STATEMENT BY H.E AMBASSADOR LE HOAI TRUNG, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF VIET NAM TO THE UNITED NATIONS ON BEHALF OF BHUTAN, THAILAND AND VIET NAM
At the Second Session of the General Assembly Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals
(New York, 17 -19 April, 2013)
I have the honor to make these remarks on behalf of the Troika consisting of Bhutan, Thailand and Viet Nam. I would also like to associate our Troika with the statement delivered by Fiji as Chair of the Group of 77 and China
We are pleased to note that poverty eradication is the first substantive matter to be discussed. We all attach most importance to eradicating poverty which is at heart of the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals and a key enabler for developing countries to achieve other goals. Thus it must remain the overriding objective of the Sustainable Development Goals.
At the global scale, the first MDG on eradicating extreme poverty has achieved encouraging results. We have gained more experience and have the advantage to further extend our collective efforts in the fight against poverty. At the same time, there remain gaps, obstacles and challenges. Current crises such as the global financial and economic slowdown, natural disasters, social vulnerabilities, food, energy and water crises place developing countries especially LDCs and LLDCS in extremely vulnerable positions and their efforts to eradicate poverty are negatively affected. This requires us to build resilience to multiple and simultaneous shocks to ensure the substantial and sustainable reduction of poverty.
Poverty has become a more complex and multifaceted problem as constantly changing characteristics of the poor requires efforts to reduce poverty to be equally responsive, adaptive and sophisticated. In this connection, Bhutan, Thailand and Viet Nam wish to share the following observations and comments:
First, the level of poverty reduction varies across geographic and demographic groups due to different levels of social and economic integration. In many countries, poverty occurs predominantly among people living in rural and remote areas. In others, urban poverty is of great concern. We are of the view that putting people at the centre should be the foundation of any poverty reduction policy. Governments should focus their support in multiple socio-economic aspects specifically for the most vulnerable groups who lag behind in poverty reduction.
Second, there is a disturbing fact that most of the developing and especially least-developed countries are countering persistent poverty with unsustainable economic growth. Conventional growth patterns involve intensive/exhaustive uses of natural resources (land, water, forest and fossil fuel) and cheap or low-skilled labor that lead to the evident increases of pressures on environment, number of natural disasters, inequality, job vulnerability and fiscal deficit. In this regard, the transformation into a green economy which supports social inclusiveness and environmental sustainability and in consistence with the level of development is recommended for every nation in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication.
Third, social development would not be sufficient if people could not fulfill their basic needs. Vulnerable employment, especially in the context of economic crisis and globalization is an increasingly grave issue, threatening people to fall back into poverty. Disadvantaged groups are still suffering from inequality and chronic poverty and social problems such as food (and nutrition) insecurity, gender inequality, poor health and education. Therefore access to adequate social protection is essential.
Last but not least, natural disasters and climate change are among the highest threats to the poor. To avoid them falling further into a vicious circle of poverty, governments and the international community need to build resilience among poor and vulnerable people and support them in adaptation to adverse impacts of natural disasters and climate change.
In order to achieve all these, means of implementation is very important. Our governments have spared no efforts to combat poverty at the national level over the past 20-30 years. We could not have attained so much success without the invaluable support from multiple partners in the international. We are fully aware that internal orientation of policies, efforts and resources are decisive but cannot ignore the importance of coordination and assistance from other international partners. We need a favorable international economic environment to facilitate sustainable global economic growth and poverty eradication. This requires a fair, equitable, transparent and rules-based system of international trade that is pro-development and against protectionist trends arising nowadays.
The MDGs look at issues across the board, thus inequality has been neglected. I believe addressing inequality should be a main deliverable for new set of development agenda and many delegations have raised the issue of addressing inequality within the country and among countries. In this context, we support regional integration and regional connectivity as one important means to achieve reduction of poverty and inequality and close the development gaps, especially for LDCs, LLDCs, and SIDS.
At the global level, the international community needs to remain committed to eradicating poverty not with and “one-size-fits-all” approach but in diverse forms of implementation, from development aid to trade facilitation, debt relief and technical transfer, infrastructure development with particular attention attached to countries in special circumstances such as the LDCs and landlocked countries.
Bhutan, Thailand and Viet Nam reaffirm our strong commitment to engage in international efforts on sustainable development and poverty eradication.
Thank you, Mr. Co-Chairs.