UN General Secretary: Launch of the 2024 Sustainable Development Goals Report

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New York, 28 June 2024

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am delighted to join the Deputy Secretary-General and, in particular, Under-Secretary General Li, who will present the report shortly.

Today, we gather for the release of the annual SDG report card, which unfortunately reveals that the world is receiving a failing grade. Our collective failure to ensure peace, address climate change, and strengthen international finance undermines development.

Mr. Li will delve into the report’s details, but I want to emphasize its significance. The key takeaway is straightforward: urgent action is needed for the Sustainable Development Goals, and time is of the essence.

Currently, only 17 percent of SDG targets are on track, while progress on over one-third has stalled or regressed. In a world with unprecedented wealth and knowledge, denying basic needs to so many is both outrageous and inexcusable.

However, there are glimmers of hope. Consider these examples:

  1. Girls in most regions now achieve educational parity with boys.
  2. Women are breaking glass ceilings in politics, business, and beyond.
  3. Internet access is expanding.
  4. HIV infections are decreasing.
  5. New malaria vaccines hold promise for saving millions of lives.
  6. Renewables already constitute thirty percent of global electricity supply.

Yet, the pace of change required for sustainable development remains too slow. We must act simultaneously in three critical areas:

  1. Peace: From Gaza to Sudan, Ukraine, and beyond, we must silence the guns, support displaced populations, and shift from destructive spending to investments in people and peace.
  2. Green and Digital Transitions: Countries should submit ambitious National Climate Action plans by 2025, aligned with the 1.5-degree limit, covering the entire economy, and doubling as investment strategies. Additionally, we encourage increased investment in digital connectivity and gender-inclusive transitions.
  3. Finance: Developing nations often lack resources for their future and their people. We must enhance efforts to deliver the SDG Stimulus, reducing debt pressures, expanding contingency financing, and leveraging Multilateral Development Banks to mobilize private finance.

I collaborate with leaders from diverse countries to make the SDG Stimulus a reality. As we prepare for upcoming UN forums and meetings, let us redouble our commitment to ending poverty, protecting the planet, and leaving no one behind. 

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