UN polishes poverty, climate change roadmap

  • 04/08/2015
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (AAP)
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (AAP)

Jubilant UN member states have put the finishing touches to a hugely ambitious roadmap aimed at wiping out poverty worldwide by 2030 and taking on climate change.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon lauded the hard-fought agreement, saying it "encompasses a universal, transformative and integrated agenda that heralds an historic turning point for our world".

After a week of heated negotiations at the UN headquarters in New York, experts and diplomats from the 193 member states adopted a draft about 30 pages long, entitled Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

To cheers, Kenyan ambassador Macharia Kamau called it "really a historic moment". Kenya chaired the negotiations, along with Ireland.

World leaders will attend a Sustainable Development Summit at the UN from September 25 to 27 to adopt a sustainable agenda document, firing the starting gun on efforts to improve the lives of one billion people living on less than US$1.25 a day, mainly in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Negotiators set out 17 new sustainable development goals seeking to end poverty, promote wellbeing and safeguard the environment, all by 2030.

"This is the People's Agenda, a plan of action for ending poverty in all its dimensions, irreversibly, everywhere, and leaving no one behind," proclaimed Ban of the multitrillion-dollar initiative.

The UN chief vowed the September summit, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, "will chart a new era of sustainable development in which poverty will be eradicated, prosperity shared and the core drivers of climate change tackled".

The new 2015-2030 Sustainable Development Goals builds on the success of the Millennium Development Goals, which helped drag millions out of poverty.

But the new drive will go significantly further, targeting the causes of poverty and the need for development that works for all people.

Funding the massive effort will be key to its success and last month, donor nations confirmed they aim to set aside 0.7 percent of gross national income for development aid, after several days of at-times fractious talks between rich nations and developing countries.