The Deputy Secretary General of the UN, Jorge Moreira da Silva, warns that the The time has passed to debate sustainable development and climate change. and wait this week in New York urgent action from leaders world and not just good speeches.
“This week cannot be seen as a week of negotiation or discussion, it must be seen as a week of commitment to action,” said Moreira da Silva, speaking to Lusa from New York, where the 78th United Nations General Assembly begins this Tuesday. United. , along with the Sustainable Development Goals Summit, which ends this Tuesday, and the Climate Ambition Summit, which begins on Wednesday.
The UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNOPS (the UN agency for infrastructure construction and project management), who was sworn in in May, warned that despite the great international convergence around development sustainable and climate action and the growing mobilization of citizens and the private sector in this agenda, The world “is further away today” from achieving its goals.
“That’s why, The call we have been making is that this week world leaders bring not their best speeches, but their best commitments.”He stated, so this week once again marks “the path towards achieving” the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), financing for development – which will also have a high-level meeting on Wednesday in New York -, and the Paris Agreement, all achieved in 2015.
Moreira da Silva highlighted that, eight years after that “highlight of multilateralism” and several crises since then, the The world “not only has a problem related to speed, but even to trajectory.”
In the case of the SDGs, he mentioned that only 12% of the 17 objectives and 169 goals have been achieved or are in the process of being achieved and more than 30% are in regression and, in climate change, the goal of warming the planet Continues the temperature moving away to 1.5° Celsius compared to the pre-industrial period, between 2.7º and 2.9º, and, in the financing chapter, the gap in the needs of the poorest countries, after the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. covid-19, has closed from 2.5 billion dollars (2.3 billion euros) to 3.5 billion (2.3 billion).
Faced with this scenario, the former Portuguese Minister of Environment and Energy stated that this is not the time for new negotiations or discussions, because the necessary instruments already exist nor are additional protocols necessary, although that fear existed.
“The political declaration that has been prepared, contrary to what many of us feared, does not question the 2030 Agenda nor does it seek to reinvent the wheel,” according to the UN Deputy Secretary General.
On the contrary, there is a consensus that the recent crises of the war in Ukraine, the increase in inflation and, before that, the pandemic do not serve as an excuse to postponebut to accelerate the fight against the increase in inequalities, poverty, the impact of climate change and migratory and refugee flows “and that is the positive part.”
At the climate summit on Wednesday, Moreira da Silva even hopes that it will not be necessary to wait for COP28, in the United Arab Emirates in November, and that in New York some heads of State and Government will unilaterally announce new commitments and new objectives so, in two months, we will be talking about more detailed implementation plans.
The UN leader hopes that the General Assembly, which begins this Tuesday with the expected presence of Volodomyr Zelensky, president of Ukraine, have as a backdrop the conflicts and not only the one unleashed by the Russian invasion of Ukrainian territory in 2022, but also “a very significant set” of others that began at the national level and became sources of regional instability.
Therefore, this General Assembly must also be seen as the Secretary General of the United Nations. [António Guterres] has said, as a reaffirmation of a new agenda for peace, based on prevention and not remediation,” he said,
However, Jorge Moreira da Silva understands that, although the war in Ukraine is unavoidable in the discussions, it is important not only to support Kiev in the reconstruction, but also to ensure that this support is additional to the effort that has been made with the countries Developing.
We are not at a stage where it is possible to have a zero-sum logic where, to support Ukraine, we have to stop supporting Africa or, to support Africa, we cannot support Ukraine. Basically, we need more generosity, more solidarity, more international cooperation to prevent crises,” he argued.
On this path, he sees 2023 as a way to relaunch with “more vitality” what he calls “an operation to rescue a notable agenda” approved in 2015 and that “can in no way be paused, under penalty of It is already too late to stop.” climate change and the worsening of poverty and inequalities at a global level.”