(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Former secretary general of the United Nations and president of the Global Green Growth Institute Ban Ki-Moon has called the UAE 'a good example' for initiation of good administration for integrating Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in its leadership.
Speaking at a high- level panel titled 'SDGs in Action 2019' at the 7th World Government Summit (WGS) on Sunday, February 10, the 8th secretary general of the UN praised UAE for becoming a 'solar powered state' from an oil-based economy.
"However, these kinds of best practices must be shared so that we can minimize the challenges (of achieving SDGs)," said Ban Ki-Moon. He added, "When it comes to global issues, leadership is absolutely crucial. Good leadership helps in the formulation of policies and this can only be done at the top-most level."
Given that most countries live in different circumstances and political leaders may have different priorities, the highest level political and business community leaders need a clear vision in effectively implementing the SDGs. He said that the United Nations may have outlined the goals, however, it becomes the responsibility of individual countries to adopt them
The United Nations SDGs are a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 2015. The SDGs are part of Resolution 70/1 of UNGA: 'Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development'.
Other speakers in the session were Henry Puna, Prime Minister of the Cook Islands and Mara Fernanda Espinosa Garcs, president of the UN General Assembly. Joining them were Achim Steiner, administrator, UNDP and Mahmoud Mohieldin, senior vice president, World Bank Group.
President of UNGA Espinosa said achieving SDGs are a shared responsibility and collective obligation of governments. She strongly advocated the need to relieve the global community of inequality. Espinosa said, "We need 600 million jobs by 2030, and that is a major macro-economic challenge." She criticized Latin American countries for being unequal in their policies. "My country (Ecuador) has a gold medal in inequality. It is one of the wealthiest continents. But people continue to be hungry."
Meanwhile, Mohieldin, the senior VP of the World Bank Group urged SDGs are made a major part of the business and private sector. He also said that countries must have their budgets based on SGSs at a microeconomic level. He said, "The financial sector, both public and private, need to be aligned with the SDGs."
Prime Minister Puna said political stability aids economic growth. Quoting the example of the Cook Islands, Puna said his country's economy has been booming. "People are sharing in the benefits of strong economic growth Furthermore, localisation of SDGs is also very critical," he said. Adding a personal touch to SDG targets, Achim Steiner with the UNDP said SDGs need to be a personal responsibility in order to commit to it in the long term and achieve them.
Dhanusha Gokulan Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person, and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics, and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling, and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88