UN Sustainable Development SummitNew York hosted the key event for the future of the planet. Do you want to know what personalities were there and what they said?
After three long days of meetings, speeches, lectures and some musical performances, the UN World Sustainable Development Summit, where Member States ratified the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ended at the UN headquarters in New York on Sunday. Thereby, the UN will adopt during the next fifteen years the roadmap (Agenda 2030) based on the sustainability of the planet and all its inhabitants towards a more committed, fair and, in conclusion, better future.
There was no place for surprises, and none were expected. The UN working group began drafting these 17 SDGs two and a half years ago and unanimously ratified the final draft early last August. However, the summit that took place between 25th and 27th September maintained the expectation thanks to the participation of great personalities and the staging of mutual agreement among all international, social, political and business agents for these commitments to come to fruition.
What did the leaders say?
There are numerous personalities who have spoken behind the readind desk of the summit to certify their strong will to comply with the objectives set, although within the UN General Assembly there is no binding obligation or penalty may be applied in case of default.
Pope Francis, as the head of the Catholic Church, used his American tour to be present at the summit. The Pontiff placed particular emphasis on two objectives: reducing inequalities and combating climate change.
The President of the United States gave one of the most expected speeches. Barack Obama said that "our most basic bond - our common humanity - compels us to act" in favor of compliance with the SDGs.
For his part, the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, summed up the meeting with these words: "The agenda adopted today will serve the people all over the world as an inspiration to pursue a life of peace, security and dignity."
The importance of the business sector
Throughout the conference it became particularly important the role that the global community grants to private companies, without whose cooperation, the UN stresses, it is not viable the compliance of the SDGs. According to the General Assembly, "we need to ensure that the business sector is with us. This means first that companies must work within a framework of responsibility."
As proof of this common interest that society, governments and businesses share, the owner and founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, also gave a press conference in which he stressed the commitment of his business for the Sustainable Development Goals and he also stated that connectivity and internet access for all citizens of the world should also be a purpose to fulfill.
The summit also had the support of other personalities such as Bill and Melinda Gates; the founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, or in his most activist side, Bono, lead singer of U2.
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Sources: A Global Compact for Sustainable Development (UN), Green Biz, El País, SDG compass, UN Web TV, ‘A historic day’ (ONU) y ‘The SDG compass helps companies (UN).