With the 2030 agenda, we committed to achieving sustainable development in its three dimensions – economic, social and environmental – in a balanced and integrated manner. We adopted the 2030 Agenda as a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity, seeking to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom.
Yet, regretfully, we are still addressing sustainable development in this committee as if it only had one dimension.
I will therefore repeat what I said a year ago: – we need to take a fresh look at how we address Sustainable Development in the Second committee. Next week we will have a separate discussion on macroeconomic issues, as if the two were not closely linked. If this committee is to deliver relevant political guidance to further the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, we must find a way to address these issues in a more integrated manner.
Let me address a few of the sub-items on the agenda, keeping in mind this need for a more integrated approach:
Fighting climate change is paramount for achieving all the SDGs. Global warming is far advanced. Weather conditions this year are more extreme than we have ever experienced them before. Hurricane Matthew has just ravaged through the Carribean, with devastating effects for the people of Haiti and elsewhere in the regiaon. Our thoughts are with all those affected.
More action needs to be taken. We now have enough countries that have ratified the Paris Agreement for it to enter into force this year, which is very good news.
The livelihoods, not only of future generations, but also of many who populate the globe today, are at stake. Not least many living in Small Island Development States. If we do not act, and act fast, climate change could undermine all other efforts for sustainable development, which only demonstrates the indivisible nature of the SDGs.
Climate change aggravates poverty and natural disasters and it increases the risk of conflicts and mass migration, particularly in fragile states. Because of its scale, speed and unpredictability, climate change must be recognized as a major global security challenge, a challenge we must meet with all the tools at our disposal.
Similarly, peace is fundamental for sustainable development. War and internal conflict can in the course of days destroy what people have strived to build up through generations. It also drives large numbers of people away from their homes and livelihoods.
Last, but not least, sustainable energy for all is a necessary investment in our collective future. Not only will it contribute to combating climate change, it may simultaneously advance our agenda on poverty eradication, food security, clean water and sanitation, health, education, economic growth and the empowerment of youth and women.
Mobilizing investments from private and commercial actors will be crucial to achieve this goal.