December 10, 2016

Intervention by H.E. Mr. Demetris Christofias President of the Republic of Cyprus at the High-Level Event on the Millennium Development Goals

Thank you Co-chairs,
Millions of people continue to live in extreme poverty and deprivation, despite our efforts to the contrary. We are not here to once again determine that it is our common vision to achieve what the Millennium Development Goals stipulate; the eradication of the struggles of the world’s poorest populations to obtain basic necessities is an established priority.
Our task here is to diagnose where we falter in the implementation of these Goals and to consider whether the MDGs are a strategy potent enough to alleviate poverty and hunger. Despite the overall progress reported by the Secretary-General in attaining our goals, we know that in reality, we face additional complications due to recent food and fuel crises.

We must ensure that our actions impact the real lives of people and that they will eventually lead to the independence of the economies of developing countries from foreign aid. The United Nations must be the channel through which to address calamities that threaten such massive numbers of people, while engaging all relevant actors in the process.
We must manage world resources better and ensure their more just and equal distribution within and between nations. We must address simultaneously those causes that underlie poverty and social inequality: conflict, natural disasters, mismanagement of natural resources, lack of good governance, racial and gender discrimination. And we must remember the enhanced responsibility of the developed world towards the development of others in order to compensate for the chronic unfair exploitation of the natural resources of developing countries.
We must not reach 2015 to retrospectively assess the MDG strategy. Our experience and the results achieved thus far indicate that we must address those aspects of our strategy that have proven less effective than the urgency of this matter requires.

Thank you.