Statement by Ambassador Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations in the Second Committee on Sustainable Development (Agenda Item 20 a)
(15 October 2018)

Mr. Chairman,

Let me begin by aligning my delegation with the statement delivered by Egypt on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

Mr. Chairman,

We have just entered the fourth year of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), which is responsible for the follow-up and review of the Agenda and its SDGs, has so far conducted three review processes under the auspices of ECOSOC.

The forum has already reviewed progress of 12 Goals and a large number of countries have also presented their national voluntary reviews.

These reviews have demonstrated that progress has been made, both at the national and international level. However, these reviews also underlined that we are still far from achieving our objectives.

The prevailing global economic and financial environment does not appear to be conducive for achieving the ambitious goals and targets of the 2030 agenda.

We see an erosion in global partnership and cooperative engagements, restraints on access to international financial resources and most importantly a waning of global political will.

As we are completing the first four year review cycle of the Agenda, we must acknowledge that a structured and systemic approach anchored in a cooperative spirit, an enabling international environment and availability of matching resources, remain critical to achieve this ambitious agenda.

At the same time, this demands the same level of enthusiasm and political commitment that was demonstrated at the time of formulating and adopting this framework of action.

Mr. Chairman,

In Pakistan, we have mainstreamed the 2030 Agenda into our national development policies and action plans.

The priorities of the new Government in Pakistan are fully aligned with the objectives and the aspirations of the 2030 Agenda while addressing all the three dimensions of sustainable development.

Revitalizing the economy, youth employment, sustainable housing, institutional reforms, universal access to health services and education, ensuring food, energy and water security, access to clean drinking water and sanitation are some of the top priority areas of the new government

Pakistan will also be submitting its national voluntary review during the 2019 HLPF.

The HLPF under the auspices of the General Assembly next year will offer a unique opportunity to recalibrate the 2030 implementation pathway with a view to accelerate progress. We will actively engage with the process.

Mr. Chairman,

No nation, however large or small, wealthy or poor, can escape the impact of climate change. This is the single biggest challenge the world faces today.

For developing countries, it is an even a greater challenge. Not only are they more vulnerable but are also least equipped to deal with it.

For example, Pakistanís carbon footprint is minimal. Yet it is among the most climate vulnerable countries in the world.

Pakistan is a signatory of Paris Agreement and remains fully committed to achieve its objectives.

Climate Change and reforestation is high on the agenda of Pakistanís new government.

The government has now launched a new campaign for plantation of 10 billion trees during the next five years.

Global commitment and actions are however, vital for achievement of climate related goals. We hope commitments by partners both in terms of finances and capacity are met.

As the main delivery mechanism for financial support, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) remains of pivotal importance in this regard. Commitments made by the developed countries towards the fund must be fulfilled.

We look forward to the next Conference of Parties in Katowice, and hope for early conclusion of negotiations on the modalities of the Paris Agreement.

We believe disaster prone developing countries, face specific challenges and need particular attention in view of their higher vulnerability and risk levels.

The Climate Summit scheduled next year in New York should be able to revitalize the political will to address climate change, reaffirm the pledges and commitments made under the Paris Agreement, in particular meeting the financial obligations of the developed countries.

Mr. Chairman,

Energy is a key enabler for development.

Access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy is one of my countryís key priorities.

Pakistan enacted its Energy Efficiency Bill in 2016 to promote energy efficiency.

Keeping in view our future energy demands, we look forward to participating in sustainable energy projects, both globally and regionally.

Mr. Chairman,

Let me conclude by saying that full realization of our shared ambitions for sustainable development is challenging but achievable. We can only do this together, and each one of us will all have to play our part to accomplish that.

Thank you.