UN chief urges leaders to get anti-poverty goals back on track as General Assembly opens 78th session

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday called on world leaders to get the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – a universal goal to end poverty in all its forms by 2030 – back on track as the world's biggest diplomatic gathering kicks off. 

The UN General Assembly opened its 78th session with the SDG Summit in its New York headquarters.

Addressing world leaders, Guterres called for $500 billion in investment a year to get the SGDs on track.

“The SDGs aren’t just a list of goals. They carry the hopes, dreams, rights and expectations of people everywhere,” Guterres said.

“A promise to build a world of health, progress and opportunity for all. A promise to leave no one behind. And a promise to pay for it...It was — always — a promise to people.”

He said that only 15% of the targets are on track and that many are going in reverse.

He also called for an effective debt-relief mechanism that supports payment suspensions, longer lending terms, and lower rates for developing countries.

“At the halfway point to the SDG deadline, the eyes of the world are on you once again,” Guterres said.

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