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GA/EF/3473
3 October 2017
Seventy-second Session, 4th & 5th Meetings (AM & PM)

Financing Gap Hampering Sustainable Development Efforts for Low, Middle-Income Countries, Say Delegates as Second Committee Concludes Debate

Traditional funding for development was insufficient due to the global economic and trade slow-down as well as persistent natural hazards, especially in small, vulnerable and highly indebted economies, Jamaica’s representative told the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) today, as it continued its general debate.

The current financing gap to achieve Sustainable Development Goals in low and middle-income countries was between $3 and $5 trillion per year, he noted.  Bilateral net official development assistance (ODA) reached $142.6 billion in 2016, but that included humanitarian and disaster relief, technical assistance, cultural exchanges and other Government-related activities.  Moreover, middle-income countries like Jamaica were deemed too well-off to warrant official development assistance (ODA) and lost access to certain financing windows.

The representative of Zimbabwe lamented that ODA was declining and most development partners were failing to fulfil their commitments.  If developing countries were to stand a better chance of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, international public resources had to be significantly increased.  Development partners should avoid using domestic resource mobilization to escape ODA commitments.

Papua New Guinea’s delegate underscored the need for multilateral financial institutions like the World Bank to expand the definition of fragility when considering financing, especially for small island developing States.  He also emphasized that United Nations reforms and improved cost effectiveness must not come at the expense of countries in special situations.

Similarly, the representative of the Maldives said his country would need more foreign investment to move from its current upper-middle income country status.  But the lending framework of international financial institutions failed to favour small States, even if projects in the pipeline were sound and bankable.

The current imbalance in the development system should be corrected to ensure equal access to sufficient and predictable funding, stressed Morocco’s delegate.  Since ODA, often a catalyst for partnerships, was still essential to many countries, international commitments must be respected to maintain development momentum.

Speakers also focused on the need to reduce developing country debt, which seriously impeded implementing the Goals, especially in least developed States.  They also stressed the importance of open, transparent and inclusive international trade, as it played a vital role in economic growth and development.

Also speaking were representatives of China, Paraguay, Japan, Italy, Switzerland, Georgia, Mongolia, Philippines, Dominican Republic, Mexico, South Africa, San Marino, Chile, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, United Republic of Tanzania, Qatar, Sudan, Kuwait, Brazil, Yemen, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Honduras, Slovenia, Saudi Arabia, Romania, Iraq, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Nigeria, Argentina, Venezuela, Croatia, Zambia, Armenia, Nepal, Libya, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Eritrea, Kenya, Tunisia, Turkey, Fiji, Senegal, Serbia, Algeria, Andorra, Solomon Islands, Ireland, United Arab Emirates, and Timor-Leste, as well as the Sovereign Order of Malta, Holy See and State of Palestine.

Representatives of the International Criminal Court, Common Fund for Commodities, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) also spoke.

The Committee will meet again on Thursday, 5 October at 10 a.m. to take up macroeconomic policy questions.

Statements

WU HAITAO (China) said it was vital for all countries to take concrete actions to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, closely cooperating with all nations in meeting that goal.  The international community must focus on poverty reduction since it was a primary goal of the Agenda.  Nations must increase resource inputs and focus on helping developing countries eliminate poverty, achieve food security and realize the Sustainable Development Goals.  Developed countries must honour their resource commitments in a timely manner.  The global community must improve the international environment for development as well as economic governance and ensure an inclusive trading system.  There was a need for all to support reform of the development system in assisting poorer nations to implement the 2030 Agenda.

JULIO CÉSAR ARRIOLA RAMÍREZ (Paraguay) said eradicating poverty was the greatest challenge facing the world, and called on the international community to reflect on resolutions to implement the 2030 Agenda.  The multilateral trade system should be included in the relevant resolutions, he said, referring to the landmark ratified agreement by two thirds of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) membership.  Paraguay noted numerous regional declarations and efforts on disaster risk reduction, and the sustainable development of human settlements as aligned with the New Urban Agenda under the October 2016 United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III).  Paraguay continued work on a hydroelectric plant in partnership with Brazil.  In closing, he called attention to the second report of the Secretary-General on the Sustainable Development Goals and reports on agenda items of the seventy-second General Assembly, and reaffirmed his country’s commitment to leave no one behind.

TAKESHI MATSUNAGA (Japan) said the influence of climate change was obvious, considering recent natural hazards occurring around the world.  It was imperative to swiftly address that issue, as it was linked not only to security but the very existence of the most vulnerable countries, especially small island developing States.  He also noted that disaster risk reduction was an overarching means of achieving each of the Sustainable Development Goals.  A single disaster could bring a country’s development to a halt, defeating years of hard-won development achievements at once.  As the host country to the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2015, Japan had committed itself to mainstreaming disaster risk reduction as an integral part of sustainable development in all areas of the 2030 Agenda.

INIGO LAMBERTINI (Italy), associating himself with the European Union, reiterated his country’s commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change and working towards a green economy.  Italy pledged to save the oceans.  In that regard, his country had made 1,400 voluntary commitments.  It would continue to address marine litter and protection of the ocean ecosystem through the country’s “10x20 Initiative”.  Turning to migration, Italy took numerous steps to tackle its root causes and looked forward to next year’s global compact on refugees.  Addressing food security remained at the core of the country’s development policies together with the Rome-based agencies, and his nation would continue to promote a world free from hunger and where sustainable production met sustainable consumption.  He expressed support to the reform efforts of the Secretary-General.

JÜRG LAUBER (Switzerland) stressed that the Second Committee’s procedures must be as efficient as possible.  In particular, it must avoid duplication, whether between resolutions or the Committee and United Nations processes or bodies.  The Committee must limit the number and pace of resolutions submitted to effectively deal with the issues before it.  Switzerland intended to be actively engaged in resolutions on financing for development, building on the work done and conclusions drawn by the Economic and Social Council.  The resolution on follow-up to the quadrennial comprehensive policy review was a priority, but based on several reports to be published, the discussion would be more substantial in 2018.  The same applied to partnerships, which would be addressed in the Secretary-General’s upcoming report on repositioning of the United Nations development system.

