Statement by H.E Mr. Abdullahi Majeed,
Minister of State for Environment and Energy of the Republic of Maldives
High Level Political Forum 2017
18 July 2017
Mr. President, Excellencies, Distinguished delegates, colleagues,
Ladies and gentlemen:
In September 2015, the world came together to adopt the new sustainable development agenda which will shape the future of our planet over the next 15 years. This ambitious agenda aims to improve the lives of millions of people, and protect the future of our planet for generations to come. Each and every goal has been crafted with precision and carries significant weight for all the nations in the world. Recognizing the importance of operationalizing and implementing these lofty goals, the Maldives is one of the countries who has taken the leadership in moving this process forward, by presenting our Voluntary National Review during this session of the High Level Political Forum. HLPF is critical in taking stock as we move into implementation and realization of goals. As this is the only official platform for monitoring the progress in the implementation of the goals, we believe that taking this initial step at an early stage was important to holistically review our efforts, and also highlight the challenges we face. My country wishes to add our voice to many others who spoke before me to ensure that HLPF pave ways for more action and resources for swift implementation of the goals.
The process of preparing our Voluntary National Review was extremely useful, and provided impetus to a significantly challenging task at our hands. It brought together all the implementing Government bodies and institutions to collectively review the progress which has been made, and also strengthened cross sectoral coordination in enhancing future efforts for achieving the targets. It helped us to identify the gaps we have in implementation, and how these can be addressed in moving forward. It has triggered a long term development plan which not only takes into account our national priorities and interests, but has also accelerated much of our work in aligning other frameworks, such the Paris Agreement, Sendai framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, SAMOA Pathway, Addis Ababa Action Agenda, contributing to the international efforts to protect the future of our planet.
Maldives as a MDG plus country, has demonstrated the willingness and ability to attain and go beyond set targets. However as a country with inherent challenges such as geographic remoteness and insularity, as well as being at the forefront of the detrimental impacts of climate change, we face the additional obstacle of having limited resources and capacity to implement these more ambitious goals and targets. Due to this, although there has been much progress and strong political will to realize these objectives, institutionalizing and translating these into concrete actions requires significant support from our development partners, the international community and the private sector as well. Therefore, we encourage and warmly welcome all cooperative initiatives, including South-South Cooperation, and partnerships which have been mobilized in line with the Samoa Pathway.
In addition to support in implementation, we also require support and capacity building in data collection and measurement, in line with the indicators for the targets. Although there are significant statistics and information already being collected, further development of data collection systems and methodologies are needed to bring it in line with the indicators, and acquire more accurate information to reflect our progress towards these goals. This process is already underway, but requires support from the UN institution, as well as other partners.
The Maldives' voluntary national review process has generated significant momentum within the country to move in the right track towards the implementation of the sustainable development goals. Therefore, we strongly encourage and recommend other countries to participate in this useful and important process as well. We also count on the full support and encouragement from the international community in this process, and assure everyone that the Maldives will continue to demonstrate leadership, and strengthen our efforts with the ambition of realizing them before 2030.
Before I conclude, I would like to commend the co-facilitators of the HLPF Ministerial Declaration for their commitment and hard work in completing the task assigned by you. We would like to assure our support and thank them for their efforts in this regard.