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Speeches

Cities are increasingly the home of humanity. They are central to climate action, global prosperity, peace and human rights. More than half of all people live in cities and human settlements, and that proportion is projected to grow to two thirds by 2050. To transform our world, we must transform its cities.
This year’s observance of United Nations Day occurs at a time of transition for the world and for the United Nations. Humanity has entered the era of sustainability – with a global commitment to fulfil the great promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  In this, the Organization’s 71st year, we have 17 goals to propel us towards a better future for all on a healthy planet.
Biodiversity and the ecosystem services it supports are the foundations for life on Earth and the livelihoods and well-being of people everywhere.  Protecting biodiversity and preventing further losses is an essential investment in our collective future. Biodiversity is an important cross-cutting issue in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  Goal 15 explicitly recognizes the importance of halting biodiversity loss, and other Goals recognize the importance of biological diversity for eradicating poverty, providing food and fresh-water, and improving life in cities.  It is critical that we make progress in mainstreaming biodiversity and transforming how societies value and manage it. Despite numerous…