The Head of State in an address to the UN General Assembly yesterday urged world leaders to avoid errors of the past.
In a highly applauded speech yesterday at the 71st session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York, President Paul Biya presented an unequivocal view by Cameroon on the main concern of the Organization during the next 14 years. The adoption last year of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the UN and the need for a realistic approach in the application of the 17 objectives set in the SDGs, according to President Paul Biya remained primordial in achieving success. Mr Biya pointed out that; "The SDGs, it should be recalled, constitute the first global agenda that considers development in all its dimensions: security, economic, social, human and environmental." Taking the floor first yesterday morning at the UN Headquarters, Paul Biya harped on the theme of this year's General Assembly debate, which is; "The Sustainable Development Goals: A Universal Push To Transform Our World."
Drawing from his past experiences and leadership position, the Head of State categorically highlighted some of the areas where world leaders have in the past failed to deliver on their promises to improving the lives of the people that they are out to serve. The lack of organization, the inability of UN member countries to fulfill their promises, and the absence of a sense of solidarity have been at the origin of the failures observed by the United Nations in most of its action plans.
In a pedagogic manner, President Paul Biya listed the levers on which the UN member countries must act to ensure that the SDGs succeed. In order of importance: the political will, financial contribution, and moral commitments should be able to help the UN to make Agenda 2030 a concrete reality.
While acknowledging the optimism the SDGs are generating across the globe and the mobilization world leaders continue to maintain around the goals, Mr Biya, in his characteristic sense of caution identified some of the obstacles that the SDGs are likely to encounter. To demonstrate that he is talking from the position of an experienced leader, the Head of State pointed to the issues of insecurity whereby negative minded persons, for unexplained reasons, tend to hold back the hand of the clock by imposing values that cannot be accepted by any civilized society. The question of terrorism readily came to mind and the Head of State told the UN General Assembly that he stood a better position to present the stumbling blocks that such nefarious acts could cause in the realization of the SDGs given what Cameroon been witnessing in the Far North Region with the incursions of the Boko Haram terrorist group and the attendant consequences of human suffering, refugee and internally displaced population. All these outcomes, have the potential to derail useful government resources from development initiatives thereby hampering the implantation of the SDGs.
Thus, while underlining the key message in the Agenda 2030 which is; "Transforming our world and leaving no one behind," the Cameroon Head of State not only agreed on the need to set goals, but took time to draw the attention of the world leaders gathered at the UN to the possible pitfalls and the possible solutions that must be carefully analyzed to archived set goals.
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