The head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, has welcomed the 17 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) urging world leaders to deliver on their promises to transform the world over the next 15 years.
Addressing the UN General Assembly in New York, Pope Francis backed the ambitious global agenda aimed at ending poverty, ensuring healthy lives, promoting education and combating climate change; and encouraged global leaders to be determined to see the implementation of the SDGs through to completion.
The SDGs will replace the Millennium Development Goals and applies to both developed and developing nations.
The new SDGs will cost between $3.5 and $5 trillion per year to implement until 2030.
Pope Francis, in his speech, told leaders to take “concrete steps and immediate measures” to protect the environment and end exclusion.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described the plan as a “to-do list for people and planet” that laid out a “universal, integrated and transformative vision for a better world”.
“The true test of commitment to agenda 2030 will be implementation,” Ban told leaders.
“We need action from everyone, everywhere.”