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UN Chief Expresses Fear Over Meeting 2030 SDG Goals

By Dare Akogun

UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned on Monday that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is turning into a “mirage of what might have been,”.

He expressed the fear at the opening of the Financing for Development Forum (FfD), taking place at UN Headquarters in New York.
The Secretary-General pointed to reports showing that, since the pandemic, the richest one percent of people around the world have captured nearly twice as much new wealth as the rest of the world combined.

Inequalities within some countries, he said, are regressing towards early 20th Century levels, a time when women did not have the right to vote; and before widespread acceptance of the concept of social protection.

The UN’s SDG Stimulus Plan, explained the UN chief, aims to boost investments that will help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), relieve the debt burden of developing countries, and improving access to funding.

Mr. Guterres called for Multilateral Development Banks, such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, to use their funds to attract more private finance to developing countries, and for Member States to meet their government aid commitments.

In the longer term, said the UN chief, the global financial architecture, which “has failed countries at their moment of greatest need,” needs to be comprehensively overhauled, in favour of a system that is “coherent and coordinated, and reflects today’s global economic reality.”

In her opening statement, Lachezara Stoeva, the president of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), declared that the events of the past year have reversed three decades of progress in poverty reduction.

Ms. Stoeva called for immediate measures on debt relief, investment, climate finance, and international tax cooperation, and described the Forum as an opportunity to find bold solutions that meet the scale of financing challenges.

We cannot afford to come up short,” said the ECOSOC president. “Too much is at stake. Without securing the means of implementation, the 2030 Agenda will fall out of reach, with stark consequences for people and planet.”

Csaba Kőrösi, the President of the General Assembly, remarked that the decline in global economic growth, rising inflation, and looming debt crisis can be attributed to a lack of a coordinated international response.

“It is imperative that we come together as a global community, across all sectors, to tackle these challenges,” said Mr. Kőrösi, calling for coordinated efforts, from the public and private sectors, to find solutions to the long-standing structural problems of debt.

Mr. Kőrösi echoed the UN Secretary-General’s calls for a transformation of international financing, in favour of a new model for sustainable development that ensures developing countries have access to affordable financing.

“Development can only be sustainable,” he argued. “Otherwise, at the end of the day, there will be no development.

Dare Akogun

Dare Akogun is a dynamic media innovator, strategic communication professional, and seasoned climate and environmental sustainability journalist with over 10 years of influential contributions to the media industry.

He Currently serving as the Head of Digital Media, Senior News Editor, and a presenter at Sobi FM 101.9, a leading radio station in Ilorin, Nigeria.

Dare is on a mission to leverage his media innovation expertise and project management skills to produce high-quality, accurate, and engaging content, while advocating for reduced fossil fuel consumption, especially coal, to combat effect of global warming.

He has covered comprehensively environmental issues and COP conferences, including COP28 in Dubai last year , COP 27 in Egypt, and the United Nations Least Developed Countries conference in Doha, in 2023.

He is a recipient of fellowship to be part of a 15 team of journalists selected worldwide to cover the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue 2024.

He has a Master's Degree in Mass Communication, from the University of Lagos, a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the Lagos State University and also a
Certification in Business Administration and Management, from the Babson College, Massachusetts, United States of America.

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