Island States at UN call for ‘genuine and durable partnership’ to meet Global Goals

​Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in New York last week, leaders of small island States called for the urgent need to expand genuine and durable partnerships within the international community.

The call was to successfully implement and meet the objectives of Agenda 2030 and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“If our collective will to implement the 2030 Agenda is sincere, then it is essential to greatly enhance the means and mechanisms of implementation on a much greater scale than those recommended in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda,” said, Caleb Otto, Permanent Representative of Palau to the United Nations, referring to another recently adopted plank making up the UN post-2015 framework, this one dealing with development financing.

“Such scaling up is the only way to achieve the promise of a more inclusive and sustainable world that is without hunger and where poverty is eradicated, he added.

“He also noted that the recent adoption of the 17 SDGs reflects a very clear recognition, that the results of the MDGs would have been more impressive had they addressed the underlying causes of poverty and environmental degradation, and had Goal 8 – Partnerships – been better realized.

“I am hopeful that in 2015, we will all embrace the last, and perhaps most important, of the new Sustainable Development Goals, that is, our commitments to one another to ‘revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development’,” he added.

Otto also added that world leaders must recognize the need to develop these partnerships, and through such initiative, dedicate themselves to a much expanded and more accessible financing, technology and human resource capacity.

Dunya Maumoon, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Maldives, also reiterated the need to encourage holistic and stronger partnerships within the Member States to meet all the objectives of the Global Goals.

“We are ready to be part of the solution. In Samoa last year, the small island developing States (SIDS) asked for building partnerships as the way forward. Alone, we might be weak: but united, we can move mountains,” she declared.

She also stressed on the need for a system-wide reform at the UN, including its approaches to finding resolutions in order to make the Organization more resilient and efficaciously face emerging challenges of our time.

“Last week, we adopted a new Agenda for Sustainable Development. It recognizes at its core that development must be holistic; that poverty is a multi-dimensional problem; that what matters is the human being, whose rights must be protected, and promoted,” she asserted. Yet here in the United Nations, “we remain trapped in silos: hiding away, behind the excuse of mandates. Why is it that the Security Council must only discuss guns and bombs? Why can't the Economic and Social Council discuss war and peace? Why can't development, why can't war, have a human rights dimension? Why must issues be confined to one specific body?” Maumoon asked.

“Turning to climate change, she also remarked that this has turned now to a security threat in Maldives.

“It damages our economy, deprives us of our rights, of our land, and our way of life. It is a threat to the very existence of our nation,” she said. “Together with other small island developing States, we have taken urgent action to keep the rise of global temperature below 1.5 degrees Celsius. We are reducing our emissions,” she stressed.