ELENE AGLADZE (Georgia) stressed that the essential component of the Sustainable Development Goals was financing.  Realizing the 2030 Agenda would require creative solutions to find adequate means of implementation.  Innovative financing could be instrumental in generating new sources of funding for development.  Georgia had been exploring different models of private-public partnership.  In 2014, it had established a national solidarity fund — an integrated platform for microphilanthropy and innovative financing, which had already mobilized over 60,000 civil servants and 50 companies to take action.  In 2015, Georgia, in cooperation with the United Nations and the Leading Group, hosted the first international forum on innovative financing for the 2030 Agenda.  The Tbilisi Forum put forward recommendations on how to enhance the work on innovative financing at global, regional and local levels.

ENKHTSETSEG OCHIR (Mongolia), associating herself with the “Group of 77” developing countries and China and the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries, said that the global economic environment and persistent weakness in international trade hindered her country’s efforts to implement the Sustainable Development Goals.  A stronger commitment to partnership and cooperation at all levels would be needed for their achievement.  Financing for development, transfer of technology, combating climate change and addressing the special needs of developing countries and sustainable debt solutions remained high on the agenda.  Advancement of the Doha Round and development dimensions from WTO ministerial negotiations would enhance the capacity of the multilateral trading system.  Turning to climate change, she said that Mongolia’s green development strategy aimed to build a low-carbon and climate resilient society.  By 2030, the country intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 14 per cent.  Mongolia intended to revitalize the economy through policy measures to restore stability and debt sustainability.  To address emerging development challenges, it proposed an international think tank for landlocked least developed countries.  To overcome high transportation costs and weak infrastructure, Mongolia had developed a trilateral economic corridor and expanded trilateral cooperation, including through the Asian highway network.

TEODORO LOCSIN (Philippines), associating himself with the Group of 77, said his country incorporated global objectives in its “AmBisyon Natin 2040” and national development plan for 2017 to 2022, and that eradicating poverty remained the country’s top priority.  As a middle-income country, the Philippines were highly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change and natural hazards.  Nearly one tenth of the country’s population worked or lived abroad as migrants or migrant workers.  He called for the mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction and climate action in development plans and integration into United Nations agency programmes and strategies.  Furthermore, the United Nations needed to elevate migration in its agenda, and integrate gender responsiveness across all discussions.  Substantive engagement by Member States would be vital to the relevance of the Second Committee and its work could add value to the reform of the United Nations development system.

FRANCISCO ANTONIO CORTORREAL (Dominican Republic) questioned what the international community could do to tackle climate change as well as the United Nations role in alleviating the pain and uncertainty of those who had lost everything.  Climate change represented a growing problem which knew no borders, which must be addressed with the utmost responsibility by developed countries and donors.  His country had presented a proposal for a special fund to tackle the effects of climate change, which would support Governments that alone could not rebuild their respective countries.  Noting that tourism and development were interlinked in many middle-income Caribbean countries, he stressed the need to strengthen infrastructure and prepare communities in dealing with climate change.

JUAN SANDOVAL MENDIOLEA (Mexico), associating himself with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), said his country supported revitalization efforts of the General Assembly.  The Second Committee, he continued, could not continue with the distinction between the developed and undeveloped groups.  Regional groups should be able to freely submit draft resolutions, and delegations must work together to draft texts on collective themes.  The Committee could improve its working methods and enhance the quality of debates, which would impact the substantive reports of the Secretariat.  Biannual and triannual discussions would also be welcome.  The Committee should eliminate irrelevant themes, and strive for more action and efficiency.  A broader reflection of overlaps between the Economic and Social Council, and the Second and Third Committees, and an ad-hoc working group would be needed.  A financial and economic agenda would ensure progress in implementing and financing the Sustainable Development Goals, and highlight the need for free trade and debt reduction.  Additional efforts would be needed to address illicit financial flows, and climate threats.  Mexico urged a multidimensional approach to reducing poverty with respect to human rights.  Noting concern of job loss due to automation, he called for analyses of new technologies and joint efforts to identify challenges and opportunities.  In regards to climate change, Mexico continued work on the global goals and efforts to enhance awareness.

SHERINA SARAN (South Africa), associating herself with the Group of 77 and the Africa Group, said that as some of the highest poverty rates existed in sub-Saharan Africa, the 2030 Agenda resonated with the continent’s Agenda 2063.  The optimism that had characterized the adoption of the 2015 outcomes, however, had been replaced by uncertainty in sustaining the development agenda, with an attempt to shift the burden of development assistance to South-South cooperation, triangular cooperation and the private sector, she said, adding that North-South cooperation remained central.  The fight against illicit financial flows, particularly from Africa, should be a key element in development financing.  As climate change was adversely affecting food security, full implementation of the Paris Agreement was essential and should not be limited to disaster risk management and early warning.

DAMIANO BELEFFI (San Marino) said the complexity and interconnected nature of today’s challenges reminded the international community of the importance of partnership and cooperation, and the United Nations must continue to play a central role.  To that end, he expressed hope that the Second Committee would deliver on its full potential.  Noting that human rights were at the core of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, he reminded States of their individual responsibilities and promises to incorporate the Goals into national development laws and policies.  The private sector and civil society played an important role in mobilizing resources, and in that regard, San Marino recalled the importance of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.  He said that greater efforts were needed in addressing maternal mortality and gender equality, as well as in investing in education, sustainable energy and health care.

CRISTIÁN BARROS MELET (Chile) said a resolution should be adopted in the Second Committee to strengthen the United Nations cooperation mechanism for middle-income countries.  The level of development in those nations must be aligned with challenges under the 2030 Agenda.  He stressed that eradicating poverty was a vital component of the Agenda, noting that the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty, which had yielded important lessons and best practices, concluded in 2017.  To seriously tackle poverty, the international community needed criteria that incorporated other dimensions — for example, economic, social, and environmental.  An effort must be made to enhance renewable energies and protect oceans and ensure food security as well as the sustainable use of water.

