John W. Ashe , President of the 68th Session of the United Nations, has issued a statement to the 32nd meeting of the 3rd Committee of the UNGA. Read extracts below.
“It is clear to all that we live in an era characterized by, inter alia, expanding disparities between rich and poor, increased civil and sectarian strife, and growing economic hardship, all leading to massive movements of populations both within and across borders, and growing sensitivity to religious and cultural differences. The lesson of this situation is that a wider enjoyment of social and economic rights cannot be achieved by mere tinkering with the present international system or by superficial changes in current international arrangements. This is the logic of the new paradigm of development – post-2015 – which we are seeking to elaborate. That paradigm embraces a commitment to a more effective, coordinated and inclusive approach to development for all, including the poor and most vulnerable. And it also advocates a new relationship between human beings and the planet we inhabit.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Looking back over the past decade, we undoubtedly see some singular achievements. To name a few, gender equality and the empowerment of women have improved in many parts of the world; the gender gap at the primary school level has narrowed; maternal mortality rates in many regions have fallen; women have better access to political participation and labour markets; fewer children are out of school; the proportion of people living in extreme poverty has fallen by half; and more people have gained access to improved water sources and sanitation facilities.
But the tasks ahead of us are still many and challenging. With fewer than 800 days remaining before the target date for achieving the MDGs, we need to intensify our efforts and remain focused on these tasks – putting young people to work; reducing barriers to social and economic advancement; feeding the one in eight persons who remains chronically undernourished; saving the lives of women and children who continue to die from preventable deaths; ending gender-based violence and discrimination against women and girls and marginalized and vulnerable groups; renewing efforts to eliminate systemic racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in our societies; and addressing the many crises in countries afflicted by conflict and post-conflict situations.”
Click here to read the full statement.