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‘Transformative change’ needed to get Global Goals back on track, says UN deputy chief

UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed at the opening of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development 2023.
UN Chile: UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed at the opening of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development 2023.

Wednesday morning in the Chilean capital of Santiago, Ms. Mohammed met at the Palacio de La Moneda with President Gabriel Boric to discuss the acceleration of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the country. The President delivered the National Strategy for the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The UN Resident Coordinator in Chile, María José Torres, the Minister of Social Development and Family, Giorgio Jackson, the Undersecretary of International Relations, Gloria de la Fuente, and the Chilean Ambassador to the UN, Paula Narváez, were also present.

Later, Ms. Mohammed spoke with indigenous women leaders – from the Mapuche, Rapa Nui, Licanantay (Atacameños), Aymara, Diaguita, Chango, Quechua, Kawéskar and Colla peoples – at the Mahuidache Ceremonial Center, commune of El Bosque, a social advocacy space focused on the promotion of the rights of indigenous peoples and their participation. At the site, the Deputy Secretary General was received by community authorities, the Wünel Domo Elsa Quinchaleo and the management team composed of Contanza Hueche and Norma Hueche.

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During their conversation, the indigenous leaders highlighted the need to make their vision and contribution to sustainable development visible, and expressed their willingness to participate in local, national, and global forums to discuss the acceleration of the 17 SDGs.

Ms. Mohammed stressed the need to restore harmony between people and the land and, in this regard, indigenous women play a key role in the conservation and transmission of traditional knowledge.

“Today they tell us of their aspirations to leave no one behind. The world must recognize that the wealth of society has to do with indigenous peoples. We all come from somewhere and if we do not know the cultures, the religions where we come from, we will not be able to get very far,” she said.

She also pointed out that “this morning, the President spoke to us about the 2030 Agenda, and told us that we have to talk to the people about what it means, that it is not an agenda for others, but for everyone.” Therefore, “this [meeting] with women leaders today is so that we can listen to you, understand what it means for you and your peoples,” she concluded.

For her part, Mapuche leader Constanza Hueche mentioned the relevance of this event, which is “an opportunity to make the reality of urban indigenous people visible”.

Sustainable Development Forum

Upon her arrival in Chile, Ms. Mohammed participated in the inauguration of the Sixth Meeting of the Forum of Latin American and Caribbean Countries on Sustainable Development, which takes place  from April 25 to 28 at ECLAC headquarters, and  was attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship of Argentina, Santiago Cafiero; the Chilean Ambassador to the UN, Paula Narváez; the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, and other high-level authorities.

In her remarks, the deputy UN chief said while it is important to acknowledge achievements for sustainable development in the region, this is a “critical juncture for the Sustainable Development Goals. We have reached the halfway point to the 2030 Agenda – and we are badly off track.”

UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed meets with indigenous leaders in Chile.
UN Chile: UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed meets with indigenous leaders in Chile.

Ambitions policies to offset faltering SDG’s

“Our progress towards the SDGs has faltered – and even backtracked on some important targets and Goals – leaving countless people behind, she said, adding that: In the region, and in the context of a post-Covid triple planetary crises, low growth and deepening vulnerabilities to climate change, only 25 per cent of SDG targets are projected to be met in 2030.”

Against this backdrop, Ms. Mohammed said: “Unless we act now, all these factors could put the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals far out of reach. Ambitious policies, with course corrections, are urgently needed to reinforce positive trends and reverse negative ones.”

More broadly, she stated that: “This year will determine the future of the 2030 Agenda. We must achieve transformative change. World leaders will need to make a choice – to fulfil their commitment to a better future, or let it fall by the wayside.”

With this in mind, she stressed that SDG Summit and the Climate Ambition Summit in September must result in concrete commitment by political leaders to invest in sustainable development, and to keep the 1.5-degree limit (agreed in the Paris climate accord) alive.

The Regional Forum, which has been held annually since 2017, seeks to share common experiences and goals, experiences, and challenges in relation to implementing the 2030 Agenda n the following areas: Clean water and sanitation (SDG 6); Affordable and clean energy (SDG 7); Industry, innovation, and infrastructure (SDG 9); Sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11); and Partnerships for the Goals (SDG 17).

During her day in the capital, Ms. Mohammed also met with representatives of the 19 agencies, funds, and programmes of the UN system in Chile.

At the end of Amina J. Mohammed’s visit, the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Chile, María José Torres, highlighted the relevance of this visit for the country, since “it is a way of making known the challenges and contributions of Chile and its people, at the international level, to accelerate the realization of sustainable development, with a more just society”.

UN News: SDGs


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