President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Remarks at the Sustainable Development Goals Summit, UN General Assembly, New York, USA, 18 September 2023
President of the UN General Assembly, Amb Dennis Francis,
UN Secretary-General, Mr António Guterres,
This is a vital Summit that must revive and accelerate progress towards the fulfilment of the promises we made to the peoples of the world in 2015.
The world’s poorest and most vulnerable people are carrying the cost of our collective inability to significantly advance the Sustainable Development Goals.
We therefore need urgent action to reverse the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on development.
We need to step up actions against climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss. At the same time, we must recognise that every country has the right to pursue its own development pathway towards shared global objectives.
National efforts to eradicate poverty require a conducive international environment.
There is an urgent need to transform the global financial architecture.
In the face of growing protectionism, we need to ensure a fair, rules-based and multilateral global trade system that gives developing economies equal access to world markets.
South Africa welcomes the important steps taken to address the impact of the current global economic crises on low- and middle-income countries through the mobilisation of additional financial resources for the 2030 Agenda, debt restructuring and concessional and grant financing to reduce poverty and hunger.
South Africa joins the call to address the fundamental development challenges that have long characterised our unequal world.
This requires targeted investment, technology transfer and capacity building support, especially in key areas such as industrialisation, infrastructure, agriculture, water, energy, education and health.
It will also require predictable and sustained financial support, including supportive trade policies, from the international community
Ultimately, the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals depends on the fundamental reform of global social, economic and political relations.
I thank you.
Issued by: The Presidency