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Award Winners, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
I hope that everyone here tonight is doing something for sustainable development in their own lives.
Those who are not, can meet me and my body guards at Riverside Park around midnight.
Thank you, Bill, for your kind introduction.
I have something on my mind that needs to be said about you as well.
As co-chair of the UN Secretary General’s Sustainable Development Advocates I always mention
- The essential role of business,
- The need for innovation,
- The importance of partnerships
Bill, you are world’s number one «go to man» for all of this.
I have no idea of the number of times I have used, GAVI - the Vaccine Alliance, as an example.
To the award winners tonight: Your Award is more important than the Oscars Academy Awards.
Our cause is nothing less than the well being of people and the planet.
I am very upbeat tonight - thanks to all the great Global Goals initiatives that are going on;
- On Sunday night at the UN, I joined the UN Secretary General in hosting more than one hundred Sustainable Development Leaders from different sectors and many parts of the world.
- This morning, at the UN, world leaders where reminded of their responsibilities
- This afternoon I took part in the Global Goals World Cup, where girls and women from the US and elsewhere fought hard to score for their chosen goals.
- The #Take the ball and hit the goals campaign is on a roll.
- On Saturday sixty thousand people will trek to Central Park for the annual Global Citizen Festival – a concert where pop meets politics. Tickets are given out based on actions taken for various global goals
- In December I will be at the Mandela 100 Concert in Johannesburg. Millions of grass root actions will be taken for the Global Goals leading up to that concert and beyond.
- Grassroot pressure will also leverage more action from Governments around the world.
- Here in New York this week, Norway is announcing three new commitments – to the benefit of global health, quality education and oceans
In clonclusion - despite all of the action, we are just out of the starting blocks - with a lot of distance to cover.
Let us pick up speed together and keep going to the goal line.