It is my honour to make a contribution to this Special Event on behalf of the people of New Zealand.
Substantial progress has been made in achieving the Millennium Development Goals, particularly reducing poverty and hunger, increasing access to improved drinking water, and reducing deaths from malaria and tuberculosis.
In the Pacific region, Polynesian countries are on track to achieve five of the MDGs. But Melanesian countries – with the exception of Fiji – are making poor progress.
We need to maintain our focus on achieving the MDGs and, as the Secretary-General points out in his report, on countries that face particular development challenges. These include least developed countries, small island developing states, landlocked developing countries, and countries affected by conflict and disasters.
New Zealand takes a pragmatic approach. By working in partnership with others, we are able to make a real difference. New Zealand and the European Union co-hosted the Pacific Energy Summit in Auckland earlier this year. We wanted to ensure a coordinated approach to renewable energy and to fast-track solutions to the Pacific’s pressing energy needs. Our modest contribution of $65 million leveraged commitments of $635 million to support more than 40 of the 79 projects proposed by Pacific small island developing states.
New Zealand is committed to sustainable development and we recognise the importance of its three dimensions – economic, social, and environmental.
New Zealand sees sustainable economic development as an essential element of the post-2015 development agenda. We work with our partners in areas that drive sustainable economic growth and where we have specific expertise, such as agriculture, fisheries, and renewable energy.
The post-2015 development agenda needs to be ambitious: it needs to capture attention and focus efforts, as the MDGs have done.
The post-2015 development agenda can achieve these ends by identifying a limited number of goals which we all commit to. We also need targets and indicators that are measurable and results-focussed. National targets should reflect the priorities of member states, particularly the most vulnerable.
The state of oceans, the burden of non-communicable diseases and the importance of disaster risk reduction are issues which are of deep concern to our region.
Achievement of the post-2015 development agenda will require practical partnerships involving developing and developed nations, the private sector, civil society, foundations, regional and local governments.