Second Committee Concludes Sustainable Development Debate
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UN Member States met in New York, US, in the UN General Assembly's Second Committee to continued their two-day debate on sustainable development.

The discussion addressed the 2030 Agenda, SIDS, disaster risk reduction, the rights of future people, desertification, biological diversity, harmony with nature, renewable energy, and sand and dust storms.

16 October 2018: UN Member States met in New York, US, in the UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) Second Committee to continue their two-day debate on sustainable development. The discussion addressed the 2030 Agenda, SIDS, disaster risk reduction, the rights of future people, desertification, biological diversity, harmony with nature, renewable energy, sand and dust storms, and radiation threats.

Belarus reported that its SDG machinery is fully functioning, highlighted the inclusion of a SDG group in its parliament and a partnership group that engages other stakeholders. Belarus announced plans to review its compliance with the 2030 Agenda through a national assembly on sustainable development in January 2019.

Tonga informed the Committee that a report on the midterm review of SIDS’ sustainable development through the SAMOA Pathway will be released at the end of October 2018, for consideration at the 2019 HLPF. The Maldives stressed the importance of partnerships for SDG implementation.

On energy, Viet Nam announced that its power sector is beginning transformation with renewable energy (RE). The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said RE and energy efficiency provide the most cost-effective pathway to provide 90% reduction in energy-related CO2 emissions. IRENA said RE is already experiencing cost improvements after only three years of SDG implementation. IRENA called for policy improvements for heating and cooling, and for the transportation sectors to follow solar and wind RE trends.

On climate change, Libya expressed concern about drought from climate change. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) emphasized that SIDS, LLDCs, and LDCs face the most urgent threats of climate change, with three million people’s lives at stake because they live at low-elevation coastal zones in SIDS.

On biodiversity, Guatemala informed the Committee about its clean seas campaign and a programme using nets made of recovered plastic waste to collect and remove pollution. On financing and other means of implementation, States discussed the importance of investing in human capital for technology and investments that reduce disaster risk, among other issues.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) stressed the need for a transition to a greener economy, and called attention to its guidelines for a just transition to environmentally sustainable economies and societies. [Meeting summary] [Meeting webcast][SDG Knowledge Hub summary of the first day]

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