The Day’s theme for 2016 is “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace.”
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals were unanimously adopted by the 193 member states of the United Nations at an historic summit of the world’s leaders in New York in September 2015.
The new ambitious 2030 agenda calls on countries to begin efforts to achieve these goals over the next 15 years. It aims to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.
The Sustainable Development Goals are integral to achieving peace in our time, as development and peace are interdependent and mutually reinforcing.
“The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are our shared vision of humanity and a social contract between the world's leaders and the people,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “They are a to-do list for people and planet, and a blueprint for success.”'
Sustainability addresses the fundamental needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Modern challenges of poverty, hunger, diminishing natural resources, water scarcity, social inequality, environmental degradation, diseases, corruption, racism and xenophobia, among others, pose challenges for peace and create fertile grounds for conflict. Sustainable development contributes decisively to dissipation and elimination of these causes of conflict and provides the foundation for a lasting peace.
Peace, meanwhile, reinforces the conditions for sustainable development and liberates the resources needed for societies to develop and prosper.
Every single one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals is a building block in the global architecture of peace. It is critical that we mobilise means of implementation, including financial resources, technology development and transfer, and capacity-building, as well as the role of partnerships. Everyone has a stake and everyone has a contribution to make.
On 16 September 2016, the Secretary-General celebrated the Day in the Peace Garden at United Nations Headquarters by ringing the Peace Bell and observing a minute of silence.
Women Nobel Peace Prize laureates and the United Nations Messengers of Peace were invited to participate in the ceremony.
The United Nations Education Outreach Section held a global student videoconference on the same day at United Nations Headquarters.
"Sustainable Development Goals: Improve Life All Around The Globe" is a hip hop music video that was produced by Flocabulary in partnership with the Education Outreach Section of the Outreach Division of the United Nations Department of Public Information.
It aims to teach young people throughout the world about the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals and how they can help build peace.
"Let us all work together to help all human beings achieve dignity and equality; to build a greener planet; and to make sure no one is left behind." — UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon.