VICE PRESIDENT FAURE CALLS FOR NEW APPROACHES FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AT LANDMARK UN SUMMIT
New York, USA, 21 September 2010: Vice President Danny Faure has called on the United Nations to lead the charge in efforts to ‘re-set’ the challenge of sustainable development to ensure that Millennium Development Goals can be met.
In his address to the Millennium Development Goals Summit being held in New York at the start of the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly, where he is representing President James Michel, the Vice President highlighted the development paradox of small island developing states. He stated that most small island developing states had ‘graduated’ to middle income status, but there was a severe lack of developmental mechanisms available for SIDS to enter into the next phase of their development.
The Millennium Development Goals set targets for all countries in the world to meet in 8 critical areas to help reduce the incidence of global poverty. The targets were set in the year 2000, to be achieved in 2015. The World financial and economic crisis has led to questions whether many countries are able to meet the targets on time and the MDG Summit has been convened to review progress so far.
He explained that for the concept of sustainable development to be successful, the international community through the UN System has to come up with new proposals that go beyond the status quo. He welcome the initiative of the UN Secretary General to appoint a high level panel on sustainability led by President Tarja Halonen of Finland and President Jacob Zuma of South Africa.
“We are at a point in history where we must ask the question- what conditions can truly make any one country sustainable? Part of the answer lies in the fact that no country will truly be sustainable unless we can also ensure that our planet is sustainable.” He remarked.
The Vice President went on to note that small islands are penalised by their relative success and that new development mechanisms are needed to meet their needs: “Small island states are too developed to benefit from the concessions offered to LDCs, and are not developed enough to benefit from the advantages of first world status. In this middle income trap, there is unfortunately a sense that there is no way up. The status quo becomes the best case scenario.”
At the Summit, Seychelles has also led by example by committing towards adopting MDG Plus (MDG+) targets which are enhanced targets to be jointly agreed between Seychelles and the UN System.
The Vice President also highlighted three important considerations for the way forward:
1) The importance to develop innovative financing initiatives, including green financing to facilitate access to renewable energy,
2) The importance of regional groupings as developmental agents. The Vice President also highlighted the importance of regional bodies in ensuring safety and security- prerequisites for successful development and also called for renewed resources to be invested in regional initiatives to combat piracy
3) The importance of pursuing new approaches for sustainable development outside of the confines of ideology and assumptions.
The Vice President concluded by saying that:
“Development is about people. Let us ensure that people are at the centre of everything we do. We are all united by the Millennium Development Goals because we share the desire to improve the lives of our peoples. Despite the challenges, we remain optimistic. The World financial crisis has not dampened our resolve- rather it has made us more determined to truly create the conditions for a sustainable world.”