Statement by Ambassador Berger in the 2nd Comittee on the Millenium Development Goals
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First of all let me congratulate you on your election as Chairperson of the Second Committee for the 65th Session of the General Assembly. I would also like to congratulate the other new members of the Bureau. We look forward to a fruitful and successful work with all of you and with all other member states. We would also like to thank Ambassador Park In-Kook and the members of the outgoing Bureau for their excellent work during the 64th General Assembly.
Germany fully associates itself with the Statement of Belgium made on behalf of the European Union.
In addition to that statement, I would like to highlight a few issues.
The recent MDG summit has been a major success for all development partners. It has reconfirmed the global partnership and created new momentum for the achievement of the MDGs. The fact that we jointly agreed on the outcome document ten days ahead of the summit underlines the vital role the United Nations – due to its universal legitimacy - play in reaching consensus on solutions for global challenges that are critical for the well-being of mankind.
It is now vital to turn this consensus into action. As the third largest donor, Germany is ready to do so and to continue its long-standing cooperation with its development partners.
But as we all know, there is no time for complacency as the next important international review conference lies ahead of us: the 4th Conference on Least-Developed Countries. Since the adoption of the Brussels Programme of Action in 2001 our world has dramatically changed. Even though there has been some encouraging progress in the LDCs over the past decade, much remains to be done. The German contributions to the LDC´s have almost tripled, in absolute terms, within the decade from 1997 – 2008.
Climate change will have a tremendous impact on the way we work and live in the future. This is particularly true for the Small Island Developing States. If we fail to limit global warming, we will experience major climatic changes and environmental disasters that might lead to destabilization of whole countries and regions. Therefore, Germany stresses the importance of a legally binding international agreement in the framework of the UNFCCC. Cancun must be an important step towards that agreement and a significant step to effective reduction of green-house gas emissions.
Germany as a EU member state will fulfil its commitments and provides 1.25 billion EUR in 2010 for climate change mitigation and adaptation measures, including 350 million EUR as fast-start financing. Germany´s overall commitment of fast-start funding from 2010 to 2012 is 1.26 billion EUR. We use these funds to support our partners in developing low carbon development pathways and mainstreaming mitigation and adaptation in national development planning.
In regard to the Rio 2012 conference we welcome that “green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty reduction” is one of two substantial focus areas of the Rio conference. In our opinion, economic growth, development and environmental protection can be mutually beneficial. If we want to advance worldwide with the implementation of sustainable development policies, we need to make the international institutions dealing with them more efficient. Therefore, we believe that the upgrade of UNEP in Nairobi into a UN specialized agency should be part of the reform package in 2012. We are confident that the 2012 conference will be an important milestone for the implementation of sustainable development worldwide.
The High Level Meeting on Biodiversity in New York on 22nd September as well as the MDG summit have illustrated the increased awareness for the ecologic and economic relevance of biodiversity. It is crucial that the value of natural resources and of the service they provide for mankind need to be understood, quantified and integrated into wider decision-making processes and into our global economic system. We need to step up our efforts to better protect our natural resources. Germany, which has currently the presidency of COP 9, has granted an additional 500 million EUR for the years 2009-2012, bringing the total figure for this period to 1.3 billion EUR. For the consecutive years from 2013 on, Germany will provide 500 million EUR each year. Moreover, we would like to emphasize that the successful adoption of a Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing at the Nagoya conference as well as the establishment of an Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) in 2010 are of utmost importance.
We appreciate that you have tabled a non-paper on the Second Committee working methods. The Second Committee is and will remain the cornerstone of the UN system with regard to development and economic cooperation. Therefore, we should continue to consider how we can make the Committee’s work more transparent, efficient and relevant. We look forward to further discussions of this important issue.
I thank you for your attention.