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Kuwait calls for collective action to achieve sustainable development
July 21, 2018, 2:30 pm

Sustained political will and comprehensive collective action by the global community are needed in order to achieve Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals, said Kuwait’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi.

Ambassador Al-Otaibi was speaking at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2018 organized by the UN Economic and Social Council, which was held from 9 to 18 July at the UN Headquarters, under the theme of ‘Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies’.

In his opening remarks at the forum, Al-Otaibi said, "I trust the United Nations and its working agencies are capable of taking up the responsibility to follow through with implementation of sustainable development goals."  He also expressed his concerns over the many challenges and dangers facing the contemporary world, such as poverty, underdevelopment, and the spread of diseases, terrorism, conflicts and violations of human rights.

This year’s High-Level Political Forum reviewed progress towards the SDGs, with focus in particular on specific goals, including ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all (SDG 6); ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all (SDG 7); making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable (SDG 11); and ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns (SDG 12).

In addition, the forum discussed progress in other SDGs, such as protecting, restoring and promoting sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainable management of forests, combatting desertification and, halting and reversing land degradation and biodiversity loss (SDG 15); and, strengthening the means of implementing and revitalizing the global partnership for sustainable development (SDG 17).

Elaborating on the specific challenges, AlOtaibi said that environmental risks such as drought, desertification, lack of resources, pollution and climate change, all contributed in threatening international peace and security, and increased the suffering of many people around the world.

"Kuwaiti diplomacy is based on promoting international cooperation in all fields of development. It has always been keen to devote its efforts and capabilities to achieve the ambition of developing countries in improving their living status," he added. He went on to point out that, Kuwait had taken many technical and operational measures to overcome obstacles hindering sustainable development. "On top of these measures is the introduction of the environmental return system, which aims to create a framework for ensuring environmental sustainability as being one of the foundations of development planning," he said.

The forum, which adopts political declarations that are negotiated inter-governmentally, also heard 47 countries presenting their Voluntary National Reviews. These reviews, which are country-driven, country-led individual assessments, facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges, and lessons learned, with a view to accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

A ministerial declaration issued at the end of the High-Level Political Forum stressed that, three years into the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, progress has been made across some of the goals and targets, but it has not been at the pace required to achieve this ambitious agenda and has been uneven across countries and regions. The forum urged for accelerating progress toward all targets, in particular those with a timeframe of 2020.

The declaration also noted that the commitment to leave no one behind was at the core of the 2030 Agenda and should be a guiding principle at all levels to shift the world onto a resilient and sustainable path. Leaving no one behind requires addressing the specific needs of people in vulnerable situations but also supporting their empowerment and participation in decision making that impacts their lives, added the declaration.

The high-level forum also recognized that sustainable development cannot be realized without peace and security and that peace and security will be at risk without sustainable development.

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