World leaders will meet next Monday at the United Nations General Assembly in New York with the aim of reviving the "2030 Agenda" for sustainable development agreed in 2015, after its implementation faced challenges that are still ongoing, amid the absence of presidents.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres said 140 world leaders would meet at the 78th session of the United Nations, at a time when humanity is facing enormous challenges as a result of the worsening climate emergency and escalating conflicts, adding that people are waiting for a solution from their leaders to get out of crises.
Guterres lamented that a "geopolitically divided" world is reducing their ability to deal with crises, referring to the repercussions of the war in Russia and Ukraine on the world, especially food security.
Guterres said he would try to persuade Russia to return to the agreement to export Ukrainian grains through the Black Sea because of its vital importance to global food.
Humanity is facing huge challenges.
People are looking to their leaders for a way out of this mess.
Next week, many of these leaders will be gathering for #UNGA.
They have a special responsibility to achieve compromise in designing our common future for our common good.
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) September 14, 2023
Absence of heads
The presidents of France, Russia and China, as well as British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, will be absent from the General Assembly, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will attend.
The United States, with President Joe Biden, would be the only permanent member of the Security Council represented at the highest level.
Diplomats saw the absence of the heads of the permanent members of the Security Council as a bad sign of countries' commitment to development goals.
But Guterres stressed the importance of the commitment of the governments of the countries concerned, regardless of the absence or presence of their presidents, pointing out that the meeting is not for the purpose of "showing off."
At the UN session, governments are required to pledge to act quickly to save the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030, whose implementation has been hampered by the climate crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia's war on Ukraine.
During the meeting, a project supporting the reform of international financial institutions will be discussed, and Guterres presented a $500 billion annual recovery plan until 2030 to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, which the G<> welcomed at its recent summit.
UN member states adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, aiming to build a better future for all countries by the end of the decade.
The goals include ending hunger, securing access to drinking water, achieving gender equality, global food security, eradicating poverty, combating climate change, and facilitating access to education, energy and health services.
The United Nations has warned of very slow progress in achieving the majority of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), diminishing hope of success until 2030, adding that some of these goals have fallen back from 2015 and disappeared from the list of priorities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the trend towards reducing extreme poverty, and with the current pace continuing, 575 million people will continue to live in similar conditions in 2030, mostly on the African continent.
The global debt burden is also added to the crises facing the SDGs, from the Russia-Ukraine war, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Researchers assert that the SDGs are interrelated, so achieving one goal would positively affect the achievement of another.