UN vice president warns of slow progress towards SDGs

Home » UN vice president warns of slow progress towards SDGs
UN vice president warns of slow progress towards SDGs

“Let me be honest: we are not doing well. Our progress towards the SDGs has slowed and even gone into reverse on some key goals and targets, leaving many behind,” he said in opening remarks to the Arab Forum for Sustainable Development (AFSD) in Beirut, Lebanon. .

World leaders adopted the 17 SDGs in 2015, charting a path to a more just, equitable and “green” global future by 2030. With countries now halfway through, Ms. Mohammed called for a fair trial to decide on course reforms.

Promise in danger

It shows how the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the “triple global crisis” – climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution – have affected lives and livelihoods.

Damages in the Arab world include poverty, which is close to 50 percent in the region’s poorest countries, and food insecurity. The recent devastating earthquakes in Syria and Turkey have only added to the suffering.

“Unless we act now, all of these things could jeopardize the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals for this region and for the rest of the world,” he said. “We need an urgent review of how policy decisions and investment can put crying back on the track.”

Agenda to SDG

Ms. Mohammed said that despite these challenges, the Arab community has progressed towards sustainable development renewable energy, internet access and social protectionwhich should be an inspiration for the way ahead.

However, the collective debt burden of countries in the region has risen dramatically, he added, pointing to a “broken” global financial system.

He recalled that the UN Secretary-General has set out urgent and important reforms to the global financial architecture while calling for an annual $500 billion Stimulus Program for the SDGs.

Climate and behavior

He also emphasized the need for climate action, noting that the region has been hit by drought and sandstorms which will worsen with global warming.

The United Arab Emirates will host the COP28 UN climate change conference this year, and he said the country “has a great responsibility to reach a consensus in accelerating the transition away from fossil fuels – locally and globally.”

She also emphasized that while sustainable development is important, one important component – gender equality – is often overlooked.

“The math is simple. Without the contributions of half of their members, societies will only fulfill half their power,” he said. “We need the full contributions of all people, to weather the current storms and build inclusive, sustainable economies and societies for the future.”

Special private sector

Speaking at another AFSD event, Ms. Mohammed emphasized the importance of the private sector – from small companies to multinational corporations – in realizing a sustainable global future.

“The SDGs will fail without the private sector,” he warned. “We urgently need strong private sector partnerships that invest in the changes that are necessary to accelerate growth and get the SDGs back on track.”

He said that the business community can play an important role in managing the financial gap to achieve the goals by 2030, which is estimated to exceed $660 billion per year in 12 Arab countries.

Although private capital is plentiful, he said only a small percentage is aligned with the SDGs and the challenge is to mobilize domestic and foreign private capital to help close the gap.

He also noted positive developments, as the company’s recent financial transactions have shown We move towards sustainability in the region, especially in renewable energy, water and transportation.

However, he said that investments in social infrastructure and services, equality, peace and justice, are few and far between.

Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammad visited the Access Kitchen project in Lebanon.

Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammad visited the Access Kitchen project in Lebanon.

Deputy Secretary-General’s efforts

The Arab Forum for Sustainable Development (AFSD), which ended on Thursday, was organized by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), based in Beirut.

Before the opening, the Deputy Secretary-General met with the Chairman of AFSD-2023, Waed Badhib, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation of Yemen.

He also held a press conference on Tuesday alongside ESCWA’s Executive Secretary, Rola Dashti, and Mr. Badhib.

Ms. Mohammed and UN Resident Leaders from the Arab region later went on a site visit to a community kitchen in Beirut organized by the Lebanese Association for People with Physical Disabilities.

“Access Kitchen” is supported by UN Women under a joint program with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The Deputy Secretary General listened to the challenges facing women and girls with disabilities in Lebanon, and how they are coping under the many conflicts affecting the country. He then participates in hands-on food preparation.

Mrs. Mohammed also discussed with the Presidents how best to accelerate the achievement of sustainable development ahead of the SDG Summit at the UN headquarters in New York in September.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.