Visit of the President of the General Assembly to Rome
New York, 4 July 2017 – The President of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Peter Thomson, visited Rome today.
President Thomson addressed the opening session of the international conference “Oceans, caring for a common heritage” at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome. The conference was organized by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development in collaboration with the Missions of France, Monaco and the Netherlands to the Holy See.
In his remarks, President Thomson praised the initiative of the conference for its continuation of the momentum generated by The Ocean Conference held at the United Nations in New York, 5-9 June. He thanked Cardinal Turkson, the Prefect of the Dicastery for his strong participation in The Ocean Conference and its follow-up.
In his statement at the conference, President Thomson highlighted the importance of galvanizing the solutions to the Ocean’s problems that were covered at The Ocean Conference, including the 1393 voluntary commitments that were presented. He said this had resulted in a massive work plan to take forward over the next few years in order to realize the targets of SDG14.
President Thomson also participated today in the launch of the Global Action Program on Food Security and Nutrition for Small Island Developing States, held at the FAO headquarters in Rome. He spoke at the launch along with President Remengesau of Palau and FAO Director-General Graziano da Silva.
In his remarks to more than 20 ministers of agriculture present at the launch, together with other high level participants from around the world, President Thomson welcomed the Global Action Program’s protection of food security and nutrition, essential elements for the achievement of Agenda 2030.
The President also stressed that both Agenda 2030 and the Paris Climate Agreement provide the best pathway to end poverty and to place humanity into a sustainable relationship with the resources of the planet.
He emphasised that the immense challenges facing Small Island Developing States, due to their special circumstances, must be met with decisive action by the international community in support of the implementation of SDG targets addressing poverty, hunger, sustainable agriculture, health, water, sanitation, economic development, inequalities, climate change, terrestrial ecosystems and the Ocean.
Finally, the President stressed that an integrated multi-stakeholder approach to realizing the SDGs is essential, as proven by the recent Ocean Conference, at which over 40% of the voluntary commitments came from non-governmental actors. He further called on the international donor community, development banks, financial institutions, the private sector and civil society to continue to become meaningfully involved in initiatives in support of the implementation of Agenda 2030.