Make 2016 year of SDG traction, says Ban Ki-Moon

15 Jan 16

The global community needs to get its “priorities right” and do “more and better work” in 2016 towards the Sustainable Development Goals, the United Nations general secretary has urged.

 UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon


Speaking at an annual informal briefing to the UN General Assembly, Ban Ki-Moon said this year must be one in which landmark decisions on the SDGs, which were agreed at the UN in September, “gain solid footing on the ground”.

“If 2015 was a year of global sustainable development action, 2016 must be a year of national SDG traction,” he said.

Ban congratulated UN member states for adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as the Paris Agreement on climate change. However he urged leaders to make 2016 an even more dynamic and productive year.

He encouraged leaders to continue providing political oversight and guidance on the climate. “We have no time to lose and much to gain by acting now,” he said.

He called progress on gender equality on the other hand “slow and uneven”. He said he had seen too many parliaments, ministries, cabinets, board rooms and peace processes which involved few or no women. Even within the UN he conceded there is still much more to be desired on this.

The global community must also do much more to end the world’s prolonged conflicts, protect vulnerable populations and defeat terrorism, he said.

“Our place must be with the boy fleeing conflict, the girl denied a seat in the classroom and the children still at risk of dying of preventable causes on their fifth birthday. We must stand with women and men facing daily discrimination, and with millions still living in extreme poverty.”

2016 marks the final year of Ban Ki-Moon’s decade-long mandate as UN general secretary.

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