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The UK is focusing on Finance, Climate, Technology and Gender to accelerate the SDGs: UK statement at UN Second Committee

Mr Chair,

The United Kingdom welcomes your appointment and looks forward to working with you and the Second Committee bureau. During UNGA High-Level Week, our Leaders came together to renew our commitment to Agenda 2030. Worryingly, we heard that while progress has been made, most Sustainable Development Goals are off-track, with targets on climate, environment, gender, poverty reduction and hunger most at-risk. 

As the Secretary-General emphasised, the SDG Summit Political Declaration provides a 7-year road map: we must target our policies and investments on enabling accelerated progress across the Goals, and towards countries, and people, furthest behind. As Second Committee discussions begin, I want to focus my statement on finance, climate, technology and gender. 

Firstly, we need a bigger, better and fairer international financial system. The UK supports reform of the Multilateral Development Banks, enabling the release of over $200 billion of additional finance over the next ten years and the creation of a more resilient and sustainable international financial architecture that better mobilises private investment. This also means improved inclusivity and the voice of the poorest and most vulnerable. We are also committed to stopping illicit financial flows – including through the City of London – which divert vital domestic resources away from developing countries. 

Secondly, as we approach COP28, we will continue to work with the UAE and others to maintain focus on the goals of the Paris Agreement and Glasgow Climate Pact. We need to redouble efforts to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C, cut emissions, transition to renewable energy, and protect at least 30% of land and oceans by 2030.  We also support the operationalisation of a Loss and Damage Fund that delivers for the most vulnerable, has a broad range of contributors, and is coordinated with other funds. Following this year’s Sendai Framework review, we must mainstream disaster risk reduction across our work during this session. The recent catastrophes in Pakistan, Morocco and Libya offer stark reminders of the fragility of progress. 

Thirdly, the UK is committed to ensuring science, evidence and data underpin action to accelerate the SDGs. We are committed to open and equal science partnerships with developing countries. Indeed, as our Deputy Prime Minister set out during High-Level Week, as one example, we must work together to properly harness, in an inclusive manner, the innovations presented by Artificial Intelligence in regards to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Finally, I want to emphasise the UK’s continued commitment to achieving progressive outcomes for women and girls during this committee season, at the very least in line with previously agreed commitments. As we continue to grapple with climate change, increased poverty and rising hunger, as well as recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we must focus our attention on the new and existing challenges that women and girls continue to face. 

Mr Chair, to conclude, during the 78th session of this committee, we must maintain the spirit of partnership and focus that created the SDGs. We ensure the financing and investment to deliver them and, in so doing, leave no-one behind. You can count on our support. 

Thank you.

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