Thank you, Madame President.
The UAE aligns itself with the statement delivered by the representative of Egypt on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
In our national capacity, we are optimistic about, but also concerned with the results reported this year in the Secretary General’s SDG Progress Report. For instance, while renewable energy has become the cheapest energy source in a large and diverse number of countries, some 1 billion people remain without electricity and over 3 billion people are without clean cooking solutions. This lack of progress is an alarming sign for the SDGs. As we know from our own domestic experience, meaningful poverty eradication and economic growth depend on affordable, reliable energy.
But energy access is not the only area identified this year as lagging behind. Biodiversity and water are also demonstrably “off track” in many regards. Despite the startling nature of these statistics, it remains unclear what formal action will be taken in response to them by either Member States or the UN.
The HLPF – as part of its review and reporting function – is meant to identify bottlenecks in implementation. We therefore encourage the UN to be more explicit about proposing ways to address gaps in SDG implementation, as well as for the HLPF to focus on our collective responses to these challenges. In particular, the UN agencies are well suited to articulate strategies to address the implementation gaps – especially through mechanisms like UN Energy, UN Water, or UN Transport.
That said, we are encouraged that the repositioning of the UN Development System will help to provide a more coherent response to HLPF findings. Action must occur at country-level, so having an empowered Resident Coordinator who translates the UN Development Assistance Framework and national SDG indicators into explicit requests for support back into the full UN system will enable UN resources to more efficiently address national needs. The UAE government is pleased to announce that it has made the early decision to provide predictable, multi-year funding to the dedicated Trust Fund that has been set up to support implementation of the new RC system on the ground through the provision of USD 500,000 per year until 2030. The UAE recognizes that a strong and well-funded RC system will be a linchpin for the overall reform of the UN development system and we therefore encourage all other potential donors to heed the call of the Secretary-General and contribute generously to the funding of the RC system.
Before closing, let me also state how pleased the UAE is to see the Secretary-General stepping into the new arena of technological cooperation for development, which we believe can accelerate SDG implementation. The UAE welcomes the Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation and its focus on public-private consensus. We look forward to the findings of the Panel among others on how we can work better together to amplify the potential of technology for Sustainable Development, leaving no one behind.