Leaders call for 'less conversation, more action' after adopting U.N. global goals

Fri Sep 25, 2015 11:51pm EDT
 
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By Ellen Wulfhorst

UNITED NATIONS (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - World leaders on Friday adopted the most sweeping agenda ever of global goals to combat poverty, inequality and climate change, capping years of debate and saying now is the time for "a little less conversation, a little more action."

Described by the United Nations secretary-general as "a to-do list for people and planet," the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, are to be implemented over the next 15 years with a big global push to win public and political support.

The 193 U.N. member nations formally adopted the goals in the shadow of the worst refugee crisis since World War II, calling for shared peace and prosperity.

Pope Francis called the adoption of the SDGs "an important sign of hope."

"Solemn commitments, however, are not enough, even though they are a necessary step toward solutions," said the Pope as the Vatican flag flew for the first time outside the United Nations where security was heightened for his visit.

He said world leaders must follow through with "a will which is effective, practical, constant, with concrete steps and immediate measures" to protect the environment and end social and economic exclusion.

The adoption comes after three years of brainstorming among member nations to draw up the comprehensive slate, but supporters say now work must start on the bigger task of implementation into practical programs, policies and parliaments.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway, a strong supporter of the goal calling for affordable, sustainable energy, said lyrics from a song by "the famous philosopher Elvis Presley" were a fitting description of what must happen next.   Continued...

 
Pope Francis addresses attendees in the opening ceremony to commence a plenary meeting of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015 at the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan, New York September 25, 2015. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly