Thinking bigger than the UN membership to solve global issues

Mr President, Madam Deputy-Secretary-General,
The United Kingdom warmly welcomes this opportunity for a constructive, substantive debate on the detail of Our Common Agenda.
Allow me to begin with two overarching comments.
First, we welcome the Secretary-General’s vision for ‘inclusive multilateralism’. We need to think bigger than the UN membership to solve the world’s most complex challenges in a holistic way, focusing on the UN’s comparative advantage, to deliver the shift from billions to trillions in financing for development and to harness the world’s digital expertise.
Second, we must stay laser-focused on delivering real change in real people’s lives – achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, meeting our climate change commitments and building back better from Covid-19. Our goal must be bold action, not talking shops.
On this specific thematic cluster, we are unequivocally committed to the Secretary-General’s three priorities this morning – namely:
On education, we’ve heard the wide support for the Transforming Education Summit. As my colleague from Singapore said, the Summit must help girls everywhere receive a quality education. We also welcome the suggested roadmap for teaching all children to read, write, and perform basic mathematics, with a renewed focus on digital inclusion through improved digital literacy and connectivity.
On gender equality, we support placing women and girls at the centre of security policy. We welcome the proposed Emergency Response Plan on gender-based violence and support the UN’s aims on achieving gender parity. On youth, we support enhancing youth engagement and the role of youth across the work of the UN.
We also agree on the need for green economy job creation and note the importance of including women and girls in this transition.
In addition, we echo your call for a new era of universal social protection, to leave no one behind and eradicate extreme poverty.
We welcome the Secretary-General’s further detail on a renewed social contract. We look forward to further consideration of the proposed 2025 World Social Summit and any commitments needed to secure legal identity for all.
In conclusion, you have the UK’s full support in convening member states on this wide-ranging and detailed report. We look forward to continuing to work with you on it.
I thank you.
Published 10 February 2022
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