"In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful,
Mr. António Guterres,
Secretary-General of the United Nations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my utmost pleasure to participate with you in today’s meeting, which is being held at a pivotal moment that the world is witnessing. This reasserts the importance that our countries attach to enhancing efforts to realize development, especially the Sustainable Development Goals that the international community approved and accepted as a comprehensive framework to achieve the welfare and prosperity of their peoples over this decade until 2030.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our success in realizing the Sustainable Development Goals has gained increasing importance more than any time, particularly during this critical international condition, which compels us to counter extremely difficult international challenges. The coronavirus pandemic has also added to these challenges unprecedented dimensions that affected all our countries.
In addition to the challenges that are related to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, increasing growth rates, eliminating poverty and providing jobs, as well as the complicated political situation in many parts of the world, climate change and its negative consequences on the availability of water and food security as well as the threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic on the international economic, health and social conditions have all become daily challenges that we must address in a comprehensive and sustainable way in order to preserve the fruits of development yielded over the past decades.
In this regard, I would like to confirm a few key points:
The events that the world has experienced over the course of the past two years proved the inevitability of dealing with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its goals from a comprehensive approach that takes into consideration the overlap between the various economic and social fields addressed by the goals.
This approach also seeks to realize the utmost benefit from the cooperation opportunities to fund development offered by the Sustainable Development Agenda, whether within the multilateral framework or at the bilateral level with development partners, including countries, financial institutions and international banks. This is while considering the priorities of countries and safeguarding their national ownership of their policies and development programs.
Stemming from this importance, Egypt has been keen at an early time to localize the Sustainable Development Goals and integrate them in their development programs and policies at all levels. This effort culminated in the adoption of “Egypt Vision 2030” as an inclusive framework of the State’s efforts in this field. Egypt also rushed to submit its voluntary national reports on implementing the Sustainable Development Goals, the latest of which was the third Voluntary National Report submitted at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in July 2021.
This emerges out of Egypt’s conviction to review progress made at the national level, especially with regard to creating a national environment that supports achieving development, as well as the positive developments of implementing the social and economic reform program. This also stems from Egypt’s keenness to exchange expertise and experiences in this regard.
Egypt has realized from the onset that the aim of any effort exerted by the State to achieve development is the citizen. Therefore, it has devised its development programs and policies and placed the interest of the Egyptian citizen at the core, so as to achieve his ambitions and respond to his aspirations for decent living, housing and employment.
This vision was crystalized in the Decent Life Initiative that I was honored to launch recently. It is considered one of the most ambitious and comprehensive development programs. The initiative works on achieving sustainable development, including the Egyptian countryside, where the majority of the Egyptian population resides, in a way that enhances the State’s efforts to achieve balanced regional development and mobilize the necessary investment to improve citizen’s quality of life, in addition to eliminating poverty and reducing unemployment rates.
The success that Egypt has been able to achieve at those levels over the past years has been the result of sacrifices, through which the Egyptian citizen endured difficulties for the sake of building his nation and achieving his legitimate aspirations and goals. Egypt continues to take firm steps, in spite of all the challenges, toward the implementation of its ambitious economic reform program that it started in 2016 in cooperation with the International Monetary Fund, the results of which proved to date Egypt’s vision right with regard to the priorities and demands of the economic reform, and it has been widely attested by international financial institutions and credit rating agencies. It has also enabled the Egyptian economy to endure the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and allowed the government to take the necessary measures to alleviate its negative effects.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am confident that our deliberations today and their outcome will contribute to supporting the efforts of our countries to implement the Sustainable Development Goals and to find creative solutions to the obstacles that face people-to-people international cooperation, particularly receding official development aid and the resulting financing gap that developing and least developed countries, especially African countries, face.
In this regard, we look forward to continuing engagement in this significant international effort, leading to the achievement of our common goals towards a better future for the coming generations.