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Source: United Nations 4

The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) of the United Nations General Assembly held its first meeting of the seventy‑fourth session today, introducing its Bureau and approving its organization of work.

At the meeting’s outset, Committee Chair Cheikh Niang (Senegal)congratulated members of the new Bureau:  Vice‑Chairs Ahmad Saif Y. A. Al‑Kuwari (Qatar), Yuliana Zhivkova Angelova (Bulgaria) and Anat Fisher‑Tsin (Israel); and Rapporteur David Mulet Lind (Guatemala).

Addressing the Committee, Under‑Secretary‑General for Economic and Social Affairs Liu Zhenmin said the international community has made significant progress in reducing global poverty, maternal mortality and HIV/AIDS.  However, sustainable development still faces serious obstacles, he stressed, including inequalities, climate change and unemployment.

Mr. Zhenmin outlined four global megatrends hindering achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.  The first is achieving long‑term economic growth, which is hampered by slow growth in major economies.  Second, he noted that inequality remains stubbornly high in many nations, impeding growth, depriving people the right to live in dignity and increasing economic uncertainty.  The third megatrend is climate change and its consequences, including the rising frequency of natural hazards, especially in small island developing States.  Finally, the fourth is the emergence of new technologies, which offer numerous opportunities and benefits, but can also pose major threats to job security.

The Chair then noted that the Second Committee and the Economic and Social Council will hold a joint meeting on “Ecosystem Approaches for shifting the world onto a sustainable pathway” on 15 October.

The Committee will also be holding two side events, Mr. Niang said.  One will be on “Double Bind of Income Poverty and Time Poverty:  Why it Matters for Sustainable Development and Policy Solutions”, on 17 October, and another on “Emerging economic models and economic transformation:  Implications for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, on 24 October.

He added that the Committee’s general debate will include keynote addresses by Patrick Keys, Research Scientist, School of Global Environmental Sustainability, Colorado State University, United States, and two speakers from International Movement ATD — Fourth World.

Speaking for the European Union on revitalization of Second Committee work, Peggy Vissers highlighted the importance of the Committee’s guidance and action in achieving the 2030 Agenda, which should be fully mainstreamed into its work.  To that end, she called for fact‑based and cross-regional discussions on the Sustainable Development Goals.

For information media. Not an official record.

MIL OSI United Nations News