Monday 18 September 2023, NEW YORK
Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. John Rosso addressing the UN General Assembly 78th Session, at the SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS SUMMIT LEADERS DIALOGUE 1: “Scaling up actions on key transitions to accelerate SDG progress”, in New York.
Mr. President, Excellencies and distinguished delegates;
Papua New Guinea remains concerned about our overall slow progress in the SDGs, as a direct result of the impact of the unprecedented pandemic, ongoing conflicts and other global challenges, including the climate crisis and development financing.
Despite this, my Government is committed to working towards achieving the SDGs.
Our Fourth Medium Term Development Plan 2023 to 2027, with the Theme of “National Prosperity through Growing the Economy”, launched in July this year, reaffirms my Government’s commitment to accelerate and deliver on the 2030 Agenda.
It also clearly identifies the measures needed to do so in a more comprehensive, focused, resourceful and accountable way.
To highlight this, as an example, on SDGs 6,7,9 and 111, our “Connect Papua New Guinea” flagship infrastructure program was developed to transform the country’s socio-economic landscape by improving connectivity.
We have launched special economic zones to attract investment in downstream processing, housing projects, and path to a fully pledged digital Government.
We welcome development partners in this regard and thank those who continue to lend their valued and constructive assistance and partnership.
We call for development partnership on an equal footing rather than a donor-recipient lens. Our new strategic development plan requires that development partners align their assistance and work in conformity with our development roadmap.
We recognize the national need for greater ownership and leadership as well as domestic resource mobilization for national development and to drive forward the SDGs.
To assist developing countries, like my own, to achieve their plans, including the SDGs, the following are needed:
Firstly, we must all have a renewed commitment in delivering the 2030 Agenda and ensure that the resources, including technology, climate financing, needed to deliver on it are accessible, affordable and on timely manner.
Secondly, there needs to be a fundamental shift towards a new reformed global economic and financial framework that captures all countries development aspirations. Such a need for this transformation is urgently required if we are to achieve the SDGs.
The current status quo on the international financing architecture falls short of meeting the development needs of developing nations like mine.
Thirdly, we need fair, just and equitable returns from our natural resource development as critical to support our own revenue raising measures to progress our national development priorities, including on the SDGs. This value adding on the resources, will create more jobs and reduce poverty.
We therefore encourage development partners to assist developing countries like ours with investments in downstream processing of their natural resources and consider debt for nature swaps to help us help ourselves.
Finally, Mr. President, let me again, reaffirm Papua New Guinea’s commitment to deliver on our national development priorities, including on the SDGs.
On a greater scale, our common purpose must prevail. Common pursuits must outweigh individual ambitions. Greater action, less generic political discussions and more collective but meaningful steps in the next remaining seven (7) years is what we all need.
I thank you.