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“High Level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals”, New York 21 September 2010.
21 October 2010 / 01:06

On the Occasion of the
“High Level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly
on the Millennium Development Goals”,
New York 21 September 2010.

His Excellency dr. Ali Abdussalam Treki President of the General Assembly,
His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary general
Your Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
Allow me to express the appreciation of the Republic of Suriname to the President of the General Assembly and the Secretary General of the United Nations for convening this very important high level plenary meeting and for providing us with the comprehensive report “Keeping the promise: a forward-looking review to promote an agreed action agenda to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015” and the “Millennium Development Goals Report 2010”. These reports are timely as we have arrived at this juncture to review our achievements after spending two-thirds of the time we have allotted to reach the MDGs as global community and realizing that we only have 5 (five) years left to achieve the objectives we collectively formulated ten years ago.
Mr. President,
In taking a closer look at the MDGs, we have to conclude that there is nothing extraordinary to these goals but that they are just mere recollections of simple human needs and basic rights that every individual around the world should be able to enjoy, namely freedom from extreme poverty and hunger; quality education, productive and decent employment; equality between women and men; good health and shelter; the right of women to give birth without risking their lives; and a sustainable living environment.
In cooperation with the national MDG Steering Committee, which is a national network of governmental and non-state actors, with the responsibility to monitor implementation of MDGs in Suriname, the Government of Suriname produced its second MDG Progress Report in 2009. This report indicates that remarkable progress has been made towards the achievement of the goals. Of significance is the success story, whereby the total number of malaria positives in Suriname has been reduced by 90% from 2001 to 2008 and the malaria mortality reduced to 0 (zero) from 2005 to 2008.
But the report also notes that “set backs” have been noted and that a number of challenges are still being faced in areas such as school enrollment in the hinterland, the creation of sustainable employment for young people, better access of pregnant women to health care, birth control and essential medicine and ensuring a sustainable living environment.
Mr. President,
Suriname stands firm in its commitment to achieve the MDGs by 2015. In the inaugural speech of our newly elected President H.E. Desire Delano Bouterse and the recently accorded coalition manifest that will guide our policies for the coming years, many aspirations and objectives have been captured, which will deal with the concerns stated earlier and which realization will lead to the achievement of the MDGs in Suriname.
The SG reports mentioned above show that many developing countries, have made significant progress, as we did. However the same reports makes it clear that improvements in the lives of the poor have been unacceptably slow, and that sustenance of the hard-won gains are being threatened by the climate, food and economic crises and  persistent disparities and inequalities across and within nations.
Further that acceleration of progress over the next five years will need to focus on continuing proven strategies, policies and interventions and making a radical break with those that do not work.
Mr. President,
Suriname rank very high in the world as a High Forested and Low Deforestation country with 90 % forest cover of its total land area. As we speak our forests are making significant contributions to the global community in terms of biodiversity conservation and mitigation of climate change. Although we prefer to keep our forest standing in order to continue providing these and other ecosystem services to the global community, we are concerned to do that at the cost of the sustainable development of our people. In that light we are ready to welcome with appreciation the support of members of this august assembly, who would be willing to stand with us and to support us in this endeavor through provision of such resources as finance, technology and capacity.
In our view the realization of the MDGs requires a collective approach integrating national, regional and international cooperation, which will also be of advantage to various crucial developments in the world such as international peace and security, sustainable development and economic integration, including through fair trade.
In this regard the achievement of MDG 8 on global partnerships still remains a challenge, specifically since efforts to step up official development assistance (ODA) have been set back and its volume, quality and predictability continue to be far lower than the agreed levels.
The former statement is very disturbing when we take into account that according to the SG Reports mentioned before, the world possesses the resources and knowledge to ensure that even the poorest countries, and others held back by disease, geographic isolation or civil strife can be empowered to achieve the MDGs.
 In closing, Mr. President,
Suriname reiterates its commitments to realize sustainable development and to achieve the MDGs by the target date 2015 and its readiness to join the international community and partners in complementing national efforts and accelerating actions.
In the spirit of solidarity in international cooperation, Suriname is strongly in favor of South-South and triangular cooperation as means to enhance cross-fertilization of best practices, knowledge sharing and capacity building among developing countries.
Our experience, with our success story of the eradication of malaria mortality in Suriname, is testimony of the fact that the goals are achievable when nationally owned development strategies, policies and programs are supported by international development partners.
I thank you, for your kind attention.