SDGs Website Launch

Marco Polo, Ortigas

United Nations Resident Coordinator Ola Almgren,

Our partners in UNICEF,

Colleagues in NEDA,

Friends from the media,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning.

We are glad that you are here with us today for the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals website.

In 2015, the Philippines is among those countries, which adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. By adopting the UN agenda, we committed to mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind. The Philippines is one with the rest of the world in the universal call to promote prosperity, while protecting the planet.

We acknowledge that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that propel economic growth and address social needs, such as education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection.

At the core of the SDGs are the principles of sustainable development and leaving no one behind, or leaving no one forsaken. When we say sustainable development, this goes beyond merely acknowledging present environmental concerns. We are looking at the interplay of social, economic, environmental, and even governance factors. The SDGs are interlinked and the achievement of one goal largely depends on the actions of another.

To leave no one behind, we need to be conscious of the needs of vulnerable groups and those in the last mile and those living on the periphery. Given the ambition of the SDGs to achieve zero poverty and end hunger and violence, an effort to seek out and deliver services to marginalized sectors is imperative.

Many of you must have been involved in the eleven consultation workshops throughout the Philippines that we have undertaken for the crafting of the Voluntary National Review (VNR) of the SDGs. Its final report will be presented at the UN Headquarters in New York this July.

Through the VNR, we want to provide a periodic assessment of the extent to which we have achieved our commitment in meeting the SDGs. By conducting this review, we have also stirred interest of different stakeholders and reaffirmed their commitments. We hope to sustain this reinvigorated interest and commit to ensure that we have the spaces to engage everyone on the crucial actions towards achieving the SDGs.

The SDGs website, which we are launching today, is one of the many ways to follow through this commitment.

The website aims to provide a platform for different stakeholders to contribute to the attainment of these goals. It will provide information on government and non-government initiatives to promote and attain the SDGs. It will also highlight concerted efforts needed to meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. We are in the process of providing more information on how the SDGs are localized and how the competencies of businesses, the academe, and media can be further employed for the SDGs. We are also utilizing the SDGs website to get more inputs for the Voluntary National Review.

It is my hope that we will be able to maximize the use of this new platform in our evidence-based, coordinated, and fully-integrated policy work. The challenge, really, is how to prevent the mothballing of sdg.neda.gov.ph.

Later, we will have a walkthrough of the website. Afterward, we hope to get feedback from civil society, business and youth groups. We will also have messages of support coming from UN resident coordinator Ola Almgren.

Allow me to thank profusely and congratulate heartily the hardworking NEDA staff, without whom this website would not be possible, and the UNICEF, which has been working closely with NEDA to set up this online platform. Thank you for the unwavering support. It is clear that sustainable development requires intergenerational planning and that the young generation will be the beneficiaries and drivers of development.

The stakes are high and our time is limited— that is why we have to be virtuously impatient.  We only have eleven years before 2030. Our actions today will also be critical in achieving our collective long-term vision or AmBisyon Natin 2040 of a matatag, maginhawa, at panatag na buhay for all FilipinosGiven the urgency, concerted and well-coordinated efforts are needed and hopefully, the SDGs website can contribute to this.

Again, thank you and have a good day ahead.