JA SONG NAM (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), emphasizing the link between peace and development, said that due to the fault of a specific country, global peace and security were being gravely violated, with the United States seeking regime change in sovereign nations without hesitation.  Today, that country had deployed all kinds of nuclear assets on the Korean Peninsula, conducting endless joint military drills aimed at regime change in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, he said.  At the same time, it had imposed an economic blockade while jabbering about implementing illegal and unjustifiable sanctions resolutions.  Such actions worldwide by the United States were an open challenge to the fundamental spirit of the Sustainable Development Goals, he said.  To achieve the Goals, the high-handed measures of the United States, including sanctions imposed on developing countries, should be obliterated immediately.  Implementing the Goals should, at the same time, be a process of destroying the monopolistic position of a few specific countries in the international monetary and trading system.  Under the wise leadership of its respected supreme leader, Kim Jong Un, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was making advances in its 5-year national development plan, he said, adding that the United States’ nuclear threats, blackmail, economic sanctions and blockade would only result in sharper vigilance and greater courage on his country’s part.

MODEST JONATHAN MERO (United Republic of Tanzania) associated himself with the Group of 77, Group of Least Developed Countries and the African Group.  He said the international community should focus on ending poverty, promoting economic development and social prosperity, addressing inequality and injustices, ensuring peace and security, and tackling climate change.  To that end, his country integrated the Sustainable Development Goals into the second phase of the five-year development plan for 2016 to 2021, Agenda 2063 and its first 10-year implementation plan.  Low level industrialization and inadequate infrastructure networks were major impediments to the productivity of the country’s economy.  In response, the United Republic of Tanzania reviewed policies and strategies, and unleashed interventions addressing regulatory and institutional frameworks.  He remained optimistic that such actions would reduce the proportion of the population below the poverty line from the current 28.2 per cent to 16.7 per cent by 2020.  Growth was also expected in employment, small and medium enterprises, and financial support to youth and women.  His country supported the need for a revitalized global partnership for sustainable development, and urged a proper linkage to the Addis Ababa Action Agenda framework.  Threats from climate change caused serious risk to poverty reduction and development efforts, he said.  Critical infrastructure, agricultural development, food security and nutrition remained in jeopardy, and a serious commitment would be critical to assisting least developed countries in building adaptive capacity.

Mr. AL-KUWARI (Qatar), associating himself with the Group of 77, said the international community must grasp all opportunities in implementing the 2030 Agenda.  Countries had committed themselves to take all necessary measures in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals, with respect for national differences and priorities.  There was a need for a national review of sustainable development, showing efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda.  He stressed that the Paris Agreement was a fundamental step in maintaining life on the planet, adding that Qatar was working with the international community to reflect commitments made in that climate accord.  Noting that trade played a vital role in economic growth and development, he said the global community must create conducive conditions for an open, transparent and inclusive international trading system.

OMER DAHAB FADL MOHAMED (Sudan) said implementing the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 would require international partnerships and a more coherent global framework.  Developing countries must have the necessary resources, technology, capacity-building and access to international markets.  Noting that official development assistance (ODA) was a vital source of financing for least developed countries, he expressed concern that ODA amounts had gone down between 2016 and 2017.  The consequences of the global financial crisis, conflicts and other crises had hindered implementation of the Goals in several nations, especially small island developing States and least developed countries.  Foreign debt was also a major impediment for many developing countries.  Sudan had serious debt problems and had been unable to graduate from its least developed country status.  He also noted that trade was essential to development, but that the system must be reformed, giving developing countries non-discriminatory access to global markets as well as the WTO.

Mr. ALAHMAD (Kuwait), associating himself with the Group of 77, said his country supported efforts to revitalize the General Assembly and modernize the Second Committee.  Kuwait would continue to back the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, financing for development efforts and implementing Sustainable Development Goals.  In addition to the outcome of 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) and Paris Agreement, he stated that climate change efforts were essential.  Kuwait demonstrated its international and regional responsibility towards sustainable development, and enhanced multilateralism.  As a country with high income levels, it provided humanitarian and financial assistance to developing countries and least developed States through the Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Development, and loans for infrastructure projects.  Noting that his country gave 2.1 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) — more than double the internationally agreed amount — he stressed the importance of developed States’ honouring commitments to official development assistance (ODA).  On climate change, he said it remained a significant challenge that impacted other sectors and required a multilateral approach.

ABDELLAH LARHMAID (Morocco), associating himself with the African Group and Group of 77, said his country supported the reform process of the United Nations and that the performance of the development system depended on the mobilization of funding.  Efforts would require a correction of that system’s imbalance to ensure equal access to sufficient and predictable funding.  He affirmed that ODA continued to be essential for many countries, and stated that it was often a catalyst for partnerships.  To that end, it would be necessary to maintain development momentum and respect international commitments.  The Sustainable Development Goals were included in the country’s referential framework on socioeconomic matters in its Constitution.  His nation promoted democratic participation in public policy, and adopted a national development strategy.  Morocco called upon Governments and civil society to collectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and urged a redoubling of efforts to improve coordination for climate financing.

Mr. MEYER (Brazil), associating himself with the Group of 77 and CELAC, called for collective efforts to focus on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and highlighted the recent adoption of the global indicator framework.  Similarly, Brazil established an integrated framework on sustainable development.  He took note of the Secretary-General’s report on repositioning the United Nations development system and stated that his country would review the contents and engage in the consultation processes.  He called for the Second Committee make its work more effective, most notably by eliminating duplication and overlap.  ODA remained the main channel of development cooperation, and in that regard, he urged all Governments to fulfil their commitments.  He encouraged the enhancement of domestic resource mobilization in developing countries, while also stating that Brazil would prioritize curbing illicit financial flows.  Furthermore, it would support efforts to assist developing countries, particularly in trade and technology transfer.

