UN Country Team & Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister’s Department, Malaysia Joint Launch Of Post-2015 National ConsultationsJul 2, 2014
Mr Haoliang Xu
UN Assistant Secretary-General,
Chair of the UN Development Group Asia-Pacific, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director, Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific
Swiss Garden Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
Mr. Nik Azman Nik Abdul Majid, Deputy Director General of the Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister’s Department;
Ms. Michelle-Gyles McDonnough, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam, and UNFPA Representative for Malaysia;
Members of the United Nations Country Team;
Ladies and gentlemen,
Selamat pagi (Good morning).
It is an honour and a privilege for me to join with such a diverse group of stakeholders of the development process - Government, civil society, non-governmental organisations, academics, and the private sector.
With the target date for the MDGs approaching, and with negotiations on post-2015 well under way, this consultation is timely. Therefore, I would like to thank the Economic Planning Unit of the government of Malaysia and the United Nations Country Team for organising this important consultation.
The convening of this national consultation is in keeping with the UN Secretary-General’s vision and efforts, as mandated by UN member states, to have the most inclusive and participatory consultations, involving all stakeholders, to advance the global development framework to succeed the Millennium Development Goals.
In 2013, almost two million people engaged in sharing their priorities for the future development agenda through an initiative organized by the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) in 88 countries, and through 11 thematic consultations and a global survey, MY World. The results of workshops, interviews and online and offline polls are available in the report “A Million Voices: The World We Want”.
The findings of the global conversation contain important messages for us. One clear message is that we should not ignore the unfinished business of the MDGs. We are up against timelines. With fewer than 600 days to the 2015 target date, accelerating MDG progress is a big priority for us all. While the MDGs have been successful in galvanizing action for improving the lives of many hundreds of millions of people, significant gaps and challenges remain. We must do everything we can to achieve the MDGs by the end of 2015.
Another clear concern is persistent inequality. People talked about the need to end continuing disparities between men and women, between rural areas and urban areas, among different ethnic groups, and between the rich and the poor.
This feedback is broadly consistent with the important report of the Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Post-2015 and on-going deliberations of the UN Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals. The common ground in these wide-ranging consultations far outweighs any differences.
The emerging sketches of a new agenda are becoming obvious. It is likely to be based on sustainable development principles focusing on economic growth, social justice and environmental stewardship. It is likely to be bold in ambition yet simple in design, supported by a new partnership for development. It will be universal in nature yet responsive to the complexities, needs and capacities of individual countries.
Recently the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) launched another round of consultations on the Post-2015 development agenda in 50 countries, focusing on the implementation issues. The consultations will focus on identifying solutions and strategies for increased efficiency and effectiveness in development results delivery around the following six thematic areas:
- Localizing the post-2015 development agenda
- Helping to strengthen capacities and institutions
- Participatory Monitoring for Accountability
- Partnerships with civil society and other actors
- Engaging with the Private Sector
- Culture and development
This discussion in Malaysia is part of such global consultations. The findings from this and other national consultations will be presented to the UN Member States during their negotiations of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Post-2015 Agenda.
I am pleased to inform that the UN Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals has recently released its zero Draft of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the Post 2015 Agenda. The zero draft proposes 17 SDGs to be attained by 2030, as well as associated targets. The document states that “poverty eradication is the greatest global challenge facing the world today and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.” It also recognizes sustainable consumption and production (SCP) and natural resource management and protection as essential requirements for sustainable development.
The zero draft also reaffirms Member States commitment to previous goals from the Rio Declaration on the Environment, Agenda 21, the Barbados Programme for Action, Istanbul Programme for Action, the New Partnership for Africa's Development, among others. Furthermore, the zero draft is guided by the principles of the UN Charter, promoting the importance for recognition of human rights, security, peace, and freedom.
The list of proposed 17 SDGs to be attained by 2030 are as follows:
- End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
- End hunger, achieve food security and adequate nutrition for all, and promote sustainable agriculture.
- Attain healthy life for all at all ages.
- Provide equitable and inclusive quality education and life-long learning opportunities for all.
- Attain gender equality, empower women and girls everywhere.
- Secure water and sanitation for all for a sustainable world.
- Ensure access to affordable, sustainable, and reliable modern energy services for all.
- Promote strong, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and decent work for all.
- Promote sustainable industrialization.
- Reduce inequality within and among countries.
- Build inclusive, safe and sustainable cities and human settlements.
- Promote sustainable consumption and production patterns.
- Promote actions at all levels to address climate change.
- Attain conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, oceans and seas.
- Protect and restore terrestrial ecosystems and halt all biodiversity loss.
- Achieve peaceful and inclusive societies, rule of law, effective and capable institutions.
- Strengthen and enhance the means of implementation and global partnership for sustainable development.
With this list of proposed 17 SDGs from the UN Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, it is appropriate that this meeting in Malaysia will discuss specific ideas, proposals and innovative solutions on how to ensure effective implementation of the ambitious set of proposed 17 SDGs to be attained by 2030.
With this broad guidance to countries, Malaysia has chosen to focus its national consultations on “Strengthening Capacities and Building Effective Institutions”. It is from this that our theme today of the “Malaysia We Want: How Can Our Institutions Help Us Achieve This?” has emerged.
This, to me, is an excellent framing to drive the conversation in Malaysia, particularly as it forces one to take ownership of the process of achieving the Malaysia you want, as a contribution to shaping the word we all want.
The post-2015 initiatives in Malaysia consists of online and social media engagement via a post-2015 UN Malaysia microsite; face-to-face discussions with vulnerable groups; and the three national consultations with a wide range of stakeholders, beginning here in Kuala Lumpur, and to be followed by Sarawak and Sabah next week and the following.
These country level consultations are not only important to help your government formulate its position around the next global agenda, but also provide the opportunity to inform and influence the work of the Economic Planning Unit and other government Ministries in crafting the 11th Malaysia Plan for the crucial five remaining years in the nation’s journey towards achieving its Vision 2020.
It is an auspicious moment for Malaysia to simultaneously think through and impact national and global development goals and targets and to ensure that national priorities and actions for the 11th Malaysia Plan will be in synergy with the country’s international post-2015 commitments.
In addition, the feedback received from all of you engaged in this process will provide valuable input to the formulation of a proposed UN Strategic Partnership Framework between the UN Country Team together and the Government of Malaysia to drive and shape a coherent and cohesive UN system response to supporting Malaysia in realising its aspirations as a high income, highly developed and happy nation, with firm anchors in its regional community of ASEAN, and the international community of nations.
I urge you, as you look beyond to a future that is resilient and sustainable in the long run, to delve deeply into the kinds of capacities and institutions, the interactions and the integration across sectors that would be required in order to achieve that vision.
This unique and open space that has been created with a methodology that enables all voices to be heard, is an opportunity for you to contribute your ideas and perspectives, and your recommendations and solutions for a shared future “where no one is left behind”.
I take this opportunity to renew on behalf of the UN system our commitment and support to the government of Malaysia and its people in achieving the aspirations for the world and the Malaysia you want.
With that, I declare the post-2015 national consultations officially launched, with our partners, the Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister’s Department.