PM welcomes UN agenda for sustainable development, register’s commitment

PRIME Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare has welcomed the United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development and registered Solomon Islands Government’s commitment to the implementation of its goals within Solomon Islands context.

Addressing the UN Summit for the Adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda in New York today, Prime Minister Sogavare said this historic Agenda presents a new ambitious framework for sustainable development that requires urgent action to reverse current unsustainable global consumption and production patterns.

“The new Agenda is about people, pursuing prosperity through partnerships, and operating within safe levels of our planetary boundary. We register our commitment to implement the 17 transformative Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its 169 targets within our national context and circumstances,” he added.

The Prime Minister told the world leaders attending the summit that the overarching goal of the SDGs is not just about eradicating poverty but also about healing the declining health of our planet.

He said preserving life on our planet must be ‘our’ shared responsibility because prosperity cannot be pursued on a dead system.

“The 17 time-bound SDGs must now become a highway for global partnerships. These Goals must now be matched with sufficient resources, for us to meaningfully transform our peoples’ lives. “

Prime Minister Sogavare said Solomon Islands as a Small Island Developing State remains a special case for sustainable development, given its vulnerability to climate change and unique characteristics, and this requires special attention by the global community.

“We have committed ourselves under the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA), the S.A.M.O.A Pathway and the Istanbul Program of Action (IPOA) to deliver sustainable development nationally allowing SIDS and LDCs to leapfrog development to sustainability,” he added.

The Prime Minister said the Solomon Islands Government will be reviewing its cooperation programs to ensure they are aligned to SDGs in the context of its national priorities and pleaded for support from its development partners.

“We will incorporate the SDGs into our 20 year National Development Strategy (NDS) 2016-2036 by the end of this year or in the first quarter of next year. We therefore call on all development partners to support our efforts.”

Prime Minister Sogavare also spoke about the sustainable energy initiatives of the Solomon Islands Government and need for partners to invest in large-scale energy projects.

“On sustainable energy, Solomon Islands is presently working on two hydro projects with the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. Both projects remain on Solomon Islands Post 2015 Agenda.

“We need partners to invest in large-scale game changing energy projects in our rural areas; to open up opportunities for our population. Such will free up a third of our national budget that is spent on importation of fossil fuel.

“We are also seeking partnerships to progress other hydro projects and geothermal and wind energy potentials.”

The Prime Minister also touched on the issue of climate change and highlighted the need for a comprehensive and legally binding outcome agreement from the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Summit in Paris in a bid to address the issue of concern to Small Island Developing States and Least Developed countries.

“On climate change, science is clear; we are heading towards a global temperature increase of 3 – 3.5 degrees Celsius. This leaves behind Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries, unless those with historical responsibility to do more and submit ambitious mitigation commitments under the Intended National Determined Contributions.

“In the lead up to COP 21 in Paris, I must reiterate the Suva Climate Declaration by Pacific Small Islands Developing States, calling for the stabilization of global temperature increase to be well below 1.5 degrees Celsius. An outcome Agreement must be ambitious, comprehensive and legally binding with loss and damage anchored, as a standalone chapter.”

He challenged the world leaders that, “We are here to make history. To this end, we must provide honest and quality political leadership that secures and guarantees hope for our people and our planet.

“Let us go forward and urgently get on with the task of creating a better future for our children, their children, and generations to come.”

The UN Agenda for Sustainable Development includes a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030.

Meanwhile, the United States President Barak Obama who addressed the UN Post-2015 Development Agenda summit earlier on focused on the elimination of poverty and hunger around the world.

In committing the US to a new blueprint to eliminate poverty and hunger the world over, President Obama said development is threatened by war and war often arises from bad governance.

President Obama said the UN agenda for sustainable development is not charity but rather one of the smartest investments ‘we can make in our own future.’

He said 800 million men, women and children scrape by on less than $1.25 a day and that billions of people are at risk of dying from preventable diseases.

The US President said that, “Military interventions might have been avoided over the years” if countries had spent more time, money and effort on caring for their own people.

The US President said the goals of the 15-year plan are ambitious but can be achieved if governments work together.

Source: OPMC, press release