In an interview posted to the United Nation’s YouTube channel on Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the pandemic “showed us what we’re capable of” in achieving Agenda 2030 and adopting international Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). 

Trudeau was speaking as the Co-Chair of the UN Secretary-General’s SDG Advocates group – a position he has held since last year. The UN’s SDGs are seventeen objectives set out by the global organization for member nations to adopt by 2030. They include climate action, healthcare and other initiatives. 

During the interview, Trudeau was responding to a progress report released by the UN on the SDGs which found that most countries are not on their way to adopting the program by the target date. 

“We’re down at halftime but I remain incredibly optimistic. I mean yes, we had a pandemic and global circumstances that slowed down the progress we would have liked to have made but it also showed us what we’re capable of,” said Trudeau. 

“The way we’ve come together to counter the food crisis caused by Russia’s illegal invasion. The way we worked on vaccines and getting them out around the world through the pandemic and supporting people that showed us what we’re capable of.” 

According to Trudeau, the SDG goals “are what is necessary to create a successful planet.” 

“If we don’t get them right, then nobody succeeds,” stressed the prime minister. 

The latest SDG progress report claims that just 12% of the targets are on track and in some cases over 30% of the SDGs have stalled or gone in the reverse direction. 

“Unless we act now, the 2030 Agenda will become an epitaph for a world that might have been,” wrote UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutterres.