Partnerships Key to Implementing New Sustainable Development Agenda, Speakers Stress as General Assembly Summit Enters Second Day

GA/11690
26 September 2015
Seventieth Session, 7th, 8th & 9th Meetings (AM, PM & Night)

Partnerships Key to Implementing New Sustainable Development Agenda, Speakers Stress as General Assembly Summit Enters Second Day

Underscoring the importance of partnerships for development, world leaders today deliberated on the collective efforts and resources necessary to achieve the goals set out in the newly adopted 2030 Agenda, as the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit continued at the General Assembly.

The 2030 Agenda was a shared responsibility and a universal road map, said Stefan Löfven, Prime Minister of Sweden.  But, Governments alone could not shoulder the responsibility and efforts were needed, across sectors and stakeholders.  Equality and development were two sides of the same coin, he said.

“This autumn had already produced a truly impressive harvest,” said Sigmundur Davið Gunnlaugsson, Prime Minister of Iceland, referring to the “bumper crop” of agreements regarding the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the 2030 Agenda, the latter adopted by the Assembly on 25 September (see Press Release GA/11688).  Iceland was aiming at becoming a carbon-neutral economy and would support a number of developing countries in harnessing geothermal energy.  His country had recently pledged a 40 per cent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. 

Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, shared instances of his country’s experience in private-sector involvement, from Dutch insurance companies providing health and agricultural insurance in sub-Saharan countries to Heineken’s commitment to source 60 per cent of ingredients in Africa and the Middle East.  He called on Governments and the United Nations to establish effective legal and economic frameworks to facilitate private sector partnerships.

The optimism was not universal, with some countries, such as Cuba, pointing out that the resources needed for the implementation of the Agenda were inadequate.  Calling for concrete commitments of development aid, Cuba’s President, Raul Castro Ruz, stated that a new financial architecture was necessary.  It was also time to resolve the debt issue, “a debt already paid several times over”.  The industrial nations should accept their historic responsibility and apply the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities”.

The President of Senegal, Macky Sall, also urged adherence to that principle as well as that of the “polluter pays”.  He renewed Africa’s appeal for the implementation of the Group of Seven’s CONNEX initiative to support developing countries in negotiating complex contracts, particularly in the mining and oil industries.  Further, the new Agenda must strengthen efforts against tax evasion, illicit financial flows and other illegal practices.

The Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Meltek Kilman Livtuvanu, said the success of the new Agenda would hinge on a country’s capacity and its access to financial resources and appropriate technology.  He called on all developed countries to meet official development assistance targets of 0.7 per cent of gross national income for developing countries and the commitment to set aside at least 0.2 per cent for the poorest nations.

Noting the unbalanced development between the North and the South, China’s President, Xi Jinping, said that it was vital to improve the international environment for development, with international financial institutions stepping up their governance reform and development agencies increasing the supply of resources.  “Eat according to the size of one’s stomach and dress according to the size of one’s figure,” he said, citing a Chinese proverb to underline the importance of development strategies tailored to each country’s needs.

Delegates also discussed the importance of partnerships in meeting challenges that might undermine the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, from climate change to terrorism.  All forms of partnerships must be channelled to complement one another, said Abdusalam H. Omer, Somalia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Investment Promotion.  There should not be finger pointing 15 years from now because of a failure to work together. 

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister of Samoa, highlighted the inherent vulnerability of small island developing States such as his.  Welcoming the Addis Ababa Action Agenda’s reaffirmation of that, he noted that the priorities outlined in the Samoa Pathway had also gone into the shaping of the Goals.

Oceans had a central role in the Sustainable Development Agenda because there could be no sustainable development without “healthy, productive, and resilient oceans,” Baron Divavesi Waqa, President of Nauru, said.  But as “one of the smallest members of the United Nations family”, his country was alarmed at the lack of ambitious actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Climate change was an existential threat to island countries.

“We are all in the same boat,” Hassan Rouhani, President of Iran, said.  Environmental problems had taught the international community that lesson.  Noting that terrorists tended to thrive in lands that were damaged by environmental disasters, he spoke of the “dual calamities” of violence against man and nature in the West Asian region.  When countries were forced to spend their natural resources on fighting terrorism, sustainable development goals suffered.

Rami Hamdallah, Prime Minister of the State of Palestine, said the international community had adopted a series of sublime goals over the decades to ensure peace and prosperity.  However, the people of the State of Palestine were suffering for 67 years, more than 50 of them under occupation.  Blockades, repression and discriminatory policies had only exacerbated collective agony and pain in the West Bank and Gaza.  The achievement of the post-2015 Agenda therefore depended on ending the occupation.

During the day, the Assembly also held two interactive dialogues:  “Fostering sustainable economic growth, transformation and promoting sustainable consumption and protection” and “Delivering on a revitalized global partnership”.

Also speaking today were Heads of State and Government, as well as ministers, senior officials and representatives, of the following nations:  Monaco, Cyprus, Mozambique, Brunei Darussalam, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Republic of Korea, Libya, Kuwait, Indonesia, Lesotho, Georgia, Cambodia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Lebanon, Timor-Leste, Guinea, Angola, Uruguay, Sudan, Chad, Cameroon, Canada, Jordan, Myanmar, Madagascar, Peru, Swaziland, Comoros, Gabon, Estonia, Benin, Mali, Mauritania, Central African Republic, San Marino, Dominican Republic, Zambia, Equatorial Guinea, Burundi, Saint Lucia, United Republic of Tanzania, Fiji, Sao Tome and Principe, Tonga, Republic of Moldova, Papua New Guinea, Czech Republic, Azerbaijan, Sierra Leone, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Rwanda, Eritrea, Yemen, Marshall Islands, Nicaragua, Syria, Guinea-Bissau and Dominica, as well as the Holy See.

Representatives from the International Organization for Migration, International Trade Centre and UN-Habitat also spoke. 

Also making statements were representatives from the International Olympic Committee, International Development Law Organization, International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, INTERPOL, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, Pacific Community, International Forum of NGO Platforms Seychelles and the World Farmers Organization.

Speaking in exercise of the right of reply were representatives of Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Statements

BARON DIVAVESI WAQA, President of Nauru, said that as one of the smallest members of the United Nations family, his country believed that leaving no one behind was a powerful tenet.  “On this point, I call on the United Nations to recognize the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) as one of our long‑standing development partners to be included and involved in the implementation of this universal Agenda,” he said.  Nauru remained alarmed at the lack of ambitious actions by developed partners and the international community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Climate change would continue to pose an existential threat to the island, undermining efforts to achieve sustainable development.  Further, there was no sustainable development without healthy, productive and resilient oceans.  Therefore, Nauru was pleased that oceans had a central role in the Agenda.

Prince ALBERT II of Monaco said that in establishing the Goals, the international community had restored its connection to its origins, cultures and humanity.  “We recognize the urgency to correct our excess, which exacerbated the depletion of the planet,” he said.  Empowered by the lessons learned, the twenty‑first century should be the century of education, social justice and respect for human rights.  Monaco’s actions were set in a secular tradition of world openness and sharing with the most vulnerable, particularly women and children.  The country had also committed to adapt itself to the challenges of sustainable urban development, opting for ecological solutions in transportation and energy and giving priority to creation of green urban spaces.  Further, he would remain personally involved in promoting healthy and productive oceans as they acted as climate regulators and ecosystem service providers.

NICOS ANASTASIADES, President of Cyprus, said his country had been actively involved throughout the two-year process of developing the Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets.  Expressing pride in the ambitious and inclusive universal Agenda, he said that the new Goals brought together the economic, social and environmental aspects of development, signalled a change of thought and attitude toward the use of natural resources, and placed people at the centre of development efforts.  The Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the anticipated globally legally binding agreement at the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in Paris in December, would be crucial components for the successful implementation of the Agenda.  As addressing climate change was of the highest global priority, it should be central to the 2030 Agenda.

HASSAN ROUHANI, President of Iran, expressing regret over the incident that occurred in Mecca on Wednesday for thousands of Muslims, including Iranians, offered condolences to families who had lost loved ones.  Turning to the Agenda, he said environmental problems had taught the international community that “we are all in the same boat” and that “we cannot be assured of our own peace and security, whilst ignoring how others are living.”  Noting that violence against man and nature were the dual calamities that had befallen the West Asia region, he said terrorists tended to grow and thrive in lands that were deprived and damaged by environmental disasters and easily poured across borders like a haze.  In forcing countries to spend their natural resources on fighting against insecurity, terrorists had crushed Sustainable Development Goals, exacerbating poverty and environmental destruction.  Having participated in drafting the post‑2015 agenda, Iran would continue to cooperate to fulfil its commitments at all levels, as evidenced by its various activities to protect the environment.

FILIPE JACINTO NYUSI, President of Mozambique, said his country was one of the 50 nations selected to submit its views, which were used in the drafting of the Secretary-General’s final report.  Over the 15 years of the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, it had become clear that the Goals could be achieved only if they were part of a national agenda.  Highlighting the gains scored by Mozambique, he noted that 80 per cent of school children in his country were enrolled in primary education.  Infant mortality had been reduced.  The Government was also implementing a number of human and social development programmes, and would remain committed to the principles of the Organization.

HASSANAL BOLKIAH MU’IZZADDIN WADDAULAH, Sultan of Brunei Darussalam, said that, thanks to the Millennium Development Goals, the world had witnessed a decline in extreme poverty and an increase in access to primary education in developing regions.  But the progress had been uneven worldwide.  Therefore, it was reassuring that the Sustainable Development Goals were “people-centred, inclusive and comprehensive”.  His country had always valued its operation with external partners and looked forward to further strengthening relations with various agencies of the Organization.  While countries had different priorities and approaches, the international community was united in its commitment to place sustainable development at the core of its efforts.  It was especially pivotal that youth had been included because they would inherit this Agenda.

CHOUMMALY SAYASONE, President of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, said great efforts had been made to integrate the Millennium Development Goals into his country’s development plans.  As a result, its poverty rate had declined from 48 per cent in 1990 to 23 per cent in 2012 and 2013, and was expected to further decline in 2015.  His country had also aimed at broadening economic cooperation and strengthening private sector capacity to facilitate sustained economic growth at 8 per cent per annum.  In the social sector, education had improved significantly with a net primary enrolment ratio of 98.5 per cent in 2014 compared to 84 per cent recorded in 2005.  It had also improved its health services, increased the quantity and quality of its hospitals and introduced a free care service delivery from central to local levels.  Expressing full support for the Sustainable Development Goals, he said his country’s development plan aimed at ensuring political stability, peace and social order to reduce poverty and ultimately graduate the country from least developed country status in 2020.

PARK GEUN-HYE, President of the Republic of Korea, said that in 2016, her country would launch the “Better Life for Girls Initiative”, a health and education official development assistance (ODA) programme for the most vulnerable girls in developing countries and planned to provide $200 million of support over the next five years.  To actively support rural progress in developing countries, it would develop its successful Saemaul Undong (New Community Movement) into a new rural development paradigm.  It also would expand its financial contributions to help developing countries and improve the quality of its development cooperation.  To strengthen the transparency of its development cooperation, the Republic of Korea would formally join the International Aid Transparency Initiative next year.  Robust follow-up measures and a review mechanism were necessary if the 2030 Agenda was to become a reality.  As the presiding nation of the Economic and Social Council, the Republic of Korea would use its leadership to build a sound and reliable review framework.

AGILA SALEH ESSA GWAIDER, Acting Head of State of Libya, said to transform words into actions, effective mechanisms were essential to provide necessary funding.  The right to development, technology transfer, capacity building and coordination must be affirmed.  The sovereignty of nations, their religions and cultures, and national priorities must be respected and considered during the development of indicators for measuring achievement in 2016.  Noting that the 2030 Agenda was based on the principle of leaving no one behind, he stressed that the Palestinian people were still living under foreign occupation and asked how they could aspire to achieve sustainable development under those conditions.  To implement the Agenda, he said the international community must address the threat of rampant terrorism around the world and address its roots and causes.  While his country had made great efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, political instability had hindered their implementation.  He expressed hope that friendly countries would support his country’s efforts to restore stability towards its path to democracy.

SABAH AL-AHMAD AL-JABER AL-SABAH, Amir of Kuwait, said that the Sustainable Development Goals required creative methods for raising new funding sources.  Emphasizing the need for developed countries to fulfil their commitment to allocate 0.07 per cent of their gross national product to ODA, he added that Kuwait had always shouldered its regional and national responsibilities.  His country had launched numerous initiatives to promote partnership and cooperation in the humanitarian fields.  The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development provided grants and soft loans to carry out infrastructure projects in developing countries.  Even though Kuwait was a developing country itself, it had been ranked first in providing humanitarian assistance in 2014, according to the Global Humanitarian Assistance Report.

RAUL CASTRO RUZ, President of Cuba, said that the resources needed for the Agenda’s implementation were inadequate to meet the 17 objectives.  In order to bring about peace and harmony among nations and ensure respect for human rights for all, it was vital to adopt concrete commitments for development assistance and to resolve the debt issue, “a debt already paid several times over”, he said.  It was necessary to build a new financial architecture, remove the technology monopoly and change the present international economic order.  The industrial nations should accept their historic responsibility and apply the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities”.  While the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States had constituted major progress, the blockade against his country had persisted and stood as the main obstacle to the country’s economic development.  For its part, Cuba had achieved the Millennium Development Goals and had offered its modest cooperation to other developing countries.

XI JINPING, President of China, said that, in the past 15 years, the world had witnessed a sweeping rise of developing countries and an unbalanced development between the North and South.  The pursuit of peace and development remained the fundamental solution to various global challenges, including the recent refugee crisis in Europe.  The worth of any plan was in its implementation.  Quoting a Chinese saying, he said “eat according to the size of one’s stomach and dress according to the size of one’s figure.”  He added that it was necessary for individual countries to formulate their own development strategies and vital to improve the global environment for development, with international financial institutions stepping up their governance reform and development agencies increasing the supply of resources.  China would continue to take an active part in international development cooperation and would establish an assistance fund for South-South cooperation, with an initial pledge of $2 billion in support of developing countries’ efforts to implement the Agenda.

MACKY SALL, President of Senegal, said the planet’s fate depended on joint action to halt global warming.  He urged adherence to the established principles of common but differentiated responsibilities and that the “polluter pays” during the upcoming Climate Conference in Paris.  Stressing that it was time to put an end to selfish interests, he expressed hope that the new Agenda would be effective in strengthening efforts against tax evasion, illicit financial flows and other illegal practices.  As chairman of the Steering Committee of New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), he renewed Africa’s appeal for the implementation of the Group of Seven’s CONNEX initiative to support developing countries in negotiating complex contracts, particularly in the mining and oil industries.  The “emerging Senegal plan” for sustainable development aimed at strengthening good governance and democracy and reflected the country’s vision of development based on intensified national efforts, partnerships and investments.

MUHAMMAD JUSUF KALLA, Vice-President of Indonesia, said the lessons learned from the Millennium Goals had shown that despite progress made, inequality among and within countries and poverty remained the main global challenges.  New challenges had appeared, including energy inequality, infrastructure gaps, unsustainable consumption, limitation in production and climate change.  Rising conflicts had also set many countries back in their development achievements.  With that in mind, he said the 2015 Agenda remained unfinished.  Indonesia had surpassed the goal of halving the percentage of population living in poverty and was on track to reducing the prevalence of underweight children and child mortality below age 5 and increasing primary education enrolment.  His Government had mainstreamed the post-2015 Agenda into its national development planning.  The new Agenda demanded a strong and inclusive global partnership to support the means of implementation, while taking into account national circumstances and development priorities.

TUILAEPA SAILELE MALIELEGAOI, Prime Minister of Samoa, recalling the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States held in 2014, said he was grateful to States and partners for ensuring that their challenges and priorities outlined in the Samoa Pathway, the gathering’s outcome document, had shaped part of the Sustainable Development Goals.  He welcomed the Addis Ababa Action Agenda’s reaffirmation of the special case of small island developing States as a group recognized by the United Nations as one with special needs and inherent vulnerabilities in the context of sustainable development.  Recognition of those specificities served as a reminder that the universality of the Agenda did not equate to a “one-size-fits-all” approach.  Different national realities and challenges must be recognized in order to find meaningful and relevant indicators and to ultimately achieve the Goals.

MARK RUTTE, Prime Minister and Minister for General Affairs of the Netherlands, said that private sector involvement in long-term financing was crucial.  Dutch companies and the Government already had a solid track record in that.  Last year, more than 60 partners signed the Post-2015 Charter, a corporate initiative that brought together Dutch businesses, universities and other organizations.  Providing examples of what private sector involvement look like in practice, he said efforts included Heineken’s commitment to source 60 per cent of its ingredients locally for its breweries in Africa and the Middle East.  The Health Insurance Fund, a public-private initiative supported by some of the largest Dutch insurance companies, had provided health and agricultural insurance for 460,000 people in sub-Saharan countries.  More and more small and medium enterprises were eager to follow in the sustainable footsteps of multinationals that had led the way.  It was up to Governments and the United Nations to facilitate while ensuring the establishment of effective legal and economic frameworks.  His country’s commitment to jointly promote development was one of the main reasons it was seeking a seat on the Security Council for the 2017 to 2018 term.

PAKALITHA BETHUEL MOSISILI, Prime Minister of Lesotho, said the 2030 Goals were more ambitious than previous ones.  Their attainment, therefore, would be all the more challenging.  The means of implementation in the outcome document had matched those Goals by focusing on finance, technology and capacity development.  In addition to a stand-alone goal on the means of implementation, specific measures had been tailored for each objective.  The Agenda was, in essence, a clarion call for a departure from “business as usual”, with intensified international cooperation on all fronts.  It was vital to underscore the importance of an effective follow-up and review regime to support the Agenda’s effective implementation.  There was a need to engage the private sector and other stakeholders so that people today could be the first generation to end extreme poverty and the last to face climate change as an existential threat.

SIGMUNDUR DAVIÐ GUNNLAUGSSON, Prime Minister of Iceland, said “this autumn had already produced a truly impressive harvest”.  The Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda alone had amounted to a bumper crop.  Expressing optimism towards an excellent result arising from the Climate Conference in Paris, he said that his country had recently pledged a 40 per cent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.  The Agenda correctly identified sustainable management of natural resources as key to ending poverty and hunger.  As there were only two sources of food — the ocean and land — both must be managed with great care and responsibility.  Responsible use of marine resources based on scientific advice was vital to ensuring food security and prosperity.  The international community must also address land and soil degradation and aim, at least, for a land degradation neutral world.  His country would continue to contribute to the sustainable management of both oceans and land at home and abroad.  Recognizing that lack of access to sustainable and affordable energy significantly contributed to poverty, Iceland would aim to become a carbon neutral economy and support a number of developing countries in harnessing geothermal energy to improve living standards and address climate challenges at the same time.

STEFAN LÖFVEN, Prime Minister of Sweden, said the 2030 Agenda carried a shared responsibility, grounded in the firm belief that poverty could and should be eradicated, climate change could and had to be stopped and equal societies were better societies.  “We have a new road map, it is universal,” he said.  “No country can shirk its responsibility.  But, Governments’ efforts alone would not be enough.  Efforts are needed at all levels, across all sectors and by all stakeholders.”  For this reason, Sweden had launched an initiative with 10 world leaders in a high-level support group to bolster momentum to implement the Agenda.  The global community’s mission was morally right and economically smart because equality and development were two sides of the same coin, he added.  He said he wanted Sweden to be among the first fossil-free welfare nations and wanted Swedish companies to develop the climate-smart innovation the world was requesting.  Sweden remained the key donor to the Green Climate Fund and maintained its goal of 1 per cent of its gross national income to ODA.

IRAKLI GARIBASHVILI, Prime Minister of Georgia, said Goal 3, ensuring healthy lives at all ages, was a national key priority demonstrated by efforts such as a hepatitis C elimination programme.  To help to meet Goal 7, the production of affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, Georgia had, over the last decade, created an open, liberal and commercially viable energy sector resistant to market fluctuations.  Goal 9 was very important and the support of small and medium-sized businesses in agriculture and other industries was a priority for Georgia.  Projects had created new jobs in rural areas, improved the efficiency of land use and land consolidation and increased the export potential of agricultural products.  Transparency, access to public information and the integrity of public institutions were crucial to effective government, he said, adding that Georgia was developing legislation to consolidate fragmented regulations that would introduce new standards for freedom of information.

SAMDECH AKKA MOHA SENA PADEI TECHO HUN SEN, Prime Minister of Cambodia, said his country had reduced poverty to 16 per cent in 2013 from 53 per cent in 2004, having achieved that Millennium Goal ahead of 2015.  Aiming to become a lower-middle-income country by 2016, Cambodia would add “clearance of landmines and unexploded ordnances” to its work on the Sustainable Development Goals.  While Cambodia had endorsed the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, it had requested official development assistance or concessional loans to help it address infrastructure, human resources and institutional development needs.  More broadly, he called for preferential trade treatment for developing countries, diversification of the financial sector, enhanced country ownership through inclusive partnerships and policy coherence.

TIMOTHY S. HARRIS, Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis, said his Government was fully committed to the Goals and, as a vulnerable small island State, he was pleased with elements such as Goal 13 on climate change and Goal 14 on oceans and seas.  The response to climate change required input from all nations, he said.  Regarding oceans and seas, his country, a small island State with a landmass of about 105 square miles, had a territorial maritime space of more than 12,427 square miles.  Saint Kitts and Nevis would move to delineate its boundaries with its neighbours so it could better use the unexploited frontier to enhance its development.  No country could carry out the Goals alone and Saint Kitts and Nevis needed real support to carry out the Agenda.  International financing for sustainable development had to be a priority and consideration should be given to the proposals of the Commonwealth finance ministers, whom have stressed the importance of finding innovative strategies to help small developing States tap into international sources of funding.

TAMMAM SALAM, President of the Council of Ministers of Lebanon, said that the humanitarian issues arising from the Syrian refugee crisis was one of the greatest challenges to development in his country.  As the smallest nation in the region, with four million inhabitants, it had borne the brunt of the mass forced displacement of people out of Syria.  Today, it hosted over 1.2 million registered Syrians, representing a third of its population.  That had had a devastating impact on development and had weighed dramatically on its economy, generating a cost of about one-third of its gross domestic product.  Noting that the refugee crisis facing Europe today was a direct consequence of the insufficient response to the Syrian crisis, he welcomed the recognition of the need to strengthen host communities’ resilience, particularly in developing countries, adding that it should be done through a systematic assessment of hosting costs, reliable prediction of long-term financing needs and the implementation of equitable resettlement arrangements based on “burden-sharing principles”.

RUI MARIA DE ARAÚJO, Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, said that, while Governments would be the primary custodians of the Agenda and domestic resource mobilization, the principal means of implementation, all actors could not operate in isolation from national, regional and international partners.  Efforts to improve domestic resource collection and management were often thwarted by tax avoidance and corruption.  In that regard, global governance around those and other issues must be improved as States simultaneously set out to strengthen national institutions.  Noting the need to improve the delivery of predictable development assistance, he said States must not shy away from national and international commitments to properly resource the Agenda’s implementation.  His country aimed at transforming from a low-income to an upper-middle-income country with a healthy, well-educated and safe population by 2030.  Urging all countries to take ownership of the Agenda, he said that if Governments stepped beyond national affiliations and came together for the common good, then the scourge of climate change could be defeated, the oceans protected and life on land improved.

FRANÇOIS LOUNCÉNY FALL, Minister of State in charge of foreign affairs and Guineans abroad of Guinea, noted that the Millennium Development Goals had led to progress in many areas, including poverty reduction and health, with technological knowledge more democratically distributed today.  He welcomed the adoption of the new Agenda aimed at addressing global challenges in the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.  The new Goals would be more demanding and there was a need to take ownership for inclusive participation.  For its part, Guinea had taken measures to ensure gender equality and empowerment of women by launching a microcredit programme.  Through tackling the Ebola crisis, the country had increased health coverage for its people.  Sustainable development worked with environmental protection and he made a strong appeal for the international community to show more generosity and solidarity for the new Agenda than they had shown for the Millennium Development Goals.

MANUEL DOMINGOS VICENTE, Vice-President of Angola, said the post-2015 development agenda was a key policy tool to reduce the gap between countries.  Angola reaffirmed its political will to increase women’s representation at all levels of decision-making, accounting for the Planet 50-50 by 2030 campaign.  The Agenda aimed to preserve the legacy of the Rio+20 Conference and the Goals were geared towards the pursuit of prosperity, based on respect for human dignity, the protection of the planet and the principles of shared responsibility.  Angola insisted on the adoption of a concrete commitment to ensure the Goals were an effective catalyst for good public policies and practices that respected the unique reality of each country.  Angola reiterated that it would implement and interpret the Agenda in full accordance with its national laws and development priorities, as well as the values and ethnic, cultural and religious beliefs of the Angolan society.

ENEIDA DE LEON, Minister of Housing for Uruguay, said the Summit was a very important event seeking to achieve sustainable development while overcoming poverty and hunger.  Everyone had a right to a quality of life.  As a small country, Uruguay’s reality had been shaped by market forces and the current development paradigm model needed to be changed.  The development model needed to be more diverse and humane.  The Goals were broad and multidimensional in order to help move the world towards a fairer society and they paid attention to the most disadvantaged and vulnerable.  The international community faced a paradigm shift and the Goals were the responsibility of all.  It was essential that women had universal access to reproductive health and that those who had contributed the most to climate change had to contribute to the vehicles to mitigate the effects of climate change.  Access to safe drinking water was a universal right.  Progress could not be achieved without the active participation of all society.  The existing models that stressed profit and consumption had to be changed.

ALI AHMED KARTI, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sudan, said that the adoption of the 2030 Agenda was an important step as the United Nations marked its seventieth anniversary.  Sudan had already taken steps at federal and state levels to incorporate the Goals through the public, private sector and civil society partnerships.  The United Nations and the international community had a constructive role in implementing the Agenda.  As his Government was working to establish peace in all corners of the country, he urged rebel groups to resort to reason and respond to a call for comprehensive national dialogue.  Unilateral sanctions imposed by certain States had been impediments to development as they had negatively affected the lives of citizens, including their rights to education and health services.  Those measures contradicted the principle of the United Nations Charter, he said.

MOUSSA FAKI MAHAMAT, Minister for Foreign Affairs and African Integration of Chad, stressed the need to put global development back on track to serve people, highlighting the respect given to Africa by the new Agenda.  As a landlocked, least-developed country, Chad was vulnerable to the volatility of raw materials prices.  He called for fair use of its resources and improvement of transport and other infrastructure.  Welcoming the Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative, he said it would allow nations to generate their own power.  He stressed the special importance of peace and security, without which, it was impossible to achieve development.  Goal 17 was vital as it addressed the means of implementation.  While national resources were important, the international community must mobilize adequate financial and other resources to complement them.  For its part, Chad had aligned its 2016-2020 national plan with the 2030 Agenda. 

PIERRE MOUKOKO MBONJO, Minister for Foreign Relations for Cameroon, delivering a statement on behalf of President Paul Biya, said the international community had perhaps wondered why the Millennium Development Goals had fallen short of their aims.  Were the goals too ambitious?  Was it a lack of political will?  Yet that situation should spur the international community into working to transform the world by meeting the 2030 Goals.  He said recent security and political changes, such as the sustained spread of terrorism and migration flows, required a new commitment by the international community.  He was concerned by the continued global economic instability since the 2007-2008 financial crisis.  As Cameroon had been affected by neighbouring conflicts, it had endorsed a new engagement of the United Nations in security and conflict issues, he said, expressing satisfaction that the Agenda addressed security issues.  To achieve the Goals, the United Nations also had to respond to the challenge of respecting ethical values.  There had to be a solidarity between people and an ethical approach had to be used by people and countries.  In that regard, Cameroon supported the establishment of an international ethics body.

ROBERT DOUGLAS NICHOLSON, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Canada, said the Goals made the reduction of poverty a priority.  He stressed the need for sufficient progress on women’s health and was glad that issue was included in the framework of the Goals.  The international community had to find new forms of financing to support the Goals and had to work to blend financing from public and private sources.  Canada supported the development of new platforms to create new forms of financing.  That was crucial in order to raise the trillions of dollars needed to carry out the Goals around the world.  If innovative financing models were developed, such as blended financing, then the Goals could be achieved.

IMAD FAKHOURY, Minister for Planning and International Cooperation of Jordan, said the strong partnership between the public and private sectors and civil society had been a key factor in the success of his country’s development efforts.  The Government had launched in 2015 a new 10-year socioeconomic blueprint for the country aimed at achieving a prosperous, resilient and inclusive economy while deepening reform and inclusion.  On the political front, Parliament had endorsed a new wave of laws, which aimed at increasing citizens’ participation in decision making.  To reform the economy, his country had adopted several laws to enhance investments and the business environment.  In pursuit of sustainable development, it had integrated the Goals into its development planning framework and was introducing green building codes, incentivizing hybrid and electric vehicles and adopting national indicative climate change targets ahead of the Climate Conference in Paris.

WUNNA MAUNG LWIN, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Myanmar, said his country had made progress in many areas of the Millennium Development Goals, welcoming that the new Agenda carried forward the unfinished business of the previous agenda.  Over the past five years, Myanmar had been implementing a series of reform measures in political, economic, social and administrative spheres and in private sector development.  His country was implementing a 20-year national development plan for 2011-2030 and would redouble its efforts to achieve sustainable development by mainstreaming the 2030 Agenda into its national development agenda and work closely with its development partners.  The Agenda must be implemented in a manner consistent with its national policy, legislation and development priorities.  He highlighted that financial and technical assistance for developing countries were crucial in achieving the new Goals.  

BEATRICE ATALLAH, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Madagascar, said the agreement on the post-2015 Agenda shed a light of hope on humanity.  Yesterday’s message by Pope Francis should carry weight over the next 15 years.  The Agenda was a blueprint for her country’s own policy.  The vision of peace and prosperity shown by the Agenda was also embraced by the national development plan.  There was a need for mobilizing more domestic resources, but official development assistance must increase.  As her country must industrialize its economy, the Technology Facilitation Mechanism was more pertinent than ever before.  This year held promise and was a clear turning point for development, with the new Goals adopted and a climate action plan to be put in place.  She stressed the importance of creating a genuine “win-win” global partnership.  With the support of the international community, she was confident that her country would stabilize.  No one should be left behind, but, additionally, no one should be marginalized during the common journey toward 2030.

OLLANTA HUMALA TASSO, President of Peru, said that Peruvians knew that it was possible to achieve change by working together on shared objectives.  In 15 years, Peru had achieved the Millennium Development Goals.  In 2000, more than half the population had lived in poverty but today that number had declined to less than one quarter.  Social inclusion was a crucial element of his Government’s policy.  Preserving the environment and making sustainable use of natural resources was also important.  The 2030 Agenda and its 17 Goals had confronted the international community with a significant challenge.  Peru had committed itself to renewing a global partnership that would make it possible to deliver to future generations a world without poverty.  Poverty was multidimensional and needed to be attacked on all fronts, generating growth through social inclusion, with special attention to the rights of women and children.  The Climate Conference in Paris would be decisive in guiding the international community towards low-carbon, resilient societies that took into consideration the most vulnerable of its members.

King MSWATI III of Swaziland said his country had developed a national vision for 2022, which was aligned with the continental plan set forth in the African Union Agenda 2063, as part of its effort to transform from a middle-income to a developed country.  Citing progress in five of the eight Millennium Development Goals, he said Swaziland had made significant gains in achieving universal primary education, with enrolment rates jumping to 97 per cent in 2014 from 72.1 per cent in 2000.  Recently honoured by the African Union for its efforts in women’s empowerment, his country had developed a robust policy to integrate gender issues into development planning.  Health sector improvements had included free access to those who needed services, a tuberculosis centre and an effective malaria programme.  To ensure environmental sustainability, it had put in place programmes to support the needs of present and future generations.

IKILILOU DHOININE, President of the Comoros, stated that the Millennium Development Goals had been at the heart of the international community’s common development agenda for the last 15 years.  The evaluations of those Goals had shown situations in different countries, but overall the outcome was positive.  Lack of financing, however, had impacted the reduction of poverty.  The more vulnerable countries had had very little access to the resources of development assistance and domestic resources were not sufficient to support the speedy elimination of poverty.  Indicators had shown that his country had made considerable progress in some areas, with declines in child and youth mortality and maternal mortality, and had achieved an increase in access to education.  Turning to other challenges, he said it was especially necessary to tackle climate change in small island developing States by implementing the Samoa Pathway.  The Comoros fully supported the 2030 Agenda and appreciated the work that had led to the consensus document.

ALI BONGO ONDIMBA, President of Gabon, noting that the Millennium Development Goals had provided hope for many, said that his country was working towards significant results through the support of civil society.  Among its accomplishments, Gabon had increased the rate of school attendance to 97 per cent, reached gender equality in the primary and secondary levels of education, decreased maternal and under-five mortality rates and reversed trends in HIV.  Gabon had adopted a programme aimed at strengthening opportunities for the youth and was focused on developing its agriculture and livestock sectors, which should help to transform its economy.  Noting that the Goals would compel States to strengthen international cooperation, he said that the new international cooperation would reaffirm that all generations belonged to same human community and aspired to the same happiness.

TOOMAS HENDRIK ILVES, President of Estonia, said global challenges were complex and interlinked.  Peace and security was a basic prerequisite for sustainable development, he said, citing urgent crises in Syria and Ukraine.  Climate change was another critical challenge.  However, agreeing on the Sustainable Development Goals was not purely hypothetical; the key was to turn them into strong public policies through good governance, strong institutions that were held to account, the rule of law and adherence to universally agreed human rights for all, including women and girls.  Freedom of expression and association, access to independent media, and transparent and efficient legal environments would also be critical, as would the opportunities provided by information and communications technology.  It was time for world leaders to place the potential of digital technologies at the top of the development agenda, he stressed, noting that he had co-chaired the advisory panel of the World Bank’s World Development Report 2016.

BONI YAYI, President of Benin, stressed the need for special attention to least developed countries.  The Agenda’s main goal was to realize sustainable development by 2030 and transform the world through addressing the social, economic and environmental challenges.  The Agenda included a means of implementation, especially a financing framework set at the Addis Ababa Conference.  Least developed countries’ specificities and vulnerabilities must be considered when implementing the Goals.  Those countries generated greenhouse gases and needed to move into a low-carbon society.  In that regard, the upcoming Climate Conference in Paris was crucial.  Least developed countries stood ready to take ownership of their own development by fighting against corruption and mobilizing domestic resources.

IBRAHIM BOUBACAR KEITA, President of Mali, said people throughout his country were watching the Summit and had high expectations that it could help transform the world and reduce the suffering of people everywhere.  Fifteen years ago, the eight Millennium Development Goals were launched and the results varied.  Millennium Goal 8, the creation of a global partnership for development, was not achieved.  Progress in the other seven targets was more significant.  Mali had achieved many improvements, including a decrease in the rate of HIV/AIDS, improvement in health care and better management of local affairs through decreased centralization.  Countries that were emerging from conflict, such as Mali, needed more attention.  That was because without better education and health care, access to justice and less extreme hunger and poverty, these countries could not emerge from conflict.  He noted the peace accord reached in Mali after eight months of negotiations among many parties.  Mali would renew its efforts to honour all commitments, yet it needed significant support from other countries.  He called on the international community to contribute effective technical support and financing.

MOHAMED OULD ABDEL AZIZ, President of Mauritania, stated that the Millennium Development Goals had enabled significant achievements, including the continued decline of poverty.  The post-2015 programme, in addition to featuring traditional development objectives, had given special attention to environmental issues, which had become a direct threat to the survival of the planet.  Further, national solutions were no longer able to meet complex, cross-border security threats.  Mauritania had made a considerable economic leap in recent years and had set up a plan of action to combat poverty.  It had also adopted a policy of positive discrimination in order to promote the role of women, in an effort to further gender equity.

CATHERINE SAMBA-PANZA, Head of State of the Transition of the Central African Republic, said her country already bore the scars of the crises of the 1990s when the Millennium Development Goals were launched.  A country placed in a state of extreme vulnerabilities was hard-pressed to fulfil its voluntary commitments.  With some 80 per cent of the population living below the poverty line, the country had veered far from the eight Millennium Development Goals.  Implementation of the new Agenda needed to proceed from an acknowledgement that the Central African Republic failed to achieve any of the eight targets.  Nevertheless, the country was committed to implementing the post-2015 vision through effective mobilization of domestic resources and sustained international partnership.  An environment favourable to national reconciliation had provided the basis for the country to harness a network of partners for collective prosperity.

ANDREA BELLUZZI I and ROBERTO VENTURINI I, Captains Regent of the Republic of San Marino, said that throughout its history, the United Nations had been called upon to be an essential reference point for the international community.  The experience gained from implementing the Millennium Development Goals had made an important contribution to the definition of an innovative and universal post-2015 Agenda.  It was essential to mobilize the resources required for the implementation of the Agenda through a new global partnership that should direct action towards the needs of the weakest and most vulnerable groups of society.  A set of specific and universal indicators and a control mechanism to assess progress and identify shortcoming were required.  The Republic of San Marino was a small State, but it had managed to create optimal living conditions for its population.

DANILO MEDINA SANCHEZ, President of Dominican Republic, said the Millennium Development Goals were a source of inspiration that helped his country to formulate its National Development Strategy 2030.  “That led us to focus efforts, to consolidate the practice of accountability, to face challenges and weaknesses, but above all, taught us the power of the union of purpose, will and actions,” he said.  The strategy was the road map to convert the Dominican Republic into a socially and environmentally sustainable society.  The present administration had begun a campaign for improving the capabilities of the population by promoting early childhood education, reducing inequalities in production, and supporting agricultural producers.  There were parallels between the National Development Strategy and the Sustainable Development Goals, and his country was committed to assimilating the 17 Goals into the instruments of its public administration.

EDGAR CHAGWA LUNGU, President of Zambia, said the common development Agenda signified the determination of Member States to be responsive to the needs of present generations without compromising the needs of future ones.  The Sustainable Development Goals were adopted at a time when Zambia was implementing a national development plan to confront many challenges addressed by the Goals.  The use of evidence-based settings would especially help countries achieve inclusive development, but many still required support in completing the unfinished Millennium Development Goals.  Zambia also needed South–South technological support to achieve the new Goals, as well as a pledge from the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation to develop centres for the purposes of energy transfer.  Zambia was committed to institute strategies and mobilize funds aimed at implementing the Goals.  Still, development aid played an important role, and developed countries must provide comprehensive funding for developing nations.  A platform for the private sector would also create a “win‑win” situation for investors and countries.  Zambia pledged to give priority to implementing Goals that took into account all three pillars of development, and to facilitate best practices for better outcomes.  

TEODORO NGUEMA OBIANG MANGUE, Vice-President of Equatorial Guinea, said major challenges remained in creating the world envisioned when the United Nations was founded seven decades ago.  To that end, greater efforts were needed to address persisting challenges as well as new ones such as terrorism, piracy, climate change, transnational crime and climate change.  His country’s national development plans were fully aligned with the principles of the Millennium Development Goals, and had reduced by half the poverty level.  Significant progress had been made on other targets as well.  A new strategy was needed to address the new challenges the world was facing, he said, and stressed his country’s full support to initiatives in that regard.

JOSEPH BUTORE, Vice-President of Burundi, said the post-2015 agenda began on two paths: the Rio+20 Conference and the Millennium Development Goals Summit.  It was only in 2014 that those two paths were merged to form the Sustainable Development Agenda.  The final document represented an excellent balance of all needs and aspirations.  Optimism was warranted on an unprecedented undertaking, which required continuation of the progress achieved under the Millennium Development Goals agenda.  The strength of the Sustainable Development Goals lay in the three dimensions of development, he said, stressing the need for African nations to take ownership of discussions and policies over the long term.  All stakeholders needed to move quickly towards achieving the promises made.

KENNY D. ANTHONY, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, said that 15 years after the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals, very little had changed for the small island developing States, and Saint Lucia’s future had never before been more affected by decisions and policies made beyond its borders.  The country Lucia had suffered through two major storms and five droughts in the past five years, which created debilitating cycles of repair and recovery responsible for its massive public debt overhang and the constraint of development efforts.  The United Nations ratification of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals suggested countries had progressed in their understanding of the profound challenges faced by developing countries, especially in environmental issues.  However, the slow pace of negotiations towards a new climate change agreement had raised concern that many Member States had not fully grasped its urgency for the survival of small island developing States.  Additionally, the lethargic pace at which climate finance instruments were capitalised indicated the rhetoric of good political intentions was meaningless without demonstrated and targeted collective action.

MELTEK KILMAN LIVTUVANU, Prime Minister of Vanuatu, said the Millennium Development Goals had ignited unprecedented human progress and improved the lives of hundreds of millions of people.  He welcomed the fact that the new Agenda had incorporated the unfinished business of those Goals, and that they clearly reflected the unique and special case of the least developed countries and small island developing States.  The success of the new Agenda would hinge on three factors: access to financial resources; access to appropriate technology; and country capacity.  Regarding financial resources, he called on all developed countries to meet official development assistance (ODA) commitments as agreed in the Monterrey Consensus and the Doha Declaration.  ODA targets of 0.7 per cent of gross national income for developing countries and the commitment to set aside at least 0.2 per cent for least developed countries by 2020 must be met.  Finally, he stressed that for small island developing States such as his, climate change remained one of the largest threats to sustainable development.

JAKAYA MRISHO KIKWETE, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, expressed concern over the incompletion of the Millennium Development Goals and the unknown outcomes of targets.  The new Agenda had taken on the unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals, but time and money were needed to achieve it.  The lack of financial resources had been the greatest hindrance to enacting all the Millennium Development Goals.  Funding concerns had been addressed in the outline of each of the new Goals.  Each country must shoulder the cost of achieving the Goals, but developing countries could not do so alone.  International funding was needed to complement countries’ own responsibilities.  A global partnership was needed to ensure follow-up and review.  The lack of a mechanism for that purpose had prevented the full implementation of the Millennium Development Goals.

JOSAIA VOREQE BAINIMARAMA, Prime Minister of Fiji, said that the global community was at a fork in the road, and was faced with a decision: do we act wisely to preserve the resources of planet Earth for generations to come, or do we continue to consume the Earth’s heritage as if there was no tomorrow?  The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and their 169 targets represented the forward thinking and compassionate nature of human beings, and the principles of fairness and equality as applied to the global community.  All people, whether they woke up in Suva or New York, Buenos Aires or Dhaka, Nairobi or Paris, London or Honiara, were brothers and sisters on this “oasis in the universe” called Earth, and must act collectively.  The new Goals constituted a road map of hope and transformation.  To accomplish them, the international community must take stock of the systemic issues that created obstacles.  Many countries had the ideas but not the funding needed to fulfil the Goals, a problem that held many nations back.  It should therefore be a key critical issue to be discussed at the Summit.  “We have the Goals, now how do we get there?” he said.

PATRICE EMERY TROVOADA, Prime Minister of Sao Tome and Principe, said the summit provided an excellent opportunity for world leaders to analyse the Millennium Development Goals and learn appropriate lessons.  While his country had witnessed significant progress in many target areas, it had not been able to reduce poverty.  The Sustainable Development Goals were more ambitious and numerous, and the consensus behind them was a sign of hope.  To achieve the Goals, it was crucial to improve global governance in a way that was conducive to peace, stability and cooperation in partnership with the widest possible number of stakeholders.

SAMIUELA ‘AKILISI POHIVA, Prime Minister of Tonga, said the Agenda was an attempt to radically shift away from business as usual to one that held the key to a sustainable future for all.  It expressed the diversity of needs across the three dimensions of development as well as common challenges.  As a small island developing State, Tonga was particularly vulnerable to climate change, whose effects would intensify over time.  The conservation and sustainable use of oceans were critical to the sustainable development of his region, which, he said, welcomed the inclusion of specific Goals in that regard.  The unprecedented attention paid to the means of implementing the Agenda was a promising sign and must be sustained.

RAMI HAMDALLAH, Prime Minister of the State of Palestine, said the international community had adopted a series of sublime goals over the decades to ensure peace and prosperity.  The people of the State of Palestine were suffering for 67 years, more than 50 of them under occupation, defying international legitimacy.  The occupying Power had systematically destroyed the economic infrastructure that should have worked to raise the living standards of the Palestinian people.  Blockades, repression and discriminatory policies had only exacerbated collective agony and pain in the West Bank and Gaza.  The achievement of the post-2015 Agenda therefore depended on ending the occupation and agony of the Palestinian people.

NATALIA GHERMAN, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, said that the current generation was the first to seriously tackle climate change and perhaps the last one to be able to do so.  The international community must rise to the challenge and do everything possible to preserve the environment and ensure people’s well-being without leaving anyone behind.  If current trends in environmental degradation continued, a global natural disintegration was imminent.  Current economic and consumption patterns had proven to drive humanity in the wrong direction, one that was pernicious and undesirable for all mankind.  Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals would require a truly global partnership beyond the traditional models of cooperation, engaging all, including Governments, civil society, the private sector, and intergovernmental organizations.  After sharing some of her own country’s initiatives, including with regard to biomass energy production, she said that the international community as a whole must step up efforts to finance the implementation of the world’s new development Agenda.

LEO DION, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Inter-Government Relations of Papua New Guinea, said the people-centred and transformative post-2015 Agenda must be nationally owned and driven and supported by global partnerships.  The principles of responsible sustainable development meant collective conduct in a manner that did not compromise future generations.  To that end, the High-Level Political Forum must adequately support national, regional and global efforts to avoid the pitfalls of the Millennium Development Goals.  Papua New Guinea had laid a strong foundation for unprecedented economic growth and was fully committed to carefully managing its transformation.  The challenge was to translate enhanced growth into improved human development outcomes.  As climate change remained the single greatest threat to the livelihood, security and well-being of the peoples of the Pacific, they welcomed the inclusion in particular of Goals 13 and 14. 

PAVEL BĔLOBRÁDEK, Deputy Prime Minister for Science, Research and Innovation of the Czech Republic, said that his country continued to have its own priorities and expectations, which were largely met in the new Agenda.  In the wake of the successful third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa in July, “we can rightly celebrate another milestone in multilateralism.”  Emphasis needed to be placed on delivering an efficient mechanism for funding the new Agenda, especially in the context of the broader application of innovative forms of aid and private sector engagement.  Another important step would be the introduction of effective monitoring.  If duly elected to the Economic and Social Council for the 2016-2018 period, his country would do its utmost to contribute to that effort.  On science, research and innovation, he said holistic solutions that addressed multifaceted global problems sometimes required complex and technically advanced procedures. His country supported the idea of identifying such solutions and addressing them through projects on global themes.

ELMAR MAMMADYAROV, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, said his country was working to channel its impressive economic growth through greater links to other countries in the region, while delivering equitable and efficient services to its citizens.  Regrettably, challenges to peace and security remained a key impediment to development and cooperation.  The ongoing military occupation by Armenia of almost 20 per cent of the territory of Azerbaijan continued to represent a serious threat to international peace and security.  Putting an end to the occupation and ensuring the return of forcibly displaced people to their homes was an essential precondition to achieving sustainable development in the region.

SAMURA M.W. KAMARA, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Sierra Leone, stressed the importance of ensuring that the new development paradigm adequately addressed the needs, challenges and development priorities of every Member State.  Many countries in Africa, particularly fragile and conflict-affected ones, confronted challenges that were beyond their capacity to address.  The new Agenda presented an opportunity to find integrated and innovative solutions to persistent issues based on the special needs of the country concerned.  As the 17 Goals and their accompanying 169 targets were indivisible, success on each one of them was required for a truly transformative world.  Sierra Leone had moved from a country on the agenda of the Security Council to one that provided a storehouse of lessons on how to move away from war to peace and development.  It would continue to build on progress made in addressing key development priorities.

SHEIKHA LUBNA BINT KHALID ALQASSIMI, Minister for International Cooperation and Development of United Arab Emirates, said the new set of Sustainable Development Goals reflected a new global consensus on how the world should look in 15 years: peaceful and economically prosperous, without poverty, with educated and healthy citizens and a clean environment and habitats.  Her own country had transformed into a highly advanced and knowledge-based economy in a single generation, and was continuing to develop rapidly.  The United Arab Emirates had set a national goal to increase the use of clean energy through a mix of solar and safe nuclear power.  It was pioneering sustainable urban communities, and was committed to combatting climate change through active participation in international climate negotiations.  The country was not only a major donor, but a major convener of dialogues on sustainability.  The essential yet ambitious scope of the new Goals would require substantial resources, and the international community would need to look beyond traditional methods of resource mobilization.  It was not just about raising resources, but addressing causes of market failures and creating an enabling environment for trade and commerce.

MURRAY MCCULLY, Minister for Foreign Affairs of New Zealand, said Member States needed to learn some hard lessons from the Millennium Development Goals if they were to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.  Sustainable development required available resources, as well as accountability and disciplines, and for Governments and partners to make wise decisions regarding priorities.  The failure of Governments to prioritize developments with the greatest potential and the propensity of the international community to mistake activity for achievement were two key reasons for the lack of a better score card in realizing the Millennium Development Goals.  Applying processes and rules designed for large projects in large countries to small Pacific countries had significantly increased cost, and led to interminable delays.  But so did certain countries’ inability to recognize game-changers.  Two achievable Goals for his region, conversion to renewable energy and the protection of fisheries could change the course of Pacific development.  He welcomed the adoption of those specific targets and greater cooperation to attain them.

LOUISE MUSHIKIWABO, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Rwanda, said the Goals were ambitious, but so were the aspirations of billions keen to improve their lives.  The United Nations had adopted the Millennium Development Goals just as Rwanda emerged from a devastating period following genocide in the country.  The Millennium targets not only linked Rwanda’s efforts to a much wider context, but also gave it the ability to achieve most of them through international mechanisms.  As Member States moved to implement the Sustainable Development Goals, it was important to recognize lessons learned: that larger objectives added value to national plans already under way, local programmes informed overarching frameworks, and citizen involvement remained a necessity for transformation with every step.  Each country would have to figure out best practices to make achievement happen, but gender equality, private-sector involvement and the use of technology, especially the Internet and broadband, held the most promise.

OSMAN MOHAMMED SALEH, Minster for Foreign Affairs of Eritrea, said the Agenda was fully aligned with his country’s national development strategy, which had produced commendable results in the face of adverse circumstances.  Through international support, Eritrea had achieved Millennium Development Goals 4, 5 and 6, becoming an “ocean of peace” in the region.  The agenda of empowerment of women was on track and guaranteed by law, while coordinated and extensive conservation efforts were taking place.  The people and Government of Eritrea were committed to implementing the post-2015 agenda through appropriate policies.  There could not be sustainable development without peace and vice-versa, he said, stressing that everyone needed to uphold their international commitments.  Unjust sanctions must be immediately and unconditionally lifted in order to ensure that no one was left behind.

REYAD YASSIN ABDULLAH, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Yemen, said the Agenda catered to the ambitions of people all over the world.  Despite the initial gains made in achieving the Millennium Development Goals in his country, the absence of a development vision during the Saleh Administration and the persistence of armed conflict had posed impediments to development.  The escalation of conflict over the past year had taken a toll on development, he said, expressing gratitude for the international community’s role in providing humanitarian aid and in achieving a political settlement.  Governments needed to focus their attention to the particular needs and aspirations of the poor, most of whom lived in rural areas.  He expressed hope that the Paris Conference would emerge with a binding agreement on climate change, which posed an increasing challenge to small and vulnerable countries.

ABDUSALAM H. OMER, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Investment Promotion of Somalia, said it was crucial for nations to complete with determination what they started in order to achieve a more equitable, secure and prosperous future for every human being.  While it was impossible for all Member States to get everything they wanted, the Sustainable Development Goals provided the strong framework for the greatest challenges that the world collectively faced.  Those challenges required common action through partnership in order to ensure security, positive progress and prosperity for all.  All forms of partnerships must be channelled to complement one another.  There should not be finger pointing 15 years from now because of a failure to work together.  As a nation that had exited civil war and was now on the road to strong recovery, Somalia called for supporting post-conflict nations in their journey to peace, stability and economic prosperity.

PAUL RICHARD GALLAGHER, Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See, said the family — the natural and fundamental unit of society — was the primary agent of sustainable development and, therefore, the model of communion and solidarity among nations and national institutions.  A shared concern for the family and its members would surely contribute to poverty reduction, better outcomes for children, equality between men and women, and stronger intra- and inter-generational bonds.  Family-friendly policies, including respect for religion and the right of parents to educate their children, contributed effectively to the achievement of development goals, especially the cultivation of peaceful societies.  As Member States committed to the task of achieving the 2030 Agenda, they must begin with the conviction of “our common origin, our history, our common destiny”.  The world comprised a single human family in need of one another, with shared responsibilities and a common destiny inseparably linked to our planet.

TONY DEBRUM, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Marshall Islands, said the moment of celebration should be brief, as it was now time to implement the broad and ambitious Agenda.  Achievement of the Goal relating to oceans should depend closely on not only partnership but renewed political will, in particular by distant fishing nations, to put aside immediate economic self-interest.  The Agenda had also rightfully incorporated gender as an important benchmark, although women had a powerful role in traditional cultures.  The achievement of the Goals rested not only with national Governments but the full range of actors, including the private sector and regional partners.  The adoption of the Agenda was only the first step of many needed to forge a closer link between local communities and global aspirations.

MARIA RUBIALES DE CHAMORRO, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nicaragua, said the Agenda was a solemn occasion for countries to renew their noble relationship with nature.  The present crisis of the world resulted from wars, aggression, unjust and iniquitous political and economic policies.  Amid adverse conditions, Nicaragua had been able to register notable success.  However, it had not been able to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.  Implementation of the new Agenda must proceed on a new model aimed at genuine sustainable development.  The challenge before the international community therefore was to implement the 17 Goals and the targets therein.  To that end, developing countries needed access to financial and technological resources and to be able to exercise their sovereign rights based on solidarity.  Along those lines, her country had achieved progress on gender equality and combating hunger.  She proposed an international campaign for safe surgery in an effort to promote health in keeping with the imperative of fair and balanced development.

BASHAR JA’AFARI (Syria) said the new Agenda was an ambitious road map to achieve sustainable development, and stressed the “historic” responsibilities of developed States to help developing States while respecting their sovereignty and territorial integrity.  Migration and lack of stability in the Middle East was caused by invasion, occupation and a wave of terrorism “which burns everything around it”.  That crisis would never have happened if not for the participation by some States in propping up terrorists in the region.  It was well-known who gave weaponry and logistical support, as well as financial support, to foreign mercenaries and allowed them to cross into Syria.  The Syrian environment was also subject to the theft of its oil and its sale to other States through Turkish brokers.  Against that background, Syria strongly supported the reference to combating terrorism as a way of implementing sustainable development.  Among other things, that could be accomplished by disclosing and holding accountable those Governments that supported terrorists.  Another barrier to sustainable development in the region was the illegal Israeli occupation, which was supported by some powerful States.

JOÃO SOARES DA GAMA (Guinea-Bissau) said that, for a multitude of reasons, some least developed countries such as his own had not been able to accomplish the Millennium Development Goals.  This time, however, the world was committing to the Sustainable Development Goals with “different perspectives and responsibilities” for the achievement of the new Agenda.  Developed countries, as partners, should do their part to honour ODA commitments.  “It is time for all of us to make a strong effort to stand up, with the help of those more capable, and do more for our population,” he said.  Describing his country’s national development policy, he stressed that while South-South and triangular cooperation were critical, they should in no way be taken as a substitute for North-South cooperation.  For Guinea-Bissau, both a least developed country and a small island developing State, it was crucial that the vulnerability of such countries be taken into account in the new Agenda and that a strong commitment to the implementation of the Samoa Pathway be undertaken.

VINCE HENDERSON (Dominica) said the lopsided governance of international institutions and the failure of industrialized countries to be accountable for climate change remained major obstacles to development.  In order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, the United Nations needed to commit to revamp the governance of multilateral institutions and recognize the various obligations of every country, beginning with industrialized nations shouldering their responsibilities for placing the planet in peril.  Furthermore, the means of implementation constituted an important element of the Agenda.  The Addis Ababa conference provided a mechanism for ODA and concessionary financing, but in order for small island developing States to take advantage of it, they required recognition as a special category by multilateral partners.  Finally, the traditional North-South relationship must reset to embrace collaboration and cooperation rather than prescription and dictation.

THOMAS BACH, President of the International Olympic Committee, thanked Member States for recognizing the contribution of sport to sustainable development and to advancing the Goals.  Noting that sport was a natural partner to realizing the Agenda, he recalled that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon himself had stated that “Olympic principles are United Nations principles”.  Sport’s global reach and universality made it a low-cost high-impact tool to support countries working toward the Goals.  For instance, sport and physical education programmes promoted school attendance and helped to improve learning performance — a key to success in attaining Goal 4 on quality education.  Sport was a powerful platform to foster gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, as called for in Goal 5.  In support of Goal 16, sport promoted social inclusion, built trust and fostered a culture of peace.  In recognizing the National Olympic Committee of South Sudan in August 2015, the International Olympic Committee had sent a signal of hope to a young nation that in sport, all people, no matter their differences in ethnicity, culture or religion, were equal.

IRENE KHAN, Director General of the International Development Law Organization said that in a ground-breaking move, the 2030 Agenda had put justice and the rule of law at the heart of development.  But the relationship between the rule of law and the 2030 Agenda went deeper than Goal 16.  The rule of law cut across all the Sustainable Development Goals, and without access to law and justice, development could not flourish, investment would not take root, and the planet might not survive.  Building the rule of law took vision, time and money, but it was the most sound investment possible.  The more Governments and the international community invested in it, the less they would have to scramble to address catastrophic failures.

YVES LETERME, Secretary-General of International IDEA, said that as a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity, which sought also to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was an ambitious road map for change.  International IDEA, as the sole intergovernmental organization with an exclusive mandate on democracy and electoral assistance, had advocated for a democratic lens in the definition of the new agenda.  The extraordinary post-2015 process was not yet over, and he urged Member States to ensure that the indicators would capture citizens’ perceptions and assess both qualitative and quantitative dimensions of the Sustainable Development Goals.

MIREILLE BALLESTRAZZI, President of INTERPOL, said that the relationship between security and development was very close, but ambiguous.  There was no development without security.  When roads were not safe and borders were porous, there were major obstacles to security.  However, security needed an environment wherein there was the high quality recruitment and standards found with development.  How could a global police organization that had garnered more than 100 years of experience be a bulwark against violence?  According to INTERPOL’s mandate, the organization worked first and foremost with the police forces of member States and provided them with high-level technical assistance.  The activity of INTERPOL’s seven regional bureaus was basic and fundamental because it enabled the bringing together of several States that were fighting crimes together.  As States battled organized crime, her organization was proud to carry out its activities alongside the United Nations.  Criminals were organized by those who were not united, and by standing together, her organization and the international community could present a united front.

WILLIAM LACY SWING, Director-General of the International Organization for Migration, said the 2030 Agenda highlighted the positive contribution of migrants for inclusive growth and sustainable development.  It recognized the need to enhance migrants’ development outcomes and to ensure that they were not left behind.  The world was in a period of the greatest human mobility in history, with roughly one billion people, one in every seven on the planet, being migrants.  If well managed, large-scale migration would be a boon for development.  The number of migrants dying on dangerous journeys in the hope of finding better lives for themselves and their families was rising.  All States had the international obligation to save the lives of those seeking help.  The international community must work together to change the migration discourse to something more positive as there was a growing tide of anti-migrant sentiment in many parts of the world.

IYAD AMEEN MADANI, Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), said the goals of the OIC were in line with those of the United Nations.  As the second largest intergovernmental organization after the United Nations, the role and scope of the OIC had expanded from a predominantly political domain to include many aspects of human life and the well-being of people.  The OIC of today dealt with issues including education, science, technology, food security, disease and epidemics, energy, water and sanitation, human rights and others.  With conflicts and instability affecting many regions, the OIC envisioned its role as an effective agent for peace and development in the Muslim world and beyond.  The organization was currently engaged in devising a successor programme to the Ten-Year Programme of Action, which would conclude in December.  The action programme for 2016-2025 focused on priority areas including: peace and stability; Palestine and Al-Quds; poverty alleviation; trade, investment and finance; employment; infrastructure and industrialization; climate change and sustainability; and others.  That plan was in general harmony with the broad United Nations approaches and strategies.

LAMBERTO ZANNIER, Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), said that events like the Sustainable Development Summit were milestones in history when universal values were translated into political commitments that changed the course of events.  The adoption of the visionary United Nations Charter 70 years ago was also one of those milestones.  The current gathering of world leaders and major stakeholders promised to be another historical turning point that regenerated hope, re-energized action, and re-invigorated partnerships.  The new Goals were built around five pillars: peace, people, planet, prosperity and partnerships.  Achieving the Goals within the next 15 years would take major efforts by all stakeholders, and those efforts would be made stronger by partnerships and cooperation.  There was no time to waste, and the world must seize the opportunity and work together to bring peace and prosperity to people in every corner of the planet.

PATRICK I. GOMES, Secretary General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP Group), said the organization’s 79 member States encompassed tropical forests of the Congo and Amazonia, along with oceans, marine and many mineral resources.  Through trade and tourism and access to minerals and commodities, those States had fuelled the industrial advancement of both developed and developing countries.  For the peoples of the Group, the goals of sustainable development and an equitable share in the wealth of the planet could not be treated as mere documents or rhetoric.  Commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals, poverty eradication and the end of the rapid increase in inequality was not an option but an imperative.  The ACP Group aligned itself with those who addressed those issues resolutely and systematically.  Finally, the organization fully endorsed the preamble of the outcome document, which stated that “we are resolved to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want to heal and secure our planet”.

COLIN TUKUITONGA, Director-General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), said that 2015 had presented an unprecedented opportunity to bring the countries and citizens of the world together to decide and embark on new paths to improve the lives of people everywhere.  The future of the Pacific region and its ability to tackle major challenges, including climate change, poverty and non-communicable diseases, depended on the drive, determination and quality of learning outcomes for tomorrow’s decision makers.  Healthy oceans were fundamental to resilience and sustainable development, and it was the only source of income for many people in the Pacific region, especially small island developing States.  Therefore Goal 14 was of critical importance to that region.  Equally significant was Goal 13.  The Pacific island region contributed less than 0.03 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, and yet they were among the first to feel the impacts of climate change.  Failure to reach a legally binding agreement in Paris would only exacerbate the situation for Pacific people.

ARANCHA GONZÁLEZ, Executive Director of the International Trade Centre, said that implementing the new Agenda would require fundamental changes in the way the private sector did business.  “We as consumers will also have to make more responsible decisions,” she said.  There would be up-front costs to the new Agenda.  An intelligent mix of traditional development assistance, domestic resource mobilization and private sector participation would be needed.  Much of the progress that had already been achieved could be built upon.  Trading in value-added goods and services mattered for development.  A global economy in which no country languished on the side lines, or remained locked in unprocessed raw materials, would be better placed to produce effective employment for all.  The new Agenda called for trade opening, farm and fishery subsidy reform and for a strengthened multilateral trading system anchored in the World Trade Organization.  It also linked Aid for Trade to the goal of full and productive employment for all.  Finally, small and medium-sized enterprises were critical.

JOAN CLOS, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), said the world was rapidly urbanizing as more than half the global population lived in cities.  Additionally, those areas were engines of growth and job creation and were responsible for 80 per cent of global gross domestic product.  When cities were well planned, well governed and well financed, they could drive economic growth.  Good urbanization, however, did not come by chance; it came by design.  Underlying the wide diversity of successful cities, there were three common measures:  adequate rules and regulations, which governed people sharing common services; better spatial planning and design, which optimized density, connectivity and diversity; and a financial strategy, which sustained the functioning of the city.  Only city governments could effectively oversee those common elements, and they had the greatest accountability.  But local governments needed support from high levels, through frameworks such as national urban policies.  Without those and without a climate agreement, the world would not achieve sustainable urban development.

STEVE LALANDE, Council Member of the International Forum of National NGO Platforms, Seychelles, said now was the time to move from policy to action.  There was a need to commit substantial financial resources and strengthen monitoring and accountability frameworks so that promises made today could be realized tomorrow.  Seychelles, for example, was one of the developing countries identified as having met most of the Millennium Development Goals; that country’s Millennium Development Goal Committee had proved useful in synergizing the efforts of the country’s development actors.  As part of that Committee, he recommended that such an inclusive and democratic mechanism — which would include Government, the private sector, civil society and other stakeholders — be established in all countries and adequately steered and resourced.  Among other things, he reaffirmed the centrality of people’s active engagement, the need for a renewed mandate for institutions and experts to serve local populations and the importance of building peace and preventing conflicts as a precondition for sustainable development.

EVELYN NGULEKA, President of the World Farmers Organization, said there were more than 1.5 billion farmers worldwide who ensured the world had both food and nutrition.  As part of the major groups, farmers were pleased to have been part of the participatory planning process for the Sustainable Development Goals.  Farmers, fisher folk and cattle breeders all over the world were one of the main stakeholders in society and had a social responsibility.  They cared for lands, rivers and oceans, and always adapted to climate evolution; they worked every day to make the planet more sustainable.  Farmers were committed to the 2030 Agenda.  While there was only one Goal directly related to agriculture, farmers could help to facilitate the accomplishment of all 17 Goals.  Farming must continue to be profitable in order for farmers not to be left behind; that would require an inclusive relationship with the private sector.  Finally, she demanded access to knowledge and skills in order to allow farmers to improve agricultural sustainability, as well as investment in education and capacity-building.

Right of Reply

Speaking in exercise of the right of reply, the representative of Armenia, addressing the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, said the world had witnessed two magnificent days, wherein the members of the United Nations came together for a historic cause to adopt the Goals and go further for the 2030 Agenda.  However, he was surprised as to why a delegation was willing to spoil the whole fun and glory of those days.  Goal 16 was dedicated to peaceful societies for sustainable development.  Truly Azerbaijan had achieved economic growth.  But all of that income had not gone to sustain peace, but rather into arms deals.  That country was militarizing itself beyond any possible logic.  The data that was presented by that Minister quoted a so-called “1 million refugees” in the country. 

He suggested that the Azerbaijani Minister look up some of his data in the official Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) database.  The official refugees originating from Azerbaijan were 10,521, and most of them had come to Armenia from Azerbaijan.  There was nothing said about 1 million refugees.  Azerbaijan was abusing the right of its statement, and trying to provoke everyone and saying nothing about its own problems or responsibilities.  A peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict would result in the return of all refugees.

Also speaking in exercise of the right of reply, the representative of Azerbaijan said it was unfortunate that Armenia had delivered a propagandist statement.  In reality, the room had witnessed another unsuccessful attempt to mislead the international community by means of falsification.  He wished to briefly comment on what the Armenian representative deliberately distorted.  The fact that military force was used against Azerbaijan, and that Armenia seized and continued to occupy Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region, required no additional comments.  It would be useful if the Armenian representative could read the relevant United Nations documents carefully.  Armenia had carried out ethnic cleansing by expelling 1 million Azerbaijanis from their homes and committed other serious crimes. 

He said that in its relevant resolution, the Security Council condemned the attacks on civilians and bombardments of inhabited areas with Azerbaijanis.  The Armenian Government, which had purged its territory of all non-Armenians, should be the last to speak on such notions as peace, human rights and self-determination.  Armenia continued to pursue an unconstructive position, and took actions aimed to destabilize the situation on the ground.  The Armenian Government deliberately violated the ceasefire by attacking and killing Azerbaijani military personnel, as well as civilians residing in the territory adjacent to the frontline.  In reality, in that regard, by continuing to occupy the territories of Azerbaijan and denying the rights of 1 million refugees and internally displaced persons to return to their homes, Armenia clearly demonstrated who was actually responsible for undermining regional peace, security and stability.

Speaking again, the representative of Armenia said one did not need to listen to the accusations just made, but must instead simply read the newspapers from 20 years ago.  It was Azerbaijan who attacked the peaceful people of Nagorno-Karabakh, who were not a part of Azerbaijan.  There was no way that Azerbaijan had any right whatever to that region.  The people of Nagorno-Karabakh decided to be separate from a country that decided to kill them.  Azerbaijan was talking about legends and not reality, and it should remember who started the whole mess.

Speaking again, the representative of Azerbaijan said the remarks from the Armenian delegate were full of the usual distortions, and the delegate was not even thinking to engage in a constructive search for peace.  The room had heard irrelevant and out-of-context comments.  Armenia, instead of contributing to the conflict settlement process, had made provocations with unknown consequences.  The sooner Armenia recognized this fact, the sooner people could live in peace and understanding.

Interactive Dialogue I

The morning’s round table, co-chaired by Charles Michel, Prime Minister of Belgium, and Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, was entitled “Fostering sustainable economic growth and promoting sustainable consumption and production”.  A concept paper prepared for the discussion noted that while poverty had been halved over the last 20 years, one sixth of the world’s population — over 1 billion people — remained in absolute poverty.  The globalization accompanying growing prosperity had not benefitted all countries equally and economic growth had not always delivered shared prosperity, it said.

Opening the discussion, Ms. HASINA said that transformation of the global community required equality across communities and countries.  With Earth’s finite resources, their sustainable management and efficient use was crucial.  In order to leave no one behind, people at the bottom must also be able to enjoy the fruits of development.  To that end, focus must be placed on development and technology transfer, particularly resource-efficient technologies relating to agriculture and food security, health, and chemical and waste management.

Mr. MICHEL said that the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda was a response to the challenges facing the planet and it set guidelines for meeting them.  Noting achievements in economic growth, he stressed that economic equality was essential to sustainable development.  A change in patterns of consumption and production was needed, and growth must be coupled with prevention of environmental degradation.  Countries must be creative.  Good governance and partnership across all sectors were required; additional efforts were needed for the least developed countries.  While countries might have differing needs and approaches, all could be committed to the 2030 Agenda.

When the floor was opened for discussion, leaders from around the world welcomed the adoption of the new Agenda and stressed the critical nature of changing patterns of consumption as well as the need to develop renewable energy sources; provide decent work, particularly for youth and women; develop partnerships among all social sectors; and empower women across all sustainable development goals to eradicate poverty.  Prosperity must be shared equitably.

MICHAEL D. HIGGINS, President of Ireland, said that delivering on the promises of Agenda 2030 would require political will and a paradigm shift.  Addressing the growing inequality within and between States, he said economic growth based on speculation and debt was growth without equality, and would not provide jobs.  It was essential to harness economic growth to serve justice and human rights.  Unless States and Governments ensured that growth served their people, the Agenda’s goals would not be realized.  The Agenda must be the start of sustained commitment and not just a flicker of hope.

A number of speakers, notably from Africa, stressed the need for renewable energy sources.  AKINWUMI ADESINA, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), said that in Africa, there would be no consumption or production without first addressing energy as the engine that powered economic growth.  Without it, factories could not run and costs to potential consumers would skyrocket.

JOHN DRAMANI MAHAMA, President of Ghana, drawing attention to Africa’s many natural resources, noted the potential of its plentiful water resources and sunlight for energy production, as well as the opportunity for investment presented by agriculture.

CARLOS LOPES, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), said that the agribusiness sector was key for building value chains and adding value on the continent.  However, the investment gap in Africa was a major obstacle to development.

AMADOU HOTT, Sovereign Wealth Fund of Senegal for Strategic Investments, said economic growth required not only foreign investment but also direct domestic investment.  He recommended that Governments partner with the private sector.  To that end, strategic investment and sovereign wealth funds could be set up.  Governments with borrowing capacity could ask for co-development funds rather than straight borrowing, which would give them more favourable terms.

Another recurring theme of the meeting was the role of youth in sustainable development.  As the youngest participant in the dialogue, SEBASTIAN KURZ, Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of Austria, said that education and the creation of decent jobs were critical.  Governments should develop partnerships with the private sector for that purpose, but sustainable development should be not be the prerogative of Governments alone; youth must be actively involved in contributing to the 2030 Agenda.

BÉATRICE ATALLAH, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Madagascar, stressed that young people were the agents for transformation, while JUSTINE GREENING, Secretary of State for International Development of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, cautioned that most of the poorest countries were facing a youth bulge.  It was a race against time.

KAILASH SATYARTHI, Nobel Prize Laureate from India, welcomed the goal of eliminating child labour, slavery and human trafficking in the 2030 Agenda.  A sustainable society could not be built without it.  He called for child-related legislation and investment in the health and education of children and said that corporate leaders must protect children throughout the chain of production.  Most importantly, youth must be challenged to become “change makers”, and their energy must be included in finding the solutions.

GUY RYDER, General Director of the International Labour Organization (ILO), said that Goal 8, on decent work for all, was at the very centre of the international endeavour.  The ILO would not rest until child labour was eliminated.  It would promote formalization of work, productivity and sustainable enterprises, strive to enhance investment in the provision of skills and ensure that global value chains became vectors to supply decent work.  “There’s not much time left to 2030,” he said, adding that 600 million young people were depending on the Agenda’s success. 

STEFAN LÖFVEN, Prime Minster of Sweden, proposed the concept of a “global deal”, whereby States would ratify the ILO’s core convention and recognize social dialogue as essential to governing.  Companies would negotiate and take account of community needs, and labour would negotiate fairly and consider the growth needs of companies.

Another focus of the meeting was empowering women and placing people at the centre of development.  NKOSAZANA CLARICE DLAMINI-ZUMA, Chairperson, African Union Commission, said that without investment in women towards their empowerment, land rights and access to capital and technology, there could be no sustainable development.  Investment in women would also allow them to take care of children.  In short, it made economic, cultural and social sense.

PAUL QUINTOS, speaking on behalf of IBON International and the Campaign for Peoples Goals, took a cautionary stance on the new Agenda.  He said “no one wants to transform the world more than the millions of people who are not simply left behind but pushed back.”  He recalled what Pope Francis had described as a system that “tends to devour everything that stands in the way of increased profits”.  Mr. Quintos called for democratization of resource ownership and economic gains, and of decision-making in the economy and its reorientation towards promoting the well-being of people and the planet instead of growth in profits.

MARK ZUCKERBERG, Chief Executive Officer of Facebook, highlighted another transformation owing to the world’s connectivity.  The Internet changed lives and was transforming society.  For every 10 people who gained access, one was lifted out of poverty.  Harnessing the Internet was thus critical to development.  Seventy years ago, the United Nations was founded on the hope that people could connect to make a better world.  “If we truly want to unite the nations of the world, let’s begin by connecting the world,” he said.

Also speaking in the discussion were Heads of State and Government and senior officials of Denmark, Australia, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, Burundi, Slovakia, Dominican Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Uganda and Congo.

Representatives of the following organizations also spoke: World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

Additional speakers included senior representatives of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Zenith Bank, International Renewable Energy Agency, Eurasian Development Bank, Local Authorities Major Group, Réseau national d’appui à la promotion de l’économie sociale et solidaire, World Bank Group and Mara Group.

Interactive Dialogue II

The afternoon’s interactive dialogue on “Delivering on a revitalized global partnership” was co-chaired by Macky Sall, President of Senegal, and Ahmet Davutoğlu, Prime Minister of Turkey.  It explored lessons learned from the Millennium Development Goals on the means of implementation, ensuring that public and private financing acted in a complementary manner to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, and ensuring that the revitalized partnership effectively mobilized resources and supported the Agenda’s implementation.

Mr. SALL, stressing that the revitalized global partnership should be universal and consider shared concerns, said the search for resources to implement the post-2015 Goals must continue.  Development financing raised several issues, among them, the fair distribution of natural resources, good governance and the effectiveness of financing mechanisms.

Mr. DAVUTOĞLU said current financing and investment patterns were far from delivering on the new Goals.  Indeed, the fiscal space was limited for many Governments.  How the global partnership was implemented would determine the success of the 2030 Agenda.

When the floor was opened for discussion, leaders from Government, civil society, the private sector and the United Nations agreed that the status quo on global partnership was not a viable option for implementing the 2030 Agenda.  It had been perhaps the most neglected of the Millennium Development Goals.  “Good intentions are not enough,” said one speaker.  Many outlined strategies for enhancing collaboration and coordination among public and private actors, stressing the need to avoid duplicated efforts.  Others argued for a more inclusive system of partnership on the basis of mutual respect and benefit.

For such success, an enabling business environment was needed, speakers said.  Private funds must be unleashed and join the more traditional sources to achieve the new Agenda.  Capacity-building, fair tax systems, international cooperation in taxation, and combating illicit financial flows were essential.  Several speakers also recalled that official development assistance (ODA) remained the most important source of development finance.  Some called on developed countries to allocate 0.7 per cent of their gross national income to ODA without conditionalities.

That was the only way, said MELTEK SATO KILMAN LIVTUVANU, Prime Minister of Vanuatu, that small vulnerable countries could sustain their development objectives.  “This means being united in purpose and vision and embracing practices that work.”  Development cooperation must align with country programmes and be grounded in national practices.

Along similar lines, JOSÉ MOLINAS, Minister for Planning of Paraguay, said national plans should stem from broad consensus among citizens and serve as a guide for international cooperation and foreign policy.  Coordination forums among local, national and global actors were needed, as were monitoring tools.

SERGEY KONONUCHENKO (Russian Federation) urged enhancing existing mechanisms, such as the United Nations Global Compact, as well as new platforms, and leveraging the High-Level Political Forum to disseminate best practices.

Civil society representatives stressed that the revitalized global partnership must be founded on justice.  SIVANANTHI THANENTHIRAN, Executive Director, Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW, Malaysia), said it was important to ask whom the partnerships would serve.  Key players had to include the most marginalized.  “It is time to bring the periphery to the centre,” she said, advocating bottom-up approaches that involved women.  The global partnership must prevent early marriage, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health services for the poor, and eliminate discrimination.

RANJA SENGUPTA, Third World Network, said the technology facilitation mechanism was an important breakthrough and Governments must not shy away from intellectual property rights.  The Review Forum for Financing for Development was another, and it must be given enough strength to ensure that all partners delivered on what they had committed.

JENNIFER VINAS-FORCADE, LAC Youth Alliance, urged eliminating all inequalities, stressing: “The redistribution of wealth must be our aim.”

In terms of better engaging the business community, PETER BAKKER, President and CEO of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, highlighted the launch of the “SDG Compass” to help companies prioritize the Sustainable Development Goals and report progress.  “Radical transparency is what we need from business,” he said.  “Business is the vehicle to scale all solutions up.”

JOHN DANILOVICH, Secretary-General, International Chamber of Commerce, called for ratifying the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement, concluding the Doha Round of trade talks, taking actions that would ease trade for small- and medium-sized enterprises and developing markets — all of which would foster global growth.  In addition, he called on Governments to recognize a role for business under a future climate regime, to ensure that their resources were tapped to speed emissions reductions and build climate resilience.

Striking a similar tone from a United Nations perspective, JUDITH KARL, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Capital Development Fund, said public-private partnerships that de-risked the investment space could draw in domestic banks and dormant capital, and reveal markets to a wider pool of investors.  Such moves would bring growth “close to where people actually live”.  It required public-private tolerance of risk, investment in innovative financing models and “patient” capital that would see returns over longer time frames.

In the area of peace and security, MIREILLE BALLESTRAZZI, President of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), described a partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to share capacities and resources in the fight against terrorism, transnational organized crime, cyber-threats, violence against women and children, and in securing shipping lanes and building-capacity in forensic justice.

On those points, MARTIN KREUTNER, International Anti-Corruption Academy, wondered whether the voluntary framework was enough to attract others to partnership, or whether systems such as the “Let Crime Pay” principle were needed.  He asked to what extent responsibilities could be delegated from the public to the private sector, drawing attention to the raised expectations of financial ownership.

AXEL ALBERT EMIL BERTUCH-SAMUELS, Special Representative, International Monetary Fund (IMF), said the Fund would offer concessional financing for the poorest countries and interest-free loans to both fragile States and those hit by natural disasters; strengthen policies and tools to foster economic growth; enhance capacity-building support for domestic revenue mobilization; and advise on scaling up infrastructure.  It also would deepen policy advice in the areas of inclusion and environmental sustainability.

Also speaking in the discussion were Heads of State and Government and senior officials of Monaco, Nepal, Tunisia and Indonesia.

Senior officials of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), European Investment Bank, Mirova Société Anonyme, California Public Employees’ Retirement System, and the Alberta Investment Management Corporation also spoke, as did representatives of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

For information media. Not an official record.