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Second Committee - General debate, 8 October 2015

Monday, 12 October 2015

 Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, I would like to congratulate you and other members of the Bureau on your election and to wish you every success in your work.


Mr. Chairman,


The Second Committee will address many salient features of the world economy during this session, at the time when we continue to witness numerous challenges in the world economic situation. Yet, notwithstanding the problems, sluggish growth, recessionary trends, stagnation and unemployment, we do notice encouraging signs of recovery. Globalized and highly interdependent, these problems are reflected everywhere and countries should work together to find common solutions. Debt crises, though, continue to burden both lenders and debtors and they must work together to resolve unsustainable debt situations. The migrant crisis, in Europe and the Mediterranean in particular, has created new challenges, often unmet by proper responses.


At the historic Summit here in United Nations a few days ago, world leaders adopted the transformative the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. They committed themselves to an unprecedented paradigm shift. Building on the success of the Millennium Development Goals, they vowed to eradicate extreme poverty in the next fifteen years, to halve relative poverty and lay the foundations for sustainable development for future generations.


There are doubts, though, as to whether the sustainable development goals are realistic and achievable. There are some opinions that the United Nations has created a wish list of targets that are unattainable. These opinions and second thoughts did not carry the day and a strong and unequivocal call and commitment were made at the Summit to invest joint efforts to achieve the SDGs by 2030. This opportunity, as the Secretary-General has continuously emphasized, must not be missed and we all have a serious obligation to work hard at all levels to fulfil these commitments. Global partnership for the attainment of the SDGs is of vital importance as underlined by Goal 17 of the Agenda, calling on developed countries to fully implement their ODA commitments.


At the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa in July, a crucial Action Agenda was concluded on mobilizing national, international, public, private and blended resources for financing sustainable development and laid the basis for the agreement on the sustainable development goals that were adopted in September. We consider it very significant that a Technology Facilitation Mechanism was initiated in Addis Ababa, as well as an agreement to establish a Global Infrastructure Forum. The strengthening of the United Nations Committee of Experts on International Cooperation on Tax Matters is also vital.


The Republic of Serbia takes the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development very seriously. An intergovernmental body, headed by a Deputy Prime Minister, will be established to follow, monitor and assess the achievement of the goals and to formulate a new strategy for sustainable development and its financing for the next fifteen years. Serbia will be working closely with the United Nations country team on the realization of the SDGs within the framework of the new Development Partnership Framework for the period 2016 to 2020 to be signed soon. The Government will adopt a report on the realization of the Millennium Development Goals. In the context of society-wide cooperation, it is expected that extensive meetings and exchanges of views with civil society, academia, business sectors and chambers of commerce will take place.


Each country has primary responsibility for the attainment of the SDGs, but sub-regional, regional and global cooperation will be indispensable to achieve success. As stated by Serbian President Nikolic at the Summit, my country is planning to organize regional consultations with its neighbouring partners on how to cooperate in the fulfilment of the SDGs .


Mr. Chairman,

The Conference on climate change to be held in Paris soon will define the Agenda, too. A global accord must be reached in Paris to limit the increase of global temperature rise to below 2ºC. This is a key prerequisite for achieving global sustainability and ensuring the future of our planet. For its part, Serbia as one of the few countries in the region has announced its intended nationally determined contribution, committing itself to reducing emissions gases by 9.8 per cent with a greenhouse effect until 2030.

While negotiating and formulating the SDGs, we have been witness another global phenomenon: a tidal wave of migrants has engulfed the shores of Europe, escaping war, destruction, poverty and desperation in search of hope and a stable future for their families. One of its main routes passes through Serbia. More than 170 thousand migrants have passed through our country this year. The people of Serbia have rendered its selfless support and showed empathy and solidarity. With the help of bilateral donors and United Nations agencies, UNHCR in particular, we have provided food, water and shelter. Notwithstanding its own economic and social challenges, as well as  44 000 refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia and over 200 000 internally displaced persons, we received and assisted the migrants with open heart. We do not believe that new walls and razor fences, for that matter, should be built in the Europe of the 21st century nor should borders be closed and transport be disrupted. We shall support a European and universal solution to this global problem that is threatening to undermine the achievement of the goals of the Agenda.


In conclusion, let me emphasize that the Second Committee, ECOSOC and the High Level Political Forum will have an exceptional task to spearhead and lead the process of the realization of the goals and targets and monitor the fulfillment of these unprecedented commitments.


Mr Chairman,

We are looking forward to working together during this session of this Committee in the weeks ahead. I trust and believe that we shall be very successful in this endeavour guided with your wise leadership. 


Thank you Mr. Chairman