“Our world is in deep trouble – and so too are the Sustainable Development Goals. Time is running out. But there is still hope. Because we know what we need to do.End the senseless, disastrous wars – now. Unleash a renewable energy revolution – now. Invest in people and build a new social contract – now. And deliver a New Global Deal to rebalance power and financial resources and enable all developing countries to invest in the SDGs. Let’s come together, starting today, with ambition, resolve and solidarity, to rescue the SDGs before it is too late.

The world faces cascading crises that are causing profound suffering today, and carry the seeds of dangerous inequality, instability, and climate chaos tomorrow. The ripple effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have hit amid a fragile and uneven recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, while the climate emergency is gathering pace. Some countries are investing in recovery through a transition to renewable energy and sustainable development. But others are unable to do so, because of deep-rooted structural challenges and inequalities, at global and national levels.

Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals will require US$4.3 trillion per year - more money than ever before - because the international community is simply not keeping pace with the commitments it made. In the face of these cascading crises, we are far from powerless. There is much we can do, and many concrete steps we can take, to turn things around. I see four areas for immediate action.

First, recovery from the pandemic in every country.

Second, we need to tackle the food, energy, and finance crisis.

Third, we need to invest in people.

Fourth, we cannot delay ambitious climate action.

The battle to keep the 1.5-degree goal alive will be won or lost this decade. While achieving this goal requires a reduction in global emissions of 45 percent below 2010 levels by 2030, current pledges would result in a 14 percent increase in emissions by that date. This is collective suicide. We must change course.

We have the knowledge, the science and technologies and the financial resources to reverse the trajectories that have led us off course. We have inspiring examples of transformative change. In just over one year’s time, we will meet here for the 2023 SDG summit marking the halfway point between the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and its target date.

Let's do everything in our power to change course and build solid progress by then.”

António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations
Excerpted remarks at the opening of the 2022 High-level Segment of ECOSOC, Ministerial Segment of High-Level Political Forum