Civil society has ‘important role’ in building sustainable future, says UN General Assembly President

9 April 2015

Civil society actors have a critical role to play in the outlining of a successful post-2015 sustainable development agenda, President of the United Nations General Assembly Sam Kutesa declared today.

In a statement made to the Assembly’s Informal Interactive Hearing ahead of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, Nicholas Emiliou, Acting President of the General Assembly, explained that the formulation and successful implementation of “an inclusive and transformative” agenda would depend on the key “mobilization of financial resources” from both the private and public sectors.

“It is evident that in order to achieve our goals, we need to harness vast resources, skills, knowledge and innovative ideas from all segments of society,” Mr. Emiliou said in a statement made on behalf of Mr. Kutesa. “Civil society has an important role and it should play its part in this endeavour.”

Pointing to the upcoming Third International Conference on Financing for Development to be held in Addis Ababa later this year, the Acting President also noted that civil society actors had already been engaged in the conference’s preparatory process but, he added, today’s meeting provided yet “another unique opportunity” for them to “give their input and views” on Addis’ planned outcome document.

This year marks wrap up of the landmark UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which world leaders agreed on 15 years ago. There has been significant progress in meeting the targets. For example, global poverty has been halved well ahead of the 2015 deadline; in developing countries, 90 per cent of children now enjoy primary education; the number of people lacking access to improved drinking water has halved, and the fight against malaria and tuberculosis has shown results, according to the UN.

But challenges persist, and with the deadline of the MDGs set for the end of this year, the UN will craft a new set of targets known as the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Globally, 73 million young people are looking for work and many more are trapped in exploitative jobs. In recent years, more than two and a half million more children in affluent countries fell into poverty, bringing the total above 76 million.

“It is essential that we work towards concrete deliverables and a new global partnership for sustainable development that will support the implementation of the new universal development agenda,” Mr. Emiliou continued.

“Let us continue working together for a comprehensive financing framework for sustainable development in order to deliver on the aspirations of our countries, people, and communities worldwide.”


♦ Receive daily updates directly in your inbox - Subscribe here to a topic.
♦ Download the UN News app for your iOS or Android devices.