Today is as historic as it is eagerly awaited. The UN Member States will soon adopt the 2030 Agenda with its 17 global goals for a sustainable world, in which people can build their lives, safe from war and climate disasters, persecution and poverty.

It is a major success for the UN that its Member States have managed to reach an agreement on an ambitious action plan for economic, social and environmental sustainable development and poverty reduction. Above all, it is a great victory for people around the world, who are all included in the goals and who will have concrete tools with which to advance developments in a sustainable direction and make decision-makers accountable. Never before has the international community been so determined to make the world a better and more secure place for everyone.

International solidarity at its best

These goals have been negotiated by the international community in the UN’s most inclusive consultation process to date. More than two million people have had their say. The new global goals give the world a chance to create, for the first time, a peaceful and sustainable world. In the words of Ban Ki-moon: “We are the first generation that can wipe out extreme poverty and the last one that can halt climate change.”

The Agenda is an expression of international solidarity at its best. It is universal and, as such, it applies to all countries. As all of the heads of state and government now adopt the Agenda, this means that the countries of the world have agreed to guarantee everyone’s enjoyment of their human rights, to eradicate poverty and hunger, to guarantee health, to combat climate change, to manage natural resources and energy systems in a sustainable way, to promote peaceful and inclusive societies, to achieve gender equality, sustainable economic growth and decent work for all, to exercise non-discrimination, and to guarantee that no one on our planet is excluded from this development.

Action speaks louder than words

The Government’s message is clear: actions speak louder than words. And this is why Sweden will work with other countries and actors to ensure the implementation of the Agenda and its global goals. We recognise that all goals are equally important to ensuring that the aim of the new Agenda is achieved. But we have to start somewhere. For this reason, we will initially focus at international level on a few issues that deserve our immediate attention: climate change, gender equality, peace support and peacebuilding, and decent work.

As we now begin our shared fifteen-year journey towards sustainable development, let us make it clear that the new Agenda is the vision that we will jointly realise by 2030. This is, quite literally, the chance of a lifetime.