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More Must be Done to Avert Catastrophes, Seize Opportunities Ahead — for People, Planet, Deputy Secretary-General Tells Victoria Forum

Dear colleagues, you have an opportunity to help reassess development approaches that are aligned with rescuing the Sustainable Development Goals and grounded in multilateralism, trust and partnership.Following is the text of UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s video message to the 2022 Victoria Forum “Bridging Divides:  Turf, Truth and Trust”, held in Victoria, Canada, today: In our deeply interconnected world, we cannot let divisions unravel hard‑earned progress on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  We must act together to promote peace, to recover from the pandemic, to fight poverty, hunger, inequalities, as well as the triple environmental crises of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. At the United Nations, we are determined to work ever more closely with Governments, but also with civil society, with businesses, with universities and schools, and with young people everywhere.  Put simply, we are working hard to build a more networked, inclusive and effective form of multilateralism.  The world’s greatest challenges are shared challenges, so the solutions can only be developed together. I urge you to think creatively about transforming societies for greater sustainability and inclusion.  This means supporting women and girls fulfil their potential, through access to education, health and jobs and ensuring they have a place in decision-making.  It means helping those who are suffering from rising food and energy prices, the ongoing pandemic and climate related disasters.  It means supporting a transition away from the “business-as-usual” world that is making these crises steadily worse.  And it means transforming how we view and value nature in our political, social and economic decision-making. Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for the opportunity to open the Victoria Forum.  You are gathering at a time when bridging divides and building trust have never been more urgent.  The past three years have highlighted and exacerbated the world’s shared fragility.  We have responded in solidarity — sharing science to fight against COVID-19.  But, there has also been discord — inequality, mistrust and conflict. Crucial conferences in the coming months and years will provide opportunities to address climate change, end the scourge of plastic pollution, reverse nature loss and protect biodiversity in the world’s oceans.  We must do so to avert catastrophes, but also to seize the vast opportunities ahead — for people and planet — if we strive to deliver on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  I thank you for your efforts and wish you fruitful deliberations. Ladies and gentlemen, we must urgently align the pandemic recovery with all 17 Sustainable Development Goals.  We must work together to transition to a green and blue economy that have the potential of creating new jobs and opportunities for women and young people.

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