UNGA General Debate: Seychelles' President says vision of a better world can be achieved through collective action
President Ramkalawan delivered his Statement before the 78th United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday. (State House)
Trust and solidarity form the bedrock of a functional multilateral order and rebuilding trust is paramount, said Seychelles' President Wavel Ramkalawan in his statement at the United Nations 78th General Assembly's General Debate on Wednesday.
Ramkalawan was the first person to make a statement in the debate being held under the theme "Rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity: Accelerating action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals towards peace, prosperity, progress and sustainability for all."
He said that as the challenge to global peace, security and prosperity takes on new dimensions, the lessons of the past become even more relevant as disunity and distrust threaten to paint a bleak future, void of hope and possibilities.
"As we gather here today at the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, we are confronted with the urgent need to rebuild trust and reignite global solidarity in order to accelerate action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Only through collective action can we achieve the vision of a better world for all," said Ramkalawan.
The Seychelles' head of state said that at the heart of the discussion lies the 2030 Agenda, a transformative blueprint for sustainable development.
"It serves as a roadmap to eradicate poverty, promote human rights, protect our planet, and ensure that no one is left behind. Yet, as we review our progress, it is evident that we are falling short of our targets, and the global pandemic has further exacerbated the challenges before us. Now, more than ever, we must renew our commitment to the SDGs and take decisive action to fulfil our promises. We are lagging behind," he stressed.
Ramkalawan said that the UN Secretary-General's SDG Stimulus, aimed at transforming the global financial system, is commendable, and international financial institutions must collaborate to support the collective ambition for a sustainable future.
"Redressing these imbalances and advancing on the SDGs will only be achieved if we work together. If we are to make progress on our development agenda, we can no longer call what we are facing, climate change. The point at which lives and livelihoods are lost with frightening frequency due to environmental disasters means that we are living through a climate crisis," he highlighted.
Ramkalawan shared that while Seychelles is committed to renewable energy and energy efficiency, as a small island developing state (SIDS), it lacks the capacity and infrastructure to develop these solutions fully.
"To achieve the SDGs and ensure peace, prosperity, progress, and sustainability for all, we must embrace the interconnectedness of our world. Climate change knows no boundaries, poverty respects no borders, and the quest for peace requires a collective effort," he said.
Ramkalawan said that Seychelles uniquely positioned amidst the vast Indian Ocean, knows firsthand the significance of global cooperation in addressing climate change, ocean conservation, sustainable development and maritime security.
"Seychelles remains committed to its pioneering role in marine conservation, protecting vast areas of our ocean and marine ecosystems. But we cannot succeed alone. We call upon the global community to prioritise sustainability, transition to clean energy, and preserve our ecosystems for the prosperity of all," he added.
He reiterated that trust is the foundation on which nations cooperate, and it is through trust that nations foster meaningful partnerships and collaborations.
"We must rekindle trust among nations, between governments and citizens, and across various sectors of society. This requires transparent and accountable governance, bolstered by an unwavering dedication to the principles of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. By doing so, we can restore the faith of our people and mobilise their active participation in the pursuit of sustainable development," he said.
Ramkalawan concluded by saying that "rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity is not just an option; it is the only way forward. Together, we can accelerate action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals, creating a world that embraces diversity, respects nature, and ensures a future of peace, prosperity, progress, and sustainability for all."