Distinguished Heads of State and Government,
Thank you for your leadership on developing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and for implementing intensively in relation to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as soon as the Agenda came into force at the start of this year.
Today I request you to remain focused on five shared priorities.
First: Climate Change.
The Paris Agreement was reached in December last year after more than 20 years of negotiations. Representatives of 175 countries came together in New York on April 22nd this year to sign the agreement: never before have so many nations signed a treaty in one day (the previous was 119 countries signing the Law of the Sea in Jamaica in 1982). The world’s leaders have shown an extraordinary commitment to act on climate change. 16 countries have already accepted or ratified the treaty in their national assemblies. The target is that 55 countries reflecting at least 55 per cent of global emissions ratify before December 31st 2016. I understand that 42 countries reflecting 49% of emissions expect to have ratified by the end of the year. I urge all G7 nations and all leaders of nations in the European Union to do all they can to ratify as soon as possible. In this way the momentum of implementation will be maintained.
Second: humanitarian action.
I come to Japan from the first ever World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul. The Summit represented a major advance in our collective thought and action in relation to humanitarian crises. I thank Chancellor Merkel for participating.
I convened the Summit because of the dramatic rise in the levels of humanitarian need among the people of our world. 15 years ago the cost of responding to this need was around $2 billion a year: now it is nearer $25 billion a year – that’s a 12 fold increase. The UN system lacks the capacity to respond to this level of need.
More than 9000 delegates attended the conference: at least 177 countries were represented, with more than 60 at the level of Head of State or Government. There was much support for the different elements within my agenda for humanity.
Many commitments were made including new funds for education in crises and more efficient provision of assistance by major agencies.
I count on rich and powerful nations (including those of the G7) to follow the example of Mrs Merkel and support for my Agenda for Humanity. I count on them to invest more in the prevention of conflicts and building resilience. This should be done in ways that align with the 2015 Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Third: Refugees and Migrants
The leaders of many nations are struggling as they respond to the inflows of millions of refugees and migrants from areas affected by conflict or climate change. A global approach will help nations to respond more effectively to this challenge.
The UN will convene a global summit on Migration on September 19th in New York: I hope you will be able to attend. On September 20th US President Obama is convening a complementary summit meeting with a slightly different focus.
Fourth: Global health.
Several leaders and the World Bank have spoken today about the generosity of the world’s nations in response to health crises – particularly the 2014 – 2015 recent Ebola outbreak. These contributions are greatly appreciated. Within the United Nations we also developed an exceptional arrangement – the UN’s first ever public health mission – as our novel contribution for the Ebola response.
I was subsequently encouraged – by Germany, Ghana and Norway – to learn and apply lessons from the Ebola outbreak. In 2015 I established a High Level Panel, chaired by former President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania. The work was completed in January 2016 and has yielded 27 helpful recommendations. Most of them will be implemented: only a few are not practicable right now. Some are relevant for responding to the current Zika outbreak. I am setting up arrangements to monitor progress with implementation of the recommendations and to review their impact.
Fifth: the Sustainable Development Goals.
I commend Prime Minister Abe for setting up Japan’s centre for promoting the Sustainable Development Goals across Government and under his direct authority. I hope that all leaders will take full ownership of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: I encourage them to establish small high-level bodies to oversee cross-government implementation of the SDGs. Many governments tell me that they will reflect the 2030 Agenda in all their investments, and that they are creating incentives for private finance to be spent in this way too.
I welcome this – and count on your personal leadership for results.