By an IPS Correspondent
UNITED NATIONS, Jan 31 2017 (IPS/G77)
Addressing the UN General Assembly’s High-Level Dialogue on Sustainable Development and Peace, Ambassador Horacio Sevilla Borja of Ecuador said the overarching objective of eradicating poverty –in all its forms and dimensions– remains the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.
Speaking on behalf of the G77, and joined by China, he said: “We reaffirm our commitment to work tirelessly for the full implementation of this Agenda by 2030 in a balanced and integrated manner to achieve sustainable development in its three dimensions.”
“The international community must address the challenges and needs faced by developing countries, especially countries in special situations, in particular, African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States, as well as specific challenges that many middle-income countries face, conflict and post-conflict countries, and countries and peoples living under foreign and colonial occupation,” he declared.
The ambassador underscored the message of Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) 16 that development, peace and security and human rights are interlinked and mutually reinforcing.
Sustainable development is a prerequisite to sustainable peace. Investment in development is the most cost-effective approach to achieving a sustainable peace because socio-economic disparity and grievances are causes of conflict.
He said: “Sustainable peace is not possible without sustainable development and vice versa.”
He quoted a statement made by the President of Ecuador Rafael Correa at the Handover Ceremony of the Chairmanship of the Group of 77 on 13 January, when the President said: “Peace is not only the absence of war. In the twenty-first century, peace must be, above all, presence: presence of justice, presence of prosperity. Peace without justice is simply appeasement. The insulting opulence of a few next to intolerable poverty are constant affronts to human dignity”
Tracing the long history of the UN’s development agenda, the Ambassador told delegates that the year 2016 marked the first year of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
And 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the “Charter of Algiers”, the first platform of the G-77 calling for joint efforts by developing countries towards economic and social development, peace and prosperity.
Ever since, he said, the Group has called for joint efforts of developing countries to advance socio-economic development in tandem with the promotion of peace. It is fundamental to adopt a holistic approach to sustainable development that is people-centered and inclusive, leaving no one behind.
Historically, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development reaffirms all the principles of the UN Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992, in particular, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.
The Group further reaffirms that the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development be guided by the principles in accordance with paragraph 74 of the 2030 Agenda.
The ambassador also said the Group of 77 and China welcomes the progress made by Member States in their national implementation, but stresses that implementing the 2030 Agenda at all levels requires a revitalized global partnership and the full implementation of SDG 17.
In this context, enhancing support to developing countries is fundamental, including through provision of development financial resources, transfer of technology on favorable terms including on concessional and preferential terms, enhanced international support and targeted capacity-building and promoting a just and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system.