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UN chief galvanizes action on new Our Common Agenda

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-10-26 13:50

UNITED NATIONS -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday galvanized action among member states to implement his new Our Common Agenda, which, he said, aims to turbo-charge work on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

"I have put these ideas to you not because I think they will be easy to agree upon or implement, but because I believe they are the right thing to do. History will judge us if we do not rise to the challenges before us," he told an informal plenary meeting of the General Assembly on Our Common Agenda.

"We already have roadmaps in place: the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement (on climate change). But we know that progress in achieving the SDGs was already off track, and the pandemic has set it back even further. Our Common Agenda aims to turbo-charge work on the Sustainable Development Goals, so that we accelerate throughout the decade, taking into account the gaps and delays caused by the pandemic."

Our Common Agenda includes some 90 specific proposals. Much work lies ahead for deliberation, consultations and to find a path forward, said Guterres.

Some of the proposals are addressed to the UN system, which has begun internal planning to take these recommendations forward. However, the majority of the proposals in Our Common Agenda are for member states to consider and to act upon, he said.

Change takes courage. But, as Our Common Agenda makes clear, business as usual will not mean that things will remain the same. Business as usual guarantees a future of climate chaos, ecological degradation, social unrest, and growing threats to peace and security, he said. "I hope together we can work to chart a more positive course."

Guterres said the proposals in Our Common Agenda, which he launched in September, can be grouped into four broad areas: renewed solidarity between peoples and future generations; a new social contract anchored in human rights; better management of critical issues of global concern like peace, the economy, health and the planet; and a United Nations that is upgraded so it can meet the challenges of a new era.

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