12 October 2017
Second Committee Concludes Sustainable Development Debate
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
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Member States focused on issues related to climate change, infrastructure support, technology transfer, including for MICs and multi-stakeholder partnerships for securing needed resources.

They also shared plans for VNR presentations at the HLPF and shared progress on assistance and projects related to land restoration, oceans, renewable energy and gender equality, among other topics.

10 October 2017: The UN General Assembly’s Second Committee (Economic and Financial) concluded its debate on its agenda item on sustainable development. Member States stressed the importance of: strong educational systems that promote sustainable development; enhanced cooperation in support of the most vulnerable countries; ratification and expedited implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change; and localization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at grassroots levels.

The discussions took place from 9-10 October, at UN Headquarters in New York, US. During the first day of the debate, Member States focused on issues related to climate change, infrastructure support, technology transfer, including for Middle-Income countries (MICs) and multi-stakeholder partnerships for securing needed resources.

In the ensuing discussions, the Maldives called for enhanced development assistance to MICs. Viet Nam called for increasing “resilient investment” for low-MICs vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters. The Russian Federation, China, Egypt and Monaco stressed the need to provide enhanced support for small island developing States (SIDS), which they stressed are disproportionally affected by the effects of climate change. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced that it had created a fund of US$50 million to support renewable energy and job creation in Caribbean countries. Iceland said his country seeks to support specialized projects that address land restoration, oceans, renewable energy and gender equality.

China, supported by Cuba, called for the international community to honor its official development assistance (ODA) commitments. Nigeria underscored the need for concrete actions to combat illicit financial flows (IFFs). Nicaragua, Venezuela and Syria called for the elimination of coercive economic measures.

Countries suggested a number of actions related to the Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework, the proposed Global Compact for the Environment and the UNCCD.

The Russian Federation announced that he was preparing a legislative base for ratification of the Paris Agreement. Mexico suggested development of a follow-up mechanism for the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) indicators and welcomed efforts by France to develop a Global Compact for the Environment. Namibia called for a binding protocol on drought management under the auspices of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

Mongolia suggested that the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) should include a summary of best practices and lessons learned on SDGs implementation. Ethiopia explained that preparing his country’s Voluntary National Review (VNR) helped consolidate ownership and leadership to accelerate the SDG implementation, contributing to enhancing the localization of sustainable development. Mexico announced his country will present its second VNR in 2018 to show “significant progress” since his first VNR in 2016. Egypt announced plans to present his country’s VNR in 2018.

Moldova expressed support for the Secretary-General’s reform efforts and looked forward to the Secretary-General’s final report at the end of 2017. Belarus urged the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) to assist in the establishment of a development database for ensuring effective cooperation between States. Brazil called for adding new items to the sustainable development item on the Second Committee’s agenda, such as items that address patterns of sustainable consumption and production (SCP) and water and sanitation. [Second Committee Website] [Second Committee Calendar of Meetings] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on First Part of Debate] [SDG Knowledge Hub Sources]

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