UN symposium in Uganda focuses on revitalizing global partnership for sustainable development

President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Oh Joon (left) and Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Wu Hongbo (second right) are joined by other officials at the ECOSOC Development Cooperation Forum in Kampala, Uganda. Photo: Uganda Government

5 November 2015 – Speaking at a symposium on the revitalization of a global partnership for sustainable development, top United Nations officials dealing with economic and social issues today stressed the importance of building trust, cultivating leadership and adjusting policies to achieve the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“We have before us the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted just over a month ago in New York,” the current President of the UN Economic and Social Council, Oh Joon, told delegates attending the two-day Development Cooperation Forum on the shores of Lake Victoria in Kampala, Uganda.

The Development Cooperation Forum Uganda High-level Symposium provides a first opportunity for the range of actors to discuss development cooperation for the 2030 Agenda: ways to motivate, support and further shape development cooperation as a critical ‘means of implementation.’ Particular attention will be placed on what this means in terms of challenges and opportunities for development cooperation in Africa.

“The Agenda calls for concerted efforts to realize sustainable development for all societies, leaving no one behind. It resonates greatly with the realities and ambitions of all people, especially those in vulnerable and fragile situations,” continued Mr. Oh.

Mr. Oh, who is also the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations, noted that the 17 global goals included in the Agenda will come to guide national policy, budget and international development cooperation.

“Our job at the global level, which I represent here today as President of ECOSOC, is to support this effort at translation and alignment at all levels, especially in this early implementation phase,” he noted.

ECOSOC, he explained will lead in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda and its financing framework at global level.

The High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, under ECOSOC auspices, and, every fourth year, under the auspices of the General Assembly, will review progress toward the 2030 Agenda. It will be informed by voluntary and country-led reviews, based on a global SDG indicator framework. This framework will be proposed by the UN Statistical Commission by March 2016 and then put to the Council and Assembly for adoption.

Meanwhile, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Wu Hongbo, said “it is fitting” to be holding the Development Cooperation Forum on the “fastest growing continent in the world.”

“The achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals demands solidarity and the policies that are fit for the scale and scope of the 2030 Agenda,” said Mr. Wu.

“You have gathered here as distinguished policy makers and practitioners in development cooperation. The Development Cooperation Forum offers the platform for all actors, public and private, North and South, to learn and exchange.”

He added that discussions at the Forum should yield concrete recommendations that the international community can bring to practice in its work.

According to the UN, the Symposium, which wraps up on 6 November, will feed preparations for the 2016 high-level meeting of the Development Cooperation Forum and other functions of ECOSOC, which has the lead role in the follow-up of the 2030 Agenda at global level.

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