In the course of his speech at the UN Sustainable Development Summit, President Petro Poroshenko emphasized that there would be no sustainable development without peace and freedom. According to him, one must tackle existing challenges and implement Post-2015 Development Agenda goals jointly in order to ensure a success of the humankind on the path towards progress.
“The far-reaching Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets, which we declare at today’s historic Summit, open up new horizons for humanity and lay down the foundations for sustainable development of our planet for the next fifteen years,” the Head of State said noting the transparency of the preparatory process that culminated in the Post-2015 Development Framework. According to him, more than 25 thousand Ukrainians took part in the global consultations, having expressed their own vision of the SDGs.
“Working hard to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were set up fifteen years ago, our countries have considerably changed lives of millions of people worldwide,” the President noted. As for Ukraine, it managed to reduce threefold the poverty rates (before the Russian aggression), improve the maternal health system, almost halve child mortality, reduce HIV/AIDS incidence rates and make progress in combating tuberculosis. “We keep on working to fulfill our commitments on MDGs related to improving the quality of education, promoting gender equality, and ensuring environmental sustainability,” Petro Poroshenko said.
The President is confident that strengthening universal peace and promoting larger freedom should become a driving and unifying force behind our collective efforts towards achieving the SDGs. “Ukraine’s bitter experience reveals that peace and freedom are principal pre-conditions for achieving the SDGs. Sustainable development is not achievable where explosions are heard and peaceful people are killed. It is not achievable where aggressive ideologies advocating suppression of some nations by other nations reign and key human rights and freedoms are violated,” the President noted.
The Head of State emphasized that Russia’s military actions against Ukraine had also increased environmental and epidemiological threats, as well as the risks of the social exclusion. “The external aggression has led to the emergence of a new form of poverty – sudden or unexpected poverty – that affects lives of about 1.5 million of internally displaced persons in Ukraine. Each day of the war in Donbas costs us around 5 million US dollars that we could have invested into sustainable development,” Petro Poroshenko stressed.
However, Ukraine continues to implement reforms. “I would like to assure all of you that to achieve the SDGs at the national level, Ukraine will implement new programs and projects which are deemed to ensure in practice macroeconomic stability, environmental balance and social cohesion. The SDGs will serve as an overarching framework for further transformation in Ukraine, including in the context of implementation of the “Strategy – 2020”,” the President said.
The President believes it is high time for the United Nations to address the issue of protection of environment in conflicts. “In the environmental dimension we have to act vigorously to prevent threats provoked by climate change and degradation of the environment,” the Head of State noted. In addition, implementing new, expanded models of scientific and technical cooperation between UN Member States, in particular establishing a universal mechanism for technology transfer, is a key to bridging many gaps in sustainable development.
The President assured that Ukraine was willing to actively participate in the resolution of topical global problems. “I am convinced that working hand in hand and implementing our Post-2015 Development Agenda goals, as well as jointly tackling existing challenges, we will ensure a success of the humankind on the path towards progress,” Petro Poroshenko emphasized.