Finland urges agenda for development targets

New York, Sept 28 : Finland Friday suggested that the new development agenda being drawn up by the United Nations to succeed the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) be called the Sustainable Development Goals, while at the same time faulting the world body for its failure to stop the Syrian bloodbath.

"A green economy is not a luxury, but a prerequisite for poverty reduction and sustainability. In short, the new agenda must be even bolder and more ambitious than the previous one. Its implementation will require action in all countries," Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja told the General Assembly during its annual General Debate.

"In the near future, we are expected to agree on a new development agenda, a new set of goals, which in my view could be called Sustainable Development Goals," he said of the theme of this year's 68th General Assembly - The Post 2015 Development Agenda: Setting the Stage! - which seeks to draw up an even more ambitious blueprint to totally eliminate poverty and its attendant ills in the decades following the end in 2015 of the MDGs cycle.

"Faced with advancing climate change and the accelerating loss of biodiversity we may, at best, have only a few decades time in which to reach ecological, social and economic sustainability. Decisive action based on a sense of urgency is needed to turn the tide globally before it is too late. Either we succeed in this together or we are going to perish together," he declared.

"Poverty can only be eradicated within the context of sustainable development. Development must be ecologically, economically and socially sustainable. It must be firmly anchored in human rights."

Turning to the civil war in Syria, Tuomioja decried the UN's a failure to act in its core domain, in maintaining peace and security, with 110, 000 people already killed and 2 million forced to flee the country.

"The United Nations has been unable to act to end this appalling bloodshed," he said. "The conflict in Syria has seriously undermined the authority and credibility of the United Nations."

--IBNS (Posted on 28-09-2013)

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