15th Plenary Meeting of General Assembly 74th Session

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15-Oct-2019 01:47:01
Adopting two resolutions, General Assembly endorses political declaration on renewing efforts to realize 2030 Agenda, recognizes observance at 15th plenary meeting.

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The General Assembly today adopted two resolutions, including one proclaiming 28 September the International Day for Universal Access to Information, and another containing a political declaration by which Member States renewed their commitment to implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

By the terms of the sustainable development text, adopted without a vote, the Assembly endorsed the Political Declaration adopted by the Sustainable Development Goals Summit, held at Headquarters in September. By the Declaration’s terms, Member States committed to taking a myriad of actions to implement the 2030 Agenda, ranging from mobilizing adequate and well‑directed financing to investing in data and statistics for the Sustainable Development Goals. Member States also pledged to bolster local action to accelerate implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, by empowering and supporting cities, local authorities and communities in pursuing the 2030 Agenda.

According to the Declaration, Member States emphasized that eradicating poverty remains the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. To that end, the Declaration commits Member States to promoting research, expanding capacity‑building initiatives and harnessing innovation and technologies towards advancing progress on realizing the Sustainable Development Goals and promoting the use of scientific evidence from all fields to enable the transformation to sustainable development.

In the ensuing discussion, delegates spoke in explanation of their position, with many expressing their support for the Sustainable Development Goals.

Speaking on behalf of the Political Declaration’s co‑facilitators — Bahamas and Sweden — the latter’s representative said the collaboration involved in the process demonstrates that multilateralism works.

Canada’s representative echoed a common thread, describing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a blueprint for prosperity, the people and the planet.

Meanwhile, several delegates pointed out that much remains to be done, with Mexico’s representative saying no Member State has realized the Sustainable Development Goals “100 per cent”.

Some delegates offered suggestions on how to boost progress. The representative of the United States said that to meet the 2030 Agenda’s ambitions, countries will need to actively choose financially viable investments. Indeed, today’s global challenges will require international efforts to mobilize domestic resources and include other stakeholders, such as civil society and the private sector. Underlining the importance of good governance, she said private sector participation with non‑governmental actors is under threat in some countries.

Hungary’s representative said that whereas her delegation supports the Declaration’s adoption, it remains concerned about references to the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. Hungary also disassociates itself from paragraphs 21 and 27 in section A of the Political Declaration, she added, emphasizing that, instead, it is focusing on development projects in origin countries in order to create an environment that allows people to live and thrive in their respective homelands.

Guatemala’s delegate said her country’s Government is already working with the business sector, civil society, municipalities and international partners to align its goals with the 2030 Agenda. Emphasizing the need to strengthen the means of implementation, including through private investment and technological assistance, she added: “We know that strategic alliances are fundamental in complementing the efforts of Governments.”

In other action, the Assembly adopted the resolution “Proclamation of 28 September as the International Day for Universal Access to Information” without a vote. By that text, the Assembly invited Member States, the United Nations and its agencies, international and regional organizations and civil society to celebrate the International Day.

Others delivering statements today were representatives of the Philippines, Belarus, Nepal, Eritrea, United Arab Emirates, India, Honduras, Australia, Benin, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Portugal, Afghanistan and Liberia.

Observers for the League of Arab States and the International Union for Conservation of Nature also spoke.

Delegates will reconvene at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, 16 October, to honour the memory of Diogo Freitas do Amaral, President of the fiftieth session of the General Assembly.

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