plan for the future of the world and its people. The plan — the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — offers a better future for billions of people around the world and for our planet as a whole.
Turning its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into reality before the 2030 target date will be one of the most ambitious undertakings the global community has ever taken. But I am confident that if people are at the center of all actions, if the commitment of stakeholders is maintained and if the spirit of partnership prevails, there will be no shortage of success in the next 14 years.
I am optimistic because of the nature of the SDGs. The goals are underpinned by four powerful principles. First, they are connected and indivisible, linking development, human rights, peace and security. Second, they are universal. They apply to every person everywhere. Third, they are to be implemented through inclusive participation of all of society. Fourth, as they are implemented no one should be left behind. The SDGs have created a common purpose for the well-being of coming generations and for a planet that is fit for the future. This is why we have seen a fast, strong, and even urgent shift from all sectors toward more sustainable practices and policies.