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2C: General debate

Statement by Ambassador H.E. Tore Hattrem in Second Committee General debate, 2 October 2017.

| Second Committee

Chair,

The world has experienced unprecedented progress during the last decades. Substantial challenges remain, however, and concerted efforts are necessary to address them.

The 2030 Agenda is our global roadmap for transforming the world. With the Addis Abeba Action Agenda, we have set ourselves on a path for financing the Sustainable Development Goals. Implementing the Paris Agreement will be crucial for our success.

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

Poverty is avoidable. It is simply unacceptable that about 800 million people still live in extreme poverty. We must step up our collective efforts to prevent and curb conflicts and wars and build basic social and economic infrastructure that can reach the most vulnerable.

Sustainable transformation hinges on our ability to address climate change and save our oceans. Hurricanes in the Caribbean with devastating effects on small island states, extreme flooding in Asia and drought in Africa underline the urgency of putting sustainability first and preventing disasters. Norway fully supports the establishment of the new Climate Team under the Secretary-General. The leadership of the Secretary-General in coordinating our global efforts to handle climate change through efficient mitigation and sustainable adaptation, is vital for our success.

Oceans offer huge potential for economic growth and human development. Ensuring their sound management and sustainable use is a vital part of our work to achieve the sustainable development goals. We warmly welcome and support the Secretary-General’s appointment of a special envoy for the Oceans.

Chair,

The universality of the 2030 agenda is perhaps its greatest strength. No one can do everything, but we can all do something. Norway is committed to do our part to accelerate the implementation of the SDGs, - both at home and through international cooperation.

The UN must also do its part, and it must do it better. The 2030 Agenda requires transformative change, including in the way the UN operates. Norway warmly welcomes the Secretary General’s efforts to reposition the UN development system to deliver on the 2030 Agenda. We need a UN development system that delivers effectively, efficiently and coherently. A system that focuses its efforts where the needs are greatest and where it can make most of a difference. A system that collaborates well with other actors, including the multilateral development banks. A system that is accountable and transparent.

Funding can be a driver for change, but it can also be an impediment. We welcome the idea of a funding compact to help improve the quality and predictability of funding of the UN development system. Core resources remain crucial, especially for normative functions and policy advice. We also need to increase the use of funding modalities that provide incentives for UN organizations to work together.

We look forward to the Secretary General’s second report in December. Only when we have a full understanding of the proposed changes will we as member states be in a position to agree on the way forward.  We need to see the full picture before acting on any of its parts.

Chair,

Financing is pivotal to achieve the SDGs. The added value of the Addis Agenda is its comprehensiveness. Our goals can only be met if we see beyond traditional forms of development finance. ODA will continue to be important, in particular for Least Developed Countries. And there is room for growth. Norway’s contribution will remain around 1% of GDP, well above the UN target of 0,7%.

But ODA alone cannot transform societies. The SDGs cannot be achieved without strengthened efforts to mobilize domestic resources for development. Addressing illicit financial flows is crucial in this regard. We need to step up our efforts to curb these flows. The current traction and attention given to this issue is encouraging.

Chair,

In conclusion, allow me to underline once again: The 2030 Agenda requires transformative change. We all need to change the way we do our business.

That also applies to 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.