General Debate Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
General Debate for the High-level Segment of ECOSOC and the Ministerial Segment of High-level Political Forum, New York, 7 July 2014
Thank you, President,
I appreciate this opportunity to express Norway’s strong support for the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. We particularly welcome the participation of major groups from civil society and the private sector. Their contributions are crucial.
Since the Rio+ 20 conference, we have worked to lay the foundations for an effective and inclusive Forum. A Forum that can play a central role in following up the sustainable development goals (SDGs). It is important that the Forum has a strong review and monitoring mechanism.
While shaping the post-2015 development agenda, we must not forget that our most immediate priority is to achieve the current Millennium Development Goals before the end of 2015.
The Secretary-General’s MDG Advocacy Group, co-chaired by President Kagame and Prime Minister Solberg, will continue to push for success.
Let us make a major concerted effort to achieve the MDGs in the 550 days we have left. We need to fulfil our commitments, not least for the sake of the children who need this the most.
And let us work to develop a post-2015 sustainable development framework that builds on the success of the MDGs. We need a set of goals and targets that are both easy to communicate and measurable, that can mobilise global efforts, funding and partnerships. Norway has three key concerns:
First, the SDGs must not only build on the MDGs; they must go further. More than 1 billion people still live in extreme poverty. The eradication of extreme poverty and hunger must be our primary goal. This is ambitious, but doable. It requires scaled up investments in education, health and gender equality, as well as in sustainable energy – ‘the missing MDG’.
Second, the SDGs must reflect all three dimensions of sustainable development. We need goals and targets to promote inclusive economic growth and reduce inequality based on the principle that we must ‘leave no one behind’. And we should include a separate goal on climate change, which can support, and not prejudge the deliberations under the UNFCCC.
Finally, goals on good governance, peace, human rights and justice should also be included in the post-2015 agenda. Good governance and peace should be among the headline goals in the new SDG framework. This is essential if we are to achieve effective development.
In order to achieve the MDG commitments, resources must be mobilized from national as well as private sources. Norway will continue to cooperate with others in order to accelerate the realization of the current goals.
The success of the MDGs shows that it is possible. We have gained impressive results. Now we need to cooperate on an ambitious and realistic agenda for the future.