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High-Level Political Forum has kept the spotlight firmly on the Sustainable Development Goals

United Nations Secretary-General's remarks to opening of High-Level Political Forum Ministerial Segment (as delivered) - New York
16 July 2019

Over the past four years, this High-Level Political Forum has kept the spotlight firmly on the Sustainable Development Goals.
 
And over the coming days, you will again dive into the details of our collective efforts to take forward the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
 
This year, nearly fifty countries will present voluntary national reviews.
 
You are also analyzing progress on six individual Sustainable Development Goals and perspectives from countries in special situations.
 
And you are zeroing in on the power of the SDG action to support empowerment, equality and inclusion.
 
As we look ahead to the critical Summits and High-level meetings this September, I would like to reflect more deeply on what I call the “Inclusion Imperative”.
 
The evidence is clear:  development is not sustainable if it is not fair and inclusive -- and rising inequality hinders long-term growth.
 
Alongside the impacts of globalization and rapid technological change, we see today how inequality raises economic anxiety, erodes public trust, and undermines social cohesion, human rights, peace and prosperity.
 
At the same time, we see mounting evidence of the transformative results of equality and inclusion -- particularly of women – in higher Gross Domestic Product, greater stability, and enhanced private sector performance and institutional effectiveness.
 
For all these reasons, the 2030 Agenda places the goals of inclusion, empowerment and equality, leaving no one behind at the heart of our efforts.
 
Yet, four years after its adoption, the global picture is unsettling. 

Read full text at  UN website​