December 10, 2016

Statement by H.E. Mr. Demetris Christofias President of the Republic of Cyprus at the UN High-Level Plenary Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals

It is a great pleasure to participate at this high level meeting, which has a most noble aim. Ambitious and far reaching as they may be, the Millennium Development Goals certainly deserve our fullest attention and dedication.

Both small and big nations should carry out their shared responsibility and ensure that all of the goals set out in the MDGs are met on time.

In fact the first ten years we have spoken a lot but we not done enough. In the five years remaining we have to intensify our efforts to make up for lost ground.

On our part, even though Cyprus is a small country with limited resources, we are doing everything possible to implement the commitments we have undertaken, mobilizing additional and innovative sources of financing.

CyprusAid, the Development Cooperation Service of the Republic, aims at an efficient and well targeted allocation of assistance to maximize the benefits to partner countries. One of the objectives is to strive towards universal access to social services and social protection, and reduce inequalities.

In this respect, we are working with EU and UN partners as well as numerous local and international NGOs.

We channel our Development Assistance more specifically to healthcare such as construction of health clinics and donation of ambulances. Also for education, tourism-related services, infrastructure such as bridge construction and public works. In the future we have to devote more attention to environmental problems created by climate change.

Lacking a project implementation mechanism for the time being, Cyprus pursues development projects via delegated cooperation – that is, in close collaboration with EU partners and development agencies. The projects implemented or planned thus far; aim exclusively at the Millennium Development Goals.

The European Union and its Member States, play a crucial role in enabling developing countries to achieve MDGs 4 and 5, concerning child mortality and maternal health, respectively.

In this respect, I would like to note our contribution to MDG 6 – on AIDS – through our support of UNITAID, which is an innovative mechanism for the financing of development.

I am confident that Cyprus,  as a member of the EU, is now better positioned to help developing countries strive closer to their MDG objectives.

I assure you from this podium that I will do everything I can so that Cyprus continues to be an active regional and global player in this collective effort of ours.

Before concluding Mr. President, let me reiterate what I said yesterday, that if we want to effectively and substantially touch on the poverty and gender unequality problems, we have to fight and achieve a more just distribution of global wealth.

I thank you very much for your attention.