Achieving SDGs and ensuring no one is left behind

Excellencies, colleagues and friends.

The Sustainable Development Goals remain an invaluable framework for the world to come together, to build back better from COVID-19, and to make sure that no one is left behind.

The UK remains committed to meeting the SDGs by 2030.

Reaching this milestone will be a huge challenge – that we cannot allow to be derailed by COVID-19.

The scarring caused by the pandemic is not felt equally.

The impacts have been particularly profound for those in the poorest and most vulnerable countries, and on people who were already grappling with conflict, climate change, and a chronic lack of resources and infrastructure.

We have committed over £1 billion of UK aid to support the international response to COVID-19.
This will help defend hard-won development gains and accelerate progress towards the SDGs, by supporting the most vulnerable, and protecting against future crises.

To protect the most vulnerable, we must make equitable access to vaccines a reality.

At the G7 summit last month, our Prime Minister called for an international effort to vaccinate the world by 2022, and G7 leaders came forward with a commitment to share and finance an additional 1 billion vaccine doses over the next year, primarily channelled through COVAX towards those in greatest need.

We urge those who can, to back this ambition, and share and finance further doses with COVAX.

We have also used our G7 Presidency to put equal societies, including girls’ education, at the heart of our work.

This year, the UK will spend £400 million on girls’ education bilaterally, helping deliver our global target to get 40 million more girls into education, and 20 million more reading, in the next five years.

Later this month, alongside Kenya, we will co-host the Global Education Summit in London, to raise funds for the vital work of the Global Partnership for Education.

We recently announced our pledge of £430million to the Global Partnership, which is our largest ever, and a 15% uplift from our current position as the top bilateral donor.

We cannot build back better without tackling the threat posed by climate change. In November, the UK will host COP26 and drive progress towards SDG 13 on Climate Action.

The most important thing COP26 can deliver is keeping 1.5 degrees in reach. To achieve this, we will set the world on a path to net zero, by speeding up emissions reductions and cleaning up our economies.

We will also help countries adapt and become more resilient. We are determined to deliver on the pledge we all made in Paris, to mobilise $100bn of climate finance each year, to support climate vulnerable and developing countries.

We hosted an Adaptation Action Coalition event at this year’s High-Level Political Forum. As co-chairs, we call on all nations to join the Coalition to deliver increased ambition through inclusive, locally-led adaptation. We will carry this momentum through to a successful COP26 summit.

We can only achieve an inclusive and resilient recovery if we reach the most vulnerable.

The pandemic has not only hit them hardest, it has put Global data systems under strain, making it more difficult to assess the full extent of the impact.

Timely and comprehensive data is essential to enable us to track progress towards the goals and ensure that everyone is counted.

We ask you to join us in championing fair and inclusive data to ensure that no one is left behind.

Everyone has a role to play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Local and national governments, businesses and civil society. We must all work together to share knowledge, mobilise finance, and deliver the SDGs.

None of us can afford to fail.

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