Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has affirmed that achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) has been more crucial than ever, especially in light of the current delicate international circumstances due to COVID-19 pandemic.
In his speech to the United Nations (UN) meeting via video conference, Al-Sisi said the challenges the world has faced over the past two years pushed everyone to deal wisely with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its goals from a comprehensive perspective.
He added that the climate change and its negative effects on water and food security, in addition to the threat posed by COVID-19 pandemic to global economic, health, and social conditions, have all become daily challenges that we must handle in a comprehensive and sustainable manner in order to preserve the development gains achieved over the past decades.
Al-Sisi stressed the need to deal with the 2030 Agenda from a comprehensive perspective to achieve maximum benefit from the opportunities offered by this agenda for international cooperation to finance development, whether in the multilateral framework or at the level of bilateral relations with development partners; countries, financing institutions, and international banks.
He explained that Egypt has been keen to localize SDGs and integrate them into its development policies and programmes at all levels. This resulted in the adoption of “Egypt Vision 2030” as a comprehensive framework for the state’s efforts in this field.
Egypt also rushed to submit its voluntary reports on the implementation of SDGs, the latest of which was the third voluntary report submitted by Egypt during the last session of the High Level Political Forum in July 2021.
Al-Sisi pointed out that Egypt realized from the very beginning that the target of any development effort is the citizens. Therefore, it designed its development policies and programmes, placing the interest of the Egyptian citizen at the heart of them, including decent living conditions, appropriate housing, and suitable work.
He said that this vision was crystallized in the recently launched “Decent Life” initiative, which was one of the most ambitious and comprehensive development programmes that worked to achieve development to improve the quality of life for citizens, eradicate poverty, and reduce unemployment rates.
The president added that the successful implementation of the economic reform program launched in 2016 in cooperation with the International Monetary Fund(IMF) confirmed the correctness of the Egyptian vision regarding the priorities and requirements of economic reform.
He noted that these reforms enabled the Egyptian economy to bear the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and allowed the government to take the necessary measures to mitigate its negative effects.
Al-Sisi expressed his hope that the United Nations meetings would contribute to supporting international efforts to implement SDGs and finding solutions to the obstacles facing international humanitarian cooperation, mainly the decline in official development aid and funding to developing and least developed countries, especially in Africa.