Statement by H.E. Mr. Andrejs Pildegovičs Permanent Representative of the Republic of Latvia at the High Level Segment of the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 18 July 2019
Madam President, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,
Latvia aligns itself with the statement made by the European Union.
The year 2019 symbolizes a momentum for reviewing progress made on our commitments after four years of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
We welcome the theme of this year’s HLPF - "Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality", which highlights the core principle of leaving no one behind. The set of goals under in depth review this year lies at the core of Latvia’s sustainability plans.
In order to move towards more SDG-focused policies, we are currently developing the main national-level planning document - the National Development Plan until 2027. Our areas of focus will be to reduce economic and social inequalities, strengthen social security system, promote decent work for all and sustainable economic growth, as well as continue to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the judicial system. Our priority will also be a transition towards a low carbon and climate resilient economy and society.
Latvia is convinced that we need to transform our economies and move towards a more innovative and eco-efficient approaches. Income inequality is closely linked to inequality of opportunity. We recognize that jobs of the future naturally gravitate in urban areas. Therefore, new National Development Plan will propose measures to promote sustainable regional development and equal opportunities.
We will also work to implement sustainable consumption and production patterns, including by promoting circular economy.
The climate change is among the most urgent challenges of our time. It is also one of the main threats to achieving SDG’s. Latvia is fully committed to the Paris Agreement. We have prepared our National Plan for Adaptation to Climate Change up to 2030. We are now finalizing preparations of climate change mitigation measures and policies for a period up to 2030, as well as shaping our Low Carbon Long-term Strategy 2050.
At a global level, we believe that strong multilateralism and modern and inclusive regionalism are great driving forces that allow us to address the common challenges in a more effective manner.
We will continue to share our transition experience and best practices with other countries in building democratic, effective and transparent institutions and implementing policies that serve and engage all. Gender equality and human rights will remain key principles in all our development cooperation efforts.
Latvia is pleased to be an incoming ECOSOC member starting 2020. In this capacity, we will attach a particular attention to topics such as tackling climate change, digitalization, protection of forests and others.
We successfully underwent our first VNR last year. To support other countries in this process and to contribute to the upcoming HLPF review, Latvia has joined the Group of Friends of the VNR’s.
To achieve SDGs, Governments should work together with all stakeholders, including local municipalities, trade unions, businesses, civil society and citizens, including youth. We are glad that Latvia’s delegation this year includes our very first Youth Delegate as well as representatives from the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development and Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments.
As the Secretary General has emphasized– the global response so far has not been ambitious enough. We need to renew our political commitments and mobilize further efforts to realize the 2030 Agenda. In this regard, we look forward to the SDG Summit and other high- level events to take place in September.