Highlighting that persisting extreme poverty and inequality prevent the realization of the benefits of globalisation and have been major causes of disaffection across rich and poor societies, a senior United Nations official has called on everyone to work harder to ensure inclusion at all stages of development, so that no one is left behind.
“This is more important than ever given the challenges we face in the world today [that] we ensure that our efforts [to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)] are focused, effective and mutually reinforcing,” Frederick Musiiwa Makamure Shava, the President of the UN Economic and Social Council, wrote in the Sustainable Development chapter in the publication Ministers Reference Book: Commonwealth 2017.
Making a particular reference to Africa and the African Union’s Agenda 2063, he said that framework “has given a voice to the continent on the future they want to realise for their own people and has positioned Africa as a dynamic force for sustainable development efforts globally.”
Noting that the African development agenda complemented the global SDGs, he argued that synergies between the two should be maximized to attain a timely realization of their promises. In particular, he called for integrating the three dimensions of sustainable development, encompassing the universal nature of the Goals, and recognizing that development and peace are mutually reinforcing and commits countries to work for peace, justice and strong institutions.
“Development is not possible without peace; and peace without development is fragile and at great risk,” said Mr. Shava, noting that intra-State wars and complex civil conflicts are becoming increasingly intractable and recurring.
“The international community must support countries affected by conflict in their efforts to build institutions and address root causes of poverty and inequality,” he urged, “We need development that is holistic, inclusive and beneficial to all for it to be sustainable and conducive to peace.”
Further in his writing, the President of the Economic and Social Council underlined the importance of the means of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and said that international development cooperation should be prioritized where needs are greatest and capacities weakest.
“The growing diversity of needs and capacities of countries calls for a more specific and tailored approach to country priorities on the ground,” noted Mr. Shava.
“The United Nations will continue to be a global champion for action to galvanise both Governments and civil society to work towards poverty eradication, shared prosperity and a healthy planet,” he concluded.