We have seen unprecedented progress in many areas over the last decades, but we still face substantial challenges. The multilateral system is under pressure, as are the norms that underpin it.
We must remember that multilateral cooperation has benefitted us all. Free trade agreements have contributed to economic growth, poverty is reduced and child mortality rates have fallen.
The 2030 Agenda, the Addis Abeba Action Agenda and the Paris Agreement are results of multilateral cooperation; and they are all crucial for future success through strategic partnerships at all levels.
Climate change, conflict and instability are the worst enemies of sustainable development. 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. As a candidate to a non-permanent seat in the Security Council for the period 2021-22 Norway wants to highlight the linkages between sustainable development and security challenges. It is also crucial that we apply a gender perspective in all policy areas covered by the SDGs.
Poverty is avoidable. But the number of hungry people in the world is now growing. Affecting more than 820 million, hunger is returning to levels from a decade ago. To reverse this trend we need to pursue sustainable development at all levels, address the drivers of conflict and climate change, and deliver principled humanitarian responses to protect and assist people in need.
Sustainable transformation hinges on our ability to address climate change. We have experienced hurricanes with devastating effects, extreme flooding and droughts. Climate change is also a threat to peace and security. Small Island Developing States pay a particularly high price for climate change caused by emissions elsewhere.
Oceans offer huge potential for economic growth and human development. Ensuring their sound management and sustainable use is vital. We have to stop destroying our marine ecosystems, while at the same time increase ocean productivity. We believe the High-level Panel on Building a Sustainable Ocean Economy will facilitate our work.
The universality of the 2030 agenda is perhaps its greatest strength. 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. To deliver on its mandate the world needs a strong, coherent, effective, efficient and responsive UN. The General Assembly has agreed on a series of measures to reposition the UN Development System, in order to more effectively support Member States in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. We must move towards implementation of these reforms without any delay. Member States have a common responsibility to ensure that the reforms we have decided get sufficient funding. Norway will pay its part.
Financing is pivotal to achieving the SDGs. The added value of the Addis Agenda is its comprehensiveness. Corruption must be eradicated, national resource mobilization must be strengthened, and fair taxation must be the norm. ODA will continue to be important, in particular for Least Developed Countries. And there is room for growth. For the last ten years Norway has allocated around 1% of GDP to ODA, well above the UN target of 0,7%. As a consistent partner to the UN and the developing world, we will continue to honour this commitment also in the future.
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 will never be able to fill the sustainable development bath tub if the water just runs down the drain. We need to step up our efforts to curb these flows, through both national action and international cooperation. We see progress, but more needs to be done. Integrity, transparency and accountability are key ingredients in this fight.
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. As a consistent partner concerned about our common future Norway 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.