High-level delegations of all United Nations member states adopt the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda that will define international, regional and national development agenda priorities for the next 15 years.
NEW YORK, 29 September 2015 – The Philippines joined member states of the United Nations in unanimously adopting the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda in a historic summit held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 25-27 September 2015. Attended by more than 150 Heads of State and Heads of Government, 4 Vice-Presidents and 30 Ministers, the Summit was preceded by an address by His Holiness, Pope Francis.
Speaking before the UN General Assembly, Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan, Secretary of Socioeconomic Planning and Director General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), pledged “to make the 2030 Agenda a reality and to leave no one behind.”
Secretary Balisacan welcomed the inclusion of Philippine priorities in the 2030 Agenda, including migration, vulnerabilities, collective action for conservation and inequality of opportunities.
On migration, the Philippines advocated that the 2030 Agenda recognize the positive contributions of migrants to sustainable development in countries of origin, transit and destination. It also called on member nations to mainstream migration in the development process, reduce remittance costs and fully respect the human rights of migrants.
On reducing vulnerabilities, Secretary Balisacan stressed that “if we are to achieve our development goals, we need to take urgent action to combat climate change. We have seen extreme weather disturbances occurring with greater frequency and intensity. These calamities can negate our gains in reducing poverty and even push back development. We thus need to put in place climate change adaptation and mitigation measures, particularly at the local levels, and increasing investments towards a climate-resilient economy.”
He added that as President of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and as one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, the Philippines will work in the upcoming Paris conference (COP21) towards a new legally-binding climate agreement that is universal and equitable and that will limit the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees or 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The CVF is an international partnership of 20 developing countries highly vulnerable to climate change.
Secretary Balisacan also cited the need to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources and the obligation of the community of nations to seriously acknowledge challenges to conservation, such as destruction due to massive reclamation, as a common concern. He emphasized that “these challenges need to be collectively addressed using a rules-based approach in international law as reflected in UNCLOS.”
On inequality of opportunities, Secretary Balisacan said that the Philippines aspires “to achieve education for all, universal health coverage, food security, and social and economic inclusion, supported by quality infrastructure” and to “ensure financial inclusion for all, particularly through access to insurance and capital, and through mobile financing.” He also committed to address maternal and reproductive health, including access to sexual and reproductive health services, and to further accelerate the fulfillment of women’s rights.
The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda will define international, regional and national development agenda priorities for the next 15 years. The Agenda, as contained in the outcome document entitled, "Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, announces 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or more popularly, “Global Goals” and 169 targets that cover the economic, social and environmental dimensions of development. It identifies the eradication of poverty in all its forms and dimensions as the greatest global challenge and as an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. END
The Philippine Delegation to the 2030 Sustainable Development Summit led by (from the right) Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and NEDA Director General Arsenio M. Balisacan, Ambassador Lourdes Yparraguirre, Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations and NEDA Assistant Director General Rosemarie Edillon. Behind them are (from the left) UNIO Executive Director Bernadette Chiu Fernandez, NEDA Director Erlinda M Capones, National Statistician Dr. Lisa Grace S. Bersales and Minister Maria Angela Ponce of the Philippine Mission to the United Nations.