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General Assembly President on the Crucial G77 Role in Upcoming SDG Events

UNITED NATIONS, Feb 28 2017 - Addressing the Group of 77, the President of the UN General Assembly Ambassador Peter Thomson of Fiji said he plans a series of high–level meetings over the next few months in which the G77, joined by China, is expected to play a crucial role.

Peter Thomson

Peter Thomson

The upcoming meetings include the UN Oceans Conference; a High-Level SDG Action Event; a High Level Meeting on ‘Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Agenda’’; a SDG Financing Lab; a ‘High-Level Event on Innovation and Connectivity;’ and a High-Level Event on Education.

Firstly, he pointed out, all of the events have been selected to address means of implementation for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), or to drive cross-cutting action for SDG implementation.

Secondly, they all aim to help increase global awareness of critical implementation challenges, to identify concrete solutions, and to bring together all key stakeholders – across Government, the international community, civil society, the private sector, and academia.

And thirdly, the success of each of these events relies on the engagement of all partners.

“In this regard I call on the G77 to participate actively, and at the highest possible levels, to ensure their success,” he said.

“As a former Chair of the G77, I am keenly aware of the importance of progress on a number of key issues and processes during the 71st Session, to advancing the interests of the Group,” Ambassador Thomson told delegates.

“Indeed, as we enter the second year of implementation of the 2030 Agenda, it is essential that we continue to work closely together to build momentum, collaboration and partnership between all stakeholders, and to keep the wheels of implementation turning,” he noted.

Paying a tribute to the current G77 chair, Ambassador Thomson said he would like to take the opportunity to commend Ecuador on the priority theme for its presidency of the G77 – strengthening international cooperation in tax matters.

Implementing the 2030 Agenda will require mobilising all forms of finance, including by increasing private investment, and enhancing the capacity of countries to mobilize domestic resources through taxation.

“In our changing development cooperation landscape, characterized in particular by the declining levels of international development assistance, international cooperation to build human and institutional capacity, strengthen governance, and combat tax evasion and illicit financial flows, takes on even greater importance”, he declared.

In line with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, he will support efforts aimed at increasing international cooperation on tax matters.

In this regard, the ECOSOC Special Meeting on International Cooperation in Tax Matters, to be held in April, provides an important opportunity to take forward these discussions.

“They might also be included in the discussions at the SDG Financing Lab, which I am organising in April,” he added.

Ambassador Thomson singled out the UN Oceans Conference, to be convened from 5 to 9 June this year, as a historic milestone in building global momentum for the implementation of SDG 14.

“The Ocean Conference represents our best opportunity to reverse the cycle of decline into which human activity has pushed the Ocean.”

The Conference will catalyse political support through a strong ‘Call for Action’; and it will secure the game-changing voluntary commitments and strategic partnerships necessary for the achievement of SDG14’s noble targets.

“In this regard, I underline the importance of the online registry for voluntary commitments that has been launched and which can be found on the Conference’s website. I urge you all to register your commitments in support of SDG14 without delay.”

The other upcoming meetings include:

An SDG Financing Lab, scheduled for April 18, will promote global discussions on sustainable financing. The event will include workshops showcasing strategies for leveraging private and public financing for the SDGs, and demonstrate how capacity-building can help these efforts.

A ‘High-Level Event on Innovation and Connectivity‘, on May 17, will discuss ways to harness the power of technology to solve critical challenges in support of SDG implementation.

On 28 June, there will be a High-Level Event on Education to raise the importance of inclusive and equitable quality education as a pre-requisite and driver of opportunity for all.

And in August, there will be a High-Level Meeting on UN Habitat.

He said the General Assembly will also soon begin preparations for a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, following the recent finalisation of consultations on the modalities resolution.

The modalities resolution is set to be adopted by the General Assembly at the conclusion of the Fifth Committee’s budget processes.

“Given the time-sensitivity of this process, I urge you to support the swift consideration of the budgetary implications of the modalities resolution in the Fifth Committee, so that the process can move forward, consistent with the timeline envisaged in the agreed modalities,” he added.

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