7 October 2015
UN Agencies, MDBs React to Adoption of 2030 Agenda
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Since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), UN agencies, Regional Commissions, multilateral development banks (MDBs), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and others have welcomed and responded to the Agenda's adoption.

United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015October 2015: Since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), UN agencies, Regional Commissions, multilateral development banks (MDBs), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and others have welcomed and responded to the Agenda’s adoption.

The seven Conventions and Treaties that form the Biodiversity Liaison Group issued a statement on the Agenda’s adoption. In the statement, the Group: underlines the linkages between biodiversity and sustainable development; and outlines where biodiversity and healthy ecosystems are addressed in the Goals and targets, emphasizing the opportunity to mainstream biodiversity and its values into national priorities and to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and for the biodiversity-related conventions to contribute to the SDGs’ implementation. The statement highlights upcoming meetings of the Conventions over the next 18 months and underscores the Groups’ commitment to working together to achieve the future we want.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) expressed its commitment to work toward the SDGs and support countries “in integrating the environmental dimension in their development ambitions.” It welcomed the Agenda’s focus on sustainability in both the developing and the developed world and its incorporation of environmental sustainability and social equity with economic progress.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) said it will work to expand global partnerships for transformational change across interlinked global environment domains, including biodiversity, climate, forests, land, oceans and cities in support of the SDGs. CEO Naoko Ishii described the SDGs as a promise of a fresh start for the planet, and welcomed the Goals’ recognition that “the health of the global commons—the planet’s finite environmental resources, from land and forests to oceans and the atmosphere—is essential for a thriving world.”

“Ours is the last generation which can head off the worst effects of climate change and the first generation with the wealth and knowledge to eradicate poverty,” observed UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark, who called for “fearless leadership” to step up to the challenge of achieving the SDGs.

The UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) Executive Director Joan Clos welcomed the SDGs’ recognition of the role of urbanization in achieving sustainable development in SDG 11. He said that the advantages of urbanization are not guaranteed and will require good planning, adequate financing and appropriate legislation, stressing that “good urbanization is not a passive outcome of growth but rather…a driver of growth.”

“Regional Commissions in all regions of the world have…a high level of responsibility for supporting comprehensive follow-up and review” of the Agenda, said Shun-Ichi Murata, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), at an ESCAP Forum. The Forum highlighted the importance of global monitoring that is led by national priorities, noting that the relevance of the SDGs and targets varies by country. The Forum also called for increasing resources and support to strengthen national statistical systems to ensure that all countries in the region can collect data to monitor progress towards the Goals and targets.

Two weeks before the adoption of the Agenda, the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) presented a report that describes the region’s results on the MDGs, including on reducing extreme poverty, hunger and infant mortality, improving access to education for girls and ensuring access to safe drinking water, highlighting these achievements as a starting point for achieving the 2030 Agenda. ‘Latin America and the Caribbean: Looking ahead after the MDGs’ also finds that the region must make greater efforts to reduce maternal deaths and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena said the new 2030 agenda moves towards a “holistic, collaborative, interdisciplinary and universal view…oriented towards closing structural gaps with environmental sustainability to achieve greater equality.”

UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director Anthony Lake welcomed Agenda 2030 as the beginning of a “drive to turn commitments into action.” He said the true measure of progress “will be in every child lifted out of poverty; through every mother who survives childbirth; every girl who does not lose her childhood to early marriage.” He elaborated that UNICEF would work to give the most disadvantaged children a fair chance at life to break the bonds of extreme poverty.

The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) commended world leaders on the Agenda’s adoption, observing that they showed “firm commitment to eradicating poverty, ensuring individual rights and well-being and universal access to sexual and reproductive health, including family planning, for all,” and to promoting gender equality and women’s and girls’ empowerment. UNFPA expressed its commitment to support every woman, man and young person on this path, noting it is working with governments, partners and other UN agencies to address SDG 3 on health, SDG 4 on education and SDG 5 on gender equality.

“A girl that is born today and who will be 15 in 2030 must experience a totally different world,” declared UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, in a statement welcoming the Agenda’s adoption. She said implementation “must now become a top priority” for UN agencies, governments, civil society and the private sector and ordinary people. Mlambo-Ngcuka highlighted key areas for immediate action, including: repealing discriminatory laws and enacting laws that are beneficial to women and girls; preventing and responding to violence against women, including cybercrime; systematically addressing extremism that affects women; and ensuring that girls’ education goes beyond secondary education.

Leaders of the MDBs and the IMF welcomed the Agenda’s adoption, noting its pathways towards greater prosperity and equality and potential to ensure more robust and sustainable economic growth. The heads of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Investment Bank (EIB), Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), and the World Bank Group committed to increasing their financial contribution to over US$400 million over the next three years, and to work to ensure increased domestic resource mobilization (DRM) and private sector funding. In a joint statement, the leaders of each MDBs outlining their support and highlight regional priorities.

The World Health Organization (WHO) particularly welcomed the inclusion of universal health coverage in the SDGs, and committed to work with partners around the world to achieve the SDGs and ensure that people not only survive but also thrive. Reflecting that major progress has been made under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), WHO explained that SDG 3 on health includes new targets for key health areas, including HIV, TB and malaria and child mortality and maternal health, while also addressing noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), health security, reproductive health and infectious diseases. WHO also emphasized that health is presented as an input to other goals and as a measure of sustainable development progress.

The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) highlighted the potential of tourism to contribute to achievement of the SDGs, especially on natural resource preservation, sustainable consumption and production (SCP) and job creation, and described where the SDGs address tourism. UNWTO said it will step up its actions and “advance policies and business strategies that monitor and minimize the negative effects of tourism development and maximize its positive impacts,” such as distribution of benefits among host communities. [Joint Statement by Liaison Group of the Biodiversity-Related Conventions] [UNEP Press Release] [GEF Press Release] [UNDP Press Release] [UNDP Administrator Statement] [UN-HABITAT Executive Director Statement] [ESCAP Press Release on Forum] [ECLAC Press Release] [MDBs Press Release] [UNICEF Press Release] [UN Women Press Release] [UNFPA Press Release] [UNFPA Website on SDGs] [WHO Press Release] [UNWTO Press Release] [IISD RS Coverage of UN Summit]

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