TALAL ALI RASHED ALJAMALI (Yemen) said sustainable development was a means of mitigating conflicts in addition to its other benefits.  Yemen wished to work with the international community to preserve and equip the planet in mitigating the greenhouse effect.  While developed countries were largely responsible for climate change, developing countries were the most vulnerable to it.  Yemen was living under difficult conditions after the coup d’état against its legitimate ruler.  Roaming militias as well as the spread of cholera had killed thousands of people.  He expressed hope that United Nations reform would broaden its participation base in reaching and executing international strategies.

ROHAN PERERA (Sri Lanka), noting that the international community still faced considerable challenges in operationalizing the Sustainable Development Goals, said it must seek innovative solutions in realizing them within the next 13 years.  Sustainable development could not be achieved without eradicating poverty, which was a serious challenge through the world, including in Sri Lanka.  His country had made significant strides towards alleviating poverty.  Among the Government’s core objectives were to promote inclusive economic growth, especially in rural areas, and to ensure a decent and prosperous life for all.  Addressing climate change, he said Sri Lanka was a biological hotspot, home to several endemic flora and fauna, which had been threatened by natural hazards, including floods, droughts and a devastating tsunami.  Sri Lanka had launched a national project to protect and preserve its mangrove forest, which could sequester up to five times more carbon than other kinds of forest.

TEKEDA ALEMU (Ethiopia), associating himself with the Group of 77, said it was disturbing that, given the current global trajectory, the Sustainable Development Goals would not be met by 2030, particularly in least-developed countries.  A greater sense of urgency was therefore needed to speed up progress.  Developed countries should honour their commitments and provide sufficient and sustained ODA and climate financing, he said, adding that the Paris Agreement must be fully implemented.  Reviewing progress in his country, he said comprehensive rural and urban development packages were improving the well-being of Ethiopians, particularly women and children.  An integrated and sustainable industrial programme was meanwhile being put in place with the objective of making Ethiopia a leading African manufacturing hub.

ALI NASEER MOHAMED (Maldives), emphasizing the importance of supplementing foreign aid with domestic financing, noted how investment in capital infrastructure and human capacity enabled his nation to graduate to upper-middle income country status. Entering the next phase of development would require more foreign investment, but the lending framework of the international financial institutions did not favour small States, even if projects in the pipeline were sound and bankable, he said.  In that regard, the United Nations could play a role in making the lending environment more hospitable for small States.  He went on to emphasize the importance of innovation for countries like the Maldives that faced unique economic and environmental challenges, adding that after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Government’s policies and investments were guided by the objective of building a more resilient economy and country.

FADUA ORTEZ (Honduras), associating herself with the Group of 77 and CELAC, said the division between developed and developing countries in achieving sustainable development remained a significant concern.  Poverty was a main obstacle to democratic governance and development, and must be addressed as a multidimensional phenomenon.  To that end, she encouraged the international community to measure poverty in its various forms and dimensions.  Honduras established a poverty index to measure progress in the country.  Stressing that a lack of decent employment and investment led to the erosion of development in many countries, she urged the international community to create social conditions that supported fair access to employment, as well as enhanced trade with developing countries.  As climate change remained a significant threat, countries needed to address environmental concerns to ensure development gains would not be reversed.  Similarly, she encouraged all countries to adopt measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build climate resilience.

FRED SARUFA (Papua New Guinea), associating himself with the Group of 77, Alliance of Small Island States and the Pacific Islands Forum, said ensuring national ownership and leadership, as well as respect for policy space, must remain cornerstones of national development.  Multilateral financial institutions such as the World Bank must expand the definition of fragility when considering concessional financing, particularly with regard for small island developing States.  Stronger multi-stakeholder development partnerships should help drive forward national development agendas, not create “dependency syndrome”.  On United Nations reforms, he said improved cost effectiveness must not come at the expense of countries in special situations, such as small island developing States.

DARJA BAVDAŽ KURET (Slovenia) said humankind faced challenges to sustainable development requiring appropriate and innovative answers.  Those challenges affected the entire world, albeit with different levels of intensity.  They included sustainable and sufficient food production, adaption to climate change and diminishing natural resources like fertile land and water supply.  She drew attention to two of the most pertinent and interconnected goals — achieving food security and environmental sustainability.  To that end, Slovenia would put forward an initiative for World Bee Day during the current session.  Bees and other pollinators enabled as much as a third of the food produced globally and were an important part of the entire ecosystem.  Bees were an indispensable element in the preservation of biodiversity and in ensuring a sustainable future.  Proclaiming World Bee Day also underlined the growing need to address challenges due to the decline in the world bee population.

Mr. KHASOON (Saudi Arabia) said his country had worked to improve the governance needed in following up on the 2030 Agenda.  At the national level, it had established “Vision 2030”, with 13 programmes which would be integrated with the international community’s Agenda in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.  He stressed the necessity of increased cooperation with partners, regionally and internationally, in reaching the Goals.

ION JINGA (Romania), associating himself with the European Union, said the 2030 Agenda, Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the Paris Agreement provided the instruments to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.  The integrated and ambitious nature of those Goals required bold changes to the United Nations development system to leave no one behind and preserve a sustainable planet.  He commended the French initiative to launch a global pact for the environment, which emphasized the green dimension of sustainable development.  He called on the Second Committee to comply with the rules and procedures of the Assembly, respect deadlines, avoid resolutions that implied programme budget implications, avoid duplications of mandates, and draft resolutions that were pragmatic, concise and meaningful.

