Canada’s Statement to the 2018 United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development from Minister Jean-Yves Duclos
United Nations Headquarters
405 East 42nd Street
New York, New York
United States of America
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Mr. President, Mr. Secretary-General, your Excellencies, Honourable Ministers, and distinguished guests: The 2030 Agenda presents an opportunity for nations and stakeholders to unite in shaping our collective future, in a way that is inclusive and leaves no one behind.
Canada is strongly committed to implementing the 2030 Agenda and is pleased to be presenting its first Voluntary National Review.
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, we are ensuring policies and programs improve the lives of all Canadians, particularly for those who, for too long have been under-represented and are too often excluded from the benefits of economic growth and development.
Especially for Indigenous people, women, immigrants and refugees, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ2 community.
More particularly and for too long, Indigenous people have not benefited from the prosperity and security that other Canadians enjoy.
This needs to change. We must find ways to reconcile the wrongs of history and together find a new path forward, grounded in the recognition and implementation of rights, in mutual respect, cooperation and partnership.
Advancing gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls is a priority for Canada.
Women and girls must be able to participate fully in decisions that affect their lives.
Canada firmly believes that empowering women and girls and advancing gender equality strengthens prosperity, creates sustainable peace, and reduces poverty for everyone. This approach underlies Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy.
We are also striving to make our cities and communities more resilient, inclusive, prosperous, and sustainable—making significant investments in tackling climate change, improving water use sustainability and protecting marine and coastal areas.
For example, Canada will host a conference on the blue economy with Kenya next November in Nairobi.
We also acknowledge that Small Island Developing States, Least Developed Countries and other countries in special situations often face unique challenges in their pursuit of sustainable development.
Three years into the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, gains have been made.
We must celebrate these successes, but also recognize there is much more to be done.
Canada is deeply committed to a rules-based international order. The 2030 Agenda is an example of how we can work effectively multilaterally to achieve common goals – the Sustainable Development Goals.
We will continue to work in collaboration with other member states, other levels of government in Canada, Indigenous Peoples, civil society, the private sector, international organizations and others, to realize a prosperous and sustainable future for all.
As our Prime Minister said in his address to the General Assembly last September, there is no blueprint for the kind of change that the SDGs require. There is no road map we can follow. But neither can we wait.
And we can’t build a better world unless we work together, respect our differences, protect the vulnerable, and stand up for the things that matter most.
We know it will be hard work.
But any challenge can be met if we meet it together.
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