Tuesday, 3 May 2016

UN will be judged by its SDGs success in 2030 - Envoy

Amb. Sven Jurgenson, Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), says the UN would be judged by what it achieved with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

Jurgenson made this known in New York at a meeting organised by the ECOSOC on the 2016 Integration Segment: Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through policy innovation and integration.

``Implementation of the 2030 agenda is the process that allows us to move from a promise made to a promise kept,” he stressed.

``Moving from commitments to results”, he said the Integration Segment must accomplish three goals.
``First, it has to offer a platform for all stakeholders to discuss opportunities and challenges around innovative, integrated policymaking.

``Secondly, it must offer policy recommendations to guide implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; and third, it has to underline the Council’s role as a platform for dialogue on lessons learned," he said.

He said that translating the agenda into national policies and strategies in an integrated, inclusive manner would not be easy adding that every country was faced with special challenges, requiring contextualised policy solutions.

He explained further that policy integration offered a “rich tool-box” for creating links among the different goals and breaking down silos that had hindered progress.

Through policy integration, he said, countries could achieve balanced and ideally, “win-win-win” outcomes across the three dimensions of sustainable development.

In those efforts, he said, the Council served as a unifying platform for the Agenda, convening the high-level political forum, among various others.

The ECOSOC system, he said, is the main vehicle for promoting policy integration.

In his contribution, Taavi Roivas, Prime Minister of Estonia, said reaching the 2030 Agenda would leave the world a better place, with the environment preserved, economies stronger and human rights better protected.

Roivas said, as 2016 was the first year to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals, the first step must be to create ownership of the 2030 Agenda.

He said that each country and organization should consider what it could do to implement it.

For its part, he added that Estonia was mapping its existing strategies and plans against the Goals, aiming to identify inconsistencies and areas for improvement.

The prime minister said Estoppel would be among the first countries to present its findings in the high-level political forum in July.
``Indeed, planning must be comprehensive, requiring an integrated policy framework that should consider all contributions and possible trade-offs.

``Innovation would be essential, as potentially the most important trigger for making the Agenda a reality.
``The challenges and objectives were complex and ambitious, and if business-as-usual had worked, the new Agenda would not be needed," he said.

Estonia, he added, was an example of how innovation, digital technology and public-private partnerships could deliver development.

Indeed, he said, building an advanced digital Government and serving as the birthplace of Skype had given Estonia an active start-up scene.

``Digitisation had made both the public and private sectors efficient.

``E-Government solutions had saved time and money and lowered the barriers for participating in Government services.

``For example, when people started a company, they did it online in 20 minutes, with all reporting and tax declarations fully and only handled digitally.

``The time saved can then be invested in growing a business," he said.

He said Estonia also was the first and only country to offer online elections, giving people the practical possibility to participate, which in turn, meant more democracy.

``In addition, you cannot bribe a computer", he said, noting that Estonia also was among the least corrupt countries in the European Union.

Going forward, he said giving people a secure digital identity would be a first step towards achieving the Goals.

Secondly, he said, risk should be managed, not made an excuse for not doing enough.

Thirdly, he said, there should be more innovation based on sharing what worked in terms of policy design and delivery, an area where multilateral institutions should support capacity-building or technology transfer.
He said finally that governments must start operating more like start-ups.