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Updated On: Sunday, 22 September 2019

SDGs High Level Forum

Content by: South-South News

20 July 2018, New York, USA | South-South News — UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said the clock was “ticking” to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) but stressed that the transformation “towards resilient and sustainable societies is not only still possible, it is an absolute imperative.”

Mohammed was speaking at the High Level Political Forum which convened its ministerial segment on July 16, with some 115 Ministers and Vice Ministers taking part.

The Deputy Secretary-General pointed to progress in some areas, including maternal and child mortality, tackling childhood marriage, expanding access to electricity, addressing global unemployment, and cutting the rate of forest loss around the globe. However, she stressed that progress in other areas was either moving too slowly, or losing momentum.

“For the first time in a decade, the number of people who are undernourished has increased from 777 million people in 2015 815 million. Fundamentally, this undermines our commitment to leaving no one behind,” she said.

Mohammed said the world had 12 years to realize the SDGs, and that to move forward, at the speed and scale required, much deeper and much wider action was needed.

Jayathma Wickramanayake, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Youth, said the world today was home to the largest population of young people in history, with 1.8 billion between the ages of ten and 24. She said it was clear that to reach sustainable development youth must be actively involved in shaping development policies.

“The desire to participate is a defining characteristic of our generation. We have to work hand-in-hand with young people in this journey towards 2030, setting aside our egos, power struggles, myths, and misconceptions on what young people can bring to the table. We know that achieving these 17 ambitious goals and targets are not an easy task. And I, by no means, wish to over simplify that. Young people are here, they are here now, and they are knocking on the doors of power to offer their potential to walk this journey with you,” she said.

Wickramanayake stressed that a sustainable and prosperous future is achievable when young people are part of the equation. She noted, however, that while it is positive that many countries mention youth, more efforts were needed to ensure that the process is inclusive and that their engagement is meaningful.

During the three-day ministerial segment of the High Level Political Forum, 46 countries will present their Voluntary National Reviews to demonstrate how they are implementing the 2030 Agenda nationally. Globally, two-thirds of all countries have undertaken a Voluntary National Review or will do so in the coming year.

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