UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said that General Assembly's approval of the draft 2030 sustainable development agenda has brought the international community to the cusp of decisions that can help realise the dream of a world of peace and dignity for all.
The UN General Assembly yesterday approved the resolution sending the draft '2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development' to member states for adoption later this month.
"Today is the start of a new era. We have travelled a long way together to reach this turning point," Ban said recounting the path the international community has taken over the 15 years since the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals towards crafting a set of new post-2015 sustainability goals.
With world leaders expected to adopt the text at a September 25-27 summit here, the UN chief said, "Agenda 2030 aims high, seeking to put people at the centre of development; foster human well-being, prosperity, peace and justice on a healthy planet and pursue respect for the human rights of all people and gender equality."
"It speaks to all people in all countries, and calls for action from everyone everywhere. It aims to inspire and create genuine partnerships among all countries and actors," Ban said.
He emphasised that the Agenda prioritises the vulnerable and marginalised, vowing to leave no one behind, marking a paradigm shift that would complete the unfinished business of the MDGs and lift the level of ambition and tackle emerging issues and challenges.
The Agenda and its adoption later this month mark the culmination of a series of watershed events in 2015, including 'Third International Conference on Financing for Development' in Addis Ababa in July, and efforts to forge a new path forward on climate change in Paris in December.
"Together, they are foundational steps to begin implementing the 2030 Agenda," Ban said.
"At this month's Summit, we expect Heads of State and Government to not only endorse the new Agenda but to affirm their strong political commitment to its timely implementation," he said.
More than 150 world leaders as well as Pope Francis will join the UN to start the new era for sustainable development, the UN chief said, adding "We must all now act with utmost ambition – and mobilise maximum political will."
In his remarks, General Assembly president Sam Kutesa said the spirit with which the outcome document was formulated and agreed by consensus is a triumph for multilateralism.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the main component of the new development framework, are comprehensive and address the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development in an integrated way.
He said that while the new goals will be universally applicable, there is also recognition of national circumstances, different levels of development and the needs of countries in special situations, particularly the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small Island developing States and Africa.