September 25, 2015 / 10:00 PM / 4 years ago

From the Pope to Malala: Quotes on the U.N.'s new global goals

UNITED NATIONS (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Leaders from 193 nations adopted an ambitious new set of global goals on Friday to combat poverty, inequality and climate change in the most comprehensive effort ever by the United Nations to tackle the world’s ills.

Following are some key quotes about the U.N’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) approved at a three-day summit that opened on Friday with an address from Pope Francis:


- “We cannot permit ourselves to postpone “certain agendas” for the future. The future demands of us critical and global decisions in the face of world-wide conflicts which increase the number of the excluded and those in need.”

- “Our world demands of all government leaders a will which is effective, practical, constant, with concrete steps and immediate measures for preserving and improving the natural environment and thus putting an end as quickly as possible to the phenomenon of social and economic exclusion, with its baneful consequences.”

BAN KI-MOON, U.N. Secretary-General:

- “The 2030 Agenda compels us to look beyond national boundaries and short-term interests and act in solidarity for the long-term.”

- “They are a to-to list for people and planet, and a blueprint for success.”

ERNA SOLBERG, Prime Minister of Norway

- “A little less conversation, a little more action please.”

MALALA YOUSAFZAI, Nobel Peace laureate, education activist:

- “Promise us that you will keep your commitments and invest in our future. Promise that every child will have the right to safe, free and quality primary and secondary education. This is the investment the world needs and what world leaders must do.”

SALIL SHETTY, Secretary-General of Amnesty International:

- “We cannot blame people for being skeptical when they see yet another summit declaration. There is a huge gap between the world we live in and the world we want. These goals represent people’s aspirations and rights and they must and can be realized.”

BILL GATES, co-founder of Microsoft Corp., co-chair of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation:

- “It’s a great opportunity for the developed world to really take stock of the differences that exist in average living conditions from what we experience every day and dedicate ourselves to reducing that inequity.”

MELINDA GATES, co-chair of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation:

- “What’s the most pressing issue of our time? It really is ending poverty in the world, and that’s what these SDGs are focused on.”

SHAKIRA, Colombian singer and U.N. goodwill ambassador:

- “We live in a world in which many who are born poor will die poor. It is up to us to be the first society to eradicate poverty and bring justice and equality to the most disenfranchised people on earth. Our children have the right to equal opportunities; to thrive, to be happy, healthy, and safe.”

HELEN CLARK, administrator of United Nations Development Programme and former New Zealand prime minister:

- “So, time now for action.”

Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith and Ellen Wulfhorst; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit

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