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C2: General debate

Statement in Second Committee General Debate by Ambassador Geir O. Pedersen, 03 October 2016.

Chair,

The 2030 Agenda is our global roadmap for transforming the world. The Addis Ababa Action Agenda has set us on a path for financing the Sustainable Development Goals. And the Paris Agreement is crucial for our success.

Together, these agendas call for new and strategic partnerships at all levels to eradicate poverty through sustainable development.

But action must, as always, start at home. National implementation is key.

Norway was pleased to present our National Voluntary Review to the first High Level Political Forum after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda. It helped us jumpstart our national follow-up process. Now we look forward to accelerate the implementation of the SDGs towards 2030, at home and through international cooperation.

When Prime Minister Solberg presented Norway’s report to the HLPF, she stressed that the SDGs are the main track, not a side track, for addressing the root causes of poverty. She emphasized both the universality of the agenda as well as the need for international solidarity.

Poverty is avoidable. And it is simply unacceptable that 700 million people still live in extreme poverty. We must step up our collective efforts to prevent and curb conflicts and wars, build basic infrastructure and reach the most vulnerable.

We will do our part. I can assure you that Norway will remain a strong and steadfast supporter of sustainable development. We will continue to provide substantial financial assistance, at levels well above the UN 0,7% target.

Chair,

The UN must also do its part. This session of the Second Committee will be a crucial one. Through the upcoming Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review, we have the opportunity to design the United Nations Development System (UNDS) we need. Agenda 2030 requires transformative change. We should make this QCPR an instrument for change – for a more strategic, coordinated and focused UNDS, that does “the right things” in the “right place”.

  • The universal nature of the 2030 Agenda cannot mean that the UNDS should do everything everywhere. It should focus its efforts where the needs are greatest and where it can make most of a difference. We believe a differentiated approach, depending on country context, is the way to go.
  • Funding is a driver for change. Core resources remain crucial, especially for normative functions and policy advice, and we would like to see improved burden sharing in this regard. Adhering to the principle of full cost recovery would further enhance core resources. In addition, we should increase “core-like” funding modalities, in particular those that provide incentives for UN organizations to work together.
  • To be more efficient, the UN needs to be better at delivering as one at the country level. Not only across the UN Development System, but also across the three pillars of the UN. An independent Resident Coordinator with authority and sufficient resources is a prerequisite for the UN that we want.

Chair,

The SDGs are universal. We all own these goals – and we can only achieve them together. That means we need ownership, leadership and partnerships at all levels. The UN system – its development agencies and intergovernmental bodies alike -– must play its role in supporting implementation and promoting consistent and accountable follow up – by all of us.

As I said at the outset: Agenda 2030 is our roadmap for transforming the world. And we need to start at home. Business as usual is no longer good enough. That also applies for this Second committee. We stand ready to engage with other delegations to find constructive ways to strengthen the work of this committee and update its agenda in order to ensure its relevance, impact and value added.

Thank you.