Georgetown, Guyana, September 25, 2015 – President David Granger said that unity of effort is essential to confront the difficult but necessary choices, which must be made to realise the goal of sustainable development. He was at the time delivering his address to world leaders at the United Nations (UN) Summit on Sustainable Development in New York.
Seeming to reference the on-going threat to Guyana’s sovereignty and peaceful relations in the region by Venezuela, President Granger said that friendship and understanding should underpin relations between states, in consonance with the principles of international law and in a renewed spirit of global solidarity and partnership.
“Guyana calls on all nations to eschew recourse to the threat, or use, of force in the resolution of controversies….Guyana will work tirelessly, in accordance with our national plans and aspirations, to build a modern, peaceful and prosperous nation, in which all citizens share equally in the benefits of development,” he assured.
The President added that countries are embarking on the new transformative 2030 ‘Agenda for Sustainable Development’ by building on the achievements and experiences nations across the globe, including Guyana, in implementing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
“We are conscious that, in doing so, the imperatives of strong and effective monitoring, full integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions and early and concrete actions to give effect to the global partnership for development, will be given particular relevance,” the President said.
President Granger informed the summit that Guyana recognises fully, that sustainable development will require high levels of political commitment and said that countries must commit to working together and with their respective peoples in order for these new goals to be achieved.
He explained that a reformed and revitalised UN development system and inter-governmental machinery, including the Economic and Social Council and the High-Level Political Forum, will be needed to exercise core functions in such a manner that will provide impetus, enable accountability and actualise course correction.
“…Guyana is of the view that the same spirit of understanding and cooperation that attended preparation of this Agenda should mark its implementation. Success will require nothing less. We have laid the basis for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda,” the Guyanese Head of State said.
With regard to financing, he said all countries, both developed and developing, will be required to play positive roles in accordance with their diverse circumstances and situations.
Reference was also made to the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, which President Granger said can provide strong impetus to efforts in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
This he said, is especially important for deliverables such as: implementing a new global social compact for the delivery of social protection and essential public services for all; increasing international cooperation in tax matters; ensuring debt sustainability; intensifying efforts to end hunger and malnutrition; bridging the critical infrastructure gaps; operationalising the technology facilitation mechanism, and employing the ECOSOC forum for the follow-up to financing for development.
President Granger also informed of Guyana’s policy is to ensure quality education and to promote lifelong opportunities for all. He said the fourth Sustainable Development Goal, which speaks to education, is the mother of all the other goals, as it is the gateway to reducing inequality and to empowering all women and girls.
“Guyana over the next five years will have, as one of its foremost priorities of national development, the provision of inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all…We must harness a spirit of understanding and cooperation to assure the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development within the next fifteen years,” the President said.
The Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved by 2030 include: ending poverty and hunger and achieving food security; health and well-being for all at every age; equitable and inclusive quality education; gender equality and empowerment; clean water and sanitation; access to affordable, sustainable, and reliable modern energy services; inclusive and sustainable economic growth and decent work for all, promotion of sustainable industrialization; reduction of inequality within and among countries; building of inclusive, safe and sustainable cities and human settlements; addressing climate change; attaining conservation and sustainable use of marine resources; protecting terrestrial ecosystems and halt all biodiversity loss; achieving peaceful and inclusive societies, rule of law, effective and capable institutions; and strengthening the means of implementation and global partnership for sustainable development.