By J. Tuyet Nguyen
NEW YORK (IDN) – Governments from Africa, Caribbean, Pacific and the European Union issued on September 24 a joint declaration calling for “bold decisions” to implement the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate change agreements, saying that the two programs are closely linked.
“Recognizing that the linkages between sustainable development and climate action, we reiterate our strong commitment to implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change fully and effectively,” the groups said in a Joint Declaration issued in New York.
The implementation of the 17 sustainable development goals and the Paris climate agreement between the 79-nation African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) and the European Union (EU) will “underpin our partnership,” said the declaration.
The goals include ending poverty, gender equality, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth and climate action. The climate crisis, from dangerous heat to destructive hurricanes, can have a strong impact on achieving development goals.
Meeting on the side of the annual UN General Assembly session, the ACP-EU participants said “bold decisions” are warranted to achieve the SDGs.
“We intend to intensify our efforts to accelerate progress towards the achievement of the SDGs and stand ready to work together in supporting countries to integrate SDGs in their national policy, including financing strategies, and reporting frameworks at various levels,” the declaration said.
Neven Mimica, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, said in a press conference that the EU will contribute and additional 40 million euro to the joint efforts by the ACP-EU states to implement SDGs and the climate agreement.
“I believe that we could do both the climate change and development programs together,” Mimica said.
“SDGs are for all of us,” Mimica said. “What we can do, looking from the point of view of the budget, the EU is the biggest provider of assistance globally, 60 percent of the ODA. We have additional responsibilities to assist all others in implementing SDGs. This is what we are doing in the Joint Declaration.”
Joining in the press conference were Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica, Mamadou Tangara, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Gambia, and Patrick Gomes, Secretary General of the ACP Group of States.
“We want to see the success of this partnership,” Gomes said. “There are no areas in which we cannot address systematically. The road map is before us and therefore we are joining forces. We are also very appreciative of UN agencies for their assistance.”
“Climate change has a special resonance for the Caribbean,” which has suffered consequences from dangerous hurricanes, said Smith.
She said Jamaica and the Caribbean will “unfailingly support multilateralism.”
“But we have to acknowledge that that while the goals are the same for all, our resources and capability are not equal,” she said about the lack of resources in her region in facing climate challenges.
“We have to be pragmatic about the nature of our partnership…in achieving the goals” between climate and development,” she said. “We are in truth and in fact all connected, developed and developing countries, rich and poor, our action and inaction have consequences for each other.” [IDN-InDepthNews – 24 September 2019]
Photo: Screenshot of joint ACP-EU press conference on 23 September at the UN. From left to right: Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica; Neven Mimica, European Union Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development; Mamadou Tangara, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Gambia; Patrick I. Gomes, Secretary General of the ACP Group of States. Source: UN Web TV
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