Key to this was climate change, and he said time was running out with the population set to explode this century.
"Next month, the seven billionth citizen of our world will be born," the UN secretary general said during a speech at Sydney University.
"For that child, and for all of us, we must keep working to fight poverty, create decent jobs, and provide a dignified life while preserving the planet that sustains us.
"That is why the sustainable development agenda is the agenda for the 21st century.
"Above all, that means connecting the dots between challenges such as climate change and water scarcity, energy shortages, global health issues, food insecurity and the empowerment of the world's women."