Mr. AL SHAIKHLI (Iraq), associating himself with the Group of 77, said development and trade remained priorities.  His country undertook numerous structural reforms and sought to develop policies to encourage socioeconomic development.  As world trade was an engine for development, he urged that observer States, including Iraq, be given full membership in WTO.  Partnership was essential in enabling developing States to pursue sustainable development, and he encouraged the greater transfer of technology, the development of the private sector, and support to small and medium-sized enterprises.  He called upon all States to fulfil their commitment to ODA.  Iraq faced tremendous challenges to economic development due to terrorism and it appreciated support given for humanitarian relief, which provided for the 3 million refugees currently in Iraq.  He reiterated the importance of achieving sustainable development in an integrated manner, and with respect to State sovereignty.  Turning to climate change, he noted that Iraq was a fragile country and would continue to work with partners on mitigation and adaptation.  Similarly, he called on Member States to support the draft resolution cosponsored by Ukraine which addressed pollution in areas suffering from armed conflict and terrorist operations.  His country developed a programme that would help adapt to low oil prices, but reiterated challenges caused by acts of terrorism.  He urged “friendly” countries, regional, and international organizations to support Iraq in addressing its humanitarian crisis, and bolster efforts to end terrorism by eliminating financing for terrorist operations.

KHIANE PHANSOURIVONG (Lao’s People’s Democratic Republic), associating himself with the Group of 77, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Group of Least Developed Countries, said it was important, given the vulnerabilities of developing States that developed countries fulfil their commitment to providing 0.7 per cent of their gross national income to ODA.  Describing his country’s efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, he said a single country could not overcome all challenges.  He therefore called on the international community, United Nations agencies and other stakeholders to support developing countries in implementing the 2030 Agenda.

ALADE AKINREMI BOLAJI (Nigeria), associating himself with the Group of 77 and the Africa Group, said his country’s policies were aligned with global objectives.  Its national policies addressed women and girls’ health and education as well the elimination of all forms of violence.  The policy also promoted improvements to standards of living.  He expressed a desire to see implementation of the New Urban Agenda, and a reinvigorated United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) with capable leadership.  Noting pressing environmental problems, he highlighted Nigeria’s national environmental policy, a drought and desertification policy, and a climate change response policy and strategy, and called upon the international community to promote similar efforts.  The scope and complexity of illicit financial flows and the recovery of stolen assets had increased, he continued.  To that end, he implored Member States to cooperate in combatting illicit financial flows, recover proceeds of crime, ensure the return or disposal of stolen assets, and detect and deter the international transfer of proceeds of crime.  He called for a just and fair international financial system that would address the particular needs of developing countries.

GABRIELA MARTINIC (Argentina) said inclusive education for children and the creation of decent jobs were vital in her country’s strategy for promoting sustainable development.  According to global estimates, more than 150,000 children from the ages of five to 15 were subjected to child labour, many with dangerous tasks.  In 2018, Argentina would be hosting its first G20 Summit, which would be an opportunity to present the South’s perspective and present the needs of developing countries.  Addressing trade, she said Argentina awaited positive results from the WTO conference to be held in Buenos Aires in December 2017.  It was essential to reaffirm WTO as a cornerstone of the multilateral trading system.

WILMER ALFONZO MÉNDEZ GRATEROL (Venezuela), associating himself with the Group of 77 and CELAC, said the eradication of poverty was a key priority for his country.  Financing for development must be based on a model that addressed all countries equally, and the role of Member States in those efforts continued to be vital.  Countries must design public policy, and to that end, Venezuela included civil society in efforts to eradicate poverty and inequality based on a multidimensional approach.  He called for the sovereign management of national resources as a key instrument in promoting sustainable development, and rejected all economic, financial and trade measures that undermined State sovereignty.  Such measures were incompatible with United Nations Charter and international law and impeded economic and social development.  Additionally, many States continued to face obstacles relating to colonial and foreign occupation, which impeded development and led to economic downturn.  Such ongoing actions and aggression were discriminatory and directly affected sustainable development.

VESNA BAUS (Croatia) stressed that multi-stakeholder coordination in implementing the 2030 Agenda was crucial for positive results.  The environmental topics within the Agenda, including energy efficiency, were mutually interconnected in all their complexities.  With today’s connectively to the Internet, anyone could contribute to the global fight against climate change.  The Paris Agreement was an integral part of the Agenda, and was among the few international agreements providing an intergovernmental forum for development.  She stressed the urgent need to demand the robust application of shared responsibilities among local authorities, civil society and the business sector.

Mr. MUNDANDA (Zambia) said his country was grappling with the challenge of high poverty levels, especially in rural areas, and was seeking to address the issue with multilateral partners.  Key macroeconomic issues aimed at improving trade for developing countries remained vital.  He called for a free and fair, inclusive, non-discriminatory and transparent international trading system.  The Zambian Government had continued to engage stakeholders seeking preferential market access as well as trading assistance.  Various incentives were being provided and economic zones established.  Being largely dependent on copper and commodity exports, his country aimed to strengthen partnerships in moving the economy to high-value sectors and increasing productivity.

SOFYA SIMONYAN (Armenia) said the reform efforts of the Secretary-General required support to address the different needs of Member States.  Armenia encouraged enhanced connectivity to support financial and trade partnerships, and promote investment.  Armenia’s development cooperation involved multiple stakeholders, and served to champion innovation and impact investment for development.  In that regard, her country would continue efforts to leverage social enterprise to implement the Sustainable Development Goals and support innovative investment models.  Armenia recently launched a national sustainable development innovation lab which would emphasize “smart development”.  She additionally highlighted the importance of data to measure development progress and welcomed the adoption of a global indicators framework. She called for greater capacity-building to ensure quality data collection, and increased statistical activities to identify gaps and address emerging issues, as well as promote data exchange and sharing.

NIRMAL RAJ KAFLE (Nepal), associating himself with the Group of 77, Group of Least Developed Countries and the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries, said it was not possible to imagine a peaceful, prosperous and secure society so long as there remained an intimidating mountain of poverty of deprivation.  Globalization and global economic governance must be more inclusive, he said, emphasizing also the need to implement the Paris Agreement with all stakeholders on board.  Touching on the situation in Nepal, he underscored the importance of a smooth and sustainable graduation process out of least developed country status through enhanced, predictable and continuing international support.

