Ban Urges Speedy Implementation as Session Meets on UN Sustainability Agenda

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Abimbola Akosile

The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has underlined the importance of devising creative and coherent approaches in linking the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development as world leaders continue to work towards successfully implementing the UN development agenda.

Speaking at the opening of a three-day segment on promoting integration of the three pillars of sustainable development that began Monday in the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at UN Headquarters in New York, the UN chief said “Now is the time for implementation”.

“We now have a set of goals and targets that form the basis for a coherent, integrated and indivisible approach to eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development. We must pursue the goals with their complementarity and inter-linkages in mind, and with the aim of breaking down silos and avoiding one-size-fits-all solutions,” Ban said.
Noting that the meeting was the first such gathering since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development this past year, the Secretary-General said it also follows other landmark conferences and agreements on disaster risk reduction, financing for development, and climate change.

“This Integration Segment focuses on the importance of implementation through policy innovation and integration. It is a reminder that we will have to be creative in linking the three dimensions of sustainable development,” Ban said, referring to the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability.

In particular, the Secretary-General said the financing requirements to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are “enormous,” stressing that mobilising these resources will be a significant challenge, particularly at a time of continued economic uncertainty and financial constraints.

For its part, the inaugural Forum on Financing for Development two weeks ago had sent a clear message that the full realisation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda remains “a matter of urgency,” the UN chief said.

“We must strive to continually assess challenges of integration – whether they are policy and institutional questions, capacity or technological gaps or questions in programming and financing,” he said.

Ban also emphasised that the UN system would do its “utmost to fully support” Member States in transitioning to a sustainable development path, including in setting priorities, planning, implementing and assessing progress.
“We must ensure that actions at every level are concerted and coherent. In doing so, we have to work with all partners towards common country support objectives. Our aim to ‘deliver as one’ is finding broader translation in the way we work with all partners,” he said.