International Development Secretary tells world leaders “significant challenges” remain for

Rory Stewart speaking about the Global Goals at the United Nations.

Rory Stewart speaking about the Global Goals at the United Nations.

The Secretary of State for International Development Rory Stewart has appeared before world leaders at the United Nations to share the UK’s progress towards the Global Goals.

Mr Stewart used the opportunity to underline where challenges remain to meet the Goals by 2030, calling for the international community to be self-critical in its drive to achieve the ambitious targets.

The UK was a leading architect in the creation of the 17 Global Goals, designed to make the world a fairer, healthier, safer and more prosperous place for everyone, everywhere by 2030.

The International Development Secretary’s appearance at the UN yesterday (Tuesday, 16 July 2019) fulfils a commitment made by the UK and all other Member States to report back on progress towards the Goals in the form of a Voluntary National Review.

This follows the publication of a report in June this year which outlined how government, business, civil society and the public across the UK are making the Goals a reality, here at home, and around the world, and underlined challenges that remain to reach these ambitious targets by 2030.

Secretary of State for International Development Rory Stewart, said:

The Voluntary National Review process has brought the spotlight from what we do abroad to what we do at home. We have made progress. On climate for example, we have now committed to net zero by 2050. We have achieved remarkable employment figures, some of the best employment figures we have ever had historically. Over the last 10 years our education system has improved with more children in good and outstanding schools than ever before. But there are also very significant challenges in the development of Britain.

This has been a process of learning what we’ve done well and what we’ve done badly. It has been a process of learning from our devolved administrations for the work that Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales has undertaken.

For me as an International Development Secretary it has given me a unique insight into the challenges that developing countries have. The fundamental lesson from this is that development, whether abroad or at home in the United Kingdom, connects so intimately with this use of money, politics and power. And above all the lesson we must take from this is a lesson of humility.

The International Development Secretary was joined by leading British experts and advocates on data, climate and impact investment, who highlighted the need to keep the fight against the climate emergency at the heart of our work, and championed the importance of using private sector investment and data to drive progress towards the Goals.

Later this year world leaders will meet again at the United Nations General Assembly for the first Global Goals Summit. The UK will build on momentum from the review to reinforce its call for global ambition and accelerated progress in what will be the “decade of delivery” to achieve the Goals by 2030.

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