Pope Francis Addresses U.N., Calling for Peace and Environmental Justice
UNITED NATIONS — With a passionate call from Pope Francis to choose environmental justice over a “boundless thirst for power and material prosperity,” world leaders on Friday adopted an ambitious agenda to reset their own priorities, from ending hunger to protecting forests to ensuring quality education for all.
“We want to change our world, and we can,” Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany told a packed General Assembly hall.
The global goals, which emerged after three years of negotiations, are 17 in all. Known as the Sustainable Development Goals, they are not legally binding, and therefore not enforceable. But they carry a moral force of coercion, because they are adopted by consensus by the 193 member states of the United Nations. They apply to all countries, not just poor ones, as was the objective of the last round of ambitions, called the Millennium Development Goals, which expired this year.