STORY: “Lives lost. Climactic costs. Exhausted. Angered. We are endangered not because of our numbers, but because of our numbness.”
U.S. poet Amanda Gorman kicked off the United Nations General Assembly week in New York on Monday.
In a new poem called “An Ode We Owe,” she urged action on the climate crisis, hunger and poverty, and gender and racial equity… just a day before world leaders gather to address the 193-member body.
“This morn, let it be sworn that we are one human kin, grounded not just by the griefs we bear, but by the good we begin to anyone out there. I only ask that you care before it's too late. That you live aware and awake, that you lead with love in hours of hate."
South Korean pop band Blackpink, whose members are U.N. advocates for the SDGs—or Sustainable Development Goals – addressed the assembly via video – here’s Blackpink member, Rose.
"We can't deny that the climate crisis is getting worse. There isn't a single moment to lose. That is why SDG 13 for climate action is so important. It can truly make or break our efforts across all global goals."
The 17 SDGs were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty and protect the planet.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres noted the significance of the meeting during a year dominated by war, global inflation, political division, ongoing health crises and ever-increasing climate and extreme weather events.
"We meet at a moment of great peril for our world. (flash) Each battle is pushing the Sustainable Development Goals further out of reach. And in the face of such perils, it is tempting to put our long-term development priorities to one side, to leave them for a sunny day. But development cannot wait."
President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil is scheduled to open the plenary meeting on Tuesday, which launches the General Debate of the General Assembly’s 77th session.
U.S. President Joe Biden will speak on Wednesday.