(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Joel Johnson |
Doha, Qatar: During the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Qatar received widespread acclaim for its impactful role at the pivotal SDG Summit and commitment to building robust partnerships on the political, humanitarian, and development fronts particularly with crisis-hit and underprivileged economies, offering them necessary resources and support.
Dr. Biplove Choudhary, the head of Qatar's Office at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in an exclusive podcast conversation with The Peninsula, highlighted Qatar's proactive role in championing multilateralism and its steadfast commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The strategic leadership, vision, and presence of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and His Excellency Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman bin Jassim Al Thani, at the SDG Summit in New York, is a testament to Qatar's valued partnership with the UN and its emphasis on the SDGs, he stressed.
The Peninsula · Qatar's strategic leadership at the UN SDG Summit widely acknowledged and appreciated
Significantly, the UN entrusted both Qatar and Ireland with the responsibility of leading consultations on the Political Declaration of the SDG Summit. H E Permanent Representatives and Ambassadors, Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al Thani of Qatar and Fergal Mythen of Ireland adeptly managed this critical role and steered the process brilliantly', Dr. Choudhary said.
Speaking on the UNDP's significant and growing partnership with the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) led by H E Khalifa Jassim Al Kuwari, and MoFA, Dr. Choudhary spotlighted an overall multi-dimensional partnership strategy, centered on the 'future of development' working across the 170 countries where UNDP operates in.
The Accelerator Labs initiative, a key flagship and highly successful initiative of UNDP backed by Qatar and Germany is fully operational in 115 countries to reimagine development and accelerate innovatively the attainment of SDGs. Qatar also supports UNDP's core resources, augmenting UNDP's institutional capacity to respond to countries' crises in an agile manner, he said.
This year's UNGA session revolved around the theme of 'Rebuilding Trust and Reigniting Global Solidarity.' A concerning revelation from Dr. Choudhary was that“only 15 percent of the SDG targets set for 2030 are on track to be realised”. He also noted that while lack of progress is universal, developing countries and poor economies are most severely off track, with widening SDG financing gaps as a major hurdle to get the SDGs back on track.
He expressed that the most vulnerable global populations are trapped grappling with the repercussions of multiple crises and shocks, from the Ukraine war and food shortages to the lingering after-effects of the COVID 19 pandemic and climate change. Quoting from UNDP's latest SDG Insights Reports, drawn from 95 countries, he noted that these hurdles have redirected nations towards more carbon intensive and less inclusive futures, causing them to veer away from the SDGs.
Echoing the sentiments of UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner, he highlighted the disparity between the 'development we want' world's aspiration for green, sustainable development and the prevailing 'growth we get' tilt towards unsustainable debt and resource-intensive practices.
Yet, Dr. Choudhary remains optimistic, viewing the SDG Summit as a beacon of hope and a compass for the future. With global assets tallying over $450 trillion, he reiterated UNDP Administrator's views that SDG financing issue is very much solvable and that redirecting a mere 1 percent (approximately $3 trillion annually) could effectively address the SDGs and climate goals across developing countries, with China being an exception.
In conclusion, Dr. Choudhary emphasised the UNDP's future collaborations with Qatar, spotlighting partnerships with entities like the QFFD, Planning and Statistics Authority, Education Above All, and Silatech. The anticipated Annual Strategic Dialogue around the Doha Forum is set to further strengthen and elevate this strategic partnership.
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