Speech by UN Resident Coordinator Fiona McCluney on UN Day 2021 and Signing of the new Albania-UN Cooperation framework for Sustainable Development 2022-2026
25 tetor 2021
Speech by UN Resident Coordinator Fiona McCluney on #UNday 2021 and Signing of the new Albania-UN Cooperation framework for Sustainable Development 2022-2026
Dear Deputy Prime Minister Ahmetaj,
Dear Minister Xhaçka,
Dear Ministers, Ambassadors, colleagues and friends,
It is a pleasure to join you Deputy Prime Minister and Minister Xhacka in welcoming guests here this morning to the Palace and to this beautiful room. I extend a greeting too to those joining us online.
UN Day, and especially this one, where we will also sign the new five year framework for Cooperation is anchored in the commitment made by Albania – and all Member States – to advance on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), improving the lives of all people while taking care of our planet. It is also a crucial moment to remember the ambition set for the UN when it was established in 1945.
Seventy-six years later, the Secretary-General, addressed the General Assembly in September. He painted a bleak picture of global issues we face. He sounded the alarm. We are on the edge of an abyss — and moving in the wrong direction. He also said there’s hope, if we commit to working together to overcome the many layers of challenges we currently face.
The coronavirus pandemic has completely upended the world, threatening our health, destroying economies and deepening poverty and inequalities.
The Secretary-General warned us all:
About scorching temperatures, shocking biodiversity loss, polluted air, land and climate related disasters at every turn.
On vaccines, he noted, we passed the science test, but we are getting an “F” in ethics for global distribution,
On climate change he signalled code red for humanity. The window to keep to1.5 decree temperature rise is rapidly closing, and we are lightyears away from achieving our targets.
And highlighted a scourge of mistrust and loss of faith in the essential values on which the Charter is based. Solidarity, he said, is missing in action.
But also presented a call to action, in what is now termed – Our Common Agenda - a call to strengthen global governance, to address issues of global public goods and the systemic trends undermining trust, and build a United Nations fit for a new era. The call is specific with 90 recommendations, laid out as our pathway to a better more peaceful world.
It builds on the blueprints we already have, the Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, and the Paris Agreement on climate change.
It puts forward real action to bridge Six great divides,
The Peace divide. Where there is a need to invest in prevention and peacekeeping.
The Climate divide, building more ambition to mitigate and meet concrete reduction targets, more ambition on finance and more ambition on adaptation to build resilience. Member states must not wait for others to do their part. They must use the full force of fiscal powers to make the shift to green economies to sustainable green jobs and sustainable food systems. Commit to no new coal plants.
Real action to Bridge the gap between rich and poor and also within and between countries. This starts with an urgent global vaccination plan – for 70 percent of world’s population. But we also need a reformed global debt architecture. With this in place we can forge a new social contract, with reformed tax systems, with the end of tax evasion, money laundering and illicit financial flows.
The Gender Divide – COVID-19 pandemic exposed and amplified the power imbalance between men and women. Wherever you look, the majority of frontline workers are women. They are the first to lose their jobs, are the most impacted by school closures. It’s about time to shift the balance of power, with women fully represented to contribute and make decisions everywhere including through large scale urgent investments in the care economy are also urgent.
Actions to address the Digital divide to really connect everyone. The digital space opens tremendous opportunities, including for businesses and for learning at all ages. Worryingly, it also produces tremendous risks of use and abuse of data. Used commercially, our behaviour patterns can be manipulated for control, ultimately, violating human rights.
We also urgently need to bridge the Divide between generations. Young people will inherit the results of our decisions. Young people need a seat at the table to take part in the decision-making that will affect their future.
It is hard to take fine, global words and make them reality. But in many ways Albania offers fertile ground for showing the way.
The country joins the Security Council – one of the 10 elected members for the period 2022 -23. In this forum the hard issues of global peace and prevention will be debated, and multi-lateral action agreed. For example declaring climate emergency a security matter opens space for Albania to participate in debate and discussion on the climate divide.
Of the 17 members of the Government’s new cabinet 12 are women, with crucial presence in parliament too. And a growing number of women are leading private firms. Women in these key positions not only act as role models, know well the pressures to balance family and work, forms of discrimination and can lead action on other aspects of the gender divide.
In response to the Afghan crisis just a couple of months ago, Albania stood up for welcoming and extending support to Afghan evacuees, to provide a safe haven and support for people in crisis in their darkest hour. and last weekend commitment for refugees signed with city of Tirana, both examples of solidarity which should inspire other countries.
And we also see efforts to bridge the divide across generations, youth having a voice, not only today, but as part of the UN delegations to global events and throughout next year with the opportunities presented as Tirana become European City of Youth for 2022/23.
Initial steps in a number of areas, but the main reason we are here today is the new roadmap, our joint UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework, covering the period 2022-2026 where this work can take a step further. We gather here today as a true UN family, all 19 agencies, funds and programmes all as signatories to our Cooperation Framework.
This roadmap for our joint collaboration will boost technical and practical advice, implementation capacity and state of the art global practice. So, I thank you colleagues and team, for the joint contributions to the strategic document that will guide our joint work for the next five years.
The Cooperation Framework is a roadmap to achieve important goals:
Policies and laws compatible with the European Union. Partnership with the EU is key not only in important post-earthquake reconstruction but also in supporting the vision for the country in embracing European values. The Framework will support Albania to meet key benchmarks and address major gaps in this process.
It places a strong focus on building human capital and social inclusion. It includes a comprehensive view on the results to be achieved in several key areas, such as health, education and social protection, no order to Leave no one behind.
New focus on sustainability and resilience as overarching themes of the Cooperation Framework. This is particularly reflected in green economic growth, enhanced climate change adaptation and mitigation, and sustainable use of natural resources.
The Cooperation Framework dedicates attention to vulnerability and exclusion, to strengthen equality and non-discrimination. This includes a specific outcome on gender responsive governance that promotes women’s empowerment and human rights, and reduces violence against women and children.
In four outcome areas, we agree with government on joint results framework with targets and indicators, we anticipate delivering over $280million of programming, with half of resources already committed, and the remainder to be organized locally and in this context the SDG Acceleration Fund will continue to serve as financial vehicle for joint UN action, supported by our partners.
Delivery on the Cooperation Framework is anchored in a network of strategic partnership across Ministries and Municipality, with the Parliament, human rights institutions and the statistical institute, confirming the importance of reliable data to measure progress.
We will continue nurturing partnership with civil society, academia, while aiming to accelerate more private sector capital that supports the SDGs.
We are proud of UN’s partnership with development partners. They have been supportive as the UN reform advances in the country level and tangible results are achieved. But at the same time- accompany us to “deliver as one”, more effectively. So much to be grateful for in your support.
Colleagues and friends,
We look forward to working with you all to deliver on the ambitions and results set out in this Framework and bring about the real changes needed to bridge divides.