G77 Chair Critical on Lack of Progress on Social Development

UNITED NATIONS, Feb 27 2017 - Addressing the 55th Commission for Social Development (CSD), the chair of the Group of 77, Ambassador Horacio Sevilla Borja, Permanent Representative of Ecuador, said the Group is “deeply concerned about the uneven progress achieved in fulfilling all of the interrelated commitments made at the 1995 World Summit for Social Development and by the lack of satisfactory progress of social development”.

Horacio Sevilla Borja

Horacio Sevilla Borja

Conflicts, slowing global economic growth, volatile financial markets, high rates of youth unemployment, global health threats, humanitarian crisis, corruption, the challenges posed by climate change and other related challenges, increase the difficulty to advance and impedes progress in the fulfillment of social objectives.

Consequently the role of the Commission, he said, is crucial to meet these challenges in order to achieve and sustain progress in social development.

The priority theme for the work of the CSD this year was “Strategies for eradicating poverty to achieve sustainable development for all”.

Speaking on behalf of the G77, joined by China, he said the eradication of poverty is the greatest moral imperative of the planet.

Even though the world has made tremendous progress tackling poverty, its overcoming still remains one of the major challenges for the international community.

Provision and mobilization of adequate and sufficient resources remain one of the main requisites for developing countries for the implementation of relevant policies and programs targeting effective poverty eradication.

Furthermore, social exclusion continues to be a challenge in many parts of the world, by virtue of growing inequalities and decent-work deficit, thus negatively affecting youth, older persons, indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and migrants, among other people in vulnerable situations.

“As set out in the Secretary General’s report, if we maintain the policy status quo to address these matters we will not get the job done,” he warned.

New policy approaches and strategies are required to tackle poverty, in which both the political will and the financial aspects can make the difference.

It is not possible to obtain significant reductions in the levels of extreme poverty and other dimensions of poverty without adequate financing and international cooperation.

He pointed out that 2015 marked a historic year in which the international community agreed on a set of new universal goals and commitments for the years ahead: the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction; the Addis Ababa Action Agenda; the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; the Paris Agreement; and one year later, the New Urban Agenda.

With the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development began the implementation phase and follow-up of the world agenda towards a sustainable future.

This Agenda recognizes that eradication of poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable prerequisite for sustainable development.

The Commission for Social Development can make a significant contribution to the follow-up and review process of the 2030 Agenda through the ECOSOC High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development, providing substantive inputs and sharing “strategies for eradicating poverty to achieve sustainable development for all”.

It is important that the international community reinvigorates all pending commitments made in the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development, while implementing an integrated, ambitious and impactful sustainable development agenda in which no one will be left behind.

This Commission needs to therefore send a strong signal to the HLPF that the interlinkages among the SDGs, and addressing the well-being and the rights of youth, women and girls, indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, older persons, refugees and other groups is a prerequisite for achieving the 2030 Agenda.

The delegates at the 1995 Summit agreed on the adoption of the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development, and the Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development.

The Programme of Action included: an Enabling Environment for Social Development; Eradication of Poverty; Expansion of Productive Employment and Reduction of Unemployment.; Social Integration and Implementation and Follow-up

The Group of 77, joined by China, underlined once again, the importance of the World Summit for Social Development held in Copenhagen in 1995, which marked and continues to be the integral point of reference in the field of social development at national and international level.

“Therefore, we reaffirm the Group’s commitment in fulfilling the goals agreed more than twenty years ago, particularly on poverty eradication, full employment and social integration”.

The Group welcomes the work of the Commission on the situation of social groups and the review of the relevant plans or programmes of action of persons with disabilities, youth, ageing, and family issues.

The Group also welcomes the Commission’s continued focus on the social dimension of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development. “Our deliberations in this Session will allow exploring new ways to strengthen the social dimension of sustainable development”, he noted.

The Group would also like to stress the importance of removing obstacles to the realization of the right of peoples to self-determination, in particular of peoples living under colonial or other forms of alien domination or foreign occupation, with full respect of national sovereignty and territorial integrity, which adversely affect their social and economic development, the Ambassador said.

The Group is acutely aware that poverty, in all its forms and dimensions, as well as unemployment, income inequalities, social disintegration, and inequalities within and among countries, are complex issues and intertwined global challenges.

“We emphasize the need to eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions in order to truly leave no one behind. Furthermore, as the aim of the 2030 Agenda, it is important to address poverty in a more coherent, holistic, comprehensive and systematic manner”.

The Group is fully committed to working tirelessly for the full implementation of the Agenda by 2030 in a balanced and integrated manner to achieve sustainable development in its three dimensions: social, economic and environmental, and to build on the lessons learned from the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals, seeking to address their unfinished business.

These aspects must be at the core of the formulation of the new strategies for eradicating poverty and exclusion to achieve sustainable development for all, which requires greater effort at international and national levels in order to have a successful and real action of the 2030 Agenda.

“Only together can we transform our world into the world we want and we all deserve,” he declared.

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