Global collaboration to achieve SDGs

Thank you Madam President. Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

The United Kingdom aligns itself with the statement by the European Union and its Member States.

Urgent action is needed to accelerate delivery towards the Sustainable Development Goals. This year, the UK was glad to join other Member States in presenting our first Voluntary National Review. We remain committed to accelerating progress, with a focus on leaving no-one behind.

We are facing a climate emergency. This risks undoing development gains made in recent decades and could push an additional 100 million people into poverty by 2030. September’s Climate Action Summit is a pivotal moment for urgent action on cutting emissions, building resilience and mobilising finance. The UK is delighted to champion resilience and adaption with Egypt and partner countries.

We are leading efforts to adapt and better cope with climate shocks. The UK has committed to align its Official Development Assistance with the Paris Agreement and is the first G20 economy to legislate for a domestic net zero emissions target by 2050. Internationally, we are on track to deliver our commitment to provide at least $7.3 billion to help countries mitigate impacts of climate change and pursue clean economic growth. We look forward to working closely with the Secretary-General to deliver transformative outcomes at the Climate Summit and beyond.

Financing is another challenge. The UK is proud to spend the 0.7% target of GNI on official development assistance, but with an annual investment gap of $2.5 trillion in developing countries, official development assistance alone is insufficient. For example, as a leading donor to regional preparedness for Ebola, we recognise that finance is urgently needed to further support preparedness in countries at risk of infectious diseases and to protect global health.

The UK’s Voluntary National Review has reinforced the importance of partnerships. For example, we are focusing on mobilising private investment, and ‘impact investing’, by building the evidence base for public demand for sustainable investing at home. We want the international community to commit to a common framework for measuring impact, which will help unlock more impact investing capital to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

At this High Level Political Forum, the UK has sought to highlight peace, justice and strong institutions – all vital to achieving Agenda 2030. Concerted action and a whole-of-society approach are more important than ever to deliver Goal 16. Closing civic space and restrictions on media freedom are significantly undermining efforts. Last week, the UK conference on media freedom announced up to $19 million to pioneer bold approaches to keep media outlets independent.

Equality, including on gender, remains a priority for the UK. We must ensure global commitments are translated into real change on the ground. Inclusive growth to the benefit of all of society, including people with disabilities, must be prioritised. Our commitment to the Inclusive Data Charter highlights our determination to ensure that everybody is counted so that they have a fair opportunity in life.

Finally, the UK encourages Member States to commit to raising global ambition across all of the Goals, at the first SDG Summit in September.

Thank you very much.

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