Foreword to the EU-LAC Foundation Newsletter on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, by Ban Ki-moon

On 2 August 2015, United Nations Member States reached agreement on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It will be formally adopted by the General Assembly in September. The outcome document, titled “Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” contains an ambitious agenda with 17 sustainable development goals and 169 targets, means of implementation and provisions for follow-up and review. 

This agenda provides a universal pathway to sustainable development for all people in all countries, developed and developing. It is a blueprint for ending poverty in all its dimensions without leaving anyone behind. It promotes prosperity, peaceful societies and respect for human rights and well-being while protecting our planet.

The process of defining the agenda has been unprecedented. A global discussion was held, with participation from civil society, the private sector, academia, parliamentarians, local authorities and citizens. All shared their vision of the future they want.

It has been a landmark year for sustainable development. The 2030 agenda is part of a larger set of milestones that took place or will still take place in 2015. The Third International Conference on Financing for Development produced the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, which compliments the 2030 agenda by outlining financial and non-financial means of implementation and highlighting the importance of sustained partnerships. The outcome document of the Climate Conference, to be held in Paris at the end of 2015, will provide further substance to the goal on climate change.

The new sustainable development agenda builds on the Millennium Development Goals and incorporates their unfinished business. The MDGs helped lift more than 700 million people from poverty and addressed an array of issues such as hunger, disease, gender inequality and access to water and sanitation. By going beyond the focus of the MDGs, the 2030 agenda, aims to tackle the root causes of poverty and inequality and reverse unsustainable consumption and production patterns in all countries.

The EU–LAC Foundation can provide an important platform for mobilizing its 62 member countries from Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean in implementing the new sustainable development agenda. This universal, transformative and integrated agenda heralds a historic turning point for our world.  It is an urgent imperative to intensify efforts to build a life of dignity for all and heal our planet. Let us heed this clarion call and unite in action for the benefit of this and future generations.