Urging countries to get back on track, UN Messenger of Peace and Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai has said that the Sustainable Development Goals are ‘the future’, reports UN News.
Malala Yousafzai, UN Messenger of Peace and Nobel Laureate, delivered remarks at the first virtual Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Moment of the Decade of Action on Friday.
The global goals represent the future for millions of girls who want education, women who fight for equality, and youths fighting for clean air, said Malala Yousafzai.
“When I last spoke here, I was just about to enter university…optimistic about what was ahead: university life, making new friends and access to an incredible education,” she told the inaugural SDG Moment event, intended to renew the efforts to meet the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) over the coming decade.
“This June, I graduated in the midst of a reeling world — one many of us could not have predicted."
The young Nobel Laureate recalled that five years ago Member States signed on to the SDGs, but, “So far, you have not kept up with your work”, she declared.
While acknowledging that COVID-19 has been “a striking setback to our collective goals” she stressed, “it cannot be an excuse."
“On education alone, 20 million more girls may never go back to the classroom when this crisis ends the global education funding gap has already increased to 200 billion dollars per year," she flagged.
Setting new norms
The young advocate signaled that moving forward, things should not return to the way they were.
“When will you commit the necessary funding to give every child 12 years of quality education? When will you prioritise peace and protect refugees? When will you pass policies to cut carbon emissions?”
Underlining the need for “a profound commitment to the way the world should be – a place where every girl can learn and lead, a place where we put people and our planet ahead of profits, a place where leaders keep their promises,” Yousafzai requested that those gathered “set the norms” of a new sustainable, healthy, educated and equitable era.