NEW YORK, 24 September 2019 – More than half of the UN members have issued ajoint declarationin support of the2030 Agenda,17 Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs)endorsed by the international community in September 2015, and theParis Agreement on Climate Changeadopted three months later.

The joint declaration by theAfrican, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of Statesand theEuropean Union (EU)carries significant weight in terms of demonstrating a commitment to Agenda 2030 by countries which together account for over 1.5 billion people, one-fifth of the global population.

“Recognizing the linkages between sustainable development and climate action, we REITERATE our strong commitment to implement theParis Agreementon Climate Change fully and effectively,” says the declaration introduced at a press conference on September 24, 2019.

The ACP and EU furthermore reiterate their shared commitment to “MOBILISE in line with the2015 Addis Ababa Action Agendaa full range of means of implementation in the spirit of partnership”.

The Agenda establishes a strong foundation to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It provides a new global framework for financing sustainable development by aligning all financing flows and policies with economic, social and environmental priorities.

The ACP- EU joint declaration recognises “the importance of domestic resource mobilisation, development finance, development effectiveness and of strengthening existing partnerships such as North-South cooperation, South-South and triangular cooperation including multi-stakeholder partnerships, for the effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement”.

The joint declaration adds: “The establishment of new multi-stakeholder partnerships including public-private partnerships is key for diversifying and transforming the economies of ACP countries and EU Member States.”

The emphasis of the ACP-EU declaration on SDGs and Climate Action corresponds to highlights of the ongoing 74th session of the UN General Assembly:Climate Action Summiton September 23 and theSDG Summitthe following two days.

As ACP Secretary-General Dr. Patrick I Gomes told theUnited Nations Trade Forumfrom September 9-13, 2019 in the Session ‘Climate Action and Trade’ in Geneva, Climate change is the most significant challenge, this century, for the achievement of sustainable development on planet Earth. The painful reality is that its adverse impacts are more severe in the poorest and most vulnerable countries.

Droughts, desertification, hurricanes, floods, agricultural losses, reduced water resources and sea level rise are major concerns for the ACP Group of states. Many of these countries continue to face serious impacts on lives and livelihoods.

Harsh evidence of this has been the two deadly consecutive tropicalcyclonesthat hit Southern Africa in March and April this year. Cyclone Idai in March and Cyclone Kenneth in April are considered as two of the top five worststorms to ever hit Mozambique.

Cyclone Kenneth is on record as the strongest storm to hittheAfrican continent. Together, they have caused an unprecedented amount of damage and devastated the lives of2.2 million peopleand killing at least 700 people across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. (according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).) Cyclone Kenneth also caused significant damage in theComoros IslandsandTanzania.

The ACP-EU partnership seeks closer political cooperation on the world stage to tackle major global challenges, aiming to be a shining example of multilateralism as the cornerstone of a rule-based world order.

Dr. Gomes further pointed out that hundreds of thousands of people were displaced in Southern Africa. They had to be gathered in transit camps, with little or no access to clean drinking water or sanitation services, heightening the risk of water-borne diseases. The threat of acholera epidemicis high with over 7,000 cholera cases reported in Mozambique so far.

Against this backdrop, as accentuated in September 2018 at the beginning of the negotiations for the new Partnership (post-Cotonou) Agreement, the ACP-EU partnership “seeks closer political cooperation on the world stage to tackle major global challenges, aiming to be a shining example of multilateralism as the cornerstone of a rule-based world order. In concrete terms, this will notably mean working jointly towards the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Credit:J Nastranis, IDN

Photo: From left to right: Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica; Neven Mimica, European Union Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development; Mamadou Tangara, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Gambia; Patrick I. Gomes, Secretary General of the ACP Group of States. Source: UN Web TV

More on the Declaration and the Press Conference:

Link to the Declaration

Statement to ACP-EU Press Conference on Joint SDGs Declaration by Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica (in English)

Video of the Press Conference (in English)

Article: EU Joins 79 ACP States in Calling for ‘Bold Decisions’ to Achieve SDGs (in English)