EU representatives attending a sustainable development forum hosted by the United Nations (UN) have reaffirmed the bloc’s commitment to sustainability.
The United Nations High Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development, held last week at the UN’s New York headquarters, included a dedicated event run by the EU analysing the bloc’s progress on achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), outlined under its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: “The UN 2030 Agenda is the comprehensive plan that we need for increasing human well-being and building truly green and inclusive economies and societies. In Europe, we are strengthening our collective effort to translate the Sustainable Development Goals into concrete actions that can be measured and monitored. In the next five years I expect the European Commission to fully integrate the SDGs into our economic governance model. There is no time to lose as it is the future of our children and grandchildren that is at stake. The EU must now step up its game.”
The EU has built its environmental policies around the SDGs, aiming to make a smooth transition to reduced emissions and mitigation of the worst effects of climate change; while ensuring social inclusiveness and combating inequality. Delegates attending the sustainable development forum agreed that, in the face of constantly evolving threats to the environment, the EU must conduct regular reviews on its progress in achieving the SDGs.
Neven Mimica, the EU’s Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, said: “The European Union and its Member States were at the forefront of adopting the 2030 Agenda, and we are at the forefront of making it a reality. Together, we can do even more and even better. Working in partnership with developing countries, within the strong multilateral system, we can end poverty, accelerate progress towards sustainable development and succeed in our quest to leave no one behind.”
Commissioner for Environment, Maritime affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella said: “A shared, prosperous and sustainable future for all can only be achieved by knitting together the social, economic and environmental dimensions in our policies and future development. The transition to ecologically sustainable economic growth and competitiveness can only be successful if it promotes social rights and wellbeing for all.”