Renewed Commitment to Agenda 2030
In a statement delivered by Ambassador James Kariuki at the General Debate of the UN Second Committee, the United Kingdom reaffirmed its dedication to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
During UNGA High-Level Week, global leaders convened to reinforce their commitment to Agenda 2030. Despite some progress, concerns were raised that most SDGs were falling off track, particularly in areas such as climate, environment, gender, poverty reduction, and hunger.
Targeted Policies for Accelerated Progress
As the Secretary-General outlined, the SDG Summit Political Declaration charts a 7-year roadmap. The emphasis is on directing policies and investments toward accelerating progress across the Goals, with a particular focus on countries and populations that are lagging behind. Ambassador Kariuki highlighted four key areas: finance, climate, technology, and gender.
Reforming the International Financial System
Firstly, the UK emphasized the need for a more substantial, equitable, and just international financial system. The UK supports the reform of Multilateral Development Banks, which could unlock over $200 billion in additional finance over the next decade.
This reform aims to create a more robust and sustainable international financial structure that can effectively mobilize private investment. It also emphasizes inclusivity and amplifying the voices of the poorest and most vulnerable.
The UK is committed to tackling illicit financial flows, even within its own financial hub, the City of London, to ensure that vital domestic resources are not siphoned away from developing nations.
Climate Action and COP28
Secondly, as the world approaches COP28, the UK pledged to collaborate with the UAE and other nations to maintain a strong focus on the goals of the Paris Agreement and the Glasgow Climate Pact. The imperative is to redouble efforts to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C, reduce emissions, transition to renewable energy sources, and conserve at least 30% of land and oceans by 2030.
The UK also expressed support for the operationalization of a Loss and Damage Fund that would assist the most vulnerable and involve a broad spectrum of contributors. Given recent disasters in Pakistan, Morocco, and Libya, disaster risk reduction must become an integral part of ongoing efforts.
Harnessing Science and Technology
Thirdly, the UK is committed to utilizing science, evidence, and data as the foundation for accelerating progress on the SDGs. The UK advocates for open and equitable science partnerships with developing nations. Notably, they emphasized the importance of leveraging Artificial Intelligence to advance the SDGs and underlined the need for inclusive cooperation in harnessing AI innovations.
Commitment to Gender Equality
Finally, the UK reiterated its unwavering commitment to advancing the rights and well-being of women and girls. In the face of climate change, increasing poverty, and the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK stressed the importance of addressing the ongoing challenges that women and girls confront.
A Pledge of Support
In conclusion, Ambassador Kariuki emphasized the need to maintain the collaborative spirit and focus that led to the creation of the SDGs. He underscored the importance of securing the necessary financing and investments to achieve these goals while leaving no one behind. The UK pledged its full support for these critical endeavors.