Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Pres. Aquino congratulates UN Chief for adoption of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

President Benigno S. Aquino III on Sunday (Nov. 22) commended United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for the successful adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In his intervention speech during the 7th ASEAN-UN Summit held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, President Aquino said the 2030 Agenda, as well as the ASEAN Vision 2025, should serve as a guide to the future of the ASEAN-UN Comprehensive Partnership.

“On behalf of the Filipino people, I congratulate UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon for the successful adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Such goals serve as our social contract to our peoples and to future citizens of our region,” he said.

The Agenda, which aims to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030, was adopted by world leaders during the UN Sustainable Development Summit last September.

“Towards this end, the Philippines believes that the direction of our future ASEAN-UN Comprehensive Partnership should be guided by the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Truly, our community has looked beyond the immediate future, towards a more dynamic, resilient, and prosperous ASEAN for the coming generations,” President Aquino said.

“The hard work we collectively undertake today is laying the groundwork for development that meaningfully addresses our shared challenges, which oftentimes stand as obstacles to the advancement of emerging societies such as our own,” he added.

One such challenge is climate risk, the President said, noting that the Philippines, which is in the process of building back better, is no stranger to the plight of island nations threatened by rising sea levels caused by climate change.

“We must all act together, lest we collectively suffer the consequences brought about by apathy and inaction,” he said.

President Aquino further pledged that the Philippines will continue to be at the forefront of addressing climate change.

“We will constructively work with the UN and our partners in this aspect. There is no shortage in the Philippines’ determination to play a more vital role. Our recently submitted Intended Nationally Determined Contribution or INDC, outlines our goal to reduce emissions by about 70 percent come 2030, conditional on the assistance of the international community,” he said.

In terms of collective security, the President underscored the UN’s fundamental and crucial role in maintaining peace and stability.

“We believe in the rules and norms forged by the international community, and it is for this reason that we undertook arbitration, among other initiatives, in resolving our dispute in the sea known by many names. The support we have received from the international community is truly encouraging, and we are further encouraged by the Arbitral Tribunal’s decision affirming jurisdiction over the Philippines’ case on the sea known by many names. We are committed to pursuing this case to its final conclusion. As a responsible member of the community of nations, we will abide by the legally binding decision of the Tribunal,” he said.

Noting that it was his last time to attend the ASEAN Summit as president of the Philippines, President Aquino thanked his colleagues “for the courtesy and camaraderie you have accorded me throughout my term”.

“I hope that, over the past years, I have done my share in bringing the dream of a solid and singular ASEAN Community closer to reality,” the President added.

Concluding his speech, President Aquino asked his colleagues to extend the same graciousness, understanding and friendship to his successor.

“As I return to life as a private citizen, be assured that while I may not be physically present as President of my country, I will remain with you in prayer and in spirit, as a true friend constantly advocating for the success of ASEAN and of your respective nations. As a final request, I ask that you extend to my successor the same graciousness, understanding, and friendship that I have experienced these past few years,” the President said. (PCOO News Release)

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