FREDERICK SHAVA (Zimbabwe), associating himself with the Group of 77, African Group and the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries, said ODA remained an important source of development financing.  However, the volume of such assistance was gradually declining and most development partners were not fulfilling their commitments.  If developing countries were to stand a better chance of implementing the 2030 Agenda, there must be a real and significant enhancement of international public resources, he said, adding that international financial institutions and regional development banks must intensify their efforts as well.  Domestic resource mobilization should not be used by development partners to evade their ODA commitments.  He went on to say that realizing the 2030 Agenda could be difficult for most developing countries if imbalances and inequalities in the multilateral trading system were not urgently addressed.  In that regard, redoubled efforts must be made to conclude the Doha Round negotiations and to strengthen the multilateral trading system so that it worked for all countries, and not just a few wealthy States.

OMAR A. A. ANNAKOU (Libya), associating himself with the Group of 77 and the Africa Group, said that developing countries faced numerous challenges which hampered their development, including unemployment.  Accordingly, it would be essential to accelerate decision-making and actions to address instability and conflict.  He urged increased focus on countries in conflict and post-conflict recovery, including Libya.  Libya, as a transit country, remained challenged by large flows of migration, including human trafficking and the illegal smuggling of migrants.  Countries of origin must work together with destination States to develop comprehensive and effective policies, and combat criminal groups.  Numerous African countries were impacted by the illegitimate transfer of resources to other States.  Governments must work together to strengthen infrastructure, close tax havens, and eliminate incentives that attract illicit funds and activities.  Welcoming reform of the United Nations and development system, he said such changes must be inclusive and ensure equitable geographical representation.

MAHMOUD SAIKAL (Afghanistan), associating himself with the Group of 77, Group of Least Developed Countries and the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries, said that amid the challenges of fighting terrorism and violent extremism, his State remained committed to implementing the 2030 Agenda.  Countries in conflict and post-conflict situations faced unique challenges in achieving sustainable development, but it was essential to stay true to the vision of leaving no one behind.  In that regard, he expressed concern that least-developed countries, which made up a quarter of Member States, remained far below many of the targets set out in the Sustainable Development Goals.  Afghanistan called on all development partners to fulfil internationally agreed ODA-related targets.  Development partners must also mobilize resources for the Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries, as science, technology and innovation could be game-changing tools for development, he added.

RUSLAN BULTRIKOV (Kazakhstan) said his country was deeply committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals at national, regional and international levels.  It was particularly focused on high technology industries and improving the business environment.  As the world’s largest landlocked country, Kazakhstan had devoted considerable resources to road, rail and pipeline infrastructure.  It was also diversifying and creating alternative energy sources as part of its pledge to carry forward the Paris Agreement and 2030 Agenda.

AMANUEL GIORGIO (Eritrea), associating himself with the Group of 77, African Group and Group of Least Developed Countries, said the single most important source of growth and development had been human capital.  His country had therefore established a development strategy with free education from kindergarten to tertiary level as well as free vocational training.  Expanding the tax base and maintaining a culture of zero tolerance for corruption were intended to maximize its national revenue, to be ploughed back to the mining sector.  As a country threatened by drought, desertification and climate change, the challenge of achieving food security had led to building over 300 dams and irrigation to agricultural lands, he said.  In conclusion, he underscored the nexus between peace and development.

E. COURTENAY RATTRAY (Jamaica) associated himself with the Group of 77, Caribbean Community (CARICOM), CELAC and the Alliance of Small Island States.  Noting that his country faced persistent global economic and trade deceleration, as well the impact of natural hazards which presented challenges for small, vulnerable and highly indebted economies, he said it was clear that traditional approaches to financing development would be insufficient.  The current financing gap to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in low and middle-income countries was between $3 and $5 trillion per year globally.  ODA would remain a critical component, particularly in least developed countries.  In 2017, the bilateral net ODA reached $142.6 billion, but that included humanitarian and disaster relief, technical assistance, cultural exchanges and other Government related activities.  Additionally, middle-income States such as Jamaica were deemed too well-off to warrant ODA and lost access to certain concessional financing windows.  Due to those challenges, the international community must examine prospects for mobilizing domestic private finance.  Money alone would not be sufficient, he continued, the quality of financing must identify catalytic interventions and positive outcomes across multiple goals.  As such, Jamaica approved a road map that addressed national priorities, acceleration, financing, data requirements, and institutional coordination and advocacy.  The challenge for the Government, he stated, was not about localizing the 2030 Agenda, but about implementing policies and programmes that would trigger sustained progress in the context of a limited fiscal space.

ARTHUR AMAYA ANDAMBI (Kenya), associating himself with the Group of 77 and the African Group, said that climate change cost his country about 3 per cent of GDP annually and was generating conflict over water and arable land regionally.  The recent ban on plastic bags was just one example of how serious his country was on the issue of the environment.  Underlining the important roles of agriculture and the financial system in his country’s economic development, he said information and communications technology (ICT) remained critical for Kenya’s productivity and competitiveness.  He underscored that South-South cooperation was a complement to North-South cooperation, and not a substitute.

MOHAMED KHALED KHIARI (Tunisia), associating himself with the Group of 77 and the Africa Group, said that an equitable development model was needed to meet regional and global challenges.  Tunisia adopted a national plan for 2016 to 2020 that incorporated the Sustainable Development Goals and was based on a participatory and inclusive approach.  That plan promoted the development of infrastructure, manufacturing, the digital economy and digital knowledge, among others.  He called for enhanced partnership and cooperation to revitalize national efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.  In that context, he urged greater focus on countries in transition to assist them in overcoming economic and social challenges, as well as in mobilizing financing, investment, industrialization and transfer of technology.  Furthermore, he called on Governments to collectively combat illicit financial flows, tax avoidance and corruption.  Noting the importance of women and youth, he said that Tunisia supported gender equality and he highlighted the importance of sport in promoting development and peace.

