November 25, 2017

High-level Thematic Debate of the UN General Assembly on Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

Statement by Special Ministerial Envoy, Ambassador Andreas Mavroyiannis

New York, 21 April 2016

Mr. President,

Thank you for convening this important HL meeting, the first following the adoption of the universal, transformative 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals last September.

Mr. President,

Thank you for convening this important HL meeting, the first following the adoption of the universal, transformative 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals last September.

Implementation of this Agenda presents a multitude of challenges to all countries irrespective of their development level. Commitments must be honored. International public and private assistance and support, domestic resources, technology, capacity-building and especially statistical capacity, innovative finance schemes and climate finance are integral for the implementation process in developing countries and in particular the least developed and small island developing states.

The 2030 Agenda together with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda for financing for sustainable development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change are closely interlinked. Without adequate financing and without tackling climate change, the Goals simply cannot be attained.

Our world today is more than ever interconnected. National borders have lost their meaning. Humanity is going through its worst humanitarian refugee crisis with more than 60 million refugees having fled, becoming involuntary fugitives in a human tragedy. In this landscape we are called upon to implement the sustainable development goals for a change of paradigm. The achievement of sustainable development goals will address a plethora of challenges facing humanity because they touch on the roots of problems; poverty elimination, inequality, the building of just and peaceful societies and strong institutions and upholding of the rule of law and respecting human rights.

Mr. President,

In Cyprus we have began the implementation process of SDGs. Being located in one of the most volatile areas in the world and having in place a peace process of our own, we attach utmost importance in the implementation of Goal 16 on peace and security.

As a small island state in a geographic area that is most affected by climate change, Goal 13 on Climate change is also a priority, as is Goal 14 on the sustainable use of Oceans. Particular attention is paid to target 14c which calls for the implementation of international law as reflected in the UNCLOS which provides the legal framework for the sustainable use of oceans. In this respect we express the hope that current negotiations towards a new binding legal instrument under UNCLOS for the protection of Biodiversity Beyond areas of National Jurisdiction prove fruitful.

Gender equality and women’s empowerment in Goal 5, is another priority area because no society can have strong and healthy foundations if it is built on gender inequalities and injustices.

Mr. President,

Involvement in the implementation process of all stakeholders, both state and non-state actors, is crucial. We have a framework that is rightly of an integrated and intertwined nature, where implementation of one goal facilitates the implementation of all the rest. The same holistic approach must be followed when putting in place national plans and actions.

We are certain that we will leave from today’s dialogue richer. The exchange of ideas and lessons learned are of great value to us. More than ever, this is the time to work in synergy, complementarity and in a dialectical interaction between the local and the global, the individual and the collective effort.

Thank You