Norway congratulates you on your appointment. We look forward to working with you and the Second Committee bureau.
As the Second Committee begins its work, we must take with us the spirit from the High-level week and the SDG Summit, that marked the beginning of a new phase of accelerated progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
The UN Development System will continue to be at the heart of the solution. Cooperation, and flexible sources of financing that encourage cooperation, have never been more important to ensure that the UN delivers as one. Independent and adequately resourced resident coordinators are key for the ability of the United Nations to deliver at country level.
Sustainable development is at the core of Norway’s foreign policy. Our development policy is designed to promote economic development, democratization, implementation of human rights, good governance and measures that can lift people out of poverty for good.
We believe that it is still possible to achieve the targets set out in Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement. We need to focus our efforts.
In addition to responding to the multiple crises of today, we need to prepare for the crises of tomorrow. We have seen how a pandemic can set progress on the SDGs back, underscoring the need for stronger health systems and global cooperation on pandemic preparedness and response.
We need a healthy planet, including healthy oceans, to achieve Agenda 2030. Effects of climate change, environmental degradation and biodiversity loss affect the progress on all other goals – and impacts human security. The most vulnerable countries, including the Least Developed Countries, Small Island Developing States and countries affected by conflict, will be most affected by all these challenges. Our response must focus on leaving no one behind and reaching those furthest behind first.
We must work together to unlock renewable energy access in emerging economies. Reducing emissions, facilitating job creation, and not least, improving energy access for the 3.6 billion people currently living in energy poverty.
Food security is part and parcel of the climate agenda, and a defining challenge of our time. Food production is threatened by climate change. But this also works in reverse; agriculture is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases. Food systems must therefore be profoundly transformed if we are to reach our climate goals.
Financing for development is under pressure. We must maximise the resources at our disposal and direct them towards sustainable development. International tax cooperation is an integral part of that effort. Progressive taxation and universal access to social services are perhaps the most important tools we have for reducing inequality.
Conversely, illicit financial flows and persistent tax evasion drain resources from sustainable development. Our success will hinge on how high we aim and how effectively we collaborate.
We must ensure that human rights, democracy, the rule of law, and gender equality are at the core of our efforts. Women’s and girl’s participation in society, and their right to decide over their own bodies, are preconditions for democratic and sustainable development. Only then can we ensure that no one is left behind. Our humanitarian, development and peacebuilding efforts must complement each other. We must work in a more coherent manner.
Norway aligns itself with the theme of “Building a Sustainable Recovery for all”, and we look forward to productive discussions with all of you in the weeks ahead, in order to achieve consensus on what we can collectively accomplish.