ADNAN ALTAY ALTINORS (Turkey) said that financing for development, technology transfer and South-South cooperation were of primary importance for realizing the 2030 Agenda, while ODA was the largest and among the most critical sources of financing.  Turkey was a reliable partner in the South both in terms of development cooperation and humanitarian assistance, with approximately 20 per cent of Turkish ODA provided to the least developed countries.  As the host country of the Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries, Turkey was committed to contributing $2 million annually for five years, and encouraged traditional and other development partners to support the Bank as soon as possible.  Social assistance was an important instrument for Turkey for reducing poverty and inequality, with low income citizens and vulnerable segments of society such as the disabled and elderly representing the principle beneficiaries.  Ensuring sustainable, reliable, affordable and modern access to energy was of utmost importance, and in that context, Turkey supported the United Nations leadership and the Sustainable Energy for All initiative.

LUKE DAUNIVALU (Fiji) associated himself with the Group of 77, Group of Asia and the Pacific Small Island Developing States, Pacific Islands Forum and the Alliance of Small Island States.  He stressed that the small island development States Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway provided a broader vision of an integrated approach by helping to streamline the three pillars of sustainable development into the United Nations system, while also strengthening collaborative partnerships between those States and the international community.  He renewed his country’s call for meaningful development finance, universal education, technology transfer and durable partnership that would help for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.  Robust monitoring and review of development efforts would also be essential to ensure countries were on track.  The health of oceans was closely linked to how well the international community could combat climate change, he said, noting that the most recent natural hazards in the Caribbean and the United States demonstrated that the adverse effects of climate change affected everyone, irrespective of a country’s size or economic strength.

ABDOULAYE BARRO (Senegal), associating himself with the Group of 77, Africa Group and the Group of Least Developed Countries, said development would require sustainable patterns of consumption and transparency in a multilateral trade system.  The international community must adapt the global economic governance model to meet the current challenges, including through the promotion of predictable and adequate financing and multilateral partnerships.  He encouraged all partners to deliver on their international commitments.  Noting specific challenges to his country, he requested the international community assist in combating illicit financial flows, corruption and tax avoidance.   Similarly, he called for greater technology transfer, capacity-building and flexible access to credit and debt relief.  Turning to climate change, he emphasized the importance of the Paris Agreement.  On addressing the needs of his country’s people, Senegal had reoriented its national policy towards improving the lives of the poor and deprived, with a focus on women and youth.  The country also relaunched its development plan to include a portfolio of inclusive and sustainable programmes.

Ms. JEMUOVIC (Serbia) stressed that economic growth and greater employment, especially of young people, had taken centre stage in her country, which had yielded significant results in the last few years.  Gender equality and violence against women and girls were other areas of focus for the Serbian Government, given the realization that sustainable development would be unattainable without peaceful, inclusive societies that respected the rule of law and ensured equal justice for all.  Serbia had created an intersectoral working group to implement the 2030 Agenda and was in the process of updating its national strategy for sustainable development and its financing.  In pursuit of fiscal stability and economic growth, Serbia was aware that it must be more sustainable, particularly with regard to the protection of the environment, eradication of poverty, advancement of gender equality and ending violence against women and girls.  Serbia also recognized the relevance of climate change and the need for mitigation and adaptation measures.

MOURAD MEBARKI (Algeria), associating himself with the statements of the Group of 77 and China and the African Group, said that the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda two years ago had created important momentum toward sustainable development.  However, the international community still struggled to reach consensus on other critical issues, such as how to better-integrate the international financial and trade systems.  The United Nations development system had reached a crossroads and it must to be tailored so it could better serve and reach the needs of all countries, particularly developing countries.  Accountability and transparency were key components of an efficient reform process.  Still, the United Nations development system must be provided with the necessary human, financial and logistical means.

ELISENDA VIVES BALMAÑA (Andorra) said education was among the most cross-cutting aspects of the 2030 Agenda, one that could serve as the basis for achieving other Goals.  Important challenges remained with regard to achieving universal literacy.  On climate change, she said Andorra’s production of carbon emissions was very low, but it had a responsibility to future generations.  In that regard, the Paris Agreement was very important and innovation could be applied in a cross-cutting way through such favourable solutions as electric-powered and autonomous self-driving vehicles.  She also emphasized the importance of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

ROBERT SISILO (Solomon Islands) said that small island developing States remained a special case for sustainable development due to their unique vulnerabilities and development constraints.  The contribution of the Solomon Islands to global greenhouse gas emissions was extremely small, nevertheless the Government produced ambitious nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement with significant renewable energy and efficiency targets.  The types of renewable energy varied in the Pacific region, including wind generation, coconut oil as a replacement for diesel fuel, solar and water energy, among others.  The task ahead was to find renewable energy technologies that could withstand the environmental challenges and provide power to remote locations without highly trained technical support.  The development of renewable energy in the Solomon Islands would require strong backing from the donor community, and economies of scale to meet energy demands.  The provision of clean drinking water and healthy foods also remained significant challenges; therefore improved water catchment and storage, and agricultural crops were critical.  The Solomon Islands had developed a national plan to adapt to climate change which would require extensive public consultation and research work.  He called for international support to create special climate change disaster funds, and regional insurance schemes to help share the load of addressing climate impacts.

GERALDINE BYRNE NASON (Ireland), associating herself with the European Union, said the potential of such major international agreements as the 2030 Agenda, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the Paris Agreement could only be realized through a strong and confident multilateral system which empowered Member States to reach their targets.  Noting that Ireland planned to present its progress report on the Sustainable Development Goals to the Economic and Social Council’s 2018 High Level Political Forum, she urged the entire United Nations to support States’ national efforts to implement the Goals.  Noting that gender equality was a major priority for Ireland, she said it was part of the recently-launched European Union-United Nations Spotlight Initiative to eradicate violence against women and girls.  Ireland also looked forward to advancing those goals as chair of the Commission on the Status of Women in 2018 and 2019.

Ms. ALDAHMANI (United Arab Emirates), associating herself with the Group of 77, said that national priorities were closely linked with the Sustainable Development Goals.  In that vein, the United Arab Emirates established a commission to review its national plan and ensure it covered all sectors.  The plan promoted effective partnerships, including at the international level, to promote sustainable development.  Similarly, her country provided $6 billion to humanitarian aid around the world, which equalled to 1.2 per cent of the country’s GDP.  The United Arab Emirates implemented innovative technologies to measure development progress, support the eradication of poverty and bolster economic growth.  She welcomed the review of 2030 Agenda and the Secretary-General’s reform plan.  Such efforts would also support Member States in meeting their development commitments.  In closing, she encouraged the acceleration of gender mainstreaming in all United Nations programmes and throughout the development system.

JOAQUIM JOSE COSTA CHAVES (Timor-Leste) aligned himself with the Group of 77 and China, the Group of Least Developed Countries and ASEAN.  Timor-Leste had created a strategic development plan fully in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and focused on social capital, infrastructure, economic and institutional development.  As one of the world’s most oil resource-dependent countries, Timor-Leste was diversifying its economy through the development of the agriculture and tourism sectors.  A roadmap to implement the Sustainable Development Goals had been adopted based on enablers like inclusion, awareness and engagement; effective institutions and decentralization; integrated planning, budgeting and monitoring; future financing framework; and transformative partnerships.  He underlined the specific needs and challenges to implement the Goals of the least developed countries, small island developing States, and countries emerging from conflicts.  In that regard, he supported the global financing pact proposed by the Secretary-General to ensure adequate funding.

BERNARDITO AUZA, Permanent Observer of the Holy See, said political, cultural and social institutions around the world were increasingly confronted with the effects of a global economic system that often failed to recognize the centrality of the human person.  The consequences of those failures could be seen in the desperation of people who risked their lives in search of a better future, in the paradox of the homeless squatting under the shadows of skyscrapers in the world’s wealthiest cities and in the widening gap between the “haves” and the “have nots”.  People were hurt and angry, as they saw insecurity and inequality growing, conflict spreading and climate changing.  While the Sustainable Development Goals provided targets to guide the world’s shared efforts, without a renewed vision and foundation for global development there was a risk of exacerbating, rather than addressing, the world’s increasing discontent.  Calling for the recommitment of political, economic and civil society leaders to build global and local communities “with the human person at its heart”, he also warned against seeking short-term economic or political gains at the expense of integral human development.

Mr. ABUSHAWEESH, observer for the State of Palestine, associating himself with the Group of 77, referred to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories, saying it was not possible to talk about development when it was not possible to access foreign markets or manage water resources.  The Palestinian economy was entirely dependent on the Israeli economy, he said, adding that despite a ruling of the International Court of Justice, Israel was continuing its annexation of Palestinian territories.

BERTRAND DE LOOZ KARAGEORGIADES, of the Sovereign Order of Malta, emphasized the importance of a favourable international economic environment with fair and sustainable monetary, financial and trading systems.  In particular, the Order underscored the key role of international trade as an engine of development.  He said the Order would continue to do what it had done for more than 900 years, by helping the poor and the most vulnerable and to cooperate with the international community to make a positive and decisive impact on sustainable development with respect for human rights and dignity.

HIROKO MURAKI GOTTLIEB, International Chamber of Commerce, said that it was the first time that the organization took the floor at the Second Committee, as it received observer status with the General Assembly in December 2016.  While new to the Committee, the Chamber had been active in international fora since 1920 with the League of Nations, and with the Economic and Social Council since 1946.  It additionally participated as a business convener and partner in numerous sustainability conferences and deliberations.  The Chamber currently had over 6 million business members in 120 countries, and would continue to promote open international trade and investment systems to foster economic growth.

Mr. KULESHOV, Common Fund for Commodities, said there was a gap between the resources available for investments in the Sustainable Development Goals and the availability of projects which could effectively use the resources.  It was therefore important to create a bridge for all partners to have access to goal-related investments.  For its part, the Fund was concluding its reform process, which would allow it to accommodate new forms of development partnerships.  It was also developing a range of financing instruments to support innovation, improve market structures and make the commodity sector attractive to impact investors seeking consistent results.  Despite its modest resources, it had financed 64 projects with a total value of $468 million, he noted.  Overall, the use of development finance should reflect prevailing and emerging challenges, enabling the creation of new instruments so that practical actions and policies remained effective, he concluded.

CARLA MUCAVI, Director of the New York Liaison Office of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said that sustainable development required integrated responses that tackled its economic, social and environmental dimensions.  After years of reduction, estimates indicated that the number of chronically undernourished people reached 815 million in 2016, up from 777 million in 2015.  Those numbers spoke to the challenges the world faced today, she said.  She invited delegates to take a closer look at the state of food security and nutrition report.  There was a critical interdependence of poverty and hunger and a holistic approach between Sustainable Development Goal 2 and the 2030 Agenda was needed.  “Food systems must be transformed to become inclusive, sustainable and resilient,” she said.  Science, technology and innovation for agriculture should be guided by local needs and demands placing rural people and indigenous communities at the centre.

JAMIL AHMAD, Head of Intergovernmental Affairs and Deputy Director of the New York Office of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), said decades of multilateral work in the field of environmental sustainability had demonstrated that it was possible to make tipping points into turning points.  The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, administered by the Programme, was an example of what was possible, he said, underscoring the importance of political will; science-based policymaking; a universal framework that included the concerns of developed and developing countries; the integration of environmental, economic and social objectives; global partnership between public interest, stakeholders and the private sector; and technological innovation.  UNEP was ready to work with others to support Member States in achieving sustainable development and delivering on the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda.

For information media. Not an official record.