Sustainable development agenda adopted by 193 UN member states

xinhuanet.com 26-Sep-2015

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The Sustainable Development Summit opens at the United Nations headquarters in New York, the , Sept. 25, 2015. The much-anticipated UN Sustainable Development Summit opened on Friday at UN headquarters in New York to formally adopt an ambitious new sustainable development agenda. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- A momentous agenda, which is believed to chart a new era of sustainable development until 2030, was adopted Friday by 193 UN member states to a UN summit held here in New York.

"We have reached a defining moment in human history. The people of the world have asked us to shine a light on a future of promise and opportunity," said UN Secretary-General at the opening ceremony of the UN Sustainable Development Summit. "The true test of commitment to Agenda 2030 will be implementation. We need action form everyone, everywhere. Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are our guide. They are a to-do list for people and planet and a blueprint for success."

Ban spoke before the gathering of an unprecedented number of heads of state and government -- about 150 -- adopted the Global Goals by acclamation. This ambitious agenda will serve as the launch pad for action by the international community and by national governments to promote shared prosperity and well-being for all over the next 15 years.

"The goals emerged from the most inclusive process in United Nations history: 193 countries. Thousands of non-governmental organizations and the private sector," he said, adding that "If we combine all the numbers it will be around 8.5 million people or organizations who have been surveyed on what kind of a world and what kind of a future they wanted to have."

"Today, United Nations Member States have committed to a visionary agenda for a life of dignity and prosperity for all on a healthy planet," he said. "Let us work together over the next 15 years to make their vision a reality for all people in all countries."

The secretary-general also said the 17 goals are designed to "end poverty in all its forms" and is an "agenda for the planet, our common home."

Nearly 70 speakers were listed for the first of three days of remarks by the leaders. They have been told the limit is five minutes each. Many go over and co-chair Yoweri Museveni chided President Narenda Modi of India for "exceeding the time by 13 minutes."

In his speech, ian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi stressed the importance of the tools needed to achieve the SDGs and said that "we are yet concerned about the lack of appropriate tools needed for implementing the agenda in a way that supports our aspirations and vows our challenges."

Other national leaders stressed more aspects of the SDGs in their speeches at the summit.

"Investing in gender equality is a direct path towards poverty reduction, inclusive growth and prosperity. An ambitious agenda for achieving gender equality and women's rights must be matched by ambitious resources," said Sauli Niinisto, the president of Finland.

"Even where progress has taken place, consumption patterns and their impact on the environment are unsustainable. The world continues to be under threat from the negative impacts of global warming and climate change. Millions of people worldwide still lack access to quality education and healthcare," Uhuru Kenyatta, the president of Kenya.

"We should have no illusion that this will be easy. The remaining billion living in extreme poverty are often found in more affluent countries. We cannot solve this problem without achieving a more equal distribution of wealth. National governments must take ownership," said Erna Solberg, the prime minister of Norway.

"The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development offers a compelling vision, promising peace and prosperity to the peoples of the world through global partnerships to ensure that we live and manage the resources of our planet in a sustainable manner," said Abdullah Abdullah, the chief executive of .

The UN Sustainable Development Summit runs from Sept. 25-27, 2015, which coincides with the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.