Thomas Gass: Heads of State Should Enact Common Vision in Sustainable Development Goals

With heads of state now collected in New York for the United Nations High-Level Week, “Let’s be sure that they don’t come for the photo op, but they come to promise to their people back home that this shared vision is for them,” said Thomas Gass about the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were adopted this past weekend. “This [agenda] is a new social contract between the governments and their people, between the leaders and their people,” he said.

The goals are the next generation of the Millennium Development Goals.“We opened those windows and those doors, we let civil society in, and we let the people in to tell us what they wanted,” said Gass, UN Assistant Secretary-General who played a key role in steering the SDGs process forward from the UN point of view. “If any significant social or economic group is left behind, our development is not sustainable.”

The interview was conducted by Jimena Leiva Roesch, Policy Analyst at the International Peace Institute.

Other videos in this series:
Implementing UN Global Goals Requires New Mentality: Interview with David Donoghue
Global Goals Even a Pope Can Love: Interview with Ambassador Kamau
How Can You Have Development Without Peace? Interview with Nikhil Seth