President Paul Biya has once again advocated the need for all and sundry to put hands on deck in attaining already set sustainable development goals that would make the world a better place for all to live in. The point of view of the Cameroon’s Head of State, presented on the rostrum of the United Nations Tuesday September 26, 2023 by External Relations Minister, highlights the importance of a holistic and results-driven approach to attaining the lofty goals.
A perfect alignment with the general theme chosen for the debate at the ongoing 78th UN General Assembly in New York: “Rebuilding trust and reviving global solidarity: Accelerating action on the 2030 Agenda and its sustainable development goals in peace, prosperity and progress for all.” Indeed, the diversity of the set goals and the challenging context under which the world finds itself warrant that things be done differently, else failure would be inevitable. From eradicating poverty passing through zero hunger, health for all to gender equality and climate action, one may be tempted to ask; looking at the natural disasters and conflicts increasingly hitting the world, if it is possible for the all 191 UN member States to achieve the 17 goals with their 169 targets by 2030. But for one thing, the peace and prosperity it heralds are crucial for a promising world of shared gains. No room for error then!
Visibly, the international community is mobilising to reach a consensus on certain major issues. Examples abound: The Paris Agreement on climate change; the major agreement on the sustainable development programme launched in New York in 2015, alongside the Addis Ababa action programme on financing for development are there to show. Recently, world leaders adopted the Ottawa Framework Convention and the Marine Biodiversity Agreement. In Africa, the continent is gradually implementing its Agenda 2063 and the Agreement on the Continental Free Trade Area, in order to promote a united Africa, an Africa of peace, an Africa of security, an Africa of good governance, an Africa of shared prosperity, an Africa destined to play a major role in international relations by 2063.
Despite the efforts, President Paul Biya has reminded the world that the expected results are still slow in coming. “Among other reasons, we must recognise that action has not always followed through on promises made. By way of illustration, I would like to mention the insufficient mobilisation of resources for the implementation of the SDGs, or the failure to achieve the 0.7% target set for official development assistance despite the promises made almost 50 years ago,” he holds. The Cameroonian leader invited his peers to recognise that in some cases, the resources mobilised have either been late in coming, or have been distributed sparingly because of conditionalities. He as well castigated the so often timidity in the political will, when it is not simply absent or distorted by selfish considerations, which sometimes take preced...