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UNGA Debate Addresses Rio+20 Outcome, Complementarity of MDGs, SDGs, Post-2015 Agenda

27 September 2012: In their statements on the third day of the 67th UN General Assembly (UNGA) High-level Debate, world leaders supported accelerated efforts on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), recommended incorporating lessons learned into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the post-2015 development framework, and addressed outcomes of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20).

On the MDGs, many leaders supported continued and accelerated efforts to realize the Goals by 2015. In addition, Portia Simpson-Miller, Prime Minister of Jamaica, said MDG achievement has been uneven, and recommended reinvigorating MDG 8 on the Global Partnership for Development. Khalid Bin Ahmed Bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bahrain,  proposed reviewing national and regional capacity building policies to achieve the MDGs and remedy shortcomings, and said the global financial crisis was not an excuse for reneging on international commitments.

On the SDGs, several recommended incorporating lessons learned from the MDGs in designing the SDGs and the post-2015 development agenda, including: Yang Jiechi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of China; and Yingluck Sinawatra, Prime Minister of Thailand. Jiechi recommended launching an intergovernmental consultation that recognized development and poverty reduction as the core objectives.

Leaders from Peru, Guinea and Lesotho supported coordination and complementarity among the MDGs, SDGs and the post-2015 process. Mohamed Waheed, President of Maldives, said the post-2015 agenda should recognize the needs of small States and create a stronger international architecture. Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, said the SDGs and the High-level Panel on the Post-2105 Development Agenda (HLP) should prioritize, inter alia, climate change, energy and food security, poverty, and a global partnership for sustainable development. She also requested the HLP to consider formulating a position on autistic and disadvantaged children, noting that Bangladesh planned to table a relevant resolution at the UNGA. Gordon Darcy Lilo, Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, said the SDGs should be community-based, economically rationalized, rural-focused and time-bound.

On the Rio+20 outcome, some leaders welcomed it, including: Jorge Carlos Fonesca, President of Cape Verde; Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, Crown Prince of Brunei; Luis Federico Franco Gómez, President of Paraguay; Khalifa; and Bujar Nishani, President of Albania. Rashid Meredov, Deputy Prime Minister of Turkmenistan, called for results-oriented action. Motsoahae Thomas Thabane, Prime Minister of Lesotho, said Rio+20 did not meet all expectations, and that developed countries showed a lack of a concrete commitment to providing developing countries with financing and technology.

Others stressed implementation of the Rio+20 outcome, including: Thein Sein, President of Myanmar (Burma); Jiechi; Edouard Niankoye Lama, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Guinea; Lilo and Simpson-Miller. Emanuel Mori, President of Micronesia, emphasized commitments on the blue economy, the 2014 Global Conference on small island developing States (SIDS), and Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL).

Noting that sustainable development is closely linked to disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change, Gjorge Ivanov, President of Macedonia, supported a holistic approach to implementation. [Statements from UNGA 67 High-level Debate, 27 September]