Addressing unbalanced and inadequate development to achieve SDGs – Focus on Asia

The United Nations acknowledged that unbalanced development is a threat to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Achim Steiner, Head of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (USG DESA) Liu Zhenmin and Permanent Representative Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu of China opened a session today at the UN on the need to pursue balanced approaches to development.

The Speaker of Parliament, Honourable Jiko Luveni participated in the event accompanied by the Permanent Representative of Fiji to the United Nations, Ambassador Dr. Satyendra Prasad.

Administrator Steiner noted that more concentrated focus on small, landlocked countries needs to be made.  He said that partnerships between Government of China, UNDP and DESA were allowing the UNDP to support such states. He said that SDGs fundamentally challenged the way governments do business. Governments need to get much better at internal collaboration if they are to deliver on SDGs.

Ambassador Ma said that China had a lot to offer to developing world in approaches to poverty reduction and in reducing disparities between and across regions within the countries. This is important for stability and growth. This approach is critical for achieving SDGs globally.

The Speaker of Fiji’s Parliament spoke of the important role and function that Parliaments play in scrutinising SDG progress. Honourable Dr. Luveni thanked the UNDP for support to the parliamentary strengthening programs.

Honourable Dr. Luveni emphasized the critical role that the parliament will play in developing the Voluntary National Reviews next year.  She said that inequality and regional disparity in opportunities including between men and women needs to be systematically addressed across the world. ‘The Fiji Government is working on this with great urgency”. The parliamentary committee are very engaged in this process.

Head of DESA said that UN system needs to provide coherent and joined up support to islands and landlocked countries if the SDGs are to be achieved.