DUBAI, 10th February, 2019 (WAM) -- The United Nations General Assembly President, Maria Fernanda Espinosa has said that implementing Sustainable Development Goals in the Middle East is critical to ensure a conducive environment.
Commenting on the impact of SDGs in ensuring regional stability, Espinosa said, "I think that it is very important for the implementation of SDGs" to ensure a conducive environment encompassing peaceful and good neighbourly relations.
Speaking to the Emirates News Agency, WAM, on the sidelines of a high-level panel on the implementation of SDGs at the World Government Summit in Dubai, the UNGA President explained that regional instability poses a challenge, adding, "I think we need to work on this very challenge, especially looking at the Gulf countries, because the potential is so big." "The commitment to sustainability is so big here," she added.
Highlighting the United Arab Emirates as an example, she said, "We have seen that UAE has led by example, in terms of diversifying its economy, in terms of renewable energies, and bringing together leaders from all around the world in this summit to discuss the future of humanity, on climate change and low carbon technologies - issues of extreme importance on the global agenda."
Espinosa went on to highlight the dual role in implementing and applying the SDGs. The goals, she explained, can be used as a powerful tool to sit actors and countries together, enhancing and strengthening regional partnerships and collaboration, leading towards peace and stability. "SDGs can be seen as a vehicle for peace building and peace keeping," she added.
When asked how initiatives like the UAE Year of Tolerance can help build on attaining SDGs, Espinosa said, "I think brotherhood, sisterhood and tolerance are at the core of any peaceful environment, especially when we see exacerbated cases of nationalism and xenophobia in all parts of the world." "Devoting a Year to Tolerance, supporting the strengthening of human relations, and celebrating human diversity is one of the most powerful tools for sustainable development and for the sustainability of peace," the UNGA President noted.
Maria Fernanda Espinosa has more than 20 years of multilateral experience in international negotiations, peace, security, sustainable development, and climate change. She was elected as the UNGA President of its 73rd session beginning in September 2018.