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UN chief calls for backing for new sustainability agenda

CNTV, September 29, 2015 Adjust font size:

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday called for backing for a new sustainable development agenda that aims to wipe out poverty and build a sustainable future for all.

In his opening remarks for the annual General Debate of the 70th session of the UN General Assembly, Ban noted that the assembly has opened with a towering achievement: the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including 17 inspiring Sustainable Development Goals.

What counts now is translating those promises on paper into real change, he said. "Our aim is clear. Our mission is possible. And our destination is in our sights: an end to extreme poverty by 2030; a life of peace and dignity for all."

"In this year in which we mark the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, we must heed the call of the Charter, and hear the voices of 'we the peoples.' That is how we can overcome the grim realities of the present," he said.

The secretary-general called on world leaders to "translate promises on paper into change on the ground" and take actions to counter global challenges, including climate change, wars and conflicts, refugee and migration crisis.

"One hundred million people require immediate humanitarian assistance. At least 60 million people have been forced to flee their homes or their countries," Ban said, noting that suffering is at heights not seen in a generation.

He urged all countries to do more to alleviate suffering in countries across the world, from war-torn Iraq, South Sudan, Yemen and Syria to Gambia, where one in four children suffers from stunting and the UN appeal "has been met with silence."

"People need emergency assistance, but what they want even more is lasting solutions," Ban said."I will convene a high-level meeting on September 30 aimed at promoting a comprehensive approach to the refugee and migration crisis," he said.

"We must combat discrimination," he said. "In the 21st century, we should not be building fences or walls."