December 14, 2017

Minister Kouyialis addresses the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

1362235914001_4858017069001_4857968073001-vsStatement delivered by the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, H.E. Mr. Nicos Kouyialis at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

 United Nations, 19 July 2017 

Excellencies,

Resolution 70/1 through which the World Leaders have adopted the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development is the bedrock on which all countries of the world will base their future development.

The Universal character of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the 169 targets will guide us all until 2030  towards sustainable development  and our prime target, which is the eradication of poverty in all its forms and dimensions.

The universality of the 2030 agenda places a responsibility on all nations, rich and poor, small or large. The fact that these goals are not  legally binding that that does not relieve us all from the responsibility to work towards their implementation, with actions taken through our national sustainable development strategies and appropriate resource mobilization. A most important parameter in the effective implementation of the SDGs is the transparency and the involvement the civil society, the private sector and all stakeholders.

As I already indicated it is expected that each country will concentrate its efforts on those SDGs which considers as a priority. In Cyprus the efforts are concentrated mainly on SDGs on which we consider that there is still work to be done. These are the SDGs related primarily to issues such as good health and well-being, decent work and economic growth, as well as industry innovation and infrastructure.

At the same time however significant progress has been made in most other SDGs, which are the result of either the implementation of EU policies or national strategies. Among these the most significant are the National Reform Programme which is a horizontal instrument for development, the National Strategy on Social Policy, the Integrated Strategy in the Tourism Sector, the Rural Development Plan 2014-2020, and the National Action Plan on Green Economy.

Further to the national policies that Cyprus has drafted and is implementing at national level, we consider that we have a significant role to play in the regional cooperation for achieving a number of SDGs, especially SDG 14 on Seas and Oceans. In this respect Cyprus has taken the initiative and together with Greece and Israel,  are currently drafting an Action Plan  for addressing marine pollution from accidental Oil Spills, which is going to be completed by October. Furthermore, at a recent meeting I had with the Egyptian Minister of Environment it has been agreed that a similar Action Plan shall be prepared to cover the needs of both countries.

Dear friends

In the short time given to address this plenary, there is not enough time to expand on the achievements and challenges that Cyprus faces. There is however enough time to reiterate our commitment as a country to provide our full support  at national, regional and international level to all efforts in order that the vision of those who formulated the SDGs is realised.