"Bold changes" needed to UN development system: Guterres

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Change agents and leaders, from all sectors and of all ages, are setting the Sustainable Development Goals into motion. Photo: UNDP Peru/Mónica Suárez

"Bold changes" are needed in the way the UN approaches development, in order to meet the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the 2030 deadline.

That's according to UN chief António Guterres, outlining what he called an ambitious "yet realistic roadmap for change".

More details from Matt Wells.

Secretary-General António Guterres offered up 38 concrete ideas and actions which he said would usher in a "new era" for how the UN can help deliver the transformative SDGs by the 2030 deadline, on behalf of people everywhere.

He described the 2030 Agenda, agreed by more than 190 countries at UN Headquarters in 2015, as the most ambitious anti-poverty and "pro-planet" measures ever adopted.

The 17 goals include eradicating poverty and hunger, and providing quality healthcare and education.

But he said the world body had "no time to lose" in making urgent reforms system-wide, which would improve coordination, accountability, and help prevent crises and irreparable damage to the planet.

He proposed reforms to the peace and security architecture of the UN together with management reform, and an overhaul of development on a country-by-country basis that would help deliver the SDGs.

Speaking in the chamber of the Economic and Social Council, he said reform would not be easy.

"The true test of reform will not be measured in words in New York or Geneva.  It will be measured through tangible results in the lives of the people we serve. This report outlines areas where I believe ambitious but realistic changes can be implemented without creating unnecessary disruption on the ground… Just as our founders looked well into the future when they shaped and adopted the UN Charter, we too have a collective responsibility to invest in the United Nations of tomorrow and the world if we want in 2030 and beyond."

Mr Guterres said detailed proposals would be provided for each Member State, by December, with a view to helping every country reach the ambitious 2030 targets.

He said he was looking forward to hearing proposals and views in the coming months so that "we can take the bold steps that the new agenda requires, and that humanity deserves."

Matt Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 1'44"

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