[Lambeth Palace] As the UN today adopted its landmark Sustainable Development Goals, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said:
"I warmly welcome today’s announcement that the members of the UN General Assembly have adopted an ambitious agenda to tackle poverty, inequality and injustice and climate change over the next fifteen years.
"Humanity is called to justice, compassion and standing alongside the poor. If we root our response to the afflictions of extreme poverty and other major global issues in these values, we can ensure that the Sustainable Development Goals provide a vision and a framework through which all of us can play a part in working towards a more just world, in which all have the opportunity to flourish and where no one is left behind.
"Our response, today and in the years to come, must seek to emulate the sacrificial pattern of love and servant-hearted leadership that is demonstrated perfectly in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The powerful are called to serve, the rich to give, and the vulnerable to be cherished, so that they may flourish and stand strong.
"The global Anglican Communion has sought to model this example in its response to the Millennium Development Goals – in many parts of the world delivering health and education services, that have helped improve access to education, reduce child and maternal mortality, and assisted in turning the tide on HIV/AIDS and other diseases. In places of instability and conflict it is often the church - along with other faith communities - that is the sole surviving institution providing hope, relief and support to those most in need.
"We must all now work together to redouble our efforts to banish global extreme poverty and inequality from our midst. When we recognise the God-given dignity in each and every person in our world, we are compelled to reach out to them in love, whatever the cost.
"Without such a response from all involved in this endeavour - governments, the private sector, faith communities, civil society and the public, we risk falling short of what is required of us, and undermining the major progress made through the Millennium Development Goals.
"My prayer today is that all of us would have the courage to live our lives for the common good; to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly in pursuit of a world free from poverty and injustice."