The Sustainable Development Goals: Making Transformation Happen

We are here at last -- at the end of one journey, and the beginning of another. Today, after more than three years of negotiations, world leaders will adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Tomorrow, the real work of real implementation begins.

Seventeen goals for people, planet, prosperity and peace. Seventeen goals that will apply to every country -- Ivory Coast and Italy; Mongolia and Monaco; Canada and Costa Rica. Seventeen goals that have the potential to transform our world, after being agreed to through the most inclusive and deliberative negotiating process the UN has ever seen.

In a world of conflict and violence, a world on the brink of unstoppable climate change, and amidst the biggest refugee crisis since the second World War, the Sustainable Development Goals are a welcome vehicle for hope, change and transformative action.

They confront the injustices of poverty, marginalization and discrimination. They recognize the need to reduce inequalities and to protect our common home by changing an economic model so dependent on finite natural resources and on unsustainable consumption. They also identify the overwhelming need to address the politics of division, corruption and irresponsibility that fuel conflict and hold back progress.

Yet the slogan that dominated the negotiation phase, "Nothing about us without us," must now become the slogan that defines the implementation phase that lies ahead.

After the excitement of this weekend's Summit dies down, the hard work will begin. We must not lose the fantastic momentum we have achieved through the negotiation process and the UN Summit. We need immediate and accelerated action for implementation. As President of the General Assembly of the United Nations, I will be doing my utmost to keep the spotlight on this new Agenda, to drive progress.

In 2016, I will hold three high-level events for that very purpose. Starting in April, I want people from all walks of life to gather online and at the UN to demonstrate what they are doing to implement the new goals, and to identify opportunities for partnerships and for action.

We need to immediately raise awareness so that these goals are known by everyone and owned by everyone. We need urgent action from everyone because government action alone will not be enough. And, over the course of the next 15 years, we need sustained and strong voices to hold our leaders to account for the commitments they make this weekend.

The power and responsibility to ensure that SDG implementation gets off to a good start lies with all of us. Young people will be the torchbearers for these goals, but we all have a role.

If we succeed, the next generations will harvest the results of a more peaceful harmonious and sustainable world. If we fail, they will be left with a global environment of more intense and more frequent disasters, devastating conflicts, uncontrolled migration, and fewer resources for human development.

We must not let this opportunity pass. Let's work with together to transform our world for the better.

This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post, "What's Working: Sustainable Development Goals," in conjunction with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The proposed set of milestones will be the subject of discussion at the UN General Assembly meeting on Sept. 25-27, 2015 in New York. The goals, which will replace the UN's Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015), cover 17 key areas of development -- including poverty, hunger, health, education, and gender equality, among many others. As part of The Huffington Post's commitment to solutions-oriented journalism, this What's Working SDG blog series has focused on one goal every weekday in September. This post, published on the day the conference is scheduled to start, addresses all the Goals.

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