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SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

By Ban Ki-moon
Secretary-General (UN)

The actions needed to reduce emissions and build climate resilience are the very same that are needed to lay the foundation for prosperity and security for all.

Together, we have embarked on a monumental and historic journey.

In recent months, I have listened to many people, including refugees,youth and children, indigenous people,persons with disabilities, and women entrepreneurs.

I heard the common message: the SDGs represent their hope for a better future. They are an action plan for people, planet, peace and prosperity.We live in an inter-connected world.That is why the SDGs are universal and indivisible.

Today, I am launching the first SDG report. It is based on official data provided on the indicators developed by the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators and agreed by Member States.

The Sustainable Development Goals report 2016 will provide a key benchmark throughout the implementation period of the 2030 Agenda.

It provides an accurate evaluation of where the world stands on the 17 Goals,using data currently available to highlight the most significant gaps and challenges.The latest data show that about one person in eight still lives in extreme poverty:

• Nearly 800 million people suffer from hunger.

• The births of nearly a quarter of children under 5 have not been recorded.

• 1.1 billion people are living without electricity, and water scarcity affects more than 2 billion.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENTThe data also underscore the imperative of targeted action in support of the furthest behind.For the agenda to be fully implemented, those who are the furthest behind will have to be reached first.

This will not be possible without data and indicators on all groups, especially those that are often unaccounted. Coordinated efforts worldwide will be indispensable to supply reliable and timely data for systematic follow-up and progress reviews. The SDGs address the critical challenges of our time.

One challenge that calls for immediate action is climate change. Every day, the headlines speak of more climate-related disasters – mass coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef; soaring temperatures in the Arctic; wild fires, multi-year droughts and floods.

In April, a record-number of Member States signed the Paris Agreement on climate change. Now we need to bring that Agreement into force this year.

To help advance this process, I will convene an event on September 21st,the morning, this year, from 8-9 o’clock,for countries to deposit their instruments of ratification. We have 178 countries who have signed this Paris Agreement,and 19 countries have deposited their instrument of ratification. As you are well aware, we need the 55 countries to ratify, and 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions accounted. So we need to do much more.

These 19 countries all accounted is less than 1% of greenhouse gas emissions. We very much encourage those countries like United States and China, Australia, Indonesia, Mexico,Argentina, many countries, at least40 countries who committed that they will ratify this Paris Agreement before the end of this year. It would be much better and desirable – I may be too ambitious to ask you – if we can ratify,make it enter into force, before we go to Marrakesh in November – that would be even much better. If not, by December this year, so that we can really make an accelerated process in implementing this climate change agreement. That’s why I am going to convene this meeting,summit meeting, for those ratifiers.All who are committed to ratify. And please make sure that your country makes an accelerated process of ratification of this agreement.

Tackling climate change is essential for sustainable development, without any doubt.

The actions needed to reduce emissions and build climate resilience are the very same that are needed to lay the foundation for prosperity and security for all and set the world on a sustainable footing for generations to come.

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