UN General Assembly, New York, 2016

This year, in line with the emphasis placed on implementation of the Sustainable Development Agenda, the theme of the General Debate during the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly is ‘The Sustainable Development Goals: a universal push to transform our world’.

un_ga_71On 25 September 2015, the countries of the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Development Agenda entitled ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, which contains 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets.

The SDGs constitute an universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. The SDGs came into effect in January 2016, and they will stimulate action over the next 15 years in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet.

These 17 goals build on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals, while including new areas such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice, among other priorities. The goals are interconnected – often the key to success in one will involve tackling issues more commonly associated with another.

Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, will address the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on behalf of the EU on 21 September.

President Tusk will attend the UN high-level meeting on addressing large movements of refugees and migrants. At this event, leaders will seek a global response to the root causes of these large movements and strive to improve how responsibility is shared. President Tusk will also attend the leaders’ summit on the global refugee crisis, hosted by US President Barack